For years, mixed martial arts has captured the attention of sports enthusiasts worldwide. MMA can be thrilling to watch for faithful followers and novices alike because it is unpredictable, and some fights can turn on a dime. However, some matches are more exhilarating than others. No matter how many fights you watch, some stand the test of time. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top MMA fights of all time to relive the memories of the most epic battles. From classic performances like Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie to recent bouts like Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2, these fights were undeniably remarkable displays of exceptional skill, heart, and dramatic flair. So, kick back and enjoy reminiscing about the legendary moments that will live on in the MMA history books.
#Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie (PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals, 2000)
The Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie fight in the PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals, 2000 is considered one of the top MMA fights of all time. This fight pitted two legendary fighters of their time against each other in the most talented MMA tournament. In this match, Kazushi Sakuraba played with Royce Gracie, who many regarded as an invincible force in the sport, for 90 minutes. Wanderlei Silva and Kazushi Sakuraba’s second match proved to be more competitive than their first. Tatsuya Kawajiri and Eddie Alvarez’s match had the potential to be a war, and the winner would face Shinya Aoki. Hidehiko Yoshida, Wanderlei Silva’s opponent, proved that he could stand and trade with the best of them. These top MMA fights have cemented themselves in history as some of the most exciting and skillful displays of mixed martial arts.
#Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva (PRIDE Final Conflict 2003, 2003)
The Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva fight at PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 is a must-watch for any MMA fan. Both fighters were known for their stand-up game and aggressive fighting style, which made for an intense and thrilling match. Mirko Cro Cop’s knockout of Silva at PRIDE Final Conflict 2006 ended Silva’s unbeatable streak and is considered one of the most unforgettable moments in the history of MMA. Dan Henderson’s big left hook and diving shot against Silva at PRIDE 33 made him a legend and ended Silva’s peak. Chuck Liddell’s win over Silva at UFC 79 was a slow start but picked up, with Liddell slamming Silva with a back fist to secure the victory. These three fights are significant moments in MMA history that featured legendary fighters who pushed each other to the limit.
#Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar (The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, 2005)
One of the greatest fights in MMA history is Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar. This intense three-round fight, which took place at “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finale in 2005, was a pivotal moment in the rise of MMA’s popularity. Although Griffin won the match, both fighters received a six-figure UFC contract as a result of their performance. The fight showcased the fierce determination of both fighters to win, and their willingness to go to war. In another UFC fight, Griffin’s victory over Quinton Jackson is also considered one of the greatest light heavyweight MMA brawls of all time. These fights will always be remembered as a tribute to the spirit of fighting in MMA.
#Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes 2 (UFC 65, 2006)
Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes 2 (UFC 65, 2006) is considered one of the most epic MMA battles of all time, with both fighters coming into the ring with something to prove. Georges St-Pierre fine-tuned his techniques, improved his striking, and takedown defense to ultimately defeat Matt Hughes. This clash of the titans was the most anticipated fight of the year, earning $2,138,020 from ticket sales alone.
Georges St-Pierre’s dominance in the welterweight and middleweight divisions has earned him the title of the greatest MMA fighter in history according to many. Additionally, his split-decision victory over BJ Penn in UFC 58 is a controversial topic among MMA fans. During the fight with Hughes, St-Pierre delivered a decisive head kick followed by crushing punches, leaving Hughes helpless in the ring and saved only by the referee. This fight will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the top MMA fights of all time.
#Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (UFC 165, 2013)
One of the most exciting and closest contests in the history of UFC was the Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in 2013. Alexander Gustafsson came very close to finishing Jon Jones in their first encounter, putting up an impressive performance that had MMA fans all over on the edge of their seats.
He took down the reigning champion with his footwork and used his deadly rear-hand uppercut technique that challenged Jones throughout the game. The match was rated the second greatest heavyweight MMA fight of all time. Although Jones got the decision victory in the end, the fight had many MMA fans grumbling about it, with some considering it a draw and others maintaining that Gustafsson deserved the win. This contest has certainly established a legacy in the history of UFC.
#Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 (UFC 189, 2015)
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 was a highly anticipated rematch between two of the top welterweight fighters in the world that took place at UFC 189 on July 11, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first fight between Lawler and MacDonald had taken place in 2013, with Lawler winning a split decision victory. The rematch was for the UFC welterweight title, with Lawler defending his belt.
The fight was an epic back-and-forth battle, with both fighters showing incredible heart and toughness. Lawler started strong in the first round, landing several big shots and nearly finishing MacDonald with a left hook.
MacDonald, however, came back strong in the second round, using his range and technical striking to land some significant shots on Lawler. In the third round, MacDonald continued to land clean shots and looked to be pulling ahead in the fight.
But in the fourth round, Lawler landed a huge left hand that rocked MacDonald and sent him staggering backwards. Lawler then followed up with a barrage of punches and knees, eventually finishing MacDonald with a TKO stoppage.
The fight was widely regarded as one of the greatest welterweight title fights in UFC history, with both fighters putting on an incredible performance. Lawler retained his welterweight title with the victory, and the fight earned both fighters Fight of the Night honors.
Overall, Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 was a thrilling and memorable MMA fight that showcased the incredible skill, heart, and determination of two of the best fighters in the world.
#Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 (UFC 202, 2016)
The Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 fight took place on August 20, 2016, at UFC 202 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a highly anticipated rematch between the two fighters after Diaz had defeated McGregor in their first meeting at UFC 196 earlier that year.
The fight was contested in the welterweight division (170 lbs) and lasted for the full five rounds. McGregor started strong, landing powerful strikes and knocking Diaz down multiple times in the first two rounds. However, Diaz proved his toughness and resilience by weathering the storm and coming back strong in the later rounds.
The fight was a back-and-forth affair, with both fighters landing significant strikes and grappling exchanges throughout the bout. McGregor seemed to tire in the later rounds, and Diaz was able to take advantage by pressuring him and landing heavy shots.
In the end, McGregor was awarded a majority decision victory, with two judges scoring the fight 48-47 in his favor and one judge scoring it a draw at 47-47. The win was a redemption for McGregor, who had suffered his first loss in the UFC to Diaz in their previous bout.
The fight was a huge success, drawing a record-breaking live gate of $7.7 million and 1.65 million pay-per-view buys. It also cemented McGregor’s status as one of the biggest stars in the UFC and helped establish Diaz as a top contender in the welterweight division.
Let’s Sum Up
Reliving some of the MMA’s greatest moments through these epic fights can be a treat for fight fans. These fights will go down in history as some of the most exciting and entertaining fights of all time. From Chuck Liddell’s brutal striking, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar’s show of heart, to Conor McGregor’s precision striking, these fights were truly unforgettable. If you haven’t watched these fights yet, it’s worth finding them online and re-watching or if you are a fan of such content, keep up with us for more exciting blogs on MMA fights.