50 Best UFC fights of all time

50 Best UFC fights of all time

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A fantastic fight is never far away in the UFC. Since the organization’s inaugural fight event in 1993, there have been hundreds of thrilling UFC fights.

It has grown from strength to strength and is presently larger than ever before. With so many great battles throughout the years, it’s difficult to pick a top ten. All of these conflicts had one thing in common: there was a lot at stake, and they were all hard engagements.

There are several factors that might contribute to a great battle. The underdog can battle against the odds, it might be a full slug fest, or it could be a technically flawless contest between two fighters at the peak of their game.

We’ve got it all here as we look at the top 50 best UFC fights of all time.

50. Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Browne: UFC 187

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne arrived with their weapons blazing. Early on, Arlovski hit Browne with a couple of vicious strikes, sending him falling about the Octagon.

The Russian rushed in for the kill, but he was met with a furious roundhouse from Brown that knocked him to the ground. Arlovski recovered somehow and resumed unleashing shots at Browne, forcing the ref to call a halt to the attack. You are not an MMA fan if you sat still while watching this battle.

49. Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller: UFC 155

50 Best UFC fights of all time

In UFC 155, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon delivered a Fight of the Year Award-worthy performance in the octagon. The lightweight fight was carnage, with Miller narrowly escaping with the victory. Even though Miller won the tie, Lauzon had incredible passion and commitment while having a bleeding face.

48. Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez: UFC 139

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Chan Sung Jung may feel unfortunate because of the manner in which he was eliminated from this tie. After a close fight, Jung was knocked out by an elbow from Yair Rodriguez.

Rodriguez delivered the game-winning punch with barely 12 seconds remaining. While Rodriguez’s uppercut strike won the tie, the landing seemed to be an accident.

47. Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros: UFC 218

50 Best UFC fights of all time

This was another slugfest that left competitors wounded and bloodied. It felt unjust that either Oliveira or Medeiros would have to lose in such a close bout.

The welterweight bout ended at 2:02 when Oliveira was knocked out with a sequence of quick punches. Medeiros overcame an early assault to triumph in the end.

46. BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes: UFC 46

50 Best UFC fights of all time

When BJ Penn battled Matt Hughes for the first fight, he felt at ease on his welterweight kingdom. To compete in the fight, the latter had to move up to a higher weight class, yet he never seemed out of place.

Penn used a rear-naked choke to beat Hughes in the first round, delivering one of the greatest upsets in UFC history. Joe Rogan’s top three UFC bouts!

45. Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie: UFC 60

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Royce Gracie had a famous career in the UFC, but he was far from top shape when he met Matt Hughes in the octagon.

Hughes dominated from the first second and TKO’d the fight in the first round.

By no means was this a competitive bout. However, due to Hughes’s talent, it will be an interesting watch for any MMA enthusiast.

44. Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson: UFC 86

50 Best UFC fights of all time

UFC 86 may hardly be remembered as one of the most exciting nights in the tournament’s history, but the main event kept it from being a total snoozefest.

Griffin won the light heavyweight championship after defeating the Rampage with scores of 48-46, 48-46, and 49-46. It was a head-to-head battle.

43. Antonio Nogueira vs. Randy Couture: UFC 102

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Couture had recently returned to the UFC after a brief sabbatical. At UFC 102, he faced Antonio Nogueira, a fighter capable of matching his heavyweight history.

The fight between these two legends did not disappoint. Noguiera used his larger body frame advantage to his advantage, narrowly defeating Couture in a close match.

42. Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia: UFC 68

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Randy Couture had retired from MMA after a stellar career. But he couldn’t help but put Tim Sylvia, the current heavyweight champion, to the test.

So he came out of retirement and delivered one of the finest UFC fights against his American opponent. Couture showed no symptoms of rust as he sailed to a very easy victory.

41. Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry: UFC on Versus 4

50 Best UFC fights of all time

If you’re a purist, this fight might not be for you. It wasn’t a battle with a lot of technical prowess. Having said that, it was filled with drama, since it featured one of the most incredible comebacks ever.

In the first round, Barry appeared to have knocked Kongo out. But the latter was able to get back up and shift the tables in his favor.

40. Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza: The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale

Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza

Tony Ferguson had been warned by Edson Barboza from the start that he was in for a challenging night. Tony Ferguson held his own against his Brazilian opponent’s attack.

Finally, he was able to exhaust Barboza and make him a victim of Ferguson’s trademark application. It was also Ferguson’s sixth victory in a row.

39. Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama: UFC 116

Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama was supposed to face Brazilian heavyweight Wanderlei Silva. The bout had a lot of buzz around it, however, Silva had to withdraw his name due to a rib ailment.

