Since the inception of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, the UFC has served fans the ultimate mixed martial arts experience. It is the biggest MMA promotion and has given us some of the best and biggest MMA fights in history.
Are there boring fights? Of course! Many fights make us pray it ends quickly. However, there is always that one fight that has us glued to our seats and wishing it would never end. We decided to compile a list of some of the best fights in the history of UFC events. These fights had MMA fans worldwide sitting at the edge of their seats.
While going down memory lane to find these fights, we realized that the biggest fights aren’t necessarily the best. Some of the fights on this list are not as big as the others, but there is no doubt that they kept fans entertained from the onset.
Here are some of the Best Fights in the UFC History:
Now, here are the best UFC fights of all time.
1. Stephan Bonnar Vs. Forrest Griffin
People might argue that this fight is only great because of the historical significance it has, and, considering that it was this fight that brought the UFC to the limelight, there might be a point to this argument.
However, we also have to admit that this bout wouldn’t have been able to make that much of an impact if it wasn’t such a great fight. The fight has been described repeatedly as the fight that changed the story of the UFC and MMA promotions.
It happened in 2005 when the UFC was still struggling, and it became a literal game-changer. The fight was on the season finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and was the light-heavyweight final.
It was held at the COX Pavilion in Las Vegas and was an amazing three rounds of 5-minute punching and low kicks. The fight seemed to have no clear winner as both fighters threw punches as if they could not afford to lose. Who could blame them? The winner was supposed to get a six-figure UFC contract. At that time, and even at this very moment, such a contract was enough incentive to fight till you gave out.
Forrest Griffin ended up clinching the win, but because it was clear that Stephan Bonnar did extremely well, he also got his six-figure contract.
This fight was pivotal in the growth of the UFC and MMA. MMA junkie said,
“It’s not just another fight at that point; it’s a vital piece of MMA lore.”
And truthfully, you cannot tell the history of MMA without mentioning this fight. It drew in millions of viewers and was voted fight of the year by a poll held by MMAweekly. Michael Bisping described it as the fight that pulled the UFC from the verge of bankruptcy, which is not a surprise considering the numbers it did.
2. Robbie Lawler Vs. Rory MacDonald
Oddschecker claims that this is the match they would show anyone who does not watch MMA and urge them to discover what they are missing. The match between Robbie and Rory had everyone on edge. The fight can be described as a highly technical brawl, with each move by both parties calculated to do the most damage.
The fight was held in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and was aired live on Main Card. It was the co-main event of the UFC 189 championship.
Both fighters had a mission. In the case of Rory MacDonald, it was revenge for the loss he suffered to Robbie Lawler in their first match. In the case of Robbie Lawler, it was to preserve his lead. During the fight, both players sustained injuries after trying their best to achieve their goals. But in the end, Robbie Lawler left with the belt.
This fight is considered the greatest Welterweight MMA fight of all time by Tapology. Rory MacDonald described the fight as the greatest moment of his life, and this statement might not be far off the mark, considering that it is still memorable in the heart of MMA fans after more than 7 years. It won Robbie his second fight of the year award and remains a fan favorite to this very day. You will agree with us that it deserves a spot on this list.
3. Matt Hughes Vs. Frank Trigg II
During the UFC 52 event on the 16th of April 2005, the rematch between Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg took the MMA world by storm. It was and is still one of the most exciting fights in the UFC and MMA promotions history.
The fight was the co-main event of the UFC 52 and took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was a match to decide the UFC Welterweight championship, a title Matt Hughes was holding at the time of the match.
While these fighters might not be so popular with Younger MMA watchers, they still delivered a stunning fight that remains fresh on the mind of anyone that watched it. It wasn’t the first bout between the fighters; both fighters have had a lot of bad blood.
So the heat that followed both players into the Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was almost palpable, and they didn’t disappoint. Each fighter went for the kill from the onset of the match. Trigg had a way of getting the right reaction from Hughes, and on that day, he was pressing all the right buttons.
The match went on for a while, with Trig looking like he was going to clinch the win, but in the end, Hughes won the match by holding Trigg in a rear-naked choke that had him (Trigg) tapping to save his life. Hughes says about the fight, “There is only one clip I enjoy watching. When I pick Frank up and run him across the octagon.” He says that up to that very moment, it looked as if he was going to lose the match. But then, MMA fights are always filled with surprises.
No matter how the fight ends, it still leaves anyone watching it with chills. It says a lot for a match that only lasted for a single round.
4. Jon Jones Vs. Alexander Gustafsson
The fight between Jones and Gustafsson is one of the closest fights in the history of the UFC. There aren’t many fighters who can put Jon Jones on guard but on that day, during the UFC 165 event, it only took Alexander Gustafsson one fight to show that he could give Jones the biggest fight of his entire career.
Jones and Gustafsson had their epic showdown at the Air Canada Centre In Ontario, Canada. It was the tournament’s main event and aired live on Main Card.
This fight is rated the second greatest heavyweight MMA fight of all time, and if you do watch the fight, you will agree. This fight was a series of back and forth that kept fans glued to their seats with their eyes peeled for fear of missing any part of the fight.
Gustafsson kept Jones on his toes for most of the three rounds. He couldn’t land a damaging punch, and it seemed Gustafsson would not allow him to get a takedown. The fight continued this way to the very end of the fifth round. And if not for a spinning elbow strike at the end of the fourth round, it would have been difficult to decide who the winner of this fight was.
All we know is that it is the closest fight for Jon Jones, who is regarded as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. When referring to the fight, Jones said, “In a way, I did lose without losing.”
Fans took to the internet to share their thoughts about the match. Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) said,
“Well, people are going to argue about who won this fight, but one thing they won’t disagree about is this is the fight of the night, maybe in history!” And after watching the match, we could not agree more.
This battle clinched 2013’s fight of the year award and was considered the fight of the night for the UFC 165 event.
5. Israel Adesanya Vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Israel Adesanya said he was prepared to die during the UFC 236 event on the 13th of April, 2019. Coming from the most precise striker in the UFC since Anderson Silva meant that this fight would become one for the history books, and it did earn its spot on those pages.
This fight was held in the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the night’s co-main event. This was the best fight of the night and is still considered among the best middleweight fights. It also won the Best MMA fight for 2019.
Throughout the fight, you could see that both fighters were intent on coming out on top. For most of the rounds, both players seemed to be on equal footing as they struggled to land critical hits. But what was shocking about this fight was that Gastelum, who is more comfortable fighting on the ground, actually took a stand against Adesanya, fighting on his feet. However, even though it seemed Adesanya had a clear advantage, he was still on his toes for the better part of the match.
They entered the fifth and final round of the match with a 2:2 score, which was when Adesanya changed the game. It took everything he had, but Adesanya delivered a fight that brought an epic end to this bloody battle.
