The first month of the new year eased in considering the bang with which 2016 went out but here are the top fights:
Top 10 Fights of January 2017
10) Hisaki Koto’s unanimous decision victory over Ralek Gracie – Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen
Hisaki Koto shut down any efforts from Ralek Gracie to take him down and simply chopped his legs out.
9) Emmanuel Sanchez’s majority decision over Georgi Karakhanyan – Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen
This was a close fight and was a good one despite an illegal knee to the head of Georgi Karakhanyan while down.
8) Tito Ortiz’s rear naked choke submission win over Chael Sonnen – Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen
Tito Ortiz went out on his own terms when he took down then choked out Chael Sonnen in his swan song.
7) Jason Gonzalez’s brabo choke submission over J.C. Cottrell – UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Pena
It was definitely interesting to see Jason Gonzalez pull off such a unique submission against J.C. Cottrell.
6) Jason Knight’s rear naked choke submission victory over Alex Caceres – UFC on Fox 23
Jason Knight was able to take down Alex Caceres and ground and pound him before finding the submission.
5) Francis Ngannou’s technical knockout victory over Andrei Arlovski – UFC on Fox 23
A rising star emerged when Francis Ngannou took out Andrei Arlovski with strikes that put Arlovski out. This maybe the beginning of the end for Arlovski but certainly the beginning for Ngannou who might be champ someday.
4) Jorge Masvidal’s technical knockout over Donald Cerrone – UFC on Fox 23 – Upset of the Month
Jorge Masvidal snapped Donald Cerrone‘s four fight win streak in a fight where Cerrone was clearly rocked.
3) Derek Campos’s unanimous decision win over Derek Anderson – Bellator 170 – Fight of the Month
This was a back and forth affair at an event that needed something of a good fight up to that point in the night.
2) Valentina Shevchenko’s submission of Julianna Pena – UFC on Fox 23 – Submission of the Month
Valentina Shevchenko proved that she is not just a striker by submitting Julianna Pena by a good arm bar. With the submission, Shevchenko earned a rematch title shot against UFC Bantamweight Champ Amanda Nunes.
1) Paul Daley’s knockout victory over Brennan Ward – Bellator 170 – Knockout of the Month
Without a doubt, Paul Daley‘s flying knee knockout of Brennan Ward was very reminiscent of Michael Page‘s skull cracking flying knee knockout of Evangelista Santos last year that was voted knockout of the year by some.