5 Best UFC Events Of All Time | UFC 100 Claims Number 1 Spot

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Ahead of the mammoth UFC 280 card next weekend, we have decided to look at five of of the best UFC events of all time. UFC 280, headlined by Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev for the UFC Lightweight Title, has all of the makings to potentially make it onto this list in the future. But for now, we will just have to wait and see.

The list includes some of the best and most entertaining fights in UFC history such as Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 and of course the first ever UFC pay-per-view event. So without further ado, here are what we rank as the five best UFC events of all time.

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5 Greatest UFC Events Of All Time

Counting down from 5 to 1, here are the five greatest UFC events of all time, as listed by The Sports Daily MMA experts…

5. UFC 217: Bisping vs St-Pierre – November 4th 2017

UFC 217: Michael Bisping vs George St-Pierre

In at number five on our list of the five greatest UFC events of all time is the huge UFC 217 card back in 2017. Michael Bisping vs George St-Pierre was the main event of this stellar pay-per-view event, which saw St-Pierre come out of retirement to win the UFC Middleweight Title.

This was only the second event the UFC had ever put on at Madison Square Garden. It’s safe to say it didn’t disappoint. St-Pierre looked like he had never been away, returning to defeat Bisping via submission in Round 3.

This was St-Pierre’s first fight in four years, returning at 185-pounds rather than at welterweight where he had ruled as the champion for such a long time. This was Bisping’s second defence after winning the UFC Middleweight Title by knocking out Luke Rockhold. ‘The Count’ made a successful first defence in his hometown of Manchester, England against Dan Henderson. It was then announced that Bisping would face St-Pierre at UFC 217 in the main event in his next fight.

What makes this card one of the best in history is the fact there was a stellar undercard too. Bitter rivals Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw fought for the UFC Bantamweight Title, with a crazy build up to the fight between the pair. Garbrandt had just become champion after a stunning victory over Dominick Cruz, but Dillashaw won the fight by KO in the second round.

Also on the card was yet another UFC title fight. This time it came in the women’s strawweight division. Rose Namajunas ripped the belt from long reigning champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk, by knocking her out in the very first round of the fight.

There were some other huge names on the undercard and prelims too. What made this card even more spectacular is the fact that it was the first time in history that the UFC had put three title fights on the main card, with all three champions losing their belts.

4. UFC 1: The Beginning – November 12th 1993

UFC 1: The Beginning

In at number four, sheerly for the reason that it was the first ever UFC event, is of course UFC 1: The Beginning. The event took place on 12th November 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado and was broadcast live on pay-per-view.

Although the event was extremely low profile by the contemporary standards of today’s huge UFC cards, it pioneered the alternative style match-ups between the practitioners of different martial arts, and set the blueprint for the future sporting events of the kind. The arena was only half full, the fight purses extremely low and next to no press in attendance, but it was the beginning of something quite magnificent so simply had to be included in this list.

The event was set up very differently than the UFC event we are used to seeing today. The promoters came up with an eight-man tournament format, with the winner receiving $50,000. Fighting three times in one night to win $50,000 sounds ridiculous now, but at the time was quite the attraction.

The McNichols Sports Arena in Denver had been chosen to host the event because Colorado had no athletic commission and thus no governing body from which they would need to get approval for bare-knuckle fighting. There were no weight classes for the MMA tournament, no judges and no rounds. The fight was only ended via either submission, knockout or if the corner threw the towel in. There were of course general rules such as no biting and no eye-gouging, amongst a few others.

In the end, the Brazilian Royce Gracie won the tournament by defeating Gerard Gordeau via submission due to a rear naked choke after just 1 minute 44 seconds. A pioneering event that was the beginning of something quite magnificent.

3. UFC 189: Mendes vs McGregor – July 11th 2015 

UFC 189 Chad Mendes vs Conor McGregor

In at number three is the first appearance on this list of Conor McGregor. His first taste of UFC gold came at UFC 189 in July 2015, when he fought Chad Mendes in the main event for the Interim UFC Featherweight Title. The event took place during the UFC’s annual International Fight Week.

The card was originally expected to be headlined by Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor for the UFC Featherweight Title. However, Also supposedly suffered a fractured rib in the build up to the fight, and subsequently had to withdraw from the card. This meant Chad Mendes stepped in to fight ‘Notorious’ for the interim title.