This epic battle also had other professional fighters at the edge of their seats. Some of them took to Twitter to say a few things during the match. Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) had this to say
“Fights like this remind us why we fucking love MMA so much!”
6. Dan Henderson Vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
In the MMA industry, calling a fight a draw is very difficult. But if there is a fight that truly deserves to be called one, it would be this bloody and epic showdown between Henderson and Shogun Rua. If this fight were a championship bout, it would be one of the greatest of all time.
With each round, it seemed that both fighters were equally matched, and it continued this way till the end of the bout. They beat each other so badly that most people were surprised they were both standing at the end. Henderson dominated Rua in the first and second rounds, but Rua picked up the pace after the second round.
They both were fighting as if their lives depended on the win. These are some of the things that make this fight truly impressive. In the end, Henderson clinched the win in one of the closest fights in MMA history.
Dana White described the fight as one of the best in the history of MMA, and most people who watched the match agreed with him. After the match, Rua said he would train more, perform better, and maybe win in a rematch.
The fight was the main event of the UFC 139 and took place in H.P. Pavilion, San Jose, USA. It was aired on Main Card.
7. Zhang Weili Vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
One clear thing about this brawl is that it is the greatest women’s MMA fight of all time and one of the greatest in the entire history of MMA too.
This match occurred in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and aired on Main Card. It was named the fight of the night at the UFC 248 event and is the best MMA fight of the year 2020 and the greatest strawweight MMA fight of all time on Tapology. The fight will continue to get attention years later.
We all know that Jedrzejczyk is not one to say no to a good brawl, which is how she claimed dominance as a former strawweight queen. But in this bloody match, Jedrzejczyk finally met her match and more. Zhang was a powerhouse that continued plowing at Jedrzejczyk until she was barely recognizable. She gave Jedrzejczyk a huge beating and, at the end of the match, retained her championship. This win would be the first of the two Zhang has on Joana and is said to be one of the reasons Joana resigned after she lost to Zhang for the second time.
After this match, it is said that Zhang earned the respect of the entire industry and Jedrzejczyk’s career was never the same again.
Fans took to the internet to drop comments about the match. Sean O’Connell (@realOCsports) tweeted,
“Best women’s MMA fight ever?” And if we were to answer this question, we would say, “Yes! Definitely!”
8. Nate Diaz Vs. Conor McGregor II
The first brawl between these two amazing fighters had us all wanting more, and when they came together for a rematch, they delivered what would end up being one of the best matches in MMA history.
Conor's bounced back from a loss before! Can he do it again at #UFC264??
Posted by UFC on Friday, July 2, 2021
All the brawls between Nate and Conor had some things in common. For one, at the end of the fight, both fighters were always a bloody mess. During the first match, McGregor suffered a defeat, and it seemed like he was ready for revenge.
He didn’t give Diaz any breathing space throughout the first two rounds, repaying each punch he got with faster punches. However, during the third round, it looked as if the fight was finally taking its toll. It looked as if Diaz was gaining the upper hand, but in the end, McGregor delivered the winning strike. He defeated Diaz via majority decision.
This fight broke the record for most UFC PPV buys. This record was formerly held by the first match between the two fighters, which shows viewers cannot get enough of both fighters. It is clearly shown by some of the reactions found on the internet. Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) had this to say:
“What a battle. Wow. I’m in awe of that fight. Two different spots where each guy looked completely done. Give us a trilogy,”
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports went ahead to say
“I’ve been watching boxing my entire life. I prefer boxing. I love boxing. But this is probably the best fight I’ve ever seen.”
The fight occurred at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and aired on Main Card. It was the main event of the UFC 202 and took place on the 20th of August, 2016.
9. Robbie Lawler Vs. Carlos Condit
This fight makes it the second time Lawler appears on this list, and this time it is for his stint with Carlos Condit. When they announced that Carlos would be challenging the reigning champion Lawler for his welterweight title, we knew it would be an exciting match, but we still weren’t ready for the fight we got.
Lawler might have been the welterweight champion, but Condit was also a formidable fighter, and this fight was proof of his strength. Throughout the five rounds of the fight, both fighters landed heavy strikes on each other. It would not have been possible for them to last so long if they had been lesser fighters.
You can determine whether a fight was good by looking at how people react afterward. Even though Lawler was declared the winner by a split decision, many people thought that Carlos deserved the win more. Till now, most people remember the image of the two exhausted fighters leaning on the cage after the conclusion of what can only be described as one of the greatest MMA fights in history.
The fight was the main event of the UFC 195 that took place in January 2016 and was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas..
10. Cub Swanson Vs. Doo Ho Choi
Most people who have not watched this fight do not understand the fuss because it wasn’t the main event. But the truth is that this fight is among the best of 2016 and MMA history.
This is one of the most brutal fights on our list, and we couldn’t decide whether to keep our eyes open or closed. Throughout the bloodthirsty brawl, we wanted to ensure we did not miss a single moment.
The first round was competitive, with each fighter trying to get a read on the other, but as soon as the fight entered the second round, all hell broke loose. Swanson had the strength, but Choi had the precision of a marksman. They struck at each other without mercy and at an incredible speed.
The fight gained Choi the respect of the MMA industry by going up against a much older opponent. Before the match, there were speculations that he might have been out of his league, but he stood his ground till the last round.
In the end, Swanson took the win via decision, but he and Choi had caused significant damage to each other.
The fight impressed professional fighters, who took to Twitter to show this. Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWoodley) tweeted,
“@KoreanSuperBoy7 and @CubSwanson I am speechless!!! Didn’t know that type of fight was possible!!! @ufc #UFCToronto,”
We couldn’t agree more. It was the Main Card fight during the UFC 206 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
11. Frankie Edgar Vs. Gray Maynard II
The title fight of the UFC 125 lightweight event between Edgar and Maynard is the perfect example of a come-from-behind resurgence.
It was not the first fight between the two fighters, and in the beginning, it seemed as if history was repeating itself as Maynard railed against Edgar with massive blows. It didn’t seem like he (Edgar) would last more than the first round.
But he survived the first round, and in the rounds that followed, he put up a good fight. He met each of Maynard’s punches with crisp punches of his own. He seemed to rattle Maynard with his powerful takedowns. It looked as if the fight had taken a complete 360 turn.
They struggled like this until the end of the fifth round, and the match was declared a draw. Edgar retained the championship by pulling through what might be the most significant fight of his career.
Even though the match ended in a draw, it caused a buzz among fighters and fans that lasted for a long time. Mitchell Ciccarelli of the Bleacher Report believes the match could have gone in Maynard’s favor even though the draw was a good call.
He says, “As much as I dislike the idea of a championship ending without a clear winner, this truly was an evenly matched bout.”
He believes the third fight between these two players will sell many tickets.
The fact that this match ended in a draw is the only reason it does not have a higher spot on this list. However, we have to agree that these two opponents are easily on par with each other.
