Every year, the UFC hosts tens of events, which feature hundreds of amazing fights, but only a few truly stand out. From fights that changed the sport forever, to fights that deserve Hall of Fame status, today we will take a look at the five greatest UFC fights of all time.
Forrest Griffin vs Stephen Bonnar
Forrest Griffin vs Stephen Bonnar is regarded as the most important fight in UFC history by Dana White. Prior to this fight in 2005, the UFC was dying, and Dana and the other bigwigs were struggling to keep the ship afloat.
Had Griffin vs Bonnar never happened, Dana believes the UFC would have never grown into a million-dollar juggernaut. The two engaged in a hard-fought 15-minute war, where they exchanged heavy blows. Both fighters got badly hurt a number of times, but they kept on fighting. By the end of the fight, they were both bloodied up and could barely keep standing. The crowd was on its feet, cheering and applauding the MMA marvel they had just witnessed.
More than 3 million people tuned in to watch the fight that night and a new generation of fight fans was born.
#OnThisDay in 2005: The most important fight of all time? Tag someone who hasn't watched Griffin vs. Bonnar!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 9, 2017
Lawler vs MacDonald 2
After winning the welterweight title, Robbie Lawler made his first title defense against Rory MacDonald in a blood and guts rematch. The fight got off to a slow start, as both fighters felt each other out in the first round. In the second round, however, they upped the ante, with both landing heavy shots on each other.
By the end of the third round, everyone knew the championship rounds were going to be a lot more violent. That’s exactly what happened, as McDonald, despite being bloodied up, started off the fourth round by unloading on the champion, who stood his ground. MacDonald eventually got TKO’d in the fifth round after he couldn’t take any more punishment to his nose, which was badly busted up.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) July 19, 2016
Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk was the most important fight in women’s MMA history because it proved that women can perform on the same level as their male UFC counterparts, if not better. The fight was an absolute war, with commentators tipping it to make its place in the Hall of Fame down the road.
The two strawweights fought for full 25 minutes and gave their all inside the Octagon. Joanna landed a number of good shots on her opponent, but Zhang’s power was clearly the difference-maker on the night. The Pole sustained a brutal hematoma to her head during the fight, but Weili was badly bruised too.
The Chinese fighter went on to win the fight via razor-thin split decision, but it could have easily gone the other way.
Rewatch the fight that had everybody screaming "OH!" 😮
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 28, 2020
Korean Zombie vs Yair Rodriguez
Yair Rodriguez earned Knockout of the Year against the Korean Zombie when he finished him with a spectacular back elbow right at the final round buzzer. The Korean Zombie walked his opponent down throughout the fight, and although he was up on the judges’ scorecards going into the fifth round, not once did he play it safe.
Chan Sung Jung was landing bombs on Rodriguez, who was relying heavily on his unconventional strikes to hurt his opponent. Both men often stopped during the fight and embraced each other because they loved every bit of punishing each other.
Had the fight gone the distance, the Korean Zombie would have won, but a fight as spectacular as this one deserved nothing less than a spectacular ending.
Last time we saw Yair Rodriguez in the octagon…
We witnessed an absolute classic vs Korean Zombie, and probably the most insane KO in UFC history 🔥
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 17, 2019
Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson 1
Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson 1 would make any hardcore MMA fan’s top five list when it comes to the greatest UFC fights of all time.
The five-round battle was a violent one, with lots of drama, and punishing action from both ends. Henderson had his opponent badly hurt in the first round with his famous ‘H-Bomb’ but Rua was able to survive it and put on a show for the fans. Henderson had the upper hand in the first three rounds of their fight, but Rua made a comeback in the fourth and fifth rounds, nearly pulling off the upset.
Henderson held his own in the later rounds and went on to win the fight via unanimous decision. ‘Hendo’ also came out on top in their rematch three years later, winning via TKO in the third round.
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