Unfortunately we don’t have any UFC action this weekend, but fear not. Let’s revisit Keith Shillan’s top 25 fights in UFC History to get our fix. We’ll countdown through the week until we reach number 1. If you watch all five fights each day, it’s just like watching a main card!
You can visit 21-25 here
#20. Andrei Arlovski vs Travis Browne
May 23rd, 2015
UFC 187: Johnson vs Cormier card
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
This was a matchup between two top 10 ranked heavyweight. Travis Browne was a heavyweight that was getting some buzz and at one time thought of as a true heavyweight title contender, due to his size, power, kicks, and use of elbows.
Andrei Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion, who was in the middle of a career resurgence after return to the UFC after a long layoff.
This fight didn’t last long as the two heavyweights came out swinging.
Arlovski rushes in and lands a straight right. Browne counters with two hard shots to the midsection of the former UFC champ. Arlovski lands the best shot of the fight with a right hand. This backs Browne up, who is visible hurt. Arlovski tries to finish Browne by landing a large series of big shots, about twenty in total. He ends the flurry with a nice knee to Browne’s body.
As they separate, Arlovski rushes in again and lands an overhand right, and several punches to the body, and a big uppercut. Browne is hurt again. Browne creates distance, and shakes off the cobwebs. Browne lands a hard left hook. He attempts to follow up with a right hand, but “the Pitbull” slips by it, and lands a right backfist, that hurts Browne. Arlovski follows up with a furious 4 piece combination, that buckles Browne’s legs. Arlovski goes in for the kill again, and lands another 4 piece combination. He throws a body shot, and lands another overhand right.
Browne backs up to attempt to recover, and Arlovski lands an overhand right. Then the former champion lands another overhand right. Browne is really hurt. Arlovski lands another 4 punch combination, and then follows up with a huge right hand. Arlovski misses a big right hand, but lands another right backfist, that drops Browne. Arlovski hits Browne in the back of the head with a hammer fist, and a uppercut and right hook as Browne is getting back to his feet, As Browne retreats he lands another 4 piece combination.
The best moment of the fight comes as Arlovski unloads a 7 punch combination. As he finishes the combination, Browne lands his own big right hand, and Arlovski is dropped to the canvas, face down. Browne lands to big hammerfists to a hurt Arlovski. He throws another big shot, but slippes, and Arlovski gets on top. He hits Browne with a hammerfist, and lands a big knee as both heavyweights get to their feet.
Arlovski goes in for a kill, landing another 4 punch combination. He lands two short elbows, and a body kick.
Arlovski lands a crushing left hand that rocks Arlovski, and then finishes with a crazy right hand and uppercut. Browne is hurt bad, causing the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Results and Notes:
Andrei Arlovski wins by 1st round TKO.
Mike Goldberg screams, “I think we have a new favorite fight of All- Time”.
This fight will probable be the most one sided fight on the list. Arlovski dominated from almost start to finish. However, Browne almost finished the fight with one shot. This fight didn’t last long, but this opening round was as good as any round in history.
#19. Frankie Edgar vs Gary Maynard
January 1st, 2011
Main Event of UFC 125
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas Nevada
October 8th, 2011
Main Event of 136
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Okay, so I cheated. There is more than 25 fights on my list. I simply couldn’t separate these two fights. They go hand and hand, so I am counting it as one.
These two matchups help form one of the most underrated rivalries in UFC history, and two of the best title fights in history.
Gray Maynard one their first matchup three years earlier, giving Edgar his first career lost. They would meet up again while both guys were at their primes, and Edgar was the lightweight champion.
I am not going bother to recap two fights. Both fights are incredible, and fairly similar. To start both fights, Gray Maynard lived up to his “bully” nickname. He comes out of the gate firing. He lands several big shots on Edgar, who is hurt bad, several times. Edgar is dropped multiple times in the first round in both fights and barely survives. However, in both fights, Edgar shows incredible heart, and rallies back. He uses fast in and out movement to set up his own great shots. In the first fight, they both battle back and forth, and go to a draw. 10 months later, they battle it out, going shot for shot again, but the champion, Edgar digs deep and is able to rally from behind and knock Maynard out in the 4th fight.