This fight was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, and broadcast live on Main Card.
12. Robert Whittaker Vs. Yoel Romero II
Both fighters were amazing in their first fight, and the result was very close. But this second fight was even closer. They brought their A-game to the fight and gave MMA fans worldwide a fight to remember.
The fight was held in the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and aired live on Main Card. It was the main event of the UFC 225 and the second match between the two players.
Maybe the unique thing about this fight was the reluctance of Romero to throw strikes. However, when he did strike, it was sporadic and unorthodox, giving the fight a new intense surge each time.
Whittaker wasn’t just taking this lying down. He used strategic strikes to keep Romero on his feet in the first two rounds. Romero delivered a big left and right punch on Whittaker towards the end of the fourth round, rocking him to his foundation.
This onslaught continued till the final round, and Whittaker was barely hanging on at the end. What’s worse, he had suffered a broken arm. But he won in one of the tightest split decisions in MMA history.
“This fight is ALL HEART, a real honor to witness. @robwhittakermma @YoelRomeroMMA @ufc.”
We love this fight, but there are a few reasons it did not make it to the top ten of our list. For one, it was scheduled to be a title fight between Whittaker, the reigning champion, and Romero. But Romero missed weight, changing the fight to a non-title brawl. The weight missed also meant that Romero would forfeit part of his purse to Whittaker.
13. Mark Hunt Vs. Antonio Silva I
This match is one of the craziest fights in the entire MMA history. It was a bloody back and forth that left us wishing it wouldn’t end. More shocking was that these two men were still alive after this brawl. It was a bloodbath and one of the most brutal fights in MMA history.
They brought everything to the Arena, and they left with nothing. Hunt was a fan favorite, and most people marked him for an easy win, but the first two rounds had watchers changing their minds quickly. Silva delivered strikes and kicks that were precise and calculated. He managed to bruise Hunt, but this seemed like the wake-up call Hunt was waiting for because he started landing massive blows on Silva.
We thought the fight would end any moment, and you could not even be sure who the winner would be. It continued till the fourth round, which Silva stole. They returned for the fifth round, looking like they were about to collapse, but they could still deliver punches that drew blood and had us gasping. It wasn’t a fight you should watch after having a meal. You might lose the meal. It was a fight that showed the true essence of MMA and deserved a spot on this list. In the end, the match was declared a draw. However, it was later considered a no-contest for Silva, who failed his post-fight drug test.
This fight was the main event for the UFC Fight Night 33, which took place on the 6th of December 2013 and was held at the Brisbane Entertainment Center in Australia. It was aired live on Main Card and is considered the greatest heavyweight MMA fight of all time.
14. Chuck Liddell Vs. Wanderlei Silva
On the 29th of December 2007, on the night of the UFC 79 event, two legends of the MMA industry met in a brawl that shook the world.
These two weren’t spring chickens, but they showed the world that they could still put up enough fight to keep the viewers entertained.
The fight started slow, with both of them trying to get a measure of the other opponent, but then the punches came. Liddell went for strong strikes that met their marks with precision, while Silva went for a wild flurry of blows. Liddell’s composed and precise attacks made us think Silva would fall at any moment, but he didn’t.
Finally, Liddell finished the fight by slamming Silva with a back fist that put Silva on the ground, ending one of the greatest fights the UFC had ever seen.
At the end of this much-anticipated match, Liddell took the win, but the standing ovation and roars of excitement they got were indicative of two things. First, they had delivered an outstanding fight. And second, they could not get enough of the two fighters.
This fight took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and was the co-main event of that night, although most people would agree that it stole the show.
15. Amanda Nunes Vs. Cris Cyborg
During the UFC 232 event, Jon Jones reclaimed his title as the Light Heavyweight champion from Alexander Gustaffson. It was a beautiful match, but the fight between Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes and Cris Cyborg occupied the fans’ minds that night.
Amanda and Cris are two of the most popular female fighters in the UFC. So a match to decide who was the best among these two would generate a lot of noise. Speculations about the match were everywhere on the internet, and Cyborg was favored to win.
But the match took a different turn. Nunes defeated the Brazilian less than a minute into the match, earning her one of the quickest wins in the UFC.
This brawl occurred at The Forum Arena, Inglewood, California, United States, and was aired live on Main Card. It was a title match for the Featherweight Championship. By winning, Amanda took the title from Nunes.
16. Clay Guida Vs. Diego Sanchez
Clay Guida and Diego Sanchez are two of the UFC’s most exciting and talented fighters. They met at the Arena for The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale and delivered an epic clash with their different but equally explosive styles.
Sanchez started the fight like a rocket, hitting Guida with everything in his power. He got in a good amount of strikes and took the first round when he hit Guida with a kick to the head.
During the second round, it seemed as if Guida was a bit more coordinated. He controlled Sanchez and was able to avoid many strikes. But Sanchez still managed to get in a couple of huge strikes, and in the last round, his controlled and precise uppercuts earned him the fight.
Despite losing the fight, Guida’s ability to stay standing after Sanchez’s blows in the first round made him a remarkable fighter. Sanchez might have won the fight via a split decision, but it is clear that this match had all the makings of a draw.
According to Erik Sloan, an analyst for Sportskeeda, even though Guida had lost the match, this was probably the best match he has had in his entire career.
This brawl would get a match of the year 2009 and The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale Fight of the Night Honors. It is also considered one of the Greatest Lightweight MMA Fights of all time.
The fight occurred at The Pearl at the Palms Arena in Las Vegas and aired on Main Card.
17. Gilbert Melendez Vs. Diego Sanchez
This fight is another entry on the list for Diego Sanchez. It shows that he is not without his share of epic fights. With Gilbert Melendez, he delivered a legendary brawl that would further set his name in MMA history.
This fight occurred in the Toyota Center Arena in Houston, Texas, and aired on Main Card. It happened during the UFC 166 event and was three rounds of bloody perfection.
In the first two rounds, it looked as if Sanchez was outclassed. He received an onslaught of massive battery, but he stood his ground, and soon Melendez had to be careful with each move he made.
Sanchez also landed hits of his own. He gave Melendez a massive right hook the first chance he got. These two amazing fighters came out swinging in the final rounds. In the end, Melendez won the match, but Sanchez got the people’s hearts.
Dana White called the fight “The fight of the friggin’ I don’t know what.” And Joe Rogan, a UFC commentator, referred to the fight as the “new greatest fight of all time.”
On Twitter, the noise continued. And while many think the fight is a classic, others do not believe it deserves to be called the greatest.
18. Eddie Alvarez Vs. Justin Gaethje
The entire MMA industry was thrown into a frenzy when this matchup was announced. Sean O’Connell (@realOCsports) took to his Twitter to say,
“Not sure I have ever had higher hopes for a matchup than I have for this @Justin_Gaethje and @Ealvarezfight bout. Here. We. go. #UFC218”
People expected an amazing fight from these two fighters, and they delivered.
