20 Best UFC Fights of All Time in MMA History

UFC has become quite popular within a short time. Because they offer real hardcore fights. But some fights get too intense. Fans remember them for years. Let’s talk about the 20 best UFC fights of all time in MMA history.

It is not easy to determine the best fights in the UFC since all the matches include heavy physicality. These fights involve technical skills, heavy actions, and comebacks drama. In addition, the pre-match conference and the rivalries of the fighters make the fans invested in the fights.

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We have considered some classics, from Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock to present-day Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s fights. Let’s see the list of the greatest UFC fights.

The 20 Best UFC Fights Of All Time In MMA

Fight Year
Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor UFC 202 (2016)
Stephan Bonnar vs Forrest Griffin I TUF 1 Finale (2005)
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva UFC 79 (2007)
Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard II UFC 125 (2011)
Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida TUF 9 Final (2009)
Minotauro Nogueira vs Randy Couture UFC 102 (2009)
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen UFC 117 (2010)
Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II UFC 52 (2005)
Chris Leben vs Yoshihiro Akiyama UFC 116 (2010)
Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan UFC 6 (2006)
Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s UFC 248 (2020)
Roger Huerta vs Leonard Garcia UFC 69 (2007)
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz I UFC 47 (2004)
Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn I UFC 58 (2006)
Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock UFC 1 (1993)
Roger Huerta vs Clay Guida TUF 6 Final (2007)
Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping UFC 100 (2009)
Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin UFC 116 (2010)
Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia UFC 68 (2007)
Georges St. Pierre vs Jon Fitch UFC 87 (2008)

1. Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor

Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor 

Nate Diaz Match Preview Conor McGregor
31 Age 28
6’0″ (183 cm) Height 5’9″ (175 cm)
170 lbs (77 kg) Weight  168 lbs (76 kg)
76 in (193 cm) Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Southpaw Stance Southpaw

The number one on the list is the fight between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. The fight took place at UFC 202 in 2016. It was the second fight between the two. And what an epic match it was!

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On one side, there was the knockout master McGregor. On the other side, you have the submission master Nate Diaz. It was bound to be an epic fight. The first fight between the two was an instant classic. Fans knew they were going to see another banger.

McGregor had only three defeats till then. And one of them came against Daiz. So, it was his chance for vengeance. And he got it.

The fight lasted for five rounds. That’s something rare for Conor’s fight, as he usually knocks out his opponent much faster. Both the fighters gave their best, and McGregor stood on top at the end.

2. Stephan Bonnar vs Forrest Griffin I

Stephan Bonnar vs Forrest Griffin I
Stephan Bonnar vs Forrest Griffin I
Stephan Bonnar Match Preview Forrest Griffin
28 Age 26
6’4″ Height 6’3″
205 lbs Weight   204 lbs
80 in Reach 77 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Who can forget this fight? It is the fight that brought the UFC fame and popularity. It did not have worldwide fame back then. But everything changed after the fight. It is a game-changing fight for the UFC.

What was so special about the fight? It was the first time two fighters were fighting to be the ultimate fighter. They delivered it to the full expectation. Both Bonnar and Griffin had eight wins each prior to the match. Fans expected to see a tough fight. But they got to experience an iconic one instead.

Bonnar and Griffin are both two very skilful and technically sharp fighters. They both gave their best. However, Bonnar came out as the winner in the end. It is considered one of the toughest UFC fights ever.

3. Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva

Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva

Chuck Liddell Match Preview Wanderlei Silva
38 Age 31
6’2″ (1.88 m) Height 5’11” (1.80 m)
205 lbs (93 kg) Weight   205 lbs (93 kg)
76 in (193 cm) Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

UFC 79 featured the iconic fight between Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva. Both were established superstars. Besides, both of them had the same style of fighting. It was difficult to guess who was going to win.

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Liddell and Wanderlei both have a reputation for being vicious punchers. They used to toy with the opponents inside the octagon. So, when these two predators came face to face, all hell broke loose.

Both the fighters were fierce and powerful and pushed each other to their limit. However, it was Liddell who came out victorious. He hit Silva with a thunderous back fist, and Silva lay on the ground. The fight is still considered one of the most brutal fights in UFC history.

4. Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard II

Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard II

Frankie Edgar Match Preview Gray Maynard
29 Age 31
5’6″ Height 5’8″
155 lbs Weight   155 lbs
68 in Reach 70 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Championship matches are always special for the fans. They wait eagerly to see their champs defend the titles. And this fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard II was for the lightweight championship. Edgar was the defending champ.

Maynard was hungry for the title. He wanted to do everything he could to get his hands on that belt. He was offensive from the beginning and showed tremendous speed. But Edgar was the champ for a reason. He tackled Maynard properly and won the game.

Though Maynard lost the fight, he earned the respect of the audience. He came really close to winning. But the champ was slightly better.

5. Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida

Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida
Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida
Diego Sanchez Match Preview Clay Guida
27 Age 27
5’10” Height 5’7″
171 lbs Weight   169 lbs
72 in Reach 70 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

When two offensive fighters face off, one thing is for sure. You are going to witness a pretty deadly fight. And that is what happened at TUF 9 Final in 2009. Both Sanchez and Guida went berserk mode to destroy each other.

Guida did not have a good start. Sanchez was all over him and hit him with a head kick. Fans thought it was the end. But the kick proved to be helpful for Sanchez. It brought his concentration to the fight. He dominated the second round.

The fight did not end in a knockout or a submission. Both fighters kept striking each other but could not finish the other one. So the winner was chosen by decision. Since Sanchez recorded a few more strikes, he was declared the winner.

6. Minotauro Nogueira vs Randy Couture

Minotauro Nogueira vs Randy Couture

Minotauro Nogueira Match Preview Randy Couture
33 Age 47
6’3″ Height 6’1″
231 lbs Weight 220 lbs
77.6 in Reach 75 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

The fight between Nogueira and Couture was a clash of the tights. Both men were over six feet in height. They also weighed almost the same. In addition, both of them had the same fighting style. It was a matching fans knew they would remember for years.

Both Nogueira and Couture were experienced fighters. They used their techniques and skills, but Nogueira became aggressive in the third round. He kept punching and choking Couture. It was then unanimously decided that Nogueira was the winner of the fight.

7. Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen

Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen

Anderson Silva Match Preview Chael Sonnen
35 Age 33
6’2″ Height 6’1″
185 lbs Weight 185 lbs
77.6 in Reach 74 in
Southpaw Stance Orthodox

It was one of those matches that the fans knew who was going to win. On one side, there was Anderson Silva. He was known for his viciousness and had been very dominating then. But Sonnen surprised and shocked the audience, over twelve thousand people.

In the first round, Sonnen used his speed and IQ to take advantage. Silva seemed like an injured lion. He was trying to come back, but Sonnen was always one step ahead. He dominated the first four rounds.

Fans were already shocked, thinking Silva was going to lose. But that is what makes UFC so entertaining. It is full of drama and suspense. Silva made one of the best comebacks of all time. He held Sonnen in his submission maneuver and forced him to tap.

The match, to date, was one of the most dramatically ended fights. It deserves to be on the list of the 20 best UFC fights of all time in MMA history because of all the suspense and surprises.

8. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II

Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II
LAS VEGAS – APRIL 16: Matt Hughes (black shorts) battles Frank Trigg (brown shorts) during UFC 52 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Matt Hughes Match Preview Frank Trigg
31 Age 33
5’9″ Height 5’8″
170 lbs Weight 170 lbs
70 in Reach 72 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Another championship fight. This fight was for the Welterweight championship. Matt Hughes was the defending champion, and Frank Trigg was the challenger.

It was not the first fight between the two, though. They faced each other in 2003, and Trill lost. He challenged for a rematch, and Hughes accepted. Trigg was fully ready this time to get the title around his waist.

Trigg started very well, and he slammed the champion to the ground. It seemed like the challenger was going to get his vengeance. But Hughes fought back. He came back to his feet and kept attacking Trigg with great intensity.

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Trigg had no option but to tap out. Hughes’ comeback is considered one of the all-time greatest round-1 comebacks. And that puts the fight on the 20 best UFC fights of all time in the MMA history list.

