In 2013, UFC will celebrate its 20th anniversary and with nearly 160 events in its history, there definitely have been dozens of particularly amazing bouts. The absolute best fighters in mixed martial arts have faced each other in the Octagon, often with dramatic and surprising results. Here is a look back at just a few of the most noteworthy UFC events.
Obviously, UFC 1 was a memorable fight and not just because it was the first time many Americans were exposed to mixed martial arts. The winner of UFC 1 was Royce Gracie, the brother of UFC’s co-founder. Gracie took down three fighters, Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau in less than five minutes in all to win the event. All four of these fighters used a different style of martial arts in the cage, and in the end, it was Brazilian jiu-jitsu that was the ultimate fighting style.
Another notable event was UFC 34, which was an excellent event from the preliminary card to the main card and filled with some of MMA‘s best fighters of all time. The preliminary card featured heavyweight and legend Frank Mir vs. Roberto Traven, which was Mir’s debut in the UFC. BJ Penn defeated Caol Uno during the lightweight main card bout in just 11 seconds. Randy Couture held onto his heavyweight title during UFC 34, as well, defeating Pedro Rizzo. In addition, there was a noteworthy fight between Matt Hughes and Carlos Newton in which Hughes was nearly rendered unconscious by Newton, but somehow managed to slam Newton to the mat and end the fight.
Couture and Hughes were part of several notable UFC events, including UFC 52, in 2005. Randy Couture fought Chuck Liddell for the light heavyweight title, losing the fight and suffering the first knockout of his career. Couture never again managed to overcome Liddell and after their final matchup at UFC 57, Couture announced his retirement. While Couture vs. Liddell was billed as the top fight of the night, the title bout between Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg was probably the more exciting fight of the night to watch. Trigg nearly won the fight with a rear naked choke, but Hughes ended up throwing Trigg to the mat, locking him in the same rear naked choke and winning the fight. There was also a match-up between Georges St. Pierre and Jason Miller, and when that’s just a footnote, you know it was a good night for UFC fans.
Fast forward to 2009 and you have UFC 107 which had notable bouts between BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez, as well as Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo. Frank Mir’s previous fight had been a loss against Brock Lesnar months before at UFC 100. Ready for battle, Mir defeated Kongo in just over a minute using a guillotine choke that rendered Kongo unconscious, as he refused to tap out. The battle between Penn and Sanchez was equally fun. Sanchez, who had won his last four bouts, was facing the current lightweight champ Penn for the title. The fight lasted until the fifth round, when Penn was declared champion by TKO and kept his title until he ran into Frankie Edgar at UFC 118.
With more than 150 UFC events to choose from, narrowing it down to just four or five great events is nearly impossible, and there are certainly more notable events, such as UFC 79. At that event you watched a stacked card that included a bout between Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell as well as a fight between Matt Hughes and Georges St.-Pierre. UFC 92 is yet another awesome event that included a much-hyped bout between two UFC champs, Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin.
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