After the fight, many people would describe it as Alvarez’s fight, but at the beginning, you wouldn’t be able to tell. The battle was tough, and Justin did not take it easy on Eddie. He dealt blow after blow and leg kick after leg kick. Justin battered Alvarez, but Alvarez refused to lose. Alvarez stood his ground and delivered brutal body shots with every opening he got. By the third round, both players were struggling to hold on. Alvarez, however, saw an opening and slammed Justin to the ground with his massive knee. Justin stayed on the ground, and Alvarez took the win.
This fight remains one of the most entertaining comebacks in MMA history, and we have seen our fair share of comebacks.
The brawl took place at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, on Saturday, the 12th of February, 2017. It was part of the UFC 218 event.
19 Dustin Poirier Vs. Max Holloway II
This fight was the main event of the UFC 236 that occurred on the 13th of April 2019 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the title fight for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship, which aired live on Main Card.
This beautiful second matchup between Poirier and Holloway was a brilliant ending to one of the best UFC events ever. Holloway won their first fight, so he had something to defend, and Poirier had something to prove. For this reason, they both gave their best in this event.
Holloway delivered fast strikes, but we could see that Poirier had the power. Each of Poirier’s strikes was brutal, and he didn’t relent till the last round. Holloway wasn’t one to give up easily as he was standing till the last minute of the last round. But even then, it was clear that the win belonged to Poirier. The fight ended with Holloway bloodied and Poirier with the belt strapped around his waist.
Michael (@bisping) took to his Twitter handle to praise the fight. He said,
“Just incredible display of technique and heart from both @BlessedMMA and @DustinPoirier Thank you, guys! You make me proud to be a part of the ufc!”
Even though history failed to repeat itself, and Holloway lost the match, nobody could deny that it was one of the best fights in his career. The fight was also considered one of the best MMA fights of the year 2019.
20. Pat Barry Vs. Cheick Kongo
This fight might not be one of the longest matches in history, but it did give us one of the best knockout moments we have seen in any MMA fight.
The fight between Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo took place on the 26th of June 2011 as part of the UFC on Versus 4 event. It occurred at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It generated $562,000 in ticket revenue and had an average of 744,000 viewers tuning in from all over the world.
Standing at 6ft 4in, Kongo towered above the shorter Pat Barry, who was at 5ft 11in. You would think Barry would cringe, but he didn’t. Within the first few seconds of the first round, he had Kongo on the ground, leaving the crowd gasping. It looked as if the match would end sooner than expected and not in Kongo’s favor. But he kept moving, and the referee had no choice but to let the match continue.
However, Kongo soon recovered and delivered a knockout punch at the 2 minutes mark of the first round bringing a powerful end to what is probably the shortest fight on this list. This fight was also described as the greatest comeback in UFC history. It was a great win for Kongo, who had never won against a top-level fighter. He showed the MMA world that he could hold his own against any top-level opponent and might even come out on top.
21. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II
It was the second fight of the trilogy between Georges and Matt and was the most anticipated fight of the year. The Pierre vs. Hughes Brawl was part of the match lineup for the UFC 65 event in the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California, United States. The event’s entire revenue from ticket sales was $2,138,020, with a PPV buy rate of 500,000.
During their first match together, Georges had lost to Hughes, and he didn’t want history to repeat itself, so he went into the match ready to give it his all. Hughes, on the other hand, had something to defend. After Pierre lost to him in their first match, he won a series of matches. Hughes wanted to show that, even though Pierre had won all these matches, he still had what it took to defeat Pierre.
However, seconds into the fight, it became clear that Pierre was not planning on conceding this match. He attacked Hughes with a barrage of strikes, knocking him down repeatedly. Before this fight, MMA fans saw Pierre as a grappling fighter, but he proved that he was a fighter that could adapt to any situation and come out on top. Pierre knocked Hughes out in the first minute of the fight’s second round and became the night champion.
Pierre had suffered a loss in the hands of Hughes in the past, one of the only two losses he had so far in his career. But this match redeemed him.
Pierre and Hughes are considered two of the most successful competitors in the UFC. It was a fight for the history books because their scorecards were filled with green. It wasn’t a surprise when they matched them against each other in another fight. Spoiler alert, Pierre won that fight too.
22. Tito Ortiz Vs. Frank Shamrock
This fight was one of the few that cemented the UFC as the MMA promotion to look out for. It was also the last UFC bout for the Legendary Frank Shamrock.
This fight occurred at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States, and was the main brawl of the UFC 22 event.
Before the Fight, Frank was considered the ruler of UFC bouts, and people were hoping that Tito might be able to dethrone him even for just a bit. Tito was a young and promising star who had suffered just a single loss to Guy Mezger, a loss which he avenged. Tito might have lacked the experience that Shamrock had, but Tito was bigger, faster, and younger. Everyone thought he would win the match, but Frank wouldn’t let that happen.
From the beginning of the brawl, Tito got a massive beatdown from Frank which continued until the fourth round was about to end, at which point Tito collapsed under Frank’s attack, earning Frank his fourth and last title defense.
23. Justin Gaethje Vs. Michael Chandler
You can describe Justin as the gift that keeps giving. Although Justin’s debut in the UFC is recent, anyone who knows of his track record in the World Series of fighting would not be surprised by how this fight ended. Everyone favored Justin to win, and he did not disappoint. It was a 3-round fight, and at the end of the third round, Justin took the win by a 3-round decision.
This fight occurred at Madison Square Garden, New York City, and aired live on Main Card. It was ranked the best MMA fight of 2021 and was the fight of the night for the UFC 268 event.
24. Matt Hughes Vs. BJ Penn
Matt Hughes is a name that keeps popping up on this list, and all we can say is that he had some epic fights under his belt. This is one of such fights and was the first of the 3 brawls of what is considered one of the greatest trilogies in UFC History.
The brawl was the co-main event of the UFC 46: Supernatural and took place in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, United States. It was a title match for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Hughes was fighting to defend his title, so fans thought he would come out on top.
However, Penn was not going to let that happen. He grappled with Hughes, and just as the first round was about to end, he grabbed Hughes and took him in a rear-naked choke. Before we could blink twice, Hughes submitted, giving up the match and his title to Penn in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
25. Jose Aldo Vs. Chad Mendes II
After Aldo won his first brawl with Chad and many other fights, fans were excited when these two explosive fighters were slated to fight each other again.
The fight was at the Maracanazinho Gymnasium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was aired live on Main Card. It was the main brawl of the UFC 179 event.
The instant the match started, fans could see that Mendes was better prepared than he was during their last match. However, Aldo remained composed and delivered a series of staggering blows. Mendes snuck in a few hits and even landed a critical uppercut that seemed to give him a chance at the win, but in the end, it was Aldo who was victorious, maintaining his title as the UFC Featherweight Champion.
