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10 OF THE CRAZIEST FIGHTS IN SPORTS HISTORY

What happens when you combine professional athletes, adrenaline, aggression and the heat of the moment? A fight. A brawl. A brouhaha. It happens. It’s pretty much inevitable. Somebody is going to throw at someone’s head, someone is going to pull on someone’s face mask, somebody is going to ice someone, so on and so forth. With that said, it’s always great entertainment. A fight/brawl breaking out amongst players keeps the fans on their toes. It brings out a whole other level of emotion in the game. This is a list of 10 of the craziest fights in sports history. 

10. JOSE BAUTISTA GETS ROCKED BY ROUGNED ODOR 

On May 15, 2016, the Toronto Blue Jays were playing the Texas Rangers in a day game. It was the top of the eighth inning, the Rangers were up on the Blue Jays 7-6, and Jose Bautista was on first base. Rougned Odor was playing at second base. Justin Smoak was at the plate and hit into what should have been a standard double play. Both sides still having feelings from Jose Bautista’s bat flip the previous October, Bautista slid dirty into second base which caused Odor to throw wildly to first base. Both men immediately went at each other and Odor caught Bautista with a haymaker of a punch. Odor clocked Bautista and it stunned the star Blue Jays player.  Bautista’s helmet and sunglasses flew off due to the picture perfect right fist from Odor. The benches cleared and a brawl briefly broke out. The dust eventually settled and the game resumed but this is a fight that lives on and the replay is still shown to this day. You can watch the fight here: Jose Bautista vs Rougned Odor 

9. KNICKS VS NUGGETS 2006 

On December 16, 2006, the Denver Nuggets were pretty decisively beating the New York Knicks. There was a little over one minute left in the fourth quarter and the Nuggets were 119-100 on the Knicks. Nuggets starters Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith, Andre Miller, and Marcus Camby were all still in the game. playing like there was a minute left in the first quarter. Right before the Nuggets fast break that led to the fight, Knicks Head Coach Isiah Thomas accessed his old Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” mindset and told his team to not let anyone else score and take them out. As JR Smith went up for the layup, Knick Mardy Collins grabbed him by the neck with two hands for the flagrant foul. Smith popped up and then Collins and Smith went at each other. All then 10 players on the court surrounded the two men and the fight escalated. Carmelo Anthony shoved Nate Robinson. JR Smith and Nate Robinson brawled into the crowd. Carmelo Anthony sucker punched Mardy Collins. Jared Jeffries chased Melo to the other side of the court. All 10 players on the court were not only ejected from the game, but each player got suspended without pay for a certain amount of games, for example, Carmelo Anthony was suspended for 15 games. On top of that, both organizations were fined $500,000 dollars each. You can check out the fight at this link: 2006 Knicks vs Nuggets Fight 

8. ERIC CANTONA KICKS A FAN 

Imagine trying to kick a fan? Well, that’s what Manchester United’s Eric Cantona tried to do in 1995. Cantona was prone to fighting and this was far from the first time he caused a problem during the game. The French press called him “Le Brat.” This fan incident stemmed from Cantona receiving a red card. As Cantona was walking off the field, a fan in the front of the stands started taunting the hot-headed player. Cantona raced towards the stands and then jumped up and kicked the fan. Although he didn’t fully connect with the kick, it’s still a sight to see. Eric Cantona was suspended by Manchester United for the rest of the season and fined 30,000 Euro by the Football Association for the incident. He was also sentenced to 14 days in prison, but that was overturned and he ended having to serve 120 hours of community service. You can watch what happened at this link: Eric Cantona Goes to Kick A Fan 

7. MYLES GARRETT SWINGS HELMET AT MASON RUDOLPH 

This fight is pretty wild for one major reason, the Browns were winning. They were winning! The Cleveland Browns were up two touchdowns over the Pittsburgh Steelers, for a score of 21-7. Garrett had tackled Rudolph and then pulled him up off the ground by his helmet, ripping Rudolph’s helmet off of his head. As the Steelers lineman tried to separate the two players, Garrett swung Rudolph’s own helmet at him.  Luckily, Garrett missed Rudolph’s head and there were no serious injuries from the scuffle. A bigger brawl broke out between the two teams but that was quickly put to an end. The brawl had started because Garrett had alleged that Rudolph called him a racial slur. A year later, Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett talked it out and Garrett apologized. You can watch the fight here: Myles Garrett vs Mason Rudolph  

6. MIAMI U HURRICANES  VS FIU PANTHERS 

Just like the title of the YouTube video attached to this section says, this is the best fight in college football history. This was a knock down drag-em-out brawl between the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Florida International University Panthers. The fight started after a successful extra point attempt by Miami, bringing the score to 13-0 in their favor. This fight was so crazy, and so all over the place, the cameras couldn’t even keep up with what was happening on the field. Both teams benches were cleared and so many of the players got involved. The commentators went quiet for most of the fight and you could hear the fans in attendance cheering on and going crazy. As things began to subside, commentator Lamar Thomas defended Miami (his alma mater) and encouraged the players to finish things after the game. He even wanted to join in on the fight himself. Lamar Thomas was fired two days later by Comcast Sports South for his comments. You can not only watch the plays that lead up to the fight, but also the aftermath of the fight at this link: Miami U Hurricanes vs FIU Panthers 

