1.) Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald – UFC 189:
There’s not much left to say about this fight other than that it was undoubtedly the most heated, back-and-forth war of 2015, and that’s certainly saying quite a bit.
Following a packed 2013-2014 where he fought seven times in the UFC and capped it off by winning the welterweight title over Johny Hendricks at UFC 181, Lawler returned to the cage following some time off and met his toughest challenge.
The highly touted MacDonald had finally fought his way to a UFC title shot and came to fight, using his length to pepper Lawler with some extremely accurate shots early on Yet while he wasn’t landing with as much volume, Lawler made his shots count more by landing thudding one-two combinations in the second round to bust MacDonald up and create the now iconic image of “The Red King” bleeding profusely from his nose.
But rather than turtle up and accept his fate, MacDonald sucked it up and came back strong badly rocking “Ruthless” with a huge third round head kick that actually hit the champ on the back of the neck. He swarmed with a flurry of punches and elbows, but somehow Lawler survived, turning it up in the later rounds to brutally break MacDonald’s nose with one final devastating straight left in the fifth round.
By the time an exhausted MacDonald collapsed to the canvas as Lawler celebrated his epic win with a badly split lip that was literally hanging off of his face, MMA fans everywhere knew they had just witnessed one of th greatest UFC fights of all-time, and that’s truly something to be thankful for.