10. Don Frye vs Yoshihiro Takayama-The two fighters met at Pride 21 in Japan and the outcome was an absolute slug fest which saw Frye take a TKO victory in round 1 after a huge punch for punch exchange, which took its toll on both fighters, and saw Takayama unable to continue.
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Bob Sapp-The two met at Pride shockwave in 2002. Sapp outweighed Big Nog by more than 150lbs and for the first round he threw Nogueira around the ring, slammed him on his head and landed heavy strikes. In the second round sapp was obviously drained and Nogueira capitalized by submitting the giant with an armbar. Great comeback.
8. Melvin Manhoef vs Evangelista Cyborg Santos-The two men met at Cage Rage 15 in London and from beginning to end the fight was an all out slugfest. Both men landed with huge hooks and uppercuts and the fight could have gone either way. Eventually in round 2 during a big exchange of punches Santos fell to the ground exhausted and rocked and the fight was stopped with both fighters on the ground absolutely drained and Santos still trying to put some ground and pound on Manhoef. It was declared a TKO win for Manhoef.
7.Kazushi Sakuraba vs Ricardo Arona-The two fighters faced off at the Pride MW GP in 2005. The fight was brutal as Sakuraba absorbed huge amounts of punishment. He was swollen and cut beyond recognition and after Arona had landed repeated knees to Sakuraba’s head, while he was on the ground, the fight was stopped by the doctor. TKO victory for Arona in this exciting gorefest.
6. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg 2-The two met at UFC 52 in an explosive 1 round battle. After Hughes was caught with an unnoticed groin shot early on Trigg jumped on him, almost knocking him out and then catching the champ in a rear naked choke. Hughes managed to escape, and after performing a running slam, caught Trigg in the same choke and submitted him to defend his title.
5. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira-The two fighters met at Pride critical countdown 2005 in the middleweight GP. From the outset this fight was destined to be a classic, with Nogueira knocking Shogun down early on, then Shogun mounting a comeback with a superman punch and taking down Nogueira. Shogun scored a knockdown with another superman punch in round 2 and the two men went on to slug it out til the end with Shogun taking the win by decision.
4. Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva-The two veterans met at UFC 79 in Las Vegas. It was an eagerly awaited match which pitted two Pride and UFC veterans, who had never been matched in their long careers, against each other in a stand up battle which won fight of the night award. Both fighters traded heavy punches throughout which saw Chuck dropped and Silva rocked against the cage almost out on his feet. Both fighters showed great power and good chins, Liddell won via decision.
3. Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia-The two faced each other at UFC at UFC 68. Randy was 43 at the time of the fight and a lot of people wrote him off as too old to defeat the champion Tim Sylvia, who had a height and weight advantage on Couture. From the opening bell Randy knocked Sylvia to the mat with a huge punch and then dominated all five rounds with great boxing and ground and pound. As the fight drew to a close a bewildered Sylvia, swollen and battered, looked up to the sky from the mat and wondered what had just happened. Couture had reclaimed the title and sealed his place in MMA history.
2. Forrest Griffin vs Stephen Bonnar-The two men faced off in the finale of TUF 1. The fight was for a contract with the UFC. From the outset it was like a bar room brawl. Both men trading powerful punches which would have seen lesser men out cold. The fight was razor close all the way through with both men swollen and bleeding from the brutal stand up war they were embroiled in. In a fight that echoed the qualities of a Rocky movie the two fighters slugged it out until the end. Forrest took a close decision victory but the drama wasn’t over. Dana White entered the cage and declared both fighters would get a UFC contract. A great end to an incredible classic fight which helped the UFC go mainstream.
1. Fedor Emelianenko vs Mirko Cro Cop-The two men faced off at Pride final conflict in 2005.The fight was hyped a lot especially since Cro Cop had knocked out Fedor’s younger brother Aleksander and then publicly called Fedor out to fight. The two men were the best fighters in the HW division at the time and were in their prime. The opinion on the fight was that if Fedor could get it to the ground then he would have Cro Cop where he wanted him, but if Cro Cop could land his deadly kicks he could be the first to KO Fedor. The fight was closely fought and very exciting. Both men were at their absolute best, with Cro Cop doing all he could to land damaging strikes in the stand up and Fedor taking him down and landing crushing ground and pound. The fight ended with both men exhausted, Fedor with his nose broken and Cro Cop swollen and bruised. After a great fight Fedor was awarded the decision victory.
My list is based on my opinion please don’t get mad if your favorite fight isn’t here.