People took to the internet to praise the fight and the fighters, describing the brawl as why people watch UFC events. Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) tweeted,
“Amazing fight! Forgot to keep score. It was so good, lol! Who won? #ufc179”
26. Dustin Poirier Vs. Justin Gaethje
Dustin and Justin both make it into our list again, and this time they face each other. These two are excellent fighters, and Justin has attained a pseudo-legendary status over the years. Justin has a powerful score sheet, and most people who have faced him in the Octagonal ring did not come out the same. But Dustin wasn’t an easy opponent, and this match was the perfect proof of that.
For the first three rounds, it looked as if Dustin was struggling. Justin attacked him with a flurry of fast-paced hits and even gave him a cut above the eye. However, seconds into the fourth round, it was clear that Dustin was poised to win. He returned each of Justin’s hits with harder hits of his own and ended the fight with a knockout.
This history-making fight was in the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, United States, and was the main event of the UFC on Fox 29.
27. Dustin Poirier Vs. Chan Sung Jung
This was the main event of UFC on Fuel 3, between Dustin Poirier and the man known as the Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung. It was held in the Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia, United States, and was aired live on Main Card.
The brawl started fast, with both fighters struggling to take control of the match. Poirier’s hooks were met with Jung’s uppercuts and flying knees. They dealt combos after combos. But barely a minute into the fourth round and Jung landed an uppercut that destabilized Poirier, giving Jung a chance he needed to place Poirier in a D’Arce choke. That was what it took to end the match.
Jung might have come out on top, but even he admitted that he was in trouble in several instances during the fight. This fight earned the match of the night title and is considered one of the greatest Featherweight MMA fights of all time.
28. Chan Sung Jung Vs. Yair Rodriguez
There is a good reason why Chan Sung Jung’s fights are always epic. He can stand his ground and fight aggressively even when subjected to heavy blows. This is why he is referred to as the Korean Zombie, and his opponents do not enjoy fighting him. To defeat Sung requires extra effort. But it seemed Rodriguez was willing to give that little extra.
Before the match, the polls were all in favor of Sung winning, and for most of the fight, it seemed as if Sung would win. The two fighters were masters of the offensive, but Sung’s Zombie-like ability seemed to give him the upper hand. Towards the end of the match, Rodriguez hit Sung’s chin with a powerful reverse elbow and sent the zombie to sleep, ending the fight and taking the win with one of the best knockouts in UFC history. The match would go ahead to take the title of best MMA knockout of the year 2018 and the UFC 139 fight of the night.
This brawl occurred at the Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado, United States, and was aired live on Main Card.
29. Chris Leben Vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
On the night of UFC 116, the main brawl between Lesnar and Carwan was remarkable, but the match between Leben and Akiyama took the night by storm. It took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and was aired live on Main Card.
This was a fight that took a different turn than was expected. Akiyama was the fighter at an advantage. His style gave him an edge, and the fact that Leben was still recovering from his bout with Aaron Simpson meant he was no match for Akiyama, or so we thought.
After the first few seconds of fighting, it became clear that Leben was there to win. He stood his ground and attacked Akiyama relentlessly. They traded hits and grappled with each other. And just as the match was about to end, Leben surprised everyone by placing Akiyama in a tight triangle choke and forcing him to submit.
This unexpected turn of events sent fans into a frenzy and earned the fighters a fight of the night honor.
30. Yancy Medeiros Vs. Alex Oliveira
Yancy Medeiros positioned himself as the fighter to look out for when he defeated Erick Silva at the UFC 212 event. His fight with Alex Oliveira cemented this position and earned him the respect of MMA fans worldwide.
The brawl was a Preliminary fight of the UFC 218 event held in Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, United States.
Before the fight started, Oliveira was favored to win by the fans. Once the fight started, it became clear that Medeiros was poised to win. Another MMA fighter Brad Tavares(@BradTavares), took to Twitter to say,
“Hawaii stand up! @ymedeiros, you animal! True warrior! Straight beast! So pumped for you! Cheeeeee! #teamHAWAII @ufc #UFC218 FOTN right there!” This was a testament to Medeiros’s skill in the Arena that night.
The first round ended with Oliveira struggling with a broken nose, an injury he bore till the third round when Medeiros ended the match by knocking Oliveira out.
31. Wanderlei Silva Vs. Brian Stann
This was a fight that did not go as people expected it to. Predictions before the fight were mostly in favor of Stann winning. But the UFC is a great MMA promotion because the fighters still manage to surprise us.
The brawl between these two impressive fighters was the headline of the UFC on Fuel T.V. 8 event. It took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and was Aired Live on Main Card.
It was a powerful and energetic match. Both fighters wanted the win, which was clear from how they were trading blows. All it would take was one critical hit to win the fight, and it came in the second half when Silva delivered a strike that floored Stan and knocked him out. With that Match, Silva proved he was still a fighter to watch out for.
32. Anderson Silva Vs. Forrest Griffin
Anderson Silva is the greatest MMA striker and one of the greatest MMA fighters. Every fight with his name draws the crowd, and this fight with Forrest Griffin was not different.
The brawl occurred at the Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and was aired live on Main Card. It was a co-main event of UFC 101: Declaration.
Before the fight, Silva dominated the middleweight division, so this was his first fight in the light heavyweight category. He was up against Griffin, who has held his own against some fearful opponents, so everyone wanted to see how this match would end.
Once the brawl started, Silva proved why he was befitting the title of the greatest. For the first 3 minutes, he evaded all the attacks Griffin tried to land while delivering merciless hooks of his own. It looked like Silva was playing, which frustrated Griffin and made him reckless. This gave Silva the opportunity he needed to deliver a retreating jab that was just powerful enough to knock Griffin out, ending what is one of the most one-sided fights in the history of the UFC. UFC 101 is still considered the worst night in Griffin’s entire fighting career.
33. Rashad Evans Vs. Lyoto Machida
This match was a powerful albeit short brawl between Machida, a Karate master, and Evans, a powerful wrestler. It was also a title match for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
The fight occurred at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and aired live on Main Card.
Before the match, Evans was the title holder, and he wanted the match to end with him still holding the title, but Machida had other plans. The mysterious Karate master dominated the first round with his powerful strikes, and by the second round, he knocked Evans out, claiming the title for himself.
This fight earned the knockout of the night and is considered one of the greatest knockouts of all time.
34. Matt Brown Vs. Erick Silva
The fight between Matt Brown and Erick Silva was the main event of the UFC Fight Night 40 and was held in the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.
Matt Brown is a strong fighter and is known for his tough chin. He is one of the hardest people to knock out. Silva landed many blows and even a body shot that rattled Brown, but Brown stood his ground and started doling out his hits.
He kept Silva on the defense for two rounds, and in the third round, he knocked Silva out. In the end, Silva was a bloodied mess, but no one can say that he did not put up a good fight.