Results and Notes:
If you haven’t seen these fights, go watch them. They are crazy good.
After these fights, Edgar went on to have one to have a fantastic career in both the lightweight and featherweight division. However, this appeared to be the high for Maynard. These wars seemed to have took a toll on Maynard, who was never a top contender again.
#18. Georges St. Pierre vs Johny Hendricks
November 16th, 2013
Main Event of UFC 167
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas Nevada
Arguable the greatest fighter in MMA history, in his last fight to date. St. Pierre entered the octagon on a 11 fight UFC winning streak, including defending the UFC welterweight title 9 straight times.
Hendricks, a two time NCAA Divisions 1 wrestling champion, entered the octagon with a 10-1 UFC record, including a 6 fight winning streak.
This was an action packed 25 minute championship fight.
The action immediately starts with St. Pierre ducking a Hendricks left hand, and taking Hendricks down. During a scramble, St. Pierre goes for a guillotine choke, which Hendricks escapes. Both fighters get in a clinch, with both fighters landing knees. The fighters get broken and Hendricks lands a nice uppercut. The champion shoots for single leg takedown, Hendricks lands a series of hard elbows while defending the takedown. Hendricks drops down on St. Pierre’s legs and gets his own takedown. He lands a nice elbow before St. Pierre gets to his feet. On the feet, Hendricks lands a nice step knee to the body. St. Pierre lands his best combination of the round with a jab, leg kick, followed by a high kicks. Both fighters clinch, and exchange knees until broken up. St. Pierre lands a few leg kicks, but Hendricks lands five straight left in the last minute. Very close round, that I gave to Hendricks.
The second round begins with St. Pierre establishing range with leg kicks. Hendricks lands another straight left. St. Pierre responds with a jab and leg kick combination. Hendricks lands an uppercut, while Rush steps in, which hurts the Champion. Hendricks goes in for the kill, landing a right hook, and two hard uppercuts. St. Pierre attempts to move away from Hendricks, but the challenger lands another left lands, and grabs the head and starts to dirty box. Hendricks follows up with another left hand and right hook as they break. Hendricks follows up with a step knee to the body. Hendricks pushes St. Pierre against the cage and lands a hard knee. The fighters get separated and St. Pierre lands a left hook and jab. He follows up with another jab an left hook before the fighters exchange kicks. Hendricks lands a right hook and straight left combination. St. Pierre answers with a straight right but is countered by a right hook. Hendricks lands a straight left and uppercut combination and both fighters clinch until the end of the round. It was a big round for the challenger.
The third round begins and St. Pierre his hit with a Hendricks right hook. St. Pierre moves away and hits a very hard leg kick. Hendricks land another step knee. St. Pierre land as stiff jab followed by a leg kicks. Hendricks responds with his own hard leg kick. St. Pierre responds with a right hook and is then hit by a right hook. Both fighters then hold their ground and exchange big shots. As they step back, St. Pierre lands a straight right and Hendricks responds with a stiff double jab. The champion land a left hook and high kick combination. He follows it up with a right hand and leg kick combination. Hendricks fires back with a left uppercut that lands. However St. Pierre counters with a left to the body and right hand to the head. Hendricks lands a power left hand and the Champion lands a hard leg kick. The Challenger lands a straight left and uppercut and follows it up with a double leg takedown. Hendricks lands Somme ground and pound before St. Pierre scrambles to his feet. The round end and is extremely close that could go either way. I think Hendricks stole the rounds with the late takedown.
