betting mobile logo

Best MMA Fights of All Time

The UFC has produced some of the greatest mixed martial arts fights in its history. Some were forgettable, some were good but few truly stood out as legends.

From breathtaking technical striking displays, daring submission attempts, or bloody slugfests, these are some of the greatest MMA fights ever fought.

1. Lawler vs. MacDonald II

In 2017, fans around the world voted Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald II's fight as one of the greatest MMA fights of all time. The UFC 189 battle is an iconic showcase of both fighters' determination, heart, and grit.

Lawler started slowly, but unleashed some powerful shots in the second round and took control of the fight. This is when he connected on one of Lawler's devastating combinations.

After the second round, both fighters began to throw themselves into it more and were going for it hard. However, this did not alter the outcome as Lawler easily prevailed and successfully defended his title.

In the fourth round, both fighters were covered in blood. By the time it ended, MacDonald's nose had been broken and his face looked like a mess.

2. Johny Hendricks vs. Lawler

Hendricks and Lawler put on an unforgettable fight that ranks among the greatest in MMA history. It was a fierce contest that lasted five rounds, with a tight finish at the end.

Hendricks was constantly concocting combinations and adding attacks throughout the fight, taking advantage of Lawler's movement patterns to unleash powerful blows.

After a prolonged exchange, Hendricks caught Lawler with a jab-straight combination, forcing him outside and forcing him to defend the move. Hendricks then delivered another right hook to the head followed by an outside leg kick for good measure.

Hendricks had the advantage in every round, but Lawler fought back. His pressure forced Hendricks into more frantic striking, leading to his eventual victory and the division of this fight.

3. Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar

Max Holloway will make his return to the Octagon for the first time since losing two consecutive title fights in January. He'll face off against an increasingly confident Calvin Kattar in Saturday's main event of UFC Fight Island 7 on ABC, in what promises to be an electrifying battle.

Holloway is an agile featherweight who frequently throws out incredible volume and intimidates opponents with his range. Additionally, his iron chin will be on display during this matchup.

Holloway is a master of the striking game, as evidenced by his stunning unanimous decision victory over Kattar last week at UFC on ABC in Abu Dhabi. That contest had MMA President Dana White concerned.

4. Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson

Picking one best mma fight of all time is no small feat, as there are so many incredible ones. From one-sided whoop-whoops to tactical battles fought perfectly inside the Octagon, there's something for everyone in these battles.

Many of these battles were simply enjoyable to watch and an honor for fans to follow. But some stand out above all others due to their profound impact on both UFC and fighting culture as a whole.

This fight ranks higher on the list due to its historic impact, which shifted people's perspectives about the sport and propelled UFC to new and global heights, helping make the promotion more widely known.

5. Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

No matter the event, an MMA fight that makes history, a big title clash or an incredible comeback will always remain memorable in people's memories. But certain bouts stand out above all others--no matter who you are or your taste in fights--in an especially positive light.

Eddie Alvarez, the former UFC lightweight champion, returns to action this weekend at UFC 274 as he attempts to regain the title he lost to Conor McGregor. He squares off against Justin Gaethje in what could be the main event of the night.

The former WSOF lightweight champion is a formidable fighter with superior striking skills and cardio. He uses his power to systematically take down opponents with leg kicks, hooks, and punches; however his high guard can be challenging to penetrate due to how it defends the head.

6. Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje

Michael Johnson, born September 13th 1967 in Dallas, Texas, is a renowned track and field athlete who achieved Olympic success in both 200m and 400m races. For much of the 1990s he went unbeaten.

His focus and hard work were the keys to his success. Nowadays, he serves as president of MJP, an organization that teaches athletes of all ages how to improve their performance in any sport they choose.

Gaethje is no slouch when it comes to combat, but few have shown more heart than him. After taking several punches and knees in the first round, he came back for a thrilling second-round knockout win against an impressive opponent.

7. Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau

Royce Gracie is one of the most renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in history. As the first UFC champion, he is considered a pioneer in this sport.

Gracie was renowned for his striking skills and powerful grip on the ground. On November 12th 1993, Gracie submitted all three opponents in his inaugural UFC tournament - including former Golden Gloves boxing champion Art Jimmerson and Pancrase standout Ken Shamrock - via submission.

He also submitted a renowned sumo wrestler in an MMA contest, but his most remarkable victory came at the first televised UFC fight on November 12, 1993 when he defeated Gerard Gordeau for the title.

At UFC 1 Royce and Gordeau engaged in a heated match that ended with Gracie taking the win via submission. During the bout, Gordeau is said to have bit Gracie's ear during it.

8. Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones

Jones has been a constant obstacle for UFC champions, such as Daniel Cormier who defeated him for the light heavyweight title. Daniel's handling of that fight saw him suspended for 15 months following an irregular drug test.

No matter your opinion, Jones' fifth-round TKO win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in 2013 ranks as one of the greatest MMA fights ever. It was an intense slugfest that proved both tactically sound and emotionally charged.

Jones had been the heavy favorite to win, but Gustafsson proved him his toughest test yet. Though Jones ultimately lost, the swede's performance served as a reminder that he can be one of the top contenders in light heavyweight division.

9. Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo

Cheick Kongo's stunning win over Pat Barry at UFC Live 4 nine years ago remains one of the greatest heavyweight fights ever contested. After Nate Marquardt and Rick Story were removed from the original card, Barry and Kongo became the main event.

Barry began by stalking Kongo around the ring while throwing several powerful leg kicks. Finally, a looping right hand from Barry dropped Kongo and sent him flying off his feet.

Kongo rebounded and launched a stunning two-punch combination that sent Barry to his back, before finishing with an uppercut for victory. Dan Miragliotta nearly stopped the fight but let Kongo stand and walk away with his head held high.

10. Zhang Weilli vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

The best MMA fights are a showcase of fighters' skill and the finer points that determine a winner or loser. While some quick finishes may be used, most often it's the well-rounded fighter who knows how to utilize their techniques and footwork effectively to take control of the game.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weilli put on one of MMA's most remarkable fights when they squared off at UFC 248, which was named UFC Fight of the Year. Both women endured a tremendous amount of punishment during their five-round battle, making for one of MMA's most intense octagon matches ever witnessed.