5. TEAM MCGREGOR VS TEAM KHABIB AT UFC 229 

Conor Mcgregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov was one of the most hyped up and anticipated UFC fights of 2018. Over 20,000 people were in attendance that night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over two million people watched the PPV at home. Khabib defeated McGregor in the fight via a neck crank submission but what happened after the fight is talked about just as much, if not more, than the fight itself. Right after the end of the fight, members from both Conor and Khabib’s teams began to fight outside the Octagon. After McGregor tapped, Khabib didn’t get up off of McGregor immediately, shouted something at him, and possibly spit on him. Khabib then scaled the cage and hopped into the crowd where the two teams were fighting. As police were trying to break up the brawl outside of the Octagon, members of Khabib’s team jumped inside the Octagon and attacked McGregor. A few people were arrested, UFC President Dana White and Khabib got into a shouting match, and one of UFC’s biggest PPV’s ended with a bigger bruise than some fighters got that night in the Octagon. You can watch the post-fight team fight at this link: Team Khabib vs Team Conor 

4. RANGERS VS BRUINS – A FIGHT IN THE STANDS

1979. Two days before Christmas. My Dad was 12 years old at the time and he remembers watching this on TV. The 1970s was probably the golden-era for tough guys in Hockey. I’m not saying players before and after weren’t tough, but to me, the 1970s seems like the golden age for bruisers. There was already a fight on the ice between the New York Rangers (they were playing at Madison Square Garden) and the Boston Bruins when a Rangers fan slashed Boston Bruin Stan Johnathan’s face with a rolled up magazine and tried to yank his hockey stick out of his hands. The Bruins climbed into the stands to get the fan. Bruin defenseman Mike Milbury caught the fan, removed one of the fan’s shoes and hit him in the head with it before the police started to break up the fights. Even though this fight happened a little over 41 years ago, it’s still on many lists like this one. This one definitely has to be on the mount rushmore of sports fights. Check out the chaos here: Rangers vs Bruins – Fight in the Stands 

3. PEDRO MARTINEZ VS DON ZIMMER 

As a Yankees fan, I love when the rivalry with the Red Sox gets heated up. It’s fun. And in the early-to-mid 2000s, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was white hot. This all started from an extremely close inside pitch from Pedro Martinez at Karim Garcia in the top of the fourth inning. Derek Jeter and a few other Yankees hopped up off the bench waiting for things to go down. Karim Garcia jogged to first base and the game continued. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Roger Clemens threw a ball high and inside at Manny Ramirez and this is where things finally popped up. Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez started shouting and walking towards each other. The benches cleared and broke things up for the most part. When I think of sports fights, this is always one of the first ones that come to my mind. It’s not my personal favorite, but I do usually think of this one first. This is the Yankees-Red Sox brawl where Pedro Martinez grabbed Don Zimmer by his head and threw down to the ground. Now, Don Zimmer should not have charged at Pedro Martinez like that. Pedro Martinez was half Don Zimmer’s age, a professional athlete, and at the top of his game. Don Zimmer ran out onto the field and charged Pedro Martinez like he was running out of a trench in a war. Cue the battle horn and someone yelling “charge!” because that’s what the video of this brawl needs. The MLB posted a video on YouTube of the fight, you can watch it here: ALCS Game 3 Fight 

2. TINO MARTINEZ VS ARMANDO BENITEZ

This is my favorite sports fight of all time. This is one of the first sports fights my Dad showed when I was younger. Yankees first baseman was hit in the back by a pitch from Baltimore Oriole Armando Benitez. According to Martinez, this wasn’t the first time Benitez threw at Martinez. Benitez was ejected from the game and the benches immediately cleared. The Yankees bench was already walking onto the field before the umpire even finished throwing his arm up in the air to make the Benitez official. The late-90s Yankee dynasty team had a lot of tough guys on the roster. Yankee pitchers Graeme Lloyd and Jeff Nelson sprinted from the bullpen (making the expression “from out of left field” a literal statement) to come and attack Benitez. Yankee third baseman Scott Brosius charged at Benitez too, although he was pulled off by other Oriole players and then started fighting with them. In this fight, Darryl Strawberry was especially pissed off. As the fight moved from the pitcher’s mound to inside the Orioles dugout, Darryl Strawberry took a swing at Benitez. He missed, or maybe might have just clipped him. If Strawberry connected, his punch would have made Rougned Odor’s look like a friendly fist bump. Tino Martinez never really got the chance to go at Armando Benitez, as other plays kept holding him back, and same for Benitez, but this was a heated one for sure. MLB posted the video of this fight on YouTube as well, you can watch it here: Yankees vs Orioles Fight 1998 

1. MALICE IN THE PALACE 

This is the holy grail of sports fights. Without a doubt the most iconic one. The Malice at the Palace.” Everyone who likes sports knows about this brawl. This fight changed rules in the NBA. Documentaries have been made about it. A number of stand up comedians have joked about it. It was at the end of the game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. There were 45 seconds left. It seems the best fights happen at the end of the game. In what started out as a fight amongst only Pistons center Ben Wallace and Pacers small forward Ron Artest, it quickly spread to involve fans. Nine NBA players were suspended and five NBA players were charged with assault. On top of that, five fans were banned for life from attending Pistons games. This was probably predictably going to be number one, but predictably isn’t always a bad thing if it’s the right choice. You can watch the Malice at the Place here: Malice at the Palace Fight    

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