The fourth round begins with St. Pierre landing hard leg kicks. Hendricks lands another stiff double jab. St. Pierre lands another hard leg kicks, but is hit with a straight left. The Champion lands a hard jab and left hook, but Hendricks responds with hard left hook. St, Pierre attempts to step back but slips, and Hendricks lands on top of him. Hendricks starts to pepper St. Pierre with punches to the body and head. Hendricks begins to land heavy elbows to St. Pierre’s face, which hurt him. The most surprising move of the entire fight happens when Hendricks lets St. Pierre up. However Hendricks lands a straight left,and then a straight left, uppercut, straight left combination. St. Pierre tries to lands a hard leg kick, but is hit with a right hook. Hendricks follows up with an uppercut. St. Pierre lands a straight right, and shoots in for a takedown, which is stuffed by Hendricks. Hendricks pushes St. Pierre against the cage, as the round ends. This was clearly a Hendricks round.
The final round begins with St, Pierre landing a right hand, and grabbing a single leg. Hendricks bounces on one leg while punching with a free hand. Hendricks gets his leg free, and pushes St. Pierre against the cage. The fighters are broken up and St. Pierre lands a 1-2 combination. St. Pierre is being aggressive and throws a high kicks and straight right which lands, and get a double leg takedown. Hendricks gets up and they both clinch, until the referee breaks the fighters. St. Pierre lands a right hand and a hard body kick. Hendricks lands a straight left. St. Pierre shoots for a takedown and Hendricks legs. Both fighters fight for position, but St. Pierre eventually gets the takedown, but can’t hold position and Hendricks gets up. Hendricks shoots on St. Pierre’s legs, while the fight ends with St. Pierre attempting to get a Kimura submission. The last round was close again. I scored it for St. Pierre.
Results and Notes:
St. Pierre wins a split decision, while Hendricks and his corner seems very shocked. The decision was controversial, but it wasn’t the robbery people pretend it was. Many of the rounds were very close that could have gone either way.
I scored the fight 49-46 for Hendricks but I could see the first, third and fifth round being scored for St. Pierre. The reason people scored the fight for Hendricks so big is because not many people gave him a shot at beating St. Pierre, who entered the house seeming invincible. It also doesn’t hurt, that Hendricks was basically unmarked and St. Pierre was blooded up.
During the post fight interview, St. Pierre announced that he was going to take a leave of absence, and still hasn’t returned to action in over 3 years. Hendricks would win the vacant title over Robbie Lawler in his next fight. However, Hendricks would lose the belt, and hasn’t seemed like the top talent of previous times.
#17. Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva
December 29th, 2007
Co-Main Event of UFC 79
Mandalay Event Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
This is arguable the most anticipated fight in UFC history. It surely is the most talked about. For years, Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva was a dream fight that all the hardcore MMA fans wanted to see. Chuck Liddell was the UFC Light Heavyweight champion for years, while Wanderlei Silva was the Pride FC middleweight (same as Light Heavyweight in the UFC) champion for years during the same time period. The two guys were the faces of their organizations and knockout kings. For years, hardcore fans would talk about how the two fighters would matchup if they ever faced each other.
Not many mega fights live up to its billing. This one did. Unfortunately, these two legends, did not face in their primes. Both fighters were coming off back to back loses, but better late than never.
The action starts off slow in the first round, as both guys have tons of respect for each other. Liddell starts the offense by landing a double jab, while Silva counters with a hard leg kick. Liddell lands a right hand that appears to have hurt Silva. Silva backs up towards the cage, and Liddell moves in for the kill. Silva lands a hard left hook as Liddell moves in for the kill. Liddell lands a right hand, and then both fighters sit down on their punches and exchange bombs at each other, with Liddell getting the better of the exchange. As the break, Lidell lands a right high kick. As they settle back in the middle of the cage, Liddell lands a right hand. He follows it up with a solid 1-2 combination. Silva lands a hard leg kicks and then both fighters exchange bombs again. Silva lands a hard left hook, and Liddell lands a straight right, and a push kick. Silva lands a hard leg kick, but Liddell responds and lands a nice 1-2 combination again. The two fighters then exchange bombs for a 3rd time. The fighters break and Liddell hits a 1-2 combination and Silva counters with a hard left hook. Liddell lands a 1-2 combination again, and then a stiff jab. Liddell slips a counter left hook from Silva and lands two right hands. Silva lands a hard left hook, while Liddell lands a straight right hand as the round end. Liddell wins the round.