9. Chris Leben vs Yoshihiro Akiyama

Chris Leben vs Yoshihiro Akiyama

Chris Leben Match Preview Yoshihiro Akiyama
29 Age 34
6’0″ Height 5’10”
186 lbs Weight 185 lbs
73 in Reach 73 in
Orthodox Stance Southpaw

When Chirs Leben decided to take on the Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama, fans thought he had made a mistake. The Japanese star had lost only one fight till then. But Leben proved the majority of the audience wrong and won the fight by submission.

It was an intense fight from the beginning. Both Leben and Akiyama had a reputation for KOs. Leben impressed everyone with his striking, ******, consistency, and determination. The fight was announced as the fight of the night.

10. Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan

Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan

Diego Sanchez Match Preview Karo Parisyan
24 Age 23
5’11” Height 5’10”
170 lbs Weight 170 lbs
72 in Reach 70 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Another Sanchez fight! The fight took place in his earlier career. He was still undefeated. The 14-year-old Sanches was clearly the favourite. And he showed that in the fight. He dominated the fight from the beginning with takedowns, submissions, and strikes.

Nonetheless, do not think that Parisyan did not fight back. He delivered some of the best judo moves in the history of UFC. But that was not enough to make him victorious. Sanches became angry and viciously landed his knee on Parisyan’s face. Parisyan lost a tooth.

The brutal fight finally came to an end in the third round when Parisyan tapped out. It became a memorable fight for both the fighters and the fans as well.

11. Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s

Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s

Weili Zhang Match Preview Joanna Jedrzejczyk
30 Age 32
5’4″ Height 5’6″
115 lbs Weight 115 lbs
63 in Reach 65.5 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

You must have thought women’s fights are not as enjoyable as men’s fights. Well, no, you are wrong. Here is the fight between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The fight took place at UFC 275 in 2020. Zhang entered the fight with a 21-win streak.

Zhang had lost her debut fight in the UFC. But since then, she did not lose any fight. It clearly made her favorite. On the other hand, Joanna also had an amazing record of 16-3. Both gave their best to be the victor of the fight. But ultimately, the fight ended up in decisions.

Zhang won the fight with little advantage over Joanna. It is one of the best women’s fights in the history of UFC.

12. Roger Huerta vs Leonard Garcia

Roger Huerta vs Leonard Garcia

Roger Huerta Match Preview Leonard Garcia
24 Age 27
5’9″ Height 5’10”
155 lbs Weight 155 lbs
70 in Reach 70 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

The Huerta vs Garcia fight was a tremendous display of viciousness and determination. Huerta kept attacking from the beginning. He had already earned a reputation as a skillful fighter. This fight boosted his popularity.

But you cannot ignore the sheer determination Garcia showed. He was determined not to give up. But he could not make much of an ****** on Huerta. Huerta was unanimously declared the winner.

13. Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz I

Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz I

Chuck Liddell Match Preview Tito Ortiz
34 Age 29
6’2″ Height 6’2″
205 lbs Weight 204 lbs
75 in Reach 73 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Before the beginning of the fight, Liddell and Ortiz exchanged some serious verbal abuses. It started a good rivalry between the two. Fans were eagerly waiting to see who was the better performer inside the octagon.

Ortiz was young and aggressive. Many speculated he was going to win. But Liddell knew the game very well. He wasted no time attacking Ortiz, and he quickly proved that he was being underrated. Liddell knocked out Ortiz in the second round.

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14. Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn I

Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn I

Georges St. Pierre Match Preview BJ Penn
25 Age 27
5’10” Height 5’9″
170 lbs Weight 169 lbs
76 in Reach 70 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

The UFC Welterweight division has produced many great fights over the years. Pierre vs Penn is one of them. Despite recording 12 wins already by then, Pierre was not a favorite in the fight. Fans and experts were mostly speculating that Penn was going to win.

Both the fighters have similar fighting styles, which made the fans curious about the outcome. However, most of them had already thought that Pierre was going to lose. But the boy proved others wrong. He was declared the winner in the third round. The thigh fight was highly entertaining, and it stands amongst the 20 best UFC fights of all time in MMA history.

15. Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock

Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock

Royce Gracie Match Preview Ken Shamrock
26 Age 29
6’1″ Height 6’0″
176 lbs Weight 215 lbs

You are surely familiar with the name Ken Shamrock. It was his very first fight in the UFC. It would have been a matter of pride for Shamrock to be on the list with his first fight. Unfortunately, however, it is the most embarrassing fight of his career.

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Shamrock had a clear size advantage. And fans speculated that the bigger guy was going to win. But Gracie won the fight within a minute! And that is, too, by submission. Yes. Shamrock tapped out in under a minute. It became one of the most shocking performances in UFC.

16. Roger Huerta vs Clay Guida

Roger Huerta vs Clay Guida

Roger Huerta Match Preview Clay Guida
24 Age 26
5’9″ Height 5’7″
155 lbs Weight 155 lbs
70 in Reach 68 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

The fight is known for the skills, endurance, and technicality shown in the fight. Fans were dying to watch the fight. Both Huerta and Guida became stars by then. So, fans were excited to see who was the better fighter.

Guida took control of the fight in the first round. However, he could not finish the fight. Huerta showed great endurance and resilience. Finally, in the third round, Huerta found his opportunity. He kicked Garcia hard on the head. And forced him to tap out. It clearly stands as one of the 20 best UFC fights of all time in MMA history.

17. Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping

Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping

Dan Henderson Match Preview Michael Bisping
38 Age 30
5’11” Height 6’2″
185 lbs Weight 186 lbs
74 in Reach 75 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

This fight featured two fighters with similar styles. And it ended up with one of the best knockouts of all time in the UFC. So, who knocked out whom?

Both Henderson and Bisping became very dominant during that time. So, fans wanted to see who was the better guy. Many expected the fight to continue for a long. But it did not last more than two rounds. So, how did it end?

Henderson knocked out Bisping in the second round, which became one of the most memorable knockouts.

18. Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin

Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin

Brock Lesnar Match Preview Shane Carwin
33 Age 35
6’3″ Height 6’2″
265 lbs Weight   265 lbs
81 in Reach 80 in
Orthodox Stance Southpaw

Brock Lesnar is popularly known for his career in the WWE. But he had the best transition from a professional wrestler to an MMA fighter. He has already won a few fights. But critics were still not thinking of him as a big deal. So, Carwin was the favorite in the fight.

Carwin began to dominate Lesnar from the beginning, as was expected. Carwin even pinned Lesnar to the cage, and the audience thought the match would be over before the third round. And it really did. But with a twist.

Lesnar fought back in the second round. His fists and punches were landing on Carwin like hammers. The referee eventually declared Lesnar the victor. This win cemented Lesnar’s legacy in the UFC. He became the first and only professional wrestler ever to hold the UFC heavyweight championship.

19. Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia

Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia

Randy Couture Match Preview Tim Sylvia
43 Age 30
6’1″ Height 6’8″
228 lbs Weight 261 lbs
75 in Reach 81 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Experience matters. This fight bears evidence of that. The fight took place at UFC 68 in 2007. Both the fighters were in top shape. Sylvia was the favorite, though. He was comparatively young and had a good record of knocking out his opponents.

The fight continued for five rounds. Both the fighters were almost even. However, the experienced Couture used his experience to gain some advantages in the stats. The judges declared Couture as the winner. It was a very competitive fight, which was full of suspense.

20. Georges St. Pierre vs Jon Fitch

Georges St. Pierre vs Jon Fitch

Georges St. Pierre Match Preview Jon Fitch
27 Age 30
5’11” Height 6’0″
170 lbs Weight 170 lbs
76 in Reach 75 in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

Another UFC Welterweight championship fight. This time it was Pierre vs Fitch. The fight was a very intense one. Pierre was in aggressive mode from the very beginning. Fitch did his best to endure strikes, punches, and blows.

Pierre was too aggressive. Fitch, on the other hand, showed great endurance. He eventually lost the fight. But the fans love their fight. It was announced the fight of the night was announced. In addition, the fight takes place in the 20 best UFC fights of all time in MMA history too.

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