The fight itself was quite extraordinary. McGregor won the fight by knockout in the second round, after looking like he could suffer the first defeat of his UFC career due to Mendes’ superior wrestling and grappling. The Irishman turned the tide in his favor late in the second round, landing an exquisite left back hand to knock Mendes to the ground before the referee called the fight off with McGregor wheeling away in celebration.

In the co-main event, the UFC Welterweight Title was on the line as as Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald fought for the second time, after previously fighting at UFC 167 when Lawler won a close split decision. This time around, there were no question marks surrounding the result, as Lawler knocked MacDonald out in the fifth round of their contest to retain his UFC Welterweight Title. The fight was awarded the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus after five gruelling rounds of high level mixed martial arts.

There were also some other big names on the undercard such as Matt Brown, Jeremy Stephens, Gunnar Nelson and Tim Means. Future UFC Bantamweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt, also featured on the preliminary cards.

2. UFC 205: Alvarez vs McGregor – November 12th 2016

UFC 205 Eddie Alvarez vs Conor McGregor

In at number two is of course the mind-boggling UFC 205 card back in November 2016. The card included three title fights, with Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez headlining the bill in a champion vs champion fight at lightweight.

At the time, UFC President Dana White described this card as “the biggest fight card” in the company’s history. It was the first ever UFC event hosted in New York City, after the long-time professional MMA ban was revoked in early 2016.

The event was absolutely massive. In the main event, Conor McGregor put on a punch-perfect performance, comprehensively beating Eddie Alvarez by TKO in Round 2. The Irishman became the first ever fighter in the history of the UFC to hold two belts from two different weight divisions simultaneously.

There were also two more title fights on the undercard, only the second time in the UFC’s history they had three title fights on the same bill. The co-main event was a thrilling welterweight clash between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. Woodley had won the title the fight before against Robbie Lawler, and successfully defending his belt for the first time on this card against ‘Wonderboy’ as the pair fought to a ‘Fight of the Night’ draw.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk also featured on the bill as she defended her UFC Strawweight Title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. This was the second time the pair had met, having fought before in their amateur days. It was also a battle of Poland, in which the champion Jędrzejczyk retained her title in what was an epic fight.

There were also some other incredible fights on the card, such as Yoel Romero vs Chris Weidman in a middleweight bout. Romero won with the most stunning flying-knee you are ever likely to see. Khabib Nurmagomedov also featured on the card as he defeated Michael Johnson on the prelims, with former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar facing off against Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight bout.

1. UFC 100 – July 11th 2009

UFC 100 Poster

Last but not least, in at number one on our list of the best UFC events of all time is UFC 100. The event went down on July 11th 2009 during International Fight Week. There were two title fights on the card as well as The Ultimate Fighter coaches colliding too.

Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir 2 headlined the event for the UFC Heavyweight Title, with George St-Pierre defending his UFC Welterweight Title against Thiago Alves in the co-main feature. The event broke all pay-per-view records in the UFC. It was the most bought UFC PPV of all time with a buy rate of 1.6 million, until UFC 202 broke that record.

The event went down in Las Vegas, with the rematch between Lesnar and Mir headlining the event. Mir had won the first fight between the pair by kneebar submission back at UFC 81, in what was Lesnar’s UFC debut. The rematch went the other way this time wit Lesnar successfully defending his title against the interim champion this time around. He won via TKO in the second round of the fight, putting an end to their rivalry and retaining his belt.

George St-Pierre successfully defended his welterweight crown against Thiago Alves in the co-main event. The Canadian won a comprehensive unanimous decision, in what was the third defence of his title.

The third fight on the card saw The Ultimate Fighter coaches throw down, with Dan Henderson knocking Michael Bisping out cold in the second round of their grudge match. Bisping was 17-1 at the time and was undefeated since moving to middleweight prior to this fight, but got starched by a huge punch from the American Ultimate Fighter Season 9 coach.

What makes this card edge UFC 205 as the greatest ever UFC event is the fact that a certain Jon Jones was on the preliminary card. ‘Bones’ has gone on to be arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, but was just 8-0 before this fight at UFC 100.

In hindsight, having Lesnar, Mir, St-Pierre, Henderson, Bisping and Jones all on the same card is obscene. A worthy winner of the best UFC event of all time.

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