Describing something as being ‘gangster’ or awarding that nickname to a fighter is always a tricky thing to do. Some see it as a negative connotation whereas others think it’s pretty cool, and we can understand both sides of the argument.
In this instance, though, we’re using it to describe some of the most awe-inspiring feats in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The fighters that we’re about to list are about as elite as you could ever hope to be, and the MMA world needs to recognise that. For all of the bad anecdotes you could pull from this sport, there are so many more that we just adore.
Seeing these warriors put everything on the line in the name of our enjoyment is right up there, and it’s a privilege to watch.
Have you ever wondered why Nate Diaz was so popular before he even got his hands on Conor McGregor? It’s because of stuff like this. When you’re that confident of getting the submission that you pose and give the middle finger to the world, you know that you’re something special. Will he ever fight again, though? That’s the real question.
Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida went to war in this fight, but the bout as a whole isn’t what we’re talking about. There was a moment during the contest when Diego asked Clay to hit him in the face. Imagine being that confident in your abilities, and imagine being that much of a stud. We don’t deserve you, Diego.
Robbie Lawler & Rory MacDonald
Many call this the greatest fight in the history of the UFC, and it’s kind of hard to argue that. Lawler and MacDonald probably took years off of their careers in this one, all for the right to be called the champion. The best moment in the fight, though, came at the end of the 4th round when they stood in the middle of the Octagon and just stared each other down. Iconic.
It’s pretty much impossible to hate Max Holloway, especially when he does stuff like this. He was well on his way to a win against Ricardo Lamas, and yet he felt the need to ask Ricardo to throw down with just 10 seconds remaining in the fight. This legitimately doesn’t happen all too often, and this will likely always be one of the defining images of his career.
The ‘Conor McGregor is amazing’ tagline has been beaten into the ground in the last few years, and it’s hard for some people to stomach it – especially after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. Even with that, though, fans need to try and think back to UFC 205 when he put on an absolute clinic against Eddie Alvarez. It was just such a beautiful performance from the second it began until the second he chose to put Eddie down, and many would argue that it represents the pinnacle of his mixed martial arts career.
How can we ever discuss ‘gangster moments’ and not include Nick Diaz in the conversation? The elder Diaz brother is a superb fighter but what really sets him apart is how he throws caution to the wind and does absolutely what he wants – even if it means lying down in the middle of the fight in order to taunt an opponent (who was Anderson Silva, no less) to get on with the action.
Oh Nick Diaz, they don’t make them like you anymore, do they?