Godzilla has returned to the movie theaters for the first time in tens years. It also happens to be the monster’s 60th anniversary. For the occasion I thought I would make a list of MMA like moments that have happened in Godzilla films. The outlines of the list include that the movie has to actually have MMA like action within the movie. Because of that the following movies will be excluded from the mentioned list.

Excluded List:

Godzilla (1954) – Solo appearance

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Son of Godzilla – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. Hedorah – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Return of Godzilla – Solo appearance

Godzilla vs. Biollante – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla –  Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla vs. Destroroyah – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla (1998) – Solo appearance

Godzilla 2000: Millennium – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack – Combat does not resemble MMA combat

With that we move onto the honorable mentions list. These were the films that had MMA like combat but didn’t make it on the top ten.

Honorable Mentions:

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster – Several moments of stand up striking between Godzilla and King Ghidorah.

Destroy All Monsters – The final battle scene where all of the monsters gang up on King Ghidorah in their unique and creative ways.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) – Several combat scenes between Godzilla and King Caesar against Mechagodzilla.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) – Several combat scenes between Godzilla and Kiryu (latest name for Mechagodzilla).

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. – Several combat scenes between Godzilla and Kiryu as well as limited combat between Godzilla and Mothra.

So with that let’s look over the top 10 movies that had MMA like combat in commemoration of Godzilla’s milestones:

10. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

I will be straight up in saying that the majority of the movies on this list were made back in the original run when the mood often shifted and much of the hand to hand monster combat came about out of necessity for the budget. Originally released stateside as “Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster”, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released in 1966 and was the seventh Godzilla movie. The movie involves a group of people on a yacht who get stranded on an island where a terrorist organization is manufacturing weapons using enslaved natives. In order to cause some chaos, the stranded wake up Godzilla and several fight scenes ensue. One notable scene includes a punch from Mothra on Godzilla.

9. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

This is one of only two films on this list from the “Millennium” series which with one exception was a series of stand alone films with the original 1954 Godzilla film as a backdrop. In this film’s continuity, Godzilla attacks Japan in 1954, again in 1966 causing a ban on nuclear energy, a third time in 1996 causing a ban on plasma energy. The film involves a weapon that launches black holes created to try and destroy Godzilla and during one test a dragon fly emerges depositing an egg leading to the eventual emergence of Megaguirus. For the most part the combat actually does not involve MMA like combat. The one reason it makes the list is because of a body slam from Godzilla.

8. Godzilla vs. Megalon

It’s no secret that at one point Godzilla movies were made to appeal to children and this one was outright made for that sole purpose. The thirteenth film in the original “Showa” series and released in 1973, Godzilla vs. Megalon involves the Seatopia civilization retaliating to the earth surface nations’ nuclear tests by dispatching their god Megalon to wreak havoc and destroy them. To this end they hijack an experimental robot called Jet Jaguar which eventually is directed by its’ inventors to bring Godzilla to Japan. The seatopians get assistance from an alien species to sends them Gigan and a tag team match takes place between the Megalon/Gigan team and Godzilla/Jet Jaguar team. The battle varies between individual MMA matches and a pro wrestling style tag team match with an amusing Godzilla drop kick.

7. Invasion of Astro-Monster

This movie is notable in that the original Japanese version starred American actor Nick Adams. The sixth Godzilla film released in 1965 and named “Monster Zero” stateside, Invasion of Astro-Monster involves a space mission to Planet X and a plea from the inhabitants to borrow Godzilla and Rodan so that they can fight the space dragon King Ghidorah. However, it turns out to be a ploy to control the former two monsters and unleash all three monsters on earth in an invasion. Eventually Godzilla and Rodan are freed and go back to battling with King Ghidorah. The film’s major MMA moment involves a ground and pound moment from Godzilla on Planet X and an amusing victory dance.

6. Godzilla vs. Gigan

Released the year before Godzilla vs. Megalon and released stateside as “Godzilla on Monster Island”, Godzilla vs. Gigan also involves an alien invasion plot again involving King Ghidorah. It is also the original debut of Gigan and set the tone by which its’ sequel would follow with a tap team match with Anguirus as Godzilla’s ally. Another trait it has in common with MMA besides stand up and ground and pound is blood. Compared to its’ sequel, this movie has a more adult tone with blood to match. Sadly there’s a lot of stock footage from earlier films.

5. Terror of Mechagodzilla

Terror of Mechagodzilla was the fifteenth Godzilla film and the final installment of the original “Showa” series. Released in 1975 and named stateside as “The Terror of Godzilla”, the plot again involves an alien invasion with Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus as the weapons used by the aliens. This movie was also a first in that Godzilla was outnumbered for the first time. It also brought Godzilla full circle back to a more serious tone in the movie. Most of the combat is pretty good in that it resembles MMA stand up with some ground and pound here in there.

4. All Monsters Attack

Despite its’ high place on this list, All Monsters Attack is actually considered one of the worst Godzilla films of all time. Released in 1969 and named “Godzilla’s Revenge” stateside, all of the monster battles take place in a child’s dream sequences where he befriends Godzilla’s adopted son Minilla. Both the boy and Minilla are dealing with bullying issues and learn together how to deal with them and eventually overcome their respective bullies. One of the reasons this movie is so looked down upon is because of the large amount of stock footage used from not just previous Godzilla movies but other Toho movies as well. It was also the first Godzilla movie geared towards children.

3. Godzilla Raids Again

This was the second Godzilla movie ever and also only one of two filmed in black and white. Released in 1955 and named stateside “Gigantis, the Fire Monster”, Godzilla Raids Again once again involves Godzilla attacking Japan, but this time he is also battling Anguirus. Several scenes between the two is reminiscent of a stuffed take down attempt along with some sprawl and brawl. This movie is what set the tempo for the typical Godzilla versus a monster routine. However, its’ sequel wouldn’t be released for another seven years. 

2. King Kong vs. Godzilla

Yes, this actually happened. King Kong vs. Godzilla was the third Godzilla movie which came out in 1962 and has a similar plot to the 1970s King Kong remake in that King Kong is brought from his native island to civilization as an advertising mascot. Around the same time King Kong emerges from the ice berg he was buried in the movie before and eventually makes his way back to Japan to wreak havoc. King Kong breaks free and does the same thing but he’s eventually drugged and airlifted to Mount Fuji where he and Godzilla go at it until their battle eventually moves to the sea. There are some good moments in the battle including a judo throw by King Kong.

1. Godzilla: Final Wars

There are two words why this movie is on this list and why this list even exists in the first place: Don Frye. Released in 2004 in the heyday of the Pride Fighting Championships, Godzilla: Final Wars has arguably the largest collection of monsters and not only features Frye as the Earth Defense Force Colonel Douglas Gordon, but also features uncredited cameo appearances from Ray Sefo and Gary Goodridge. The story line once again involves an alien invasion and takes place in the future where mutants (no not x-men) have essentially become the special forces on the front lines in the battle against the giant monsters. It’s also notable for featuring the American Godzilla whom Toho renamed Zilla getting destroyed by the Japanese Godzilla in less then thirty seconds. Overall Frye really steals the show.

Once again I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Godzilla on his 60th Anniversary. Leave a comment!