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Best UFC Fights of All Time, Ranked

The UFC has been providing the maximum level of blended martial arts action obtainable for near to thirty several years. In that time, the Las Vegas-based business has promoted thousands of fights. Some of individuals have been really forgettable, loads of many others have been great, and a pick couple have long gone down as the ideal UFC fights of all time.

 

 

The record of legendary UFC fights would seem to get for a longer period just about every yr, and 2021 has been no exception to that rule. This yr gave us epic battles like Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega, Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen, Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler, and Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar. Even so, there are a couple fights that stand head and shoulders previously mentioned the relaxation. We’ve completed our ideal to narrow that record down to ten.

Preserve examining for our roundup of the ideal UFC fights of all time, all of which can be viewed legally on UFC Battle Go, the promotion’s formal streaming support. Whilst some of these bouts are above a decade aged, they’re continue to sending shockwaves as a result of the MMA universe.

The Best UFC Fights of All Time

ten. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor, 2016

Few MMA-connected lists are comprehensive devoid of some mention of McGregor (for much better or even worse), and this one particular is no exception. He’s acknowledged for creating knockout wins glance easy, but in the summer of 2016, the Irish celebrity was dragged into a grueling, twenty five-minute struggle with his chief nemesis, Nate Diaz.

Diaz and McGregor experienced by now fought a couple months earlier. Diaz stunned the earth in that combat by handing the Irishman his 1st UFC loss with a next-spherical submission. Heading into the rematch, anticipation could not have been bigger.

The next combat was a nail-biter, and the two welterweights engaged in a razor-near struggle as a result of all five rounds. Diaz landed slightly extra significant strikes, connecting on 166 attempts compared to McGregor’s 164, and also racked up five:fifty minutes of command time on the mat. McGregor, nonetheless, was guiding the extra decisive moments of the matchup: He dropped his rival 3 instances.

Useless to say, the judges experienced a tough job on their fingers. In the conclude, they handed McGregor a the vast majority decision gain, that means two judges scored it in his favor, and the third scored the combat a draw.

Just like that, the two superstars were being tied 1–1. The grounds for a trilogy have existed ever because, but it has not transpired still. Really do not be stunned if that at last adjustments in 2022.

nine. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar, 2005

MMA is much better now than it ever has been ahead of. A great combat currently is objectively much better than a great combat from the early days of the activity, as coaching tactics have improved dramatically and fighters have grow to be extra proficient as a outcome. Even so, we have received to give it up for the classics, and none hold a candle to the 2005 gentle heavyweight combat in between Forrest Griffin and Stefan Bonnar.

Griffin and Bonnar met in the finale of the 1st season of The Final Fighter actuality present, a time when the UFC was battling to break into the mainstream. The two gentle heavyweights aided the promotion do just that: The 3-spherical slugfest was a dazzler, and Griffin eventually gained by decision.

It was rarely a technological combat, but it did not make a difference. The aggression and grit of both gentlemen remaining jaws on the floor, and it aided introduce a whole new crop of admirers to the UFC.

8. Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson, 2017

Robbie Lawler is the only fighter to appear two times on this record, but Justin Gaethje approximately did, much too. Above the program of his incredible job, the American lightweight has participated in a very long record of unforgettable battles, lots of of which arguably rank among the the ideal of all time.

But the ideal combat of Gaethje’s legendary job happened in 2017. After an remarkable reign as the Globe Collection of Fighting lightweight champ, he built his Octagon debut reverse Michael Johnson. Gaethje was unbeaten at the time, and he was among the the most hyped fighters in MMA. Still Johnson very approximately spoiled the undefeated star’s debut by pushing him to the brink of consciousness in the early going.

In a show of incredible toughness and heart, nonetheless, Gaethje surged again for a next-spherical knockout win—bolstering his resume with not only a classic combat but one particular of the sport’s good comebacks.

seven. Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit, 2016

From the moment it was announced that Robbie Lawler would protect his welterweight title towards Carlos Condit in early 2016, MMA admirers expected an incredible combat. The two welterweights were being both regarded among the the most remarkable fighters in the activity, and with a title on the line, drama appeared certain.

In the conclude, the combat surpassed all anticipations. The pair engaged in a wild hanging struggle for the entire five rounds, bombing every single other with the variety of major artillery that could have very easily wiped out lesser fighters.

Lawler gained the combat by means of break up decision, but lots of admirers felt Condit really should have gotten the nod—and that verdict is continue to debated currently. Just one way or the other, the combat was one particular of the ideal ever.

six. Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry, 2011

Cheick Kongo in 2015

Cheick Kongo in 2015
Gregory Payan/AP / Shutterstock

A combat does not want to past numerous rounds to be good. Heavyweights Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo proved that when they collided in the Octagon in 2011.