The fight would earn the performance of the night honor for the fighters, and it drove the fans to a frenzy. They took to Twitter to show their delight and excitement at such a brilliant show of strength. Myles Jury (@FuryJury) said,
“I love a great street fight, and Matt Brown is good for one every time he fights. Huge heart! He needs to be on every @ufc! #UFCFightNight” and we definitely agree with him.
35. Jose Aldo Vs. Conor McGregor
The shortest fight on this list probably goes to this exciting brawl between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. It lasted for 13 seconds, but the adrenaline rush it gave MMA fans would last for a long time.
The fight was the main event for UFC 194 and took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. It was aired live on Main Card and was a title match for the UFC featherweight championship.
At the time of the fight, Aldo was the title holder and described as the MMA monster. Everyone thought he would win the fight, but all it took was a sneaky left hand from McGregor to floor him bringing a quick and explosive end to what is probably the shortest match in MMA history.
To say that everyone was shocked would be an understatement. People like Jon Anik from Fox Sports described the match as MMA at its best. Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) tweeted,
“I just paid $60 for a fight I could have watched on Vine. #UFC194”
Clearly, fans could not wait for a rematch between the two fighters as they believed Aldo deserved a chance to redeem his name.
36. Frank Mir Vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira II
This much-anticipated rematch between Frank Mir and Antonio Nogueira was the co-main event of UFC 140. It took place in the Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was aired live on Main Card.
In their first bout, Mir defeated Nogueira, but the latter claimed he wasn’t in the best health during the match. This questioned Mir’s victory and led to a bit of bad blood between the two, so they both came ready to prove a point.
They struggled and even tumbled to the floor as they grappled. Nogueira threw some punches, aiming some at the back of Mir’s head, for which he got a warning. . Around the third minute of the first round, Mir got Nogueira in a Kimura lock that placed him in a bad position and eventually dislocated his shoulder. Eventually, Nogueira had to surrender, and once again, Mir was victorious.
For Mir, this was another fight fit for the history books. During their first match, Mir became the first person to successfully knock Nogueira out, and in this rematch, Mir became the first person to get him to submit.
37. Johny Hendricks Vs. Robbie Lawler
This epic brawl would end up becoming the best MMA fight of 2014. It was the main event of UFC 171 and was the first of the two fights between the two beasts. It took place in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and was aired live on Main Card.
This fight was significant because the UFC was looking to fill the vacant title of the UFC welterweight championship. Hendricks and Lawler fought hard for the title and stood at the end of the fifth round. However, Hendricks was named the winner by unanimous decision.
Lawler might not have won this match or the championship, but he would not lose another match to Hendricks, and he still got a championship title.
38. Rampage Jackson Vs. Wanderlei Silva III
Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva have a bit of history between them, both in the UFC and outside. They fought twice in two different pride events in Japan, and in both cases, Jackson lost to Silva. This was their third brawl with each other,
The brawl was in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and was one of the main cards for UFC 92. It was aired live on Main Card.
They circled each other, testing their strengths with calculated hits. Silva wanted to win as it would be an epic finish to the trilogy of fights between the two fighters, but in the end, Jackson landed the winning blow. He gave Silva a left look that knocked him out, earning Jackson his first victory against Silva. Silva got his wish for an epic end to his rivalry with Jackson, but this was not the end he was looking for.
This fight gave Jackson his most devastating knockout and one of the greatest knockouts in MMA history.
39. Max Holloway Vs. Calvin Kattar
This match is one of the most recent ones. It was part of the UFC on ABC, 2021, and was an eye-riveting performance. The only reason it is not somewhere higher on the list is that the fight itself wasn’t a significant championship match, but the show these two amazing fighters put on was so great that it won the two fighters the match of the night honors.
The fight occurred at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and aired live on Main Card. It was the main event.
What we liked about this match was the fact that it was not a one-sided event. It was a battle of strikes between the two, and even though Holloway won, he can’t say it was an easy win for him.
40. Royce Gracie Vs. Kimo Leopoldo
When Royce Gracie and Kimo Leopoldo were pitched against each other for the main card fight on UFC 3, it derived mixed reactions. Gracie had professional experience and was a master of Jiu-jitsu, but Leopoldo outweighed him. The fight could easily go both ways.
The match was held at the Grady Cole Center and was one of the quarter-final fights for the UFC 3 events.
They both made grand entrances, and once the fight started, it became clear that these two were evenly matched, and it would take just a single slip-up to win the match. The slip-up came at the 4:40 mark of the first round when Gracie sunk Leopoldo into an Armbar forcing him to submit.
This fight demonstrated one of the principles of Jiu-jitsu, that size does not matter when you have mastered Jiu-jitsu.
41. Nate Diaz Vs. Conor McGregor I
The second fight between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor has been mentioned before on this list, and while their first fight was not as spectacular as the second one, it was still an amazing fight and deserving of its place on the list.
Diaz and McGregor had some things in common: They were both mean fighters and trash talkers, which was why their fight was historic.
The fight was the main event of UFC 196 and was held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Mcgregor was strong and had a heavy chin, but Nate was younger and was quickly picking him apart. Then McGregor made a mistake! He tried to wrestle Diaz to the ground, but Diaz’s Jiu-jitsu gave him the upper hand, and he gained control of McGregor’s back, forcing him into a rear-naked chokehold and submission.
This fight would end them the fight of the night honors and best MMA submission of the year 2016.
42. Antonio Nogueira Vs. Randy Couture
Antonio Nogueira and Randy Couture had one of the tightest battles in UFC history. Couture had just come out of retirement and had taken the heavyweight category by storm. No one wanted to be paired with him. But he met his match in Nogueira.
The fight occurred at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon, and aired live on Main Card. It was the main event of the UFC 102.
You could feel the crackle of excitement that night as the fight went on for three intense rounds. They battled it out with strikes and grapples, each refusing to give up. But Nogueira was clearly at a size advantage and dominated most of the fight. He won by the decision, but this was his closest win yet.
43. Andrei Arlovski Vs. Travis Browne
Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski and Travis Browne delivered the best single-round fight. It was part of the UFC 187 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The two fighters started out throwing punches at each other. Arlovski was reckless with his strikes, but they still found their marks. Browne was not taking all these lying down either. He landed massive hits of his own. But in the end, Arlovski ended the match with a knockout in the first round. The ref was forced to end the match because Arlovski would not let up even after Browne was down.
This bout earned them the UFC 187 Fight of the Night Honors and is considered one of the greatest Heavyweight MMA fights of all time.
44. Forrest Griffin Va. Quinton Jackson
The fight between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Forrest Griffin divided MMA fans. Most people thought the fight belonged to Rampage Jackson, while others knew that Griffin was not an opponent to play with and that he might be the better fighter of the two.