Even though Chris Leben was a late substitution, he proved to be more than capable of filling Silva’s shoes, easily defeating Akiyama.

38. Mark Coleman vs. Dan Severn: UFC 12

Mark Coleman vs. Dan Severn

Before the match, both Mark Coleman and Dan Severn had established themselves as UFC heavyweights. So, before a single punch was thrown, this was building up to be one of the finest bouts in UFC history. And it’s safe to say that the duo rose to the occasion. Coleman, on the other hand, emerged triumphantly and became the true heavyweight champion.

37. Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustaffson: UFC 192

Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustaffson

This was a five-round battle that deserves to go on in UFC lore. Cormier and Gustaffson had thrown their last ounces of strength into the battle, making it a very intense and compelling contest.

Even the judges couldn’t agree on a winner, but Cormier ultimately got the nod.

36. Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva: UFC Fight Night 40

Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva

Matt Brown has a strong chin. That was undeniably on show in the opening round of his fight with Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 40. Brown was shaken by a body shot, and Silva piled on the blows, but the Ohio native recovered quickly and unleashed a sequence of elbows that caused Silva to stagger.

It went on for two more rounds before Brown ended it in the third, leaving Silva a bleeding mess.

35. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz: UFC 47

Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz

Many fans feel that before Conor McGregor arrived, this was the most-hyped fight in UFC history. At the time, the Liddell-Ortiz rivalry was tremendous, and many people thought Ortiz was avoiding his friend Liddell.

Nobody had ever knocked Ortiz out before Liddell accomplished it that night. He stunned the champion with a series of amazing shots before finishing him with bombs on the ground. It was a historic fight with a historic finish.

34. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin: UFC 116

Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin

Brock Lesnar defeated Shane Carwin for the interim heavyweight championship with a second-round submission victory. However, the fight was not as simple for Lesnar as it appears.

Carwin came out strong in the opening round, keeping Lesnar on his back foot the majority of the time. Lesnar, on the other hand, grew into the game and won the championship on his return from a one-year exile.

33. Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler: UFC 171

Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler or Johny Hendricks was on track to become the first UFC welterweight champion other than Georges St-Pierre. The Canadian talisman had announced his retirement earlier in the week, allowing Hendricks and Lawler to compete for the vacant welterweight title. Hendricks won the fight by unanimous decision, but not without putting on an all-time UFC performance.

32. Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje: UFC on Fox 29

Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje

Poirier was part of another UFC classic many years after his defeat to Chan Sung Jung. He was now more seasoned, and he was able to incorporate that maturity into his play in order to defeat Justin Gaethje.

Neither of the warriors was frightened to assault the other. This resulted in a fast-paced and exciting UFC event deserving of a UFC greatest bouts mention.

31. Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre: UFC 69

Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre

Many MMA fans see this battle as the greatest upset in the sport’s history. Georges St-Pierre had earned a reputation as an “invincible” fighter.

As a result, the bout against Serra appeared to be another straightforward victory for the Canadian. Serra, on the other hand, not only won but also knocked off St-Pierre in the first round. He definitely went above and above!

30. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brain Stann: UFC on Fuel TV 8

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brain Stann

Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann put on a fast-paced fight to headline the UFC on Fuel TV 8 event. None of the fighters were afraid to take a shot at each other. Because both Silva and Stann had lost their previous battles, the desire to prove themselves was much stronger.

Silva won the battle via knockout in the second round, demonstrating that he still had a lot to give as a boxer.

29. Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes: UFC 65

Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes was no stranger to defeating St-Pierre, and he hoped to do so again. St-Pierre, on the other hand, avenged his UFC 50 loss to Hughes in spectacular fashion. He didn’t give Hughes any breathing room as he continued to pummel him with punches and kicks.

The defending welterweight champion couldn’t last more than two rounds and was defeated by St-Pierre.

28. Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg: UFC 52

Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg

Matt Hughes’ title status was jeopardized by Frank Trigg. Hughes was dealing with a groin injury that was outside of the referee’s authority.

But he successfully changed the course of the fight when he took advantage of Trigg’s exposed neck and strangled him to defeat. UFC President Dana White has stated that this is his favorite bout.

27. Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg: UFC 232

Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg

UFC 232 was one of the most important UFC events in history. Two of the finest female MMA fighters in history squared up.

Amanda Nunes didn’t take long to show why she is the finest we’ve ever seen. Most people considered Cyborg to be the overwhelming favorite, especially because the fight was in her weight class. Nunes, on the other hand, made her task simple, as she destroyed the favorite Brazilian in 50-ish seconds with a magnificent torrent of blows.

26. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor: UFC 196

Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor opted to test the waters in a weight class he had never competed in previously in the UFC. However, the defending featherweight champion believes he can make a difference in the lightweight class.

Nate Diaz was not McGregor’s first choice of opponent, yet he failed to defeat him. McGregor was no match for Diaz’s agility and was defeated in just two rounds.

25. Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock: UFC 40

Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock

Tito Ortiz was a key role in the UFC’s rise to mainstream entertainment. The UFC Hall of Fame inductee with a loud voice has a talent for piquing fan attention before any bout.

Ken Shamrock put in a tenacious performance in their first encounter. But he couldn’t stop Ortiz from defending his championship for the sixth time in a row.

24. Karo Parisyan vs. Nick Diaz: UFC 49

Karo Parisyan vs. Nick Diaz

The most spectacular grappling show in recent MMA history was put on by two of the UFC’s top welterweights at the time.

The fight swiftly moved to the ground, where Parisyan, a Judo black belt, and Diaz, a jiu-jitsu master, fought on the mats. Despite Parisyan’s dominance from the top, Diaz consistently threw out submission attempts. The Judo specialist was able to win the three-round grappling match.

23. Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje: UFC 218

Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje is a tough nut to crack. But no one had seen him shattered inside the cage until now. Eddie Alvarez ended Gaethje’s unbeaten streak and delivered him his first professional loss.

That, however, did not come easily! Alvarez was subjected to a barrage of Gaethje strikes. He, on the other hand, retaliated with equal ferocity and got the outcome.

22. Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson: The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale

Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson: The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale

Justin Gaethje is a real entertainer, as he demonstrated against Michael Johnson in the Ultimate Fighter 25 finale. After sustaining a strong shot on the chin from Johnson, he appeared to be on the verge of giving up. Gaethje, on the other hand, rebounded well and went on to win the fight via TKO in the third round.

21. Tito Ortiz vs Frank Shamrock: UFC 22

Tito Ortiz vs Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock was a UFC tycoon in the early days of the sport. He may have achieved greater fame and fortune if he had played in recent years. Shamrock absolutely demolished Tito Ortiz, a UFC icon in his own way, in this bout. He departed the UFC after defending his light heavyweight gold title for the fourth time.

20. Chuck Liddle vs. Randy Couture: UFC 57

Chuck Liddle vs. Randy Couture

Another classic bout that deserves to be included in the list of the top UFC fights. It was the conclusion of one of the most high-profile UFC trilogies in history.

Liddel won his second battle against Couture and successfully defended his light heavyweight championship, making him one of the richest UFC fighters. After the fight, Couture declared his retirement from light heavyweight and returned to heavyweight.

19. Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum: UFC 236

Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Israel Adesanya’s perseverance in proving himself on the highest platforms resulted in his biggest success yet.

After a five-round struggle that saw the dynamics alter from time to time, Adesanya came away with the interim middleweight championship after leaving a bloodied Kelvin Gastelum on the mat. For this effort, he was also awarded “Fight of the Night.”

18. Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben: Ultimate Fight Night 5

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben

Anderson Silva was making his UFC debut. In one of the finest battles in UFC history, the Brazilian battled Chris Leben. Going into the battle, Leben was clearly the favorite. But Silva didn’t even give him a chance! Despite being a beginner, he had no trouble overpowering a veteran UFC fighter. That day, the UFC had its first glimpse of a potential star.

17.  Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau: UFC 1

Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau

At its very first event, the UFC witnessed one of the best fights in its history. At UFC 1, Royce Gracie won three fights. To declare his dominance, he grounded Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock, and Gerard Gordfeu.

Gracie had perplexed Gordfeu with his deft fighting style in his third battle. Gracie easily defeated Gordeau thanks to the MMA-Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hybrid.

16.  Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero: UFC 225

Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero

The second portion of the Whittaker-Romero battle was action-packed from start to finish.

With relentless assaults, Romero forced Whittaker to break out of his shell. Whittaker, on the other hand, used his own distinctive tactics, like the oblique kick, to acquire domination.

Whittaker’s hard-fought victory elevated him to the ranks of the 185-pound MMA elite.

15. Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes: UFC 179

Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

For the second time, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes met inside the cage. But, in terms of outcome, nothing changed as Aldo triumphed once more. Mendes’ first defeat in three years.

He came off strong but faded as Aldo grabbed control of the fight in front of a raucous Rio de Janeiro audience.

14. Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez: UFC 166

Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez

The UFC 166 fight between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez had it all: two knockdowns, carnage, and a slew of flurries.

Both combatants poured their all out in the octagon, making for a thrilling bout. The action-packed fight ended in Melendez’s favor in the third round, as he won by decision.