The second round begins, and Silva lands a hard left hook, and then both fighters start exchanging big shots. They back up and Silva lands a straight right hand. Liddell counter with his own straight right, an then a second one that cuts Silva. Liddell lands a third straight right. Silva counters with a 1-2 counter, and then lands another 1-2 combination. Liddell lands a straight left, but Silva counters with his own straight right. Silva lands two hard kicks to the body and then lands another straight right. Liddell lands a straight right, and Silva lands another body kick. Silva counters a kick from Liddell with a striaght right that drops Liddell, who pops back up to his feet immediately. Silva rushed Liddell and lands a left hook. He follows it up with a 1-2 combination. Liddell counters with two straight right hands. Liddell then trips over Silva’s foot, but pops us fast. Liddell lands a 1-2 combination, and Silva lands a left hook. Liddell initiates the clinch and lands a hard elbow that hurts Silva. Liddell lands a hard left hook that blooded up Silva. Liddell folllows up with another hard elbow and then a 1-2 combination. This causes both fighters to start throwing bombs. Liddell steps back and lands a clean 1-2 combination and they both start throwing bombs at each other again. Liddell lands an elbow on Silva and then lands a big 4 punch flurry on Silva, The Iceman lands two straight rights, which hurts Silva bad. Liddell lands another right hand and then unloaded a 6 punch combination and follows with a takedown as the round ends. The crowd is going crazy. Close round, but Liddell wins it again.
The third round begins and Liddell lands a double leg takedown, however Silva quickly pushes him off. Silva lands a left hook, which Liddell counters with a straight right. Liddell lands a hard overhand right, and then follows it up with a left hook and a 1-2 combination. Silva counters with a left hook, but Liddell is starting to really win the exchanges. Liddell lands a hard jab and then follows up with another 1-2 combination. Liddell lands a spinning backfist that hurts Silva. Liddell follows with a 1-2 combination that really hurts Silva. Liddell goes in for the kill and lands a straight right hand. Both fighters start throwing bombs, but Liddell gets the best of it. Liddell has Silva hurt and starts to unload a huge arsenal of strikes. He lands at least 8 unanswered shots. Liddell resets and lands a jab. However, the big flurry seems to have the Iceman gassed out. Silva lands a stiff jab. Liddell lands an overhand right that hurts Silva again. He then lands 4 unanswered shots before Silva can counter with a right hand. Liddell lands a right hand, and Silva lands a left hook. The round is coming to an end and Liddell lands a straight right and a left hook. Liddell lands another left hook, and then finishes the round the fight with another takedown. Big round for Liddell.
Results and Notes:
Chuck Liddell wins unanimous decision. Sadly, this was the last win of Liddell’s career. He would lose his next three fights, all by KO and retire. However, when the All-Time rankings are debated, Liddell gets to flaunt a win over Silva
Silva has an up and down career after this point. He no longer fights in the UFC and is currently signed by Rizin.
If you weren’t a fan of MMA at this time, you wouldn’t understand how big this fight was. This fight was huge.
#16. Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan
August 17th, 2006
Main Event of UFC Fight Night 6
Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
This fight puts young stars against each other in the primes of their career. Diego Sanchez enters the contest as the first Ultimate Fighter winner with a perfect 15-0 record, against Karo Parisyan, who was 6-1 in the UFC and was scheduled to fight for the title, until he had to withdraw due to an injury. Mike Goldberg kept selling this fight as a #1 contender matchup, though the winner didn’t get a title shot.
Sadly, this fight isn’t ranked on many people’s list as a top fight, because of some much action on the ground. However, these two guys displayed how great a fight can be between to top ground fighters.
