With UFC 200 rapidly approaching, fight fans are counting down the days until they can see a stacked card that may go down as the best the UFC has ever seen. Many will wonder what could’ve been due to the Conor McGregor controversy, but the company made it apparent that they weren’t going to let the fans down at their biggest event so far by bringing in every other big name imaginable. To celebrate the occasion, it’s time to countdown the best cards the UFC has ever seen.
6.The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale
It is impossible to discuss the top UFC events of all-time without talking about this Ultimate Fighter finale. The success of the show’s first season really helped the UFC’s popularity, and the card’s main event didn’t disappoint whatsoever. Forest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar put on a show to end the night, delivering what is widely considered to be the greatest fight the UFC has ever seen. It changed the landscape of the company, and provided a huge boost to the UFC as far as hype is concerned.
5. UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell
Speaking of The Ultimate Fighter, this card featured the first season’s two coaches going at it in a highly-anticipated main event. Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell are two legends in the UFC world, so any event with the two facing off has to be considered a classic. This event did not disappoint, as the two met in the main event for the light heavyweight championship. Couture had easily defeated Liddell by TKO two years earlier, and Liddell was looking for redemption in his rematch. Also on the card, Matt Hughes battled Frank Trigg for the welterweight title in a bout where the beef between the two fighters made for a heated fight all around. The two went back and forth, with Trigg catching Hughes below the belt at one point, and then coming close to finishing the champ with a rear naked choke at one point. Hughes pulled off one of the greatest comebacks the UFC has ever seen, and choked Trigg out to retain. The two fights, along with Georges St. Pierre dominating Jason “Mayhem” Miller, made it a solid event that cracks the top five on this week’s Pick-Six.
4. UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz
I feel really bad putting this card on this Pick-Six because of how recent it is, but this card was pretty stacked. Between Nate Diaz choking out Conor McGregor, and Miesha Tate submitting Holly Holm (who had just dominated Ronda Rousey in her last fight), the whole event was a real game-changer for the UFC, with some shocking upsets. It made the whole women’s division make no sense, and it changed the public’s perception of McGregor and his previous dominance. The fallout from the card was intense, as McGregor claimed he was retiring after a rematch with Diaz was rumored for UFC 200, and then was kicked off the card by Dana White. Tate’s win ruined any chance of a Holm-Rousey rematch at UFC 200, showing just how much it shook up the company’s plans for the big night.
3. UFC 1: The Beginning
It wouldn’t be right to talk about the greatest UFC cards in history without going back to the beginning. UFC 1 started it all: the sport, the debates about its brutality, and, most importantly, the Gracie family dominance. The final saw Royce Gracie submit Gerald Gordeau in the first two minutes, despite a 40-pound weight difference. Gracie’s performance at the event began a historic run and created a legacy for his family that still exists almost 23 years later.
2. UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor
This is another recent card that I feel bad for its spot on the list, but it’s impossible to argue against how incredible of a card this really was. Between Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor fighting in a solid main event, Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler absolutely stealing the show, and all the fights on the main card seeing finishes, it was close to the best event the UFC has ever seen. Losing Jose Aldo from the main event really hurt the whole equation, but the fact that this was still as good as it was says a lot about the card and the huge talent level involved in the card’s top fights.
1. UFC 100
Some people think UFC 189 actually should be considered the top card in UFC history, and some feel UFC 100 will never be topped. I tend to side with the latter, mainly due to my loyal allegiance to Brock Lesnar and Dan Henderson. Either way, this card was absolutely perfect. The build-up with every fight was amazing, between the Lesnar-Frank Mir rematch storyline, the intensity between Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves, and the Ultimate Fighter season leading up to a stellar Henderson-Michael Bisping gave it a true USA-UK feel close to the Independence Day weekend. Henderson’s knockout of Bisping is one of the most brutal punches I’ve ever witnessed, and Lesnar’s performance in the main event solidified him as a true fighter and beast in the fighting world. The card was everything a UFC fan would want and more, but here’s hoping UFC 200 can top it.