Growing up an MMA fan and now well on his way to becoming a household name in one of the fastest growing sports on Earth, it comes as no surprise that “Big Dan” Manasoiu has seen his fair share of fights. The affectionately nicknamed “Jiu Jitsu Giant” has been around long enough that he had to take a second to even figure out a way to react to the question, “What are your favorite fights?”
“That’s difficult, man,” Manasoiu laughed. “That’s like asking me to say what my favorite words are.”
After a short amount of time deliberating, Manasoiu rounded up his seven favorite fights in UFC history!
Cheick Kongo vs Pat Barry – UFC Live: Kongo vs Barry
It's definitely one of my favorite fights, just because of the shock value of it. It’s unbelievable, what Cheick Kongo did. I actually trained with Cheick Kongo, I met him and I was like, ‘Hey Cheick, it’s so nice to meet you. I grew up watching you fight.’ And he was like, ‘Nice, now it’s my time to watch you fight.’ That was a really good passing of the torch moment when I got to hang out with Mr. Cheick Kongo. He actually lives in Austin and trains with us from time to time. I text him to see how he’s doing. He’s a very, very nice guy.
Georges St-Pierre vs Matt Hughes – UFC 65: Bad Intentions
I loved watching GSP win the title against Matt Hughes because GSP had lost to Matt Hughes previously and he went back to beat Hughes by a finish. Whenever I see GSP win, I’m always happy about it because I know he deserves everything he has. He’s such a good dude inside and out, it’s unbelievable. He’s an unbelievable person, he’s a part of our team and when you watch good people do well, you can’t help but be extremely happy for them. I also know it has something to do with my instructor, because my instructor’s biggest happiness is watching his students succeed. Watching GSP winning the title was probably one of his proudest moments as a coach.
Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic – UFC 226: Miocic vs Cormier
I loved watching Daniel Cormier win two belts at the same time. I feel like he’s one of those guys that is a good person. DC takes time out of his day to be a good example for people to be like. He won two belts without ever being in any drama. He takes time to coach high school wrestling; he doesn’t have to do that. He’s an overall good dude, I love his commentary and I really, really would love to sit down and have a conversation with him one day.
Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar – TUF 1 Finale
Nothing could ever be complete without this one. That was just a straight up bloodbath with both guys winning UFC contracts. It was unbelievable.
Francis Ngannou vs Alistair Overeem – UFC 218: Holloway vs Aldo 2
I loved watching Francis Ngannou fight because he would just take people’s heads off. Him versus Overeem has to be one of the most ridiculous KOs I’ve ever seen.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje – UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje
I always loved every one of Khabib’s fights. I really loved his retirement fight; it couldn’t have been more perfect. Khabib’s one of those guys that you never hear anything stupid happening with him. He just left because his father died. He just wanted to make his dad proud. He did what he set out to do, become the undefeated, undisputed UFC champion. He did it - 29-0 and now he’s spending time with his family.
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 1 – UFC 220: Miocic vs Ngannou
You want to know my number one favorite fight ever? Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 1. Ngannou was the scariest m***** f***** walking the Earth. Ngannou was f****** people’s days up. Stipe had no fear. He went up to the dude who was taking people’s heads off. He just knocked Alistair Overeem the f*** out in the first round, he knocked Andrei Arlovski out in a minute thirty, he knocked out all these guys and Stipe said, ‘f*** you, I’m going to fight you, I don’t care.’ And he beat the s*** out of Francis Ngannou and made him look like he wasn’t supposed to be there, with zero fear. It shows a story of resilience and he’s somebody who still takes time to give back to his community being a firefighter.
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