Plenty of promotions put on some absolute blockbuster fight cards in 2013, but the easy choice for the best event was UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3.

The main event alone garnered much attention to Houston this past October, but the entire fight card was just rock solid from top to bottom.

The undercard was absolutely littered with finishes. The fights on Facebook featured impressive performances from prospects Andre Fili and Adlan Amagov. Not one of the fights on those prelims even went to the judges’ scorecards.

When the broadcast switched over to Fox Sports 1, fans were treated to a great lightweight battle between K.J. Noons and George Sotiropoulos, followed up by a signature knockout from Hector Lombard. That stellar undercard only prepared fans for what was to come when the pay-per-view telecast began.

Flyweights kicked off the main card, with John Dodson delivering a highlight-reel knockout over hot prospect Darrell Montague. The fireworks continued with a first-round knockout by Gabriel Gonzaga, who continued his career resurrection against Shawn Jordan. It was the fight that came next that vaulted the event into the realm of instant classics.

Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez engaged in a back-and-forth, three-round war that color commentator Joe Rogan proclaimed immediately after as the best fight that he had ever seen. Melendez emerged as the winner at the end of the epic battle.

The co-main event was a grudge match where Daniel Cormier continued to impress with a dominant decision over Roy Nelson.

The headliner was what prompted fans to buy the card, and the rubber match between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos certainly delivered. The champion retained with a fifth-round TKO in front of an extremely partisan crowd.

When cards look amazing on paper, it is rare that they actually exceed expectations. With eight finishes in 13 fights and two “Fight of the Year” candidates, UFC 166 certainly did that. It not only became the card of the year, but also one of the best of all time.

Honorable Mention: Invicta FC 6, UFC Fight Night 32
The MMA Corner’s 2013 Awards were selected by our staff of writers and photographers. Unless noted otherwise, the nominations were open to all fighters, promotions and events that took place during 2013.

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.