The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) always likes to end their year with a bang. It seems like every year-ending pay-per-view (PPV) put on by the world leader in mixed martial arts (MMA) is stacked. So much so that you’ll have to go back to UFC 141 in 2011 to find the last UFC PPV that ended the year without a title fight.
The final UFC event of 2016 will keep the streak going unless a last minute incident ruins those plans. Current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title for the first time against former 135-pound queen Ronda Rousey. It’ll be the fifth straight year-ending UFC PPV to close with a title bout.
LowKickMMA.com has a list of the top five UFC PPVs that ended the year in exciting fashion.
Let’s hop into it.
5. UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor
The final PPV card of 2015 had a ton of hype surrounding it. UFC 194 was headlined by a featherweight title bout between champion Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. The two were initially set to meet at UFC 189, but Aldo pulled out with an injury. “Notorious” knocked out Chad Mendes on the PPV to capture the interim 145-pound title.
McGregor blasted Aldo countless times going into the fight, even going as far as saying, “I love you like my bitch.” In one of the most shocking title finishes in the history of the sport, McGregor slept Aldo in just 13 seconds with a left punch.
The co-main event featured a middleweight title bout between champion Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. Weidman had successfully defended his title against Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Vitor Belfort. Rockhold earned his shot by winning four straight bouts.
Weidman’s fate was all but sealed in the third round when he threw a sloppy wheel kick that allowed Rockhold to take him to the ground. The champion had no answer for Rockhold’s ground assault and Weidman was a bloody mess at the end of the round. The challenger picked up where he left off in the fourth round and finished Weidman to become the new 185-pound kingpin.
Here are the rest of the results:
Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)