There are some impressively stacked events on the horizon in 2016, with both UFC 198 and UFC 200 in particular appearing to be up there with the best line-ups we’ve seen in the modern era of the sport.
The only way to really get a true sense for how these events stack up though is to take a trip down memory lane and look back at the most impressive fight cards that Dana White and Co. have assembled over the years since Zuffa first took the reigns at UFC 30 in early 2001.
Of course any list like this is going to be subjective, but it’s also worth setting a few ground-rules before we begin.
First off, it’s important to stress that this we’re not looking for what proved to be the best, most entertaining UFC events here. We’re specifically focusing on the quality of the line-ups, even if the fights didn’t prove to be as enjoyable on the night as they looked on paper.
However, we will be using the benefit of hindsight to add emphasis to cards that featured future champions / stars of the sport, even if they weren’t as well known at the time.
Of course major fights at the top of the card will be an important factor, particularly if there’s a title involved. Two big fights with little to support them underneath is not enough though. A truly stacked event should ideally have a strong selection of bouts from start to finish though – the more star-studded, the better – and a robust set of prelims will be looked upon favorably.
So, without further ado, let’s begin our chronological journey through the most stacked shows in UFC history, and as we’ll quickly discover, with far fewer shows and a smaller, more focused roster to contend with, the early years of the Zuffa era delivered some of the best cards we’ve ever seen.