This one particular received outrageous speedily. Minutes into the combat, Barry despatched Kongo crashing to the canvas with a crackling suitable hand, and after he experienced the Frenchman hurt, he did not enable up. Kongo absorbed punch right after punch, clinging to consciousness by his fingernails—to the issue that commentator Joe Rogan prematurely declared, “It’s above.”

It was not.

Just when it seemed like Kongo could not potentially consider a different punch, and the referee seemed all set to intervene, the Frenchman surged again and floored Barry with a punch of his personal. A couple punches later, it was over—this time for actual, as Barry stared up at the Jumbotron with his again on the floor.

Kongo experienced snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in one particular of the most dramatic one particular-spherical fights of all time. Severely, check out this one particular. You can do it in considerably less time than it normally takes to warm up a plate of leftovers.

five. “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier, 2012

Following time you’re attempting to introduce any individual to MMA, present them the 2012 featherweight combat in between “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier.

This combat was a whole lot like Costco—it experienced everything. From wild hanging exchanges, to blindingly quick scrambles, to slick submission attempts, just about every weapon in the MMA arsenal was on entire show. It was also capped off by one particular of the rarer submissions in MMA: Jung tapped Poirier with a fourth-spherical D’arce Choke.

For some rationale, this one particular would seem to be neglected when admirers debate the ideal fights of all time, but make no oversight: It belongs on this record.

four. Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, 2020

Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s 2020 strawweight title combat isn’t just one particular of the ideal women’s bouts of all time, it is one particular of the ideal fights ever, period of time.

At the time of the combat, China’s Zhang was the reigning champion. She was on a staggering 21-combat gain streak and seemed to make it to 22 towards Jedrzejczyk, the most dominant champ in the division’s historical past.

The two strawweight stars received to operate early and did not cease right up until the last bell: They threw a dizzying 783 strikes put together. The twenty five-minute firefight took an enormous actual physical toll on both women Zhang’s confront was purple with bruising and Jedrzejczyk, extra notably, sustained a ugly hematoma that built her brow swell up like a balloon.

It was a dazzling show of technique and toughness, and a will have to-check out for any individual on the lookout to get acquainted with the ideal fights in UFC historical past. A rematch also feels unavoidable.

three. Jon Jones vs. Alexanders Gustafsson, 2013

By the time Jon Jones stepped into the cage with Alexanders Gustafsson in 2013, Jones was by now regarded unbeatable in the eyes of lots of admirers. Because successful the gentle heavyweight title with a TKO gain above Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2011, the American experienced defended it 6 instances towards an remarkable procession of proficient fighters: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen.

After individuals performances, Gustafsson just did not feel to have a shot.

In the conclude, nonetheless, the unheralded Swede gave Jones the toughest combat of his complete job. He matched the dominating champion with his footwork and stunned onlookers by getting him down. It was a classic example of an underdog climbing to the occasion.

Regrettably for Gustafsson, the judges eventually awarded Jones a unanimous decision gain, but the combat was great sufficient to generate both fighters a spot in the MMA historical past books.

2. Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, 2011

Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, two of the finest gentle heavyweights in MMA historical past, arrived up collectively in Pleasure but never ever met in the now-defunct Japanese promotion’s ring. After migrating to the UFC, they at last arrived confront-to-confront in the Octagon in 2011—and their combat was definitely value ready for.

By that issue, both gentle heavyweights experienced demonstrated they possessed ferocious knockout power and superhuman longevity, and both shown individuals attributes in spades in the Octagon. The two legends cudgeled every single other for five wild rounds and repeatedly pushed every single other to the brink of defeat. Miraculously, both gentlemen were being continue to mindful by the time the combat concluded.

In the conclude, Henderson was awarded a unanimous decision gain, but the combat was near sufficient that the pair were being slated for a rematch in 2014. That time all over, Henderson picked up a extra decisive gain, stopping his rival with a vicious volley in the third spherical.

1. Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald, 2015

Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald’s 1st combat, which the previous gained by break up decision in 2013, was great, but by no signifies a classic. Still when the two welterweights met once more in 2015, this time with Lawler’s title on the line, it turned out to be one particular of the ideal fights ever—maybe even the ideal outright.

The two welterweight stars squandered no time portray the Octagon floor pink. By the time the fourth spherical was winding down, both gentlemen were being approximately unrecognizable owing to the bruising and cuts they’d sustained, and the intensity within the MGM Grand Garden Arena could not have been higher—thanks in significant section to Lawler offering MacDonald a murderous stare suitable as the spherical concluded.

In the conclude, Lawler place a stamp on items in the fifth spherical, flooring MacDonald with a fist to the nose, but it was the variety of combat with no actual losers: an all-time classic that continue to retains up currently.


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