The fight occurred at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and aired live on Main Card. The brawl was the main event of UFC 86.
Once the fight started, it became clear that Griffin was the better fighter. He had the upper hand, and even though he lost a round against Jackson, it was clear by the end of the match who the winner was, which was the unanimous decision in favor of Griffin that did not come as a surprise.
The fight remains one of the most entertaining in UFC history and is considered one of the greatest Light Heavyweight MMA brawls of all time.
45. Randy Couture Vs. Tim Sylvia
After he suffered two defeats at the hands of Chuck Lidell, Randy Couture decided to retire from the MMA industry. But when Dana White made him the irresistible offer of a title match against Tim Sylvia, he decided to make a grand return.
The fight occurred at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and aired live Main card. It was the main event of UFC 68: Uprising and was a title match for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Sylvia was holding the belt at the time of the match.
Once the fight started, Couture reminded us why he is considered a legend of the sport. He laid it into Sylvia from the very first strike and continued like this till the match was almost over. Couture lost steam in the last round, but everyone saw that the fight belonged to him. He reclaimed his respect and won the heavyweight championship in one of the most spectacular comebacks in MMA history.
46. Stipe Miocic Vs. Daniel Cormier II
Stipe Miocic is one of the greatest MMA fighters, so when he lost his first fight to Daniel Cormier, we knew there would be a second match, and we weren’t disappointed.
The second match between these two monsters was held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and was Aired Live on Main Card. It was the main brawl of UFC 241 and was a title match for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Before the match, Cormier held the belt and was a double champion. He was the one favored to win. But we were in for a surprise. For most of the fight, we thought Cormier would clinch the win at any time. But in the fourth round, Miocic woke up and dealt devastating strikes on Cormier. And in that same round, he scored a spectacular knockout, winning the fight and clinching the title.
This brawl was entertaining and had us on edge to the very end. It is considered one of the greatest Heavyweight fights of all time.
47. Brock Lesnar Vs. Shane Carwin
There is only one suitable description for Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin; Heavyweight monsters. So, when a fight was fixed between them for UFC 116, everyone was excited about a spectacular display.
It was a heavyweight championship rumble, and Lesnar was the one with the belt. The fight was held at the popular MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, and was aired live on Main Card.
Lesnar entered the fight confident, not knowing he was about to face the most challenging brawl in his career.
Carwin started strong delivering an onslaught that sent Lesnar to the ground. We thought it would be over in the first round, but Lesnar made it to the second round, and Carwin was already tired from his initial attacks. Lesnar struck, bringing him to the ground and winning the fight in arguably the best comeback of all time.
48. Georges St-Pierre Vs. Michael Bisping
Georges St-Pierre is a recurring name on this list, and that is because he is one of the best MMA fighters in history. On the other hand, Michael Bisping was also a force to be reckoned with. So when they were paired up for the UFC 217, we got one of the greatest fights in MMA history.
The match was in Madison Square Garden, New York City, and aired live on the Main Card. It was the main event and the last fight of the night.
Before the match, St-Pierre had taken a break from the MMA scene, and it was his first fight after returning. It was an ambitious fight because he challenged Bisping for the Middleweight title.
Even after such a long hiatus, St-Pierre dominated the match, and Bisping was on the defensive. It continued this way until the third round, when St-Pierre managed to get Bisping in a rear-naked chokehold, forcing him to submit and claiming the title. He proved that even after such a long break, he was still one of the greatest.
49. Leonard Garcia Vs. Chan Sung Jung II
The first match between Chan Sung Jung and Leonard Garcia ended in Garcia winning. It was a beautiful fight but is nowhere compared to the gem that was their second bout.
It was in 2011, and the UFC Fight Night 24 which held in the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.
The fight was intense from the get-go. The Korean Zombie wanted payback, but it seemed as if Garcia was always just a step ahead of him. But somehow, in the second round, Sung Jung, primarily considered a striker, pulled a surprising stunt. He pulled off the twister. This is a move that is reputed to have no escape. Sung Jung was the first to pull it off and is probably the only person to date.
With the twister, he forced Garcia into one of UFC’s greatest and rarest submissions.
50. Ronda Rousey Vs. Holly Holm
This fight made it onto this list not only because it was great, but it also had one of the most surprising endings in UFC history.
Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey was a menace, knocking down everyone that stood in her path. She quickly became one of the UFC’s biggest superstars. She was considered invincible. But then she was matched against Holly Holm, and everything changed.
The fight was held in the Etihad Garden in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and was aired live on Main Card. It was the main event of the UFC 193 and was a title match for the UFC Bantamweight championship. Rousey was holding the belt before the match.
Holm won this fight because she knew her strength and played to it. She was a striker, while Rousey was primarily a grappler. Holm didn’t allow Rousey to take the fight to the ground and eventually knocked Rousey out with her patented high kick. Holm became the champion and gave Rousey a defeat she would not forget in a hurry.
51. Demetrious Johnson Vs. Ray Borg
Demetrious Johnson is known as the Mighty Mouse because of the power packed in his little body. His fight with Ray, “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg, would go down as one of the best descriptions of this power.
The fight occurred at the T-mobile Arena and aired live on Main Card. It was part of the lineup for UFC 216 and was a title match for the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Johnson was defending his title, and he had been doing so for a while now. Ray Borg was his most formidable challenger yet and put up resistance. But Johnson showed why his nickname has a mighty in it.
He caught Borg in an armbar forcing him into submission and creating an amazing finish. His win would earn him his record-breaking title defense as he overtook Anderson Silva, who had 10 title defenses.
52. Tony Ferguson Vs. Edson Barboza
Tony Ferguson and Edson Barboza are amazing fighters, but most people did not know about them until the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter season 2 finale when the two faced each other in what will go down in history as one the greatest fights of all time.
The fight was held in The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was aired live on Main Card.
The fight was a beautiful display of strength from the two fighters. Barboza landed several significant hits, but Ferguson was always on the offensive. And then he managed to catch Barboza in a D’arce choke, and it was decided. Ferguson was declared the winner after two rounds of a beautiful fight. The brawl would earn the fight and performance of the night honors and be said to be one of the greatest UFC fights in 2015.
53. Vitor Belfort Vs. Wanderlei Silva
On the 16th of October, 1998, two young Brazillian MMA fighters on the way to stardom met each other on the octagonal ring of the Ginasio da Portuguesa in Sao Paulo, Brazil. What happened during that brawl can only be described as epic.
It was a title fight for the UFC Middleweight Championship, and both fighters wanted to claim the title for themselves.
Belfort was at an advantage from the onset. He forced Silva against the net and landed a massive left hook that floored Silva. The assault on Silva would have continued if the referee had not stepped in to stop the fight. Silva believed he still had a shot at the title, but it was clear to everyone that watched who the winner was.
This match is on this list not only because it was an awesome display of brute strength but also because it propelled these two great fighters to stardom.
