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The UnderGround G.O.A.T. video challenge

The Greatest of All Time moments in various combat sports and martial arts categories.

I started martial arts in 1973, and at the time, it was hard, sometimes impossible to find the great combat sports moments that were unfolding. When Wilfried Dietrich threw Chris Taylor in the 1972 Olympics, there was no way to see it, even after it came out on posters. Not being rich, I watched The Rumble in the Jungle, George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali, on the radio. But today, with the growth of social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Quora, and above all, YouTube, the problem is too much content.

There is now available everywhere thousands of times more combat sports content than can be consumed in a lifetime. So The UnderGround will sieve through the sea of fights, identify and showcase the greatest moments of all time, and then, in a process of constant improvement, challenge you to post an even greater moment in the category.

Let's start with the aforementioned greatest throw in wrestling history.

Greatest of All Time Throw in Wrestling: Wilfried Dietrich vs. Chris Taylor 

At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, Wilfried Dietrich (287) threw Chris Taylor (444) with a belly-to-belly back souplesse.

"When Dietrich hit the mat I couldn’t see him. He must have sunk about a foot into the mat," recalled Wayne Baughman, US Greco team member at 198. "He was smashed flat in the mat. Dietrich did not hold a bridge but he did have enough momentum to carry him through to his right side and he stepped over onto Chris and got the fall.

“Five minutes later I went back to the locker room and Taylor was there by himself slouched over on a training table swinging his legs like a little kid. He looked up at me and shook his head and said, ‘I didn’t believe there was a human alive that could physically pick me off the mat and throw me but I was wrong.'"

Dietrich still holds the record for most Olympic medals in wrestling, with five. He passed away from a heart attack on June 3, 1992 in Durbanville, South Africa. He was 58, and is buried in his hometown of Schifferstadt, Germany.

Chris Taylor died in his sleep on June 30, 1979, in Story City, Iowa, USA. He was just 29 years old.

“The only thing Chris was upset about is that he let the whole thing happen,” said Taylor’s widow Lynne Lawrence. “He always used to joke that everyone could see his bald spot in the picture.”

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Post a greater throw in wrestling.

Greatest of All Time Round of Boxing: Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns 

On April 15, 1985, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, undisputed (WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring) world middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler fought challenger WBC super welterweight champion Thomas Hearns. Round 1 is widely acknowledged as the greatest round in boxing history. Marvelous won via by TKO at 1:52 in round 3 of 12.

“When the bell rang to end the first round I went back to my neutral corner and said to myself: ‘What the hell is happening?’" said referee Richard Steele later. You can see why.

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Post a greater round in boxing.

Greatest of All TIme Muay Thai Knockout: Jonathan Tuhu

In early November of 2014, in Newcastle, Australia, Papua New Guinea's Jonathan "Black Gold" Tuhu faced a far taller fighter, but landed an extraordinary Tornado Kick. You can see his opponent's soul explode out of his head in a cloud, and then, perhaps because he's so damn tall, it takes a moment longer for the blow to take full effect. A slow-motion faceplant follows. Reportedly, the referee is still watching him fall.

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Tuhu tried the same kick on Muay Thai GOAT candidate Saenchai, much to the Thai's appreciation. and acknowledgment, but it didn't work nearly as well.

Post a better kickboxing KO.

Greatest of All Time Grappling in an MMA Fight: Gregor Gillespie vs. Carlos Ferreira

is there Recency Bias at play here? Yah, undoubtedly. However, on May 8, 2021, at UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Gregor Gillespie and Carlos Diego Ferreira put on a grappling exhibition for the ages.

Gillespie is a tremendous folkstyle wrestler, being a four–time NCAA Div I All–American, and the 2007 NCAA Div I National Champ at 149 pounds. Ferreira started learning jiu-jitsu at age ten, and moved to the USA in 2008 to make a career in the sport, as had his idol Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. He moved readily from competing in BJJ to teaching it, and started fighting professionally in 2011. The folkstyle scrambles vs. Ferreria position and submission method was a classic. 

The end demonstrated Karl Gotch's maxim - "Conditioning is your best hold." Gillespie won nationals with a scramble in overtime, and his relentless wrestling won the day - the fight ended via TKO at 4:51 of Round 2.

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Greatest of All Time Martial Arts Break

Once upon a time, no one in martial arts actually tried it against exponents of other arts, so a common way to demonstrate effectiveness was to break things. Then the tail started wagging the dog, and breaking things became a goal in and of itself - instead of actual fighting, there were competitions to see who could break things more spectacularly. This represents profound confusion, it's the equivalent of two boxers proving supremacy by seeing who can hit the heavy bag more impressively. Mercifully, times have changed, and adults no longer do it.

However, breaking has use in giving children something clear-cut to direct their energies towards and to overcome. In the video below, a young Taekwondo student gets a lesson in two of the most important tenets of the Foot Fist Way - Perseverance (pronounced een-nay in Korean) and the related quality of Indomitable Spirit (pronounced beckjool boolgool).

The girl, adorned with a cape, is attempting a pine board break. As an aside, traditional martial arts would be a lot cooler if they gave out colored capes instead of the swimming-inspired belts. Returning to the video, the first attempt failed, and may have hurt her foot a little. so she wisely stops banging her body against something hard. 

An instructor mimics the required stomp, and the student complies, without hitting the wood. The instructor lifts up her foot, while teammates shout encouraging words - "Duro, duro" (hard, hard). The board slips, but won't break.

Kihaps are attempted, to no avail. While propped up by one instructor, another holds her foot and tries to drive it through the board. Still failure. The situation looks dire.

Finally, Super Girl is led up on top of the wood, and, with the use of a new ABD technique, one pioneered by Mark Hunt vs. Wanderlei Silva there is, at last, victory

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This was just five categories. There are countless more. And for the five categories, there are doubtless other contenders. So post your choices on The UnderGround.