Anderson Silva(34-11) vs Chris Weidman (15-6) When: UFC 162 by 2nd round KO: The spider had one of the most unprecedented runs in ALL of combat sports. A fighter that helped transform the sport into what it is today, we were treated to a martial artist of the highest calibre. From 2006 to 2012 we saw Anderson literally toy with opponents much like a spider would its food, it didn’t matter if it was his blinding speed or his ungodly head movement Anderson looked unbeatable. Yet at UFC 162, Anderson was served a dose of his own medicine, Anderson overlooked the striking of Chirs and would end up paying the price. Anderson was caught by a hook he never saw coming and was flatlined in the second round, never recovering his former form.
Demetrious Johnson (30-4-1) vs Henry Cejudo (16-2) When: UFC 227 by Split Decision: 13 straight victories and 11 title defences, that’s the run that mighty mouse had during his time as champ. The man that many consider being the greatest martial artist of his era, Demetrious was also one of the most overlooked fighters of all time. Mighty mouse event defeated Henry before he became triple C, but at UFC 227 we saw DJ suffer his first loss in over 7 years and would never fight in the UFC again. Eventually, he would be part of the first and only MMA trade, which saw him sent to ONE Fc in exchange for Ben Askren.
Matt Hughes (45-9) vs George St Pierre (26-2) When: UFC 65 by 2nd round TKO. This is a rivalry that not many people remember as it took place back in 2004. But as far as impactful fights go, this one might just be the most important one in Welterweight history. At one point Matt Hughes was what GSP became, an unstoppable force that no one had an answer to. A man so strong and dominant that most current welterweights who grew up wrestling emulated. In 2004 Matt stopped the hype train that was GSP when he submitted a young brash Canadian fighter in the 1st round, from there Matt would continue his reign putting up wins against fighters like Frank Trigg, Royce Gracie, Joe Riggs and Bj Penn. In their rematch GSP showed just how far he evolved and returned the favour by stopping Matt in the 2nd round, they would meet once more when GSP once again beat Matt this time by armbar.
Fedor Emelianenko (40-6) vs Fabricio Werdum (24-9) When: Strike Force Fedor vs Werdum by 1st round Triangle choke: For what seemed like a century, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko ruled like a cold merciless tyrant. The Russian fighter was essentially undefeated (1st loss was a cut) and had run the table on all the world’s best heavyweights who resided in Pride. During his undefeated run as champ, Fedor beat names like Cro Cop, Big Nog, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Mark Hunt, Mark Coleman. Then in 2010, Fedor faced what some considered to be a UFC reject in Fabricio Werdum, a lethal BJJ specialist who had yet to realize his potential. Fedor fell prey to Werdum’s game and ultimately tapped out for the first time in his illustrious career in the 1st round.
Jose Aldo (31-7) vs Conor McGregor (22-6) When: UFC 194 by 1st round KO. The greatest Featherweight champion of all time suffered his most brutal loss of all time at the hands of his most bitter rival of all time when he was KO in 13 seconds of what would’ve been his 19th consecutive win had he won. In their very first exchange, Mystic Mac would live out his vision and disconnect Aldo from reality as he caught the Brazilian fighter in a very emotional and uncharacteristic impulse which saw the former champ swing at Conor with his hands down. Jose has never been able to get his revenge but has reinvigorated himself with 3 straight wins.
Dominick Cruz (24-3) vs Cody Garbrandt (12-5) When: UFC 207 by Unanimous Decision. Former WEC and UFC Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz was once on a 13 fight win streak, as well as being deemed the kryptonite to the Alpha Male gym. The “Dominator” had faced and outclassed every single opponent with some of the most advanced footwork the sport had ever seen, while unconventional to many Dominick was able to move in a manner that made him untouchable yet allowed him to deliver his own offence at will. Then in 2016, Dom would run into a hard-hitting younger version of himself in Cody. During their fight, Cody out moved and outstruck Dom in a performance for the ages. Dom is now on a 2 fight win streak looking to get back into contention yet again.
Cris Cyborg (25-2) vs Amanda Nunes (21-5) When: UFC 232 by 1st round KO. At the time this upset had beaten out Ronda vs Holm as the biggest upset in women’s MMA history. Chris had looked every bit a cyborg in her career as she had gone 20-1 in the lead-up and had left a trail of devastation behind her (18 stoppages at the time), Amanda was a tough up and comer who was finding her potential with every win and at UFC 232 she maximized it when she defeated the seemingly unbeatable Cyborg and unleashed some strikes that crumbled the former UFC and current Bellator champ in the 1st.
Amanda Nunes (21-5) vs Juliana Pena (11-4) When: UFC 269 by 2nd round RNC. Much like Amanda’s victory over Cyborg, there was a multitude of people who counted out Juliana as a legitimate threat to the champ. Yet at UFC 269 Juliana outworked a champ that looked out of her league against a challenger hell-bent on winning gold. In their fight Amanda looked worse for wear than Juliana and in the closing moments looked unusually out of shape, coupled with Juliana’s skill as a fighter Amanda would eventually tap to an RNC which is the second submission loss in her career (lost pro debut by armbar). The pair are scheduled to rematch after coaching this season of TUF, so it remains to be seen how she rebounds.
Jon Jones (26-1) vs Jon Jones When: UFC 200, 214, legal issues. The man who could’ve had it all. The face of the sport, the closest thing MMA was getting to a Muhamad Ali type of figure, someone that was revolutionizing the sport in ways that no other young 20-year-old had done before. But unfortunately, we will never know just what could’ve been had Jon stayed on a straight and narrow path. I’m not here to beat a dead horse or kick a man while he is down. But Jon has literally lost inside and outside of the cage due to his own mental errors (9 to 6). He will continue to be the best fighter on earth until he is properly defeated in the octagon, but the more time passes, so does his allure as one of the best ever.
Royce Gracie (15-2-3) vs Kazushi Sakuraba (26-17) When: Pride GP 2000 by Corner Stoppage. In what will possibly go down as one of the most gruelling fights in all of fighting history Kazushi Sakuraba handed then-undefeated Royce his first career loss (12-0 at the time). The two fighters fought for an incredible hour and a half and we witnessed Kasushi score another win vs the Gracie clan. This would further the Japanese legend of the Gracie Killer.