21. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Wanderlei Silva faced Brian Stann in a light heavyweight bout at UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann on March 3, 2013, at the one of the largest indoor stadiums, Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The fight was the main event of the evening and was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
The fight was a back-and-forth brawl, with both fighters landing significant strikes and showing great heart and determination.
In the end, Silva was able to land a series of punches that dropped Stann and led to a TKO victory at 4:08 of the second round.
The fight is considered one of the most exciting in UFC history, with both fighters showing incredible toughness and a willingness to engage in a stand-up battle. It was also Silva’s last fight in the UFC before retiring from the sport.
20. Minotauro Nogueira vs. Randy Couture – UFC 102 (2009)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira faced Randy Couture in a heavyweight bout at UFC 102 on August 29, 2009, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.
The fight was a highly anticipated matchup between two legends of the sport, with Couture being a former five-time UFC champion and Nogueira being a former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion and former Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion.
The fight went the full three rounds, with Nogueira winning by a controversial split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).
The fight was awarded Fight of the Night honors, and both fighters received a $60,000 bonus.
The fight was notable for its back-and-forth action, with both fighters showing great heart and determination. Nogueira was able to land several significant strikes and takedowns, while Couture was able to control the pace of the fight and land some effective strikes of his own.
19. Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II – UFC 52 (2005)
Matt Hughes faced Frank Trigg in a welterweight title fight at UFC 52 on April 16, 2005, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This was a rematch of their first fight at UFC 45, which Hughes won by submission in the first round. In the second fight, Trigg dominated the first round, landing several strikes and taking Hughes down. In the second round, Hughes was able to take Trigg down and eventually submitted him with a rear-naked choke at 4:05 of the round.
The fight is considered one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history. The fight was also notable for a controversial moment in the second round, where Trigg landed a low blow on Hughes, which the referee did not see. Hughes was able to recover and eventually win the fight, but the low blow added to the drama of the fight.
In 2015, the fight was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
18. Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama – UFC 116 (2010)
Chris Leben faced Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 on July 3, 2010. The fight was part of the middleweight division. Akiyama won the fight via a controversial unanimous decision.
The bout was known for its back-and-forth action, with both fighters showing great heart and determination. The fight was also awarded Fight of the Night honors.
17. Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan – UFC 6 (2006)
The fight was a Welterweight bout, and Sanchez emerged victorious with a unanimous decision, as Parisyan was unable to mount a significant offense throughout the fight.
Some of the highlights of the fight were Sanchez’s aggressive striking and constant pressure on Parisyan throughout the fight and Parisyan’s inability to land any significant strikes or submissions during the fight.
The final scores were 30-27, 30-26, and 30-23 in favor of Sanchez.
This victory marked Sanchez’s third consecutive win in the UFC, and he was rumored to be the next challenger for the UFC Welterweight Championship
16. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – UFC 165 (2013)
UFC 165 was a mixed martial arts event held on September 21, 2013, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The main event was a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson earned his title fight by winning six straight fights in the light heavyweight division. Jones was looking to surpass the number of Light Heavyweight title defenses originally set by Tito Ortiz. The fight went the full five rounds, with Jones winning by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47). The fight is considered one of the greatest in UFC history and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s Fight Wing in 2021
15. Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo fought at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry on June 26, 2011.
The fight is considered one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history and is known for its improbable ending.
The fight was marked by Kongo’s relentless striking and powerful punches, which ultimately led to the knockout. Cheick Kongo knocked out Pat Barry in just 2 minutes and 39 seconds, marking one of the quickest knockouts in UFC history.
The ending of the fight is iconic, as Kongo’s striking was so powerful that it knocked Barry’s mouthpiece out of his mouth and caused him to fall to the canvas
14. Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson
Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson fought at UFC 25 on July 7, 2015. The fight was marked by both fighters being hurt and exchanging powerful strikes throughout the match.
Gaethje’s striking was particularly impressive, as he landed several significant strikes, including a knee that knocked Johnson down in the second round.
Justin Gaethje defeated Michael Johnson via TKO in the second round
The fight was awarded “Fight of the Year” in 2017, showcasing the high level of competition and entertainment value.
13. Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit fought at UFC 195 on January 2, 2016. The fight was highly anticipated and intense, with both fighters showcasing their striking skills and heart.
In the fifth round, Lawler had a strong start and finished the fight with a violent flurry of strikes.
Some fans scored the fight 48-47 for Lawler, while others had it 48-47 for Condit, giving him the slight edge.
The official result of the fight was Robbie Lawler defeating Carlos Condit via split decision, with scores of 48-47 in favor of Lawler.
12. Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
MMA rivals, Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk fought twice in the UFC. Their first fight took place at UFC 248 on March 7, 2020, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest fights in MMA history. Zhang Weili won the fight via split decision, retaining her UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. The intense back-and-forth battle saw both fighters display incredible skill and heart, with significant damage inflicted on both sides, particularly to Jedrzejczyk’s face.
11. Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya
Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya fought in a middleweight title fight at UFC 236 on April 13, 2019. Adesanya won the fight via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-46) after a five-round war that saw both fighters showcase their striking skills and heart. The fight is considered one of the best in UFC history, with the fifth round being particularly memorable
10. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – UFC 165 (2013)
This was a classic clash of light heavyweight champions, as Jon Jones defended his title against Alexander Gustafsson in a five-round war. Both fighters showed incredible skill, heart, and toughness, as they exchanged strikes, takedowns, and submissions. Jones suffered a cut above his eye, while Gustafsson became the first fighter to take Jones down in the UFC. The fight was close and competitive, but Jones edged out a unanimous decision victory, in what many consider to be his toughest test to date.
9. Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald – UFC 189 (2015)
This was a brutal and bloody battle of welterweight warriors, as Robbie Lawler defended his title against Rory MacDonald in a rematch of their first fight, which Lawler won by split decision. The fight was a back-and-forth affair, with both fighters landing hard shots and inflicting damage. Lawler broke MacDonald’s nose, while MacDonald nearly finished Lawler with a head kick and a flurry of punches in the fourth round. The fight ended in the fifth round, when Lawler landed a vicious left hand that shattered MacDonald’s nose and forced him to collapse, giving Lawler a TKO win and retaining his belt.
8. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar – TUF 1 Finale (2005)
This was the fight that put the UFC on the map, as Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fought for a six-figure contract in the finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The fight was a slugfest, with both fighters throwing caution to the wind and trading punches for 15 minutes. The fight was so exciting and captivating that it drew millions of viewers and increased the popularity and exposure of the UFC. Griffin won by unanimous decision, but both fighters were awarded contracts for their incredible performance.
7. Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua – UFC 139 (2011)
This was a legendary fight between two former Pride champions, as Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua faced off in a light heavyweight showdown. The fight was a roller coaster of momentum, as both fighters rocked each other with powerful punches and kicks. Henderson dropped Rua several times in the first three rounds, while Rua rallied back in the fourth and fifth rounds, and mounted Henderson and rained down punches. The fight went the distance, and Henderson won by unanimous decision, in what was one of the most thrilling and exhausting fights in UFC history.
6. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz – UFC 202 (2016)
This was a highly anticipated rematch between two of the biggest stars and trash talkers in the UFC, as Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz met again in a welterweight bout. The first fight, which took place at UFC 196, saw Diaz submit McGregor in the second round, handing him his first UFC loss. The rematch was a different story, as McGregor used his superior striking and movement to outpoint Diaz in a close and competitive fight. Both fighters showed tremendous heart and resilience, as they absorbed and delivered punishment throughout the fight. McGregor won by majority decision, avenging his loss and setting up a potential trilogy fight.
5. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen – UFC 117 (2010)
This was a dramatic and shocking fight between the dominant middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, and the outspoken challenger, Chael Sonnen. Sonnen had trash talked Silva for months leading up to the fight, and backed up his words with his actions, as he dominated Silva for four and a half rounds, taking him down, controlling him, and landing punches and elbows. Silva, who was known for his striking and finishing ability, was unable to mount any offense, and seemed to be on the verge of losing his title. However, in the final minutes of the fifth round, Silva pulled off a miraculous comeback, as he locked in a triangle armbar and forced Sonnen to tap out, retaining his belt and his legacy.
4. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard – UFC 125 (2011)
This was a thrilling and historic fight between the lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, and the undefeated challenger, Gray Maynard, in their second fight, after Maynard won the first one by unanimous decision. The fight started with a bang, as Maynard dropped Edgar several times in the first round, and nearly finished him with punches. Edgar somehow survived the onslaught, and came back in the later rounds, using his speed, footwork, and boxing to outstrike Maynard. The fight was so close and exciting that it ended in a rare split draw, meaning that Edgar retained his title, but neither fighter was satisfied. The fight was also awarded the Fight of the Year honors by several media outlets.
3. Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva – UFC 79 (2007)
This was a dream fight between two of the most feared and respected strikers in MMA history, as Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva finally met in a light heavyweight bout, after years of speculation and anticipation. The fight lived up to the hype, as both fighters engaged in a stand-up war, exchanging punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Liddell used his superior boxing and takedown defense, while Silva used his aggressive and wild style. The fight went the distance, and Liddell won by unanimous decision, in what was one of the most entertaining and satisfying fights in UFC history.
2. Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida – TUF 9 Finale (2009)
This was a wild and crazy fight between two of the most energetic and relentless fighters in the UFC, as Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida faced off in a lightweight bout. The fight was a non-stop action, as both fighters threw everything, they had at each other, with no regard for defense or strategy. Sanchez dropped Guida with a head kick in the first round, but Guida recovered and kept coming forward. The fight was a back-and-forth brawl, with both fighters landing and taking shots. Sanchez won by split decision, in what was one of the most intense and exhilarating fights in UFC history.
1. Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit – UFC 195 (2016)
This was a epic and classic fight between the welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, and the former interim champion, Carlos Condit, in a highly anticipated title fight. The fight was a masterpiece of violence, as both fighters displayed their skills, heart, and will, in a five-round war. Lawler used his power and aggression, while Condit used his volume and variety. The fight was a close and competitive affair, with both fighters having their moments of dominance and adversity. The fight came down to the fifth and final round, where both fighters gave it their all, and left nothing in the cage. Lawler won by split decision, in what was one of the most incredible and memorable fights in UFC history.