The fight begins with immediate action. Sanchez opens up with a hard 1-2 combination, and then lands a right uppercut. As Parisyan attempts to counter, Sanchez times a nice double leg takedown, and immediately scrambles to mount position. Parisyan gives up his back and Sanchez begins to lay down hard shots from behind, while sliding in the body triangle with his legs. From there, he starts laying down even bigger shots. Somehow, Parisyan just stands up with Sanchez on his back, wiggling him off and lands a big right hand of his own as they break. Parisyan shoots a double leg takedown and takes down the Ultimate Fighter winner. Sanchez scrambles to his feet and lands a knee, before being taking down again by another double leg takedown. Parisan starts to land good shots from on top, including a big elbow. Sanchez creates some space and lands an upkick, before Parisyan lands another big shot. The Armenian fighter attempts at another big elbow, which Sanchez slides by, and uses the miss to reverse positions and take Parisyan’s back. Parisyan gets up and lands a spinning back fist. Parisyan initiates the clinch and lands a crazy Judo throw, that tosses both guys in the air. Sanchez legs go over his head, as he lands on his back with Parisyan on top. Sanchez works his way to the feet again, and lands a big right hand. Parisyan initiates the clinch again, and lands another crazy Judo throw that was similar to the first. Parisyan lands some ground and pound before Sanchez gets up and they both fire bombs at each other. Parisyan lands a hard 3 punch combination before both fighters throw bombs at each other again before the round ends. Extremely close round that could go either way.
The second round begins and Parisyan comes out the aggressor. He lands a stiff 1-2 combination, while Sanchez lands to right hands of his own. Parisyan lands ahead kick while Sanchez responds with another right hand. Parisyan lands threw right hands before shooting in for a double leg takedown and finishing with a huge slam. Sanchez elevates Parisyan from bottom and rolls to a knee bar. Parisyan slips out and both fighters are back on their feet. Parisyan lands another double leg takedown, but Sanchez quickly works back to his feet. Sanchez lands a hard uppercut followed by a straight right. Sanchez lands another straight right, and Parisyan attempts to counter with a Judo throw, which he misses, giving Sanchez his back. Sanchez trips Parisyan down, who quickly gets back up. While getting up, Sanchez hits him with two knees. Parisyan goes for another Judo throw, sending both guys flying, but both roll through and get back on their feet without anybody gaining an positional advantage. Parisyan hits another double, while Sanchez rolls underneath for a knee bar. Parisyan lands some ground and pound as Sanchez works to his knees. Sanchez lands a very slick sit through and takes the Heat’s back as the round ends. Another close round that could go either way. I gave it to Parisyan.
The third round starts with both guys exchanges bombs. Parisyan grabs the clinch and lands a short right hand, before Sanchez lands an uppercut. They break and Parisyan lands a step knee and two straight right hands. They clinch again and Sanchez lands two uppercuts in the clinch. Parisyan lands a 1-2 combination, followed by a double leg takedown. Parisyan starts landing some ground and pound, before Sanchez lands a switch and gets on top after his own double leg takedown. Sanchez gets Parisyan’s back and locks in a rear naked choke that looks tight. Parisyan wiggles out of it, but gives up the mount position. Sanchez lands some hard hard ground and pound. Parisyan scrambles free and gets to his feet. He gets int he clinch, where Sanchez lands a right. Parisyan starts to rally by landing 4 right hooks, before Sanchez rallies back with 4 uppercuts. Both fighters break and start throwing bombs at each other again. They clinch up, and Sanchez lands a knee to Parisyan’s head. Parisyan attempts another Judo throw, but this time Sanchez lands on top. Sanches finishes the round with some very heavy ground and pound. Sanchez wins the round.
Very close fight that could be scored for either fighter.
Results and Notes:
Diego Sanchez wins a unanimous decision, though the fight was razer close and can go either way. Of those that submitted their scores to MMAdecisions, it was split 50/50.
Sanchez went on to have a long UFC career, and competed in some of the greatest fights in MMA history. Perhaps, we will see him on this list more.
Parisyan career would take a talespin due to his long battle with painkillers. Sadly, his career will go down as one of the most wasted potential of All-Time. However, when Parisyan was on the top of his game, he had some classic battles. Perhaps, we will see him on this list more too.
Check back tomorrow for 11-15!