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Top 10 MMA moments of 2010

Anderson Silva, right, punches Chael Sonnen during the

Anderson Silva, right, punches Chael Sonnen during the Middleweight Championship of UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2010) Credit: AP

The calendar says it is time to start doing things such as these. Countdowns, best-ofs, worst-ofs, etc.

Everyone has differing opinions on these types of things, which is the nature of Top-10 and Best-of lists. So here we go with the Fightin' Words Top 10 MMA moments of 2010, based on excitement, impact and other such criteria.

10. Dec. 4: Strikeforce's Knockout Night

Four fights on the televised card, four knockouts on the televised card. Quite the impressive display of power and excitement, whatever you think of the fighters and the matchups. The four-KO night had people talking, which is what Strikeforce needs to compete with UFC.

9. Oct. 28: UFC absorbs WEC

The announcement most had been expecting finally arrived on this afternoon when UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC would absorb the WEC, its sister promotion, into one big fighting conglomerate. This move gave the UFC seven weight classes and created a merger of the two promotions' lightweight divisions.

8. Still no MMA in New York

Toronto opened its doors to mixed martial arts earlier this year and will host an event in April 2011. In April 2010, UFC went to Abu Dhabi. Boston hosted its first event in August. UFC opened an office in China, and is going to Brazil in August 2011. And yet, New York remains one of two states that legislates against the sport of mixed martial arts. The bill to legalize MMA in New York passed the State Senate vote on June 16, but stalled in the Assembly. It's the farthest the bill has reached in recent years, but more politicians seem to need convincing to change the law books.

7. April 24: Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung

Billed as fight of the year midway through the second round, Garcia and the "Korean Zombie" put on quite a show. Three rounds, 15 minutes, 62,000 punches thrown. They capitalized on the WEC's first pay-per-view bout with a $65,000 fight of the night bonus, up from the usual $10,000.

6. April 24: Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber

The WEC hosted its first (and only) pay-per-view event, which was news in and of itself. But then in the main event, Aldo walked into Sacramento to the song "Run This Town," and proceeded to destroy "The California Kid." The fight was so big, all WEC signage was scrubbed from the cage, which helped pave the way for No. 9 on this list.

5. Oct. 23: Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar was the biggest name in UFC but showed a penchant for not enjoying being punched in the face. Many of us likely wouldn't enjoy it either, but we don't make our living doing that. Lesnar looked unstoppable earlier in his career, but Velasquez was able to topple the behemoth at UFC 121 with impressive striking and a strong ground game.

4. April 10: Frankie Edgar stuns BJ Penn

Fighting at lightweight, BJ Penn hadn't been taken down by an opponent in more than six years. Enter Frankie Edgar, who at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, did the unthinkable. He took down Penn. Twice.  Edgar stunned the MMA world with his dominance and unanimous decision for the title. He bookended it with a similar performance in his defense against Penn at UFC 118.

3. Dec. 16: Anthony Pettis' "Showtime" kick

With one simple little springboard off the cage with the same foot that landed smack across the face of Ben Henderson, Anthony "Showtime" Pettis became the WEC lightweight champion, landed a guaranteed UFC unification title bout and was a top-trender on Google and Twitter. It was also the craziest move most MMA observers have seen in a very long time. (Watch the video)

2. Aug. 7: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

Beaten and bullied for four-plus rounds like we'd never seen before, Anderson Silva pulled off one of the most miraculous wins in MMA history at UFC 117. From his back, the UFC middleweight champion, considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, submitted Chael Sonnen via arm triangle. Sonnen was 110 seconds away from pulling off the upset, especially after all the trash he talked beforehand. Of course, Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for one year (later reduced to six months).

1. June 26: Fabricio Werdum submits Fedor Emelianenko

He was "invincible." He was "unbeatable." And after 69 seconds, those adjectives along with a 10-year, 27-fight win streak were gone. Fedor had actually lost a fight. "The Last Emperor," the biggest chip in Strikeforce, tapped out to Fabricio Werdum's arm triangle. Werdum is a talented fighter, but this was MMA's version of the Giants beating the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

New York Sports