The UFC has one heck of a decade, both inside and outside the Octagon. And we still have one really good night of fights heading our way as three championship belts will be on the line Saturday night at UFC 245 in Las Vegas.
While I’ve already counted down the top 10 knockouts of 2019, it’s time to look back at the top 10 fights from the decade.
There were some amazing fights and this list was hard to whittle down to just 10 but here we are. From historic victories to bloody battles that will never be forgotten, we have a little bit of everything here.
10. Cub Swanson vs Doo Ho Choi, UFC 206, 2016
This one was only a three-rounder but what an incredible three rounds it was in Toronto. Swanson and Choi traded serious blows over and over and over again and had fans screaming for it to be an instant classic and one of the best fights of the year in 2016, which had some really darn good fights. I still don’t know how Choi ate all those punches but, man, what a fight.
9. Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm, UFC 196, 2016
UFC 196 was an incredible night for rear-naked chokes, as Nate Diaz used one to beat Conor McGregor in the main event and Miesha Tate used one to beat Holly Holm and win her only UFC belt in the co-main event. Just when it seemed like all Holm had to do was stay away from Tate over the final few minutes of the fifth round and she’d win the fight, Tate suddenly took Holm’s back and choked Holm out for the biggest, and most emotional, win of her career. It was great to see such a legend of the sport finally get her belt.
8. Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum, UFC 236, 2019
Adesanya and Gastelum met in what might be the fight of 2019 as they had an epic 5-round brawl that ended with Adesanya winning the interim middleweight belt via unanimous decision.
7. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC 117, 2010
Silva, one of the greatest to ever enter the Octagon, and Sonnen, one of the greatest talkers to ever enter the Octagon (who has also had a legendary career) squared off in a classic in Oakland. Sonnen controlled much of the fight but just when it looked like he might cruise to a win, Silva showed his greatness and pulled off a stunning submission via triangle choke with 1:50 left in the final round. Just incredible.
6. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2, UFC 202, 2016
McGregor and Diaz ran it back just months after their first fight in which Diaz choked out McGregor in the second round of an epic main event at UFC 196. This rematch went five incredible rounds and was won by McGregor via decision, though it felt like it really could have gone either way. Will we ever see a trilogy fight?
5. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 1, UFC 165, 2013
Jones left on a stretcher and was hospitalized after Gustafsson gave him everything he could handle as Jones won via decision in what was 5-round war. Check out this photo of the two fighters in the hospital after the fight for proof of what a battle this one was. My goodness.
4. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II, UFC 125, 2011
Maynard almost knocked out Edgar, who was the lightweight champ at time, in the first round and Edgar said after the fight that he didn’t remember much from the first round because of the punishment he took. They then went on to go all five rounds in a fight that was ruled a draw and was instantly dubbed as legendary, and rightly so.
3. Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald, UFC 189, 2015
These two warriors put on an absolute show in Las Vegas which ended with Lawler getting the win via TKO a minute into the fifth round of what was a bloodbath.
2. Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey, UFC 195, 2016
Ronda Rousey was one of the biggest stars on the planet when she went down to Australia and suffered her first loss in stunning fashion thanks to a devastating left head kick by Holm. That’s why this one is so high in these rankings. Rousey was never the same after that loss, as she fought only one more time (a loss to Amanda Nunes), which is incredible when you think about how big she was in the sport before that kick to the head by Holm.
1. Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua, UFC 139, 2011
If you remember this fight then you know why so many big-name fighters in the video above were in such awe of the performances put on by Henderson and Rua. Henderson got the win via decision but really, but men deserved to take something from that unbelievable 5-round battle. What. A. Fight.