UFC’s 10 Most Important Battles

Relive the bone-crunching cage bouts that put the “ultimate” in fighting championships.

#1 — Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn

September 23, 2006

Hawaiian-born BJ Penn is harder than lava rock for two rounds, but country boy Matt Hughes roars back in the third to defend his welterweight crown.

#2 — Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan

August 17, 2006

Sanchez’ arrival as one of the best welterweights in the world comes at Parisyan’s expense via decision in a textbook bout that puts the “mixed” in mixed martial arts.

#3 — Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz

April 2, 2004

In one of the most anticipated matches in UFC history, Liddell systematically crushes his former training buddy Ortiz and becomes the full-on MMA superstar he is today.

#4 — Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar

April 9, 2005

With a six-figure contract on the line, Griffin and Bonnar engage in a stand-up battle broadcast across the country to one of the biggest TV audiences ever. Griffin gets the call.

#5 — Randy Couture vs. Pedro Rizzo I

May 4, 2001

Brazilian badass Rizzo loses to then-underdog and now-celebrity Couture, who soon becomes the first fighter ever to hold both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.

#6 — Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg

April 16, 2005

Hughes miraculously pulls victory from the jaws of defeat (securing the UFC welterweight crown) by snaking out of a near submission and choking out Trigg at the 4:09 mark.

#7 — Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler

April 2, 2004

Scrappy Nick Diaz takes a break from his jujitsu and stands with Lawler throughout the match, much to the delight of a packed house in Vegas. His win is a giant upset.

#8 — Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stout

June 12, 2007

In a rematch that makes Alien vs. Predator look like a neighborly spat, these lightweight standouts battle it out for three tough rounds. Fisher evens their vendetta at 1-1.

#9 — Frank Edgar vs. Tyson Griffin

February 3, 2007

In a hard-fought match that showed everyone what the 155-pound weight class is made of, Edgar squeezes out of a crippling submission and pulls off an oh-so-sweet win.

#10 — Kendall Grove vs. Ed Herman

June 24, 2006

Herman rules round one, Grove owns round two, and both men go back and fourth in an epic third round for the ages. Grove edges it out in a close but unanimous decision.