54. Anderson Silva Vs. Chael Sonnen
Anderson dominated the UFC middleweight division. He was also a record-breaking middleweight championship defender. This fight was his title defense against Chael Sonnen and one of the two fights between them.
Chael Sonnen was a fighter with a reputation. He had just defeated three top middleweight fighters and was a mean trash talker. He called everything Silva did into question. This was why this fight drew so much attention. Everyone wanted to see if he was all bark and no bite.
The fight occurred at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, and was the main brawl of UFC 117.
Silva was the better fighter between the two, but throughout the night, it looked as if Sonnen was not all talk. He battered Silva until the fifth round and brought him to the brink of defeat.
Everyone thought Silva’s reign was over, but just as the brawl was about to end, Silva secured a massive turnaround by pulling off a triangular armbar. He won the match, kept his title, and Sonnen was quiet for a while.
55. Diego Sanchez Vs. Karo Parisyan
In a fight that was later dubbed fight of the year 2006, Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan showed the world what MMA fights should be. Sanchez had amassed back-to-back wins and wanted to gain contender status by defeating Parisyan.
The fight was held in the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was the main event of UFC Fight Night 6.
Sanchez started the match by blitzing Parisyan with strikes. He forced him to the grounds several times and only conceded a few hits to Parisyan.
This fight had two very significant and exciting moments. The first one was when Parisyan landed what is considered the single best Judo throw in UFC history. The second was when Sanchez knocked Parisyan’s tooth out with his knee. Sanchez would go ahead to win the match by decision.
56. Roger Huerta Vs. Leonard Garcia
The fight with Leonard Garcia was Huerta’s third for the UFC promotion, but it would be the one that would propel him to UFC stardom.
The brawl was held in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and was aired live on Main Card.
Huerta was faster and larger than Garcia, and his hits were more technical, which seemed too much for Garcia to handle. However, Garcia seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself as he also traded blows with Huerta with a smile.
At the end of the blood three rounds, Huerta emerged as the winner by Unanimous decision. The two fighters knelt and embraced themselves, and had we not watched the match, we would not believe that they had just survived a blood bath.
57. Royce Gracie Vs. Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock is called The Worlds Most Dangerous Man In MMA circles, but Royce Gracie proved in this match that he could face the world’s most dangerous man and come out on top.
The brawl occurred at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, as part of the first UFC event, the UFC 1.
This explosive brawl was the perfect proof of the power that is Jiu-jitsu. Gracie finished off a much bigger opponent in the first round. He went for the legs, and after Shamrock dodged, Royce caught him in a Gi choke forcing Shamrock to submit at the 57 seconds mark.
This fight proved how effective Jiu-jitsu is and was a historic fight between two people who would grow to become legends in the MMA industry.
58. Mark Munoz Vs. Kendall Grove
Mark Munoz and Kendall Grove were two rising stars in the middleweight division. Mark Munoz was a collegiate wrestler, and Kendall Grove was the Ultimate Fighter 3 winner and an expert in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Together they gave us one of the most stylistic and entertaining fights in MMA history.
The fight occurred at the Concert Arena at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was part of the UFC 112 event.
Munoz felt the full brunt of Grove’s wrestler force in the first round, but in the second round, Munoz bounced back and delivered a solid hit that sent Grove to the ground. He followed Grove to the ground and kept pounding, using his patented Donkey Kong strike to bring the match to an end with a technical knockout.
The brawl would win them a fight of the night honor and is considered great because of how quickly Munoz bounced back after taking a massive beating from Grove.
59. Forrest Griffin Vs. Shogun Rua I
Before he met Forrest Griffin in the octagonal ring, Shogun Rua was considered the best light heavyweight fighter in the world. Everyone thought Griffin was in for a beating when they were matched against each other for the UFC 76 lineup.
The fight was held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and was aired live on Main Card. It was a co-main event.
From the beginning, it became clear that the match would not be as easy for Rua as we thought it would be. Griffin stood his ground, delivering precise strikes that rocked Rua. The fight continued until the third round, when Griffin took Rua’s back and caught him in a rear naked choke. He won the match and proved to MMA fans and Rua that the underdog can always take the win.
60. Anderson Silva Vs. Rich Franklin I
Let’s talk about the fight that started the legend of Anderson Silva. It was UFC 64, and he was fighting against Rich Franklin, who was defending his Middleweight title.
The fight was held in the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and was the night’s main event. It was aired Live on Main Card.
Rich Franklin was the title holder and the fan favorite, but even his incredible skill was not enough for Silva, who was the superior fighter between the two.
Silva would knock him out right in the first round with his powerful knees. This fight started the long reign of Silva as a champion. He would face Rich again in the future, but the outcome was pretty much the same.
Some Honorable Mentions:
Although we have brought our list to a close, here are some very exciting fights that didn’t make it into the top 60 but are bubbling somewhere under.
- Dan Anderson Vs. Anderson Silva For UFC 82. Anderson Silva won by forcing Dan Anderson to submit with a rear naked choke.
- Royce Gracie Vs. Dan Severn For UFC 4 Royce would defeat Dan to win the Fourth UFC Tournament.
- BJ Penn Vs. Jens Pulver I For UFC 35 Jens Pulver would defeat Penn by a split decision to retain his title as lightweight champion.
- Cain Velasquez Vs. Brock Lesnar For UFC 121 Cain Velasquez would defeat UFC Heavyweight Championship Brock Lesnar to claim the title.
- Sean Sherk Vs. Bj Penn For UFC 84 Penn would defeat Sherk by Knockout.
- Mirko Cro Cop Vs. Gabriel Gonzaga for UFC 70 Gonzaga would beat Cro Cop in one of UFC history’s most shocking and entertaining finishes.
- Sam Stout Vs. Spencer Fisher For UFC 58 Stout would defeat Fisher, and the fight would win the match of the night honor.
- BJ Penn Vs. Diego Sanchez For UFC 107 Penn would decimate Sanchez to win the fight and retain his title in one of the bloodiest brawls in UFC history.
- Carlos Condit Vs. Jake Ellenberger for UFN 19 Condit would defeat Ellenberger by a split decision.
- Jose Aldo Vs. Mark Hominick For UFC 129 Aldo would defeat Hominick in one of the classic fights in UFC history.
It is always controversial when MMA fans talk about the best UFC fights. The truth is that the UFC has a ton of amazing fights, so choosing the best of them will not be easy.
We were on the edge of our seats and biting our fingers in anticipation during every bout on this list. Even fights with just one round got our adrenaline pumping. As you can see, these are fights between amazing fighters who demonstrated mastery of MMA. And while some of them might lack the blood and gore that the rest have, you can’t say they didn’t leave you wanting more.
What are your thoughts on this list? Is there any fight you think deserves to be on this list? We would like to hear your thoughts in the comment section.