13. Cub Swanson vs. Choi Doo-ho: UFC 206

Cub Swanson vs. Choi Doo-ho

ESPN named the featherweight bout between Cub Swanson and Choi Doo-hoo as the greatest fight of 2016 over the McGregor-Diaz rematch at UFC 202.

Swanson nearly disgraced himself in the last seconds when he lost his footing while trying a cartwheel kick. But he quickly made apologies, knocking Choi out with a torrent of elbows and punches to win the bout.

12. Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit: UFC 195

Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit

At UFC 195, Robbie Lawler continued his winning streak in the welterweight category by defeating Carlos Condit. Condit, on the other hand, gave Lawler a run for his money before collapsing.

In the opening round, he also managed to pin Lawler to the mat. Lawler, on the other hand, came back later with some big hits that proved decisive.

11. Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez: Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale

Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez

This UFC Hall of Fame lightweight fight still stirs up controversy in the virtual MMA forums. But questionable decisions aside, this is one of the best fights of all time.

In a three-round fight, both fighters tested each other to the best of their limits. The decision went in Sanchez’s favor, but the scoring accuracy of that fight remains debatable to this day.

10. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor: UFC 202

Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has been trying to reclaim his lost respect since stepping into the octagon against Nate Diaz in the lightweight class.

McGregor returned for a second effort, and this time, he demonstrated why he is a UFC legend. The Irishman delivered a poised performance.

He controlled the fight’s flow and won by majority decision.

9. Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva: UFC Fight Night 33

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva

When Mark Hunt and Antonio Bigfoot Silva clashed in UFC Fight Night 33, they didn’t hold back. They used every trick in their respective hats to defeat the other.

The scoreboard indicated a draw after five rounds of brutal hammering. The outcome accurately depicts the fight’s events. Despite their best efforts, neither boxer could outperform the other.

8.  Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: UFC 125

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard

Frankie Edgar was determined to revenge his past defeat to Maynard. However, a victory against Maynard remained elusive for him following the UFC 125 fight.

Both boxers worked really hard as they refused to give in to the other. While some believe that either Edgar or Maynard deserved to win, the majority of people believe that a draw is a fair conclusion.

7. Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua: UFC 139

Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua

Few could have predicted how volatile this struggle would turn out to be. Henderson dominated the first five minutes before Rua shook him off and knocked him out.

Then came a flurry of attacks, counter-attacks, and submission attempts. The fight’s ferocity drained both competitors, but Henderson managed to win by a hair’s breadth.

6. Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva: UFC 79

Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva

Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva, two of the world’s top MMA fighters, were in attendance at UFC 79.

Despite not being in their prime years, Liddell and Silva drew significant media and fan attention due to their MMA history.

The battle lasted three rounds, and Liddell won by decision.

5. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson: UFC 165

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Here’s another brawl that prompted widespread dissatisfaction with the ultimate outcome. Jones and Gustafsson had engaged in a tight battle that finally ended in Gustafsson’s favor.

Gustafsson nearly made Jones pay for his lack of preparation before the game. Despite putting up a strong performance, the Swede was defeated by Jones via decision.

4. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen: UFC 117

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Before this fight, Chael Sonnen had a slew of comments for Anderson Silva. Silva, on the other hand, chose to do most of the talking inside the cage.

Sonnen, on the other hand, appeared to be just as aggressive inside the octagon as he was outside. In the opening four rounds, his relentless attacks made things difficult for Silva. Silva, on the other hand, managed to catch Sonnen in the fifth round and compel him to tap.

3. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: UFC 136

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Frankie Edgar had only one loss in his 15-fight MMA career before this battle. And that one defeat came against Gray Maynard, the man he was going to face for the third time in the UFC.

Edgar fractured his nose in the first round. But he clawed his way back into the fight and finally won.

2. Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald: UFC 189

50 Best UFC fights of all time

At UFC 189, Rory MacDonald got his revenge on Robbie Lawler. When the two originally battled in UFC 167, the latter got the bragging rights.

MacDonald’s flurry was well-timed, and he landed some terrific head kicks, but Lawler lasted in the fight with his powerful punches. Lawler, in fact, had the ultimate word in a contest that lasted five rounds.

1. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar: TUF 1 Finale

50 Best UFC fights of all time

Here is the topmost entry of our list of the 50 all-time best fights in UFC’s history. Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonner are two of the finest UFC fighters to ever compete. However, their finest octagon performance occurred before they were renowned.

Throughout the fight, the two exchanged punches, kicks, and elbows. Griffin won the battle, although both competitors received six-figure contracts.

Also Read: Celebrating the legacy of 50 greatest athletes of all time



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