Dana White has called this 2005 Welterweight Title rematch between champion Matt Hughes and challenger Frank Trigg his favorite fight of all time and it’s no surprise why. Although it only lasted for four minutes, the battle was nonstop action with Trigg taking early advantage of his opponent and nearly beating him with a rear naked choke. Hughes refused to surrender, though, and with an amazing burst of strength he hoisted Trigg up, ran him across the cage and slammed him to the ground. The fighting champion then slapped on his own rear naked choke to secure a hard-fought victory over Trigg.
2. Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva — UFC 79
By the time UFC 79 rolled around in December of 2007, Chuck Liddell had been written off as a wash-up. Once the most feared man in the Octagon, Liddell had fallen in his last two fights and seemed to have lost the killer instinct that once made him great. So a dream match between “The Iceman” and vicious Brazilian headhunter Wanderlei Silva seemed to come a few years too late. Yet, the showdown between two of the greatest light heavyweights in MMA history somehow managed to exceed the hype with both warriors standing and banging for three brutal rounds. Moving like he did in his prime, Liddell stood strong against his rival and scored the victory by split decision. It was the last big win of his UFC career, but one fans will never forget.
1. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar — The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale
What else? The fight that gave the UFC the final push it needed to reach the prominence it enjoys today, the live showdown between The Ultimate Fighter 1 contestants Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar was an all-out war. Trading fists as soon as the fight started, both hopefuls made it clear that they were prepared to leave it all in the Octagon for a chance at a UFC contract. Brutal and thrilling for three rounds, the bout actually caused television ratings to raise exponentially round by round, meaning viewers were calling their friends and saying, “Turn on your TV. You gotta see this.” Griffin won the brawl — and the competition — by decision, but Dana White was so impressed that he offered both fighters UFC deals.