No.4: Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva
Michael Bisping appeared to be able to do no wrong in 2016 and it all began with landing a dream fight against former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his native England at UFC Fight Night 84 in February.
To be fair, while Bisping had been pursuing a fight with Silva for years, it finally came at a time when the Brazilian superstar appeared to be past his best, having lost two fights in a row against Chris Weidman and then had a win over Nick Diaz amended to a no-contest after testing positive for steroids.
Still, as arguably the greatest fighter of all time in his prime, Silva was still the favorite to stop the Brit in his own backyard.
Bisping had other plans though, and he got the better of the 40 year-old Silva in the opening rounds, and even managed to drop him with a combination in the second.
Then came a moment of high drama and controversy late in the third round when Bisping became distracted telling the referee that he’d lost his mouthpiece, leading to Silva connecting with a flying knee to the face that slumped him to the mat.
Silva reeled off to celebrate, but the referee ruled that the bell had sounded just as he was connecting with the strike, and due the fact that Bisping was still conscious that meant that the fight wasn’t over.
Bisping then dug deep and rallied in the remaining rounds to emerge with a memorable upset victory on the scorecards that would pave the way for a title shot a few months later.