The UFC has seen many great matches over the years, but there are a few that stand out above the rest. Here are the top five UFC matches of all time.
1. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar – The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, April 9, 2005
The first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show was a make or break for the UFC, and it all came down to the finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. The two fighters put on an incredible show, throwing everything they had at each other for three rounds. In the end, Griffin was awarded the unanimous decision victory, but both fighters were declared winners for their gutsy performances. This match is widely credited with launching the UFC into the mainstream.
2. Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua – UFC 139, November 19, 2011
Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua put on an absolute war in this five-round battle. Both fighters landed big shots throughout the match, and somehow managed to keep fighting despite taking a tremendous amount of punishment. In the end, Henderson was awarded the unanimous decision victory, but both fighters earned the respect and admiration of fans around the world.
3. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – UFC 165, September 21, 2013
Jon Jones had been dominating the light heavyweight division for years, but Alexander Gustafsson gave him the toughest challenge of his career in this five-round battle. Gustafsson used his size and reach to keep Jones at bay, landing shots that had never before been landed on the champion. Jones rallied in the later rounds, however, and was ultimately awarded the unanimous decision victory in one of the greatest light heavyweight matches of all time.
4. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz – UFC 196, March 5, 2016
Conor McGregor was on top of the world heading into this match, but Nate Diaz proved to be a difficult challenge for the brash Irishman. Diaz weathered an early storm from McGregor and then took over in the second round, locking in a rear-naked choke for the submission victory. The upset stunned the MMA world and set the stage for a highly-anticipated rematch between the two fighters.
5. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen – UFC 117, August 7, 2010
Anderson Silva had been the middleweight champion for years, but Chael Sonnen gave him everything he could handle in this five-round battle. Sonnen dominated the match with his wrestling, taking Silva down at will and punishing him on the ground. Silva somehow managed to survive until the fifth round, when he caught Sonnen in a triangle choke for the submission victory. The win solidified Silva's place as one of the greatest fighters of all time.