The easiest part about having making a list of top 10 UFC matches of all time is the ability of the organization to come up with some of the most exciting match ups. As the biggest MMA organization in the last 20 years, UFC has come up with some of the most memorable match ups. With an expanded roster, UFC has the ability to match dream matches for fight fans.
UFC had a great number of memorable moments from St. Pierre’s dominance in the 170 division to Wanderlei’s fight against Chuck Lidell. So here are our top 10 UFC matches of all time!
10. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard UFC 136
The 155 division is one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC. Among the top wrestlers that dominated that division was Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
Making its way on number ten in our list of top 10 UFC matches of all time is their fight in UFC 136. Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard already faced each other in UFC 125 and in a rematch. The first match was a controversial split draw, while Maynard won the rematch. In UFC 136, Frankie Edgar was able to avenge his loss from Gray Maynard.
Unlike other rubber matches that don’t exactly live up to the expectations of fight fans because of their familiarity with each other, Edgar versus Maynard is a different story. Both men showcased a great display of wrestling, resilience and their ability to absorb and give damage to their opponent.
It is considered UFC’s version of Gatti-Ward. In the fourth round, Edgar was hurt, but he was able to catch Maynard with a huge right hand. From there, Edgar was able to finish the Michigan wrestler and retain the lightweight title.
9. Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia UFC 68
Tim Sylvia has been having a successful run in the heavyweight division when Randy Couture decided to move up to heavyweight. Everyone thought that Randy Couture was already out. After losing to Chuck Lidell in light heavyweight, a lot of fans questioned Randy Couture’s ability to fight to heavyweight. He moved up to heavyweight at age 43 in 2007 to face the current champion.
People were worried about Randy Couture’s safety given Sylvia’s reputation in the division during that time. Instead, Randy Couture was able to do the impossible. He was able to knock down Sylvia in the first round and grind him out.
What made this match part of our top 10 UFC matches of all time is not really the action, but the odds The Natural was up against.
8. Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva UFC 79
Ever since Pride closed, everyone dreamed of having both Chuck Lidell and Wanderlei Silva in the same card. What made this a historic match is the fact that both fighters had a chance to dominate in the light heavyweight division in both Pride and UFC. Though you can argue that both were already pass their prime, the fight still lived up to the hype.
Lidell was able to connect some memorable blows using his reach to pick apart The Axe Murderer from against the cage. He also squeezed some takedowns and was able to control the entire match.
7. Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg UFC 52
Matt Hughes is one of those wrestlers who was able to transition well into mixed martial arts. His ability to dictate where the fight goes gave him the opportunity to make a good run in the UFC’s 170 division right before George St. Pierre.
One of the most memorable matches in UFC history is Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg. At this point, everyone knew that Matt Hughes was powerful. But no one expected what was coming. Frank Trigg kneed Hughes below the belt, but the referee failed to see it.
Hughes went down in pain, and Trigg attempted to capitalize on the situation. He was pounding on Hughes and at some point trying to sink in a choke. Hughes managed to escape and pick Trigg for a takedown. He went all the way across the cage and slammed Frank Trigg. A few moments later, he was able to sink in a rear naked choke of his own.
6. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale
If there is any fight that has catapulted the sport to where it is today, that’s the Forest Griffin versus Stefan Bonnar fight during the finale of the very first Ultimate Fighter. It made our list of top 10 UFC fights of all time not only of its historical significance, but also because of its display of action.
Forest Griffin before he became the light heavyweight champion was first introduced in our consciousness as a brawler who loves to trade strikes against his opponents. Stefan Bonnar displayed the same type of style which caught the attention of viewers during the TUF Finale. Seeing the fight on free tv made UFC a household name. After three rounds, Forest Griffin was able to win and the rest was history.
5. Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua UFC 157
Another fight that made it in our list of top 10 best UFC fights was the Shogun Rua versus Dan Henderson match in UFC 157. Dubbed by many as the best fight of 2011, this was an epic encounter between two Pride legends.
Dan Henderson released some solid right hooks that battered Shogun early in the fight. However, Shogun proved that he still has a lot of fights in him in the UFC. He returned by pulling off some great ground and pound against Henderson especially in the late rounds.
The fight showcased skill, tenacity, durability and heart by both Dan Henderson and Shogun. Both fighters were beaten severely and could easily go either way. In the end, Dan Henderson won the decision. Somewhat controversial but the fight was one classic match-up for the ages.
4. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen UFC 117
There is no doubt that Anderson Silva was one of the best, if not, the best middleweight who ever fought inside the octagon. During his peak, Silva seemed unbeatable. In fact, Anderson Silva’s career was a highlight of knockouts and techniques only seen in movies. He knocked out Vitor Belfort by a crane kick, and also knocked out Forest Griffin as a light heavyweight.
When Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva fought each other in UFC 117, no one thought that the loud mouth Sonnen had the formula to shut down Anderson Silva’s game. In their very first match, Anderson Silva found himself on his back while Chael Sonnen threw series of ground and pound punches from the top. It was obvious that Chael Sonnen’s superior wrestling is at play during the entire five rounds.
What made this match on our list of top ten UFC fights of all time is the ability of the spider to get the win despite the odds stacked against him. Losing on the score cards in the final round, he was able to triangle Chael Sonnen which forced his opponent to tap.
3. Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez UFC 166
What happens when you have two fighters programed to just go forward? You have an exciting match for the fans! This is one of those matches that lived up to the hype. When the fight was announced, both fighters promised fireworks, and both delivered.
Gilbert Melendez was able to land the more effecting strikes in rounds one and two. He was able to cut Diego Sanchez. But what seemed like an easy victory towards Melendez turned into a brawl as Diego Sanchez stormed towards Gilbert Melendez knocking him out with an uppercut. Unfortunately, Diego Sanchez couldn’t finish which gave Gilbert Melendez the decision.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir UFC 81
There was a lot of hype for Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar came from the WWE as a household name. But what most people forget is that Brock Lesnar was also an elite college wrestler. If he switched to MMA straight after wrestling, everyone would’ve taken him seriously.
He made his Octagon debut against Frank Mir. Frank Mir had consecutive losses over his last fights going against Lesnar. It could’ve been his last fight in the Octagon. In UFC 81, Frank Mir was able to display his great Jiu Jitsu against Brock Lesnar who was obviously out to destroy him. He was able to attack the leg after eating vicious blows from the 250 pound Lesnar.
1. Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustaffsson UFC 165
Jon Jones is probably one of the most talented athletes today. He had a run as the youngest champion in UFC history. He showcased display of great striking and great wrestling defeating Shogun and even Cormier in the process.
But the fight against Alexander Gustaffson is probably the best fight in the history of the company today. Everyone was expecting Jones to run over Gustaffson. However, The Mauler had a different plan that night. Gustaffson was the first man to take Jon Jones down in the octagon. Every round was close. The decision is considered controversial giving Jones the win that night.
UFC over the last two decades has provided some of the most exciting fights in MMA. Now, do you agree with our list? What are your thoughts?
Top 10 UFC Matches of All Time – Greatest MMA Fights
- Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustaffson UFC 165
- Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir UFC 81
- Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez UFC 166
- Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen UFC 117
- Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua UFC 157
- Forest Griffin vs. Stefan Bonnar Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale
- Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg UFC 52
- Chuck Lidell vs. Wanderlei Silva UFC 79
- Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia UFC 68
- Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard UFC 136