Mixed Martial Arts is one of the most high-stakes, competitive sports on the planet. Fights at the highest level in the UFC are a dangerous game of chess where one wrong move can cost you everything. Because of the intensity of the sport, over time, there have been a lot of equally explosive rivalries.
In this article, we’re going to give you a rundown of the 7 top UFC rivalries of all time. We’ve made sure to give you a big range of different weight divisions, to highlight the diversity of competition across the sport. Understanding the history of the sport over time can give you an edge when betting or following MMA live odds.
Top 7 UFC Rivalries
1. Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones
Many people believe the ascension of both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier to be a moment that marks the time when the UFC transitioned into a professional sport. However, as professional and decorated as both men are, nothing could quell their fierce rivalry. It started with a staredown that went wrong back in UFC 182, and ended with a turbulent clash in UFC 214, with Jon Jones winning both bouts.
Fight I – Jones Victory by unanimous decision.
Fight III – Jones Victory by TKO (Head kick and punches).
2. Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate
Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate are two of the main foundations of women’s MMA. Their entry into the UFC and eventual rivalry would pave the way for all that has come ever since in the various women’s UFC divisions. Rousey and Miesha Tate did not like one another, and this was evident across their coaching season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Fight I – Rousey Victory by Technical Submission (armbar).
Fight II – Rousey Victory by Submission (armbar).
3. Conor Mcgregor vs. Nate Diaz
It’s impressive just how many rivalries Conor Mcgregor and Nate Diaz have gotten into over the years, so it should be no surprise that when the two of them faced off for the first time, fireworks ensued. Mcgregor was the favorite to beat Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout back at UFC 196, but the hype train was derailed by a left hand by Diaz which paved the way for a rear naked choke submission. Their following rematch at UFC 202 was one of the most anticipated MMA fights of all time and ended with Mcgregor as the victor.
Fight I – Diaz Victory by Submission (rear-naked choke).
Fight II – Mcgregor Victory by Decision (majority).
4. Conor Mcgregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
When Conor Mcgregor and Khabib Nurmagamedov met backstage during the UFC 205 card, quarreled, and had to be separated, fans knew that these two were destined to meet for the lightweight strap. In many ways, this was the ultimate UFC matchup of all time. A brash, loud, Irish southpaw with a mean left hand, versus a disciplined and religious wrestler who had mauled every opponent he’d ever faced. The buildup to this fight was steeped in bad blood, and the eventual card was one of the largest PPVs ever.
Fight I – Nurmagomedov Victory by Submission (neck crank).
5. Conor Mcgregor vs. Dustin Poirier
For the last of our Mcgregor rivalries, we have Mcgregor vs Poirier. They first met during Mcgregor’s monumental featherweight title run, where he knocked Poirier out in the first round. The two would meet again twice more at lightweight, where Poirier got his revenge twice in a row. There’s a chance the two could meet in a 4th bout somewhere in the future. Mcgregor is not a fighter who takes a loss well.
Fight I – Mcgregor Victory by TKO (punches).
Fight II – Poirier Victory by TKO (punches).
Fight III – Poirier Victory by TKO (doctor stoppage).
6. Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis
This is a lesser-known rivalry, but one that would carve the path of the lightweight division and give us one of the most iconic kicks of all time. The two of them first faced off in the WEC for the title, and then rematched in the UFC for the belt.
Fight I – Pettis Victory by Decision (unanimous).
Fight II – Pettis by Submission (armbar).
7. Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen
At the time of their first bout, Silva was one of the most devastating talents to ever set foot in the octagon. He was so good that UFC president Dana White didn’t know what to do with him. Eventually, he was tasked to face off against Chael Sonnen. Their eventual rematch was one of the most hyped fights of all time.
Fight I – Silva Victory by Submission (triangle choke).
Fight II – Silva Victory by TKO (knee to the body and punches).
So that was our list of the top 7 UFC rivalries of all time. Learning more about some of the most historic matches throughout the history of the sport can be a great way to get a good understanding of the general UFC spread when it comes to odds and betting. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about some of the most intriguing stylistic matchups across the sport.