Top five UFC fights in the history
IF there is a faster growing sport than mixed martial arts, we would be very surprised.
And the Ultimate Fighting Championship is the king of the blood sport.
Featuring the best MMA fighters from all over the world, playing to packed out venues, with millions more watching on pay per view, the rough and tumble action is second to none among the fighting sports.
But some fights just have that little bit extra.
Whether it’s a remarkable knock out, an epic five round thriller, or just two blokes beating the living suitcase out of each other, here are five fights that left fans gasping for air.
Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 on November 19, 2011
Fight result: Dan Henderson wins via split decision.
This fight had it all. Henderson kicked off by giving Rua an absolute beat down, but Shogun slowly managed to work his way into the fight. The pair at times landed blow after blow on each other, knocked each other down, and attempted to submit each other. The fighters are both very technically sound men, adept at almost all facets of the sport and that translated to almost the perfect fight in the ring. Both men had their chances to win, Shogun, in particular almost forcing Henderson to quit with a vicious submission attempt. Henderson’s early work gave him the fight, after Rua’s superior fitness shone through late. Both men will probably find themselves in the Hall of Fame, and both will probably point back to this fight as the pinnacle of their careers – maybe Henderson more than the Brazilian, after he just took the match.
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 2 at UFC 125 on January 11, 2011
Fight result: Ends in a draw
These two stars met three times between 2008 and 2011 and their two contrasting styles made for a fantastic spectacle. The best of the three fights was in January 2011, when the two men fought to a stand still, Edgar using his superior speed and precise striking, with Maynard using his power to take control in the clinches. Maynard dominated the fight early, sitting Edgar down several times in the first round. But Edgar then bounced back in the latter rounds to earn a split draw and keep his lightweight belt. In the previous fight, Maynard won a unanimous decision, but in the last fight between the two – the rematch of the superb draw, Edgar handed Maynard his first ever professional loss.
Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes 2 at UFC 179 on October 25, 2014
Fight result: Jose Aldo wins via unanimous decision
This is probably the most brutal of all the fights we have mentioned here, merely for the fact both men landed so many blows throughout the fight, yet both were still left standing at the end. Aldo had not lost in nine years, but there were rumblings that perhaps he was past his best and that Mendes was ready to take over as the next big thing in the feather weight division. He had one five fights in a row, four by knock out and there was the feeling that maybe he would sit Aldo on his backside. From the moment the bell went and the two fighters went at each other, this fight had an air of wonder about it. It was always going to be a special fight and what happened was basically the two men left every thing that they had in the octagon that night. Some of the blows that were landed would have felled a brahma bull, yet both men copped it, with Aldo’s superior skill winning out in the end. He was left plenty worse for wear though, with Mendes landing several telling blows that made for a not so pretty portrait, Aldo’s face bleeding profusely and swelling around the eyes telling.
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on September 21, 2013
Fight result: Jon Jones wins via unanimous decision
Jon Jones is one of the best pound for pound fighter ever set foot into the UFC octagon. And he made a habit of slaughtering his opponents throughout his reign, which was a healthy 18 and one at the time he fought Gustafsson. But not on this night. Expected to wipe the floor with Gustafsson, Jones found the Swede was more than up for the fight, matching the gun American strike for strike. People thought Jones was inhuman, and just about unhittable. But Gustafsson thought otherwise and had actually told people before the fight that he was quicker than Jones and it showed in the early rounds, his hands and footwork helping him take down the superstar for the first time in his UFC career. The five round ripper, naturally won fight of the night and there is some suggestion that the UFC might have got a little help from the official judges, maybe wanting to keep the Jones romance alive, with many neutral observers scoring the fight to Gustafsson, rather than the champ. It was Jones’ sixth consecutive title defence and 10th win in a row. Jones has since had a huge fall from grace. At 23, he was the youngest UFC champ in history. But, last year, he was stripped of his title and removed from the rankings, following his arrest on felony hit and run charges. He has since been reinstated and is currently in a slanging match with noted big mouth Daniel Cormier, engaging in a war of words over social media. Jones beat the suitcase out of Cormier early last year, then Cormier went in and nicked the vacant title from Jones, as he was suspended. Gustafsson would admit that he has not had the best form and is a long way off getting another crack at Jones.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night UFC Fight Night 33 on December 7, 2013
Fight result: Ends in a draw
If there has been a more entertaining fight in any major blood sport, we haven’t seen it. These two behemoth heavy weights fought a remarkable battle that ended in a bloody draw and had fans on the edge of their seats. Hunt, the adopted Aussie known as the Super Samoan is one of the most endearing fighters in the UFC, with his motto “anybody, anywhere, any time”. And this was a five round war with the Brazilian, which, when it was all said and done, left the two heavy weights a bloody mess and unseparated by the judges. One scored the fight 47-48 Hunt and the other two 47-47, leaving the result a majority draw. The fact that Big Foot failed a post fight drug test and was tripped of his share of the fight of the night prize money took some of the gloss off the remarkable fight, but there is no doubt this was two epic men, performing on an epic Brisbane stage and providing an absolute thrill to the fans. UFC president Dana White called it “the sickest heavy weight fight ever” and we find it very hard to argue with him.