To celebrate 25 years of existence, the UFC has spent the month of March counting down the top 25 fights in the promotion’s history, and the full list was completed as of Tuesday, March 20th.
Perhaps as a surprise to some, the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz rivalry wound up with the top two spots. The first fight, which Diaz memorably won by submission, is the runner-up to the dramatic five-round majority decision won by McGregor.
The complete list is as follows:
#21 - Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (May 2012)
#20 - Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha II (July 2016)
#18 - Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi (December 2016)
#14 - Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje (December 2017)
#13 - Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit (January 2016)
#12 - Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar I (April 2005)
#11 - Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn II (September 2006)
#10 - Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva I (December 2013)
#9 - Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II (April 2005)
#7 - Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (September 2013)
#4 - Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II (July 2015)
#1 - Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II (August 2016)
You will notice that 12 of 25 (48%) fights occurred within the last five years, and literally all of the fights selected were within The Ultimate Fighter era. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar I is the oldest bout on the list. For perspective, this was THE greatest fight in UFC history prior in Spike’s countdown to UFC 100 back in 2009.
Since March is when the NCAA college basketball tournaments dominate American sports discussion, the UFC is running its own bracket using these 25 fights, and fans can decide for themselves which bout deserves to be called the greatest ever.
For what it’s worth, I’m really surprised that Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez is Diego’s only appearance on the list, and that it ranks above Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi. I also believe Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II deserves better than #4.
Fan voting for the UFC’s best fight ever can be done on the official Twitter account.