Brain injuries, exposed breasts, and liver shots: MMAmania’s Top 10 most popular UFC/MMA articles of 2023 (Pt. 1)
Another year of mixed martial arts action is going into the history books. An advanced apology from myself and my editor when I continually type 2023 in the dates for the next three months!
What will stand out about 2023 in combat sports? A few narratives come to mind, from Francis Ngannou definitely not fumbling the bag to Alex Pereira’s rise to two-division champion. There were, of course, incredible submissions, stunning upsets and wild back-and-forth wars in the last 12 months too. It won’t be easy to forget Josh Emmett’s right hand crashing into the skull of Bryce Mitchell, for example.
What’s fun is that there’s no guarantee any of those stories will rank among the most popular of the year here on MMAmania.com. It’s always an unpredictable batch! So, as the year comes to a close, what stories drove the most traffic through MMAmania.com amidst the chaos?
Let’s take a look at the first batch (No. 6 to No. 10) …
*** Note: To check out the Top 5 stories at MMAmania.com in 2023 click here at noon ET ***
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Number 10: Colby Covington facing ‘serious’ health concerns ahead of UFC 296 after reported ‘brain injury’ during MMA absenceWriter: Jesse HollandSummary: Teddy Atlas talks the consequences of the Jorge Masvidal steakhouse attack on Colby’s brainWhy It Blew Up: I don’t have any insider info on how many pay-per-view (PPV) buys he moves, but based on the numbers available to me, “Chaos” does indeed move some traffic. Ahead of the last big PPV of the year, Covington and the Masvidal attack were back in the spotlight! I would posit that there’s now strong evidence of brain injury given how poorly Covington fought and the peak level of dingus he’s achieved in the aftermath of UFC 296.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Number 9: CANCELED! UFC Las Vegas weigh ins disaster leads to main card scratch, heavy fines
Writer: Jesse HollandSummary: Ricardo Ramos and Jared Gooden missed weightWhy It Blew Up: It’s actual news! Timely and important! By and large, fight announcements and the like don’t explode into viral success stories. Last-second cancellations, however, always tend to do well, and perhaps this one was aided by Ramos missing the Featherweight limit by nearly an entire weight class.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Number 8: Undefeated! Sean O’Malley’s record changed to 17-0 after Marlon Vera loss at UFC San Antonio
Writer: Jesse HollandSummary: O’Malley is a silly gooseWhy It Blew Up: Sean O’Malley — and this is pre-champion “Suga” mind you — knows how to stay in the headlines. After Marlon Vera’s shutout loss to Cory Sandhagen, O’Malley declared himself once again undefeated on Twitter, which sparked enough laughter and outrage to land this article on the Top 10 list.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Number 7: Jessica Andrade says wardrobe malfunction played part in Erin Blanchfield loss: ‘My breast completely slipped out’
Writer: Drake RiggsSummary: Andrade’s top slipped while trying to defend an Erin Blanchfield takedownWhy It Blew Up: The word breast is in the title. My own top article of the year — which did NOT make it into these ranks, I’m loathe to admit — had the word boobs in the headline. MMA fans love boobs!
Congratulations to Drake Riggs for being the only non-Jesse Holland post in the entire Top 10. Somehow, I don’t think the biggest WMMA fan on the MMAmania crew would be thrilled that THIS was his top article, but that’s the internet for ya.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Number 6: Cocky fan steps to ranked UFC fighter, gets folded with brutal liver shot (Video)
Writer: Jesse HollandSummary: Topuria puts a fan on the ground Why It Blew Up: One of the great joys of being an MMA fan is watching regular folks step up to bat and take a low kick or body punch. It offers some valuable perspective. Seeing as Topuria’s body shots regularly fold other professional fighters, it’s not a shock that some random couldn’t stand up to his power. Still, it’s fun to watch and generally the kind of post that does well, even if this one popped off and exceed expectations.
Stayed tuned for the five most popular posts of the year, which will run later this evening right here. Until then, check out some honorable mentions from positions 11-25, which include stories about “dirty” UFC contract negotiations, Ronda Rousey’s return to MMA … rules, and disfigured slap fighters who win anyway.