15 Best UFC Cards of All Time (2024)

Step into the octagon and prepare to be mesmerized as we embark on a journey through the annals of mixed martial arts history.

In this article, we meticulously dissect and analyze the 15 best UFC cards of all time, meticulously curated to showcase the pinnacle of skill, passion, and raw intensity.

From iconic matchups that left audiences breathless to historic main events that pushed the boundaries of human capability, join us as we celebrate the unparalleled brilliance that has solidified the UFC's unrivaled status as the epitome of combat sports excellence.

Key Takeaways

  • The quality of fights and production has significantly improved in the last 15 years, making modern UFC cards stand out.
  • While many fans have nostalgia for earlier cards, modern cards have broken UFC records and offer improved fight quality and production.
  • Modern cards have gained increased popularity and mainstream coverage.
  • Some notable UFC cards include UFC 40: Vendetta, UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir 2, UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor, and UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor.

UFC 40: Vendetta

UFC 40: Vendetta marked a turning point in the sport, as the event showcased the emergence of a new generation of fighters and set the stage for the future of MMA.

This card, held on November 22, 2002, had a significant impact on the sport due to its incredible showcase of talent. With two title fights and a total of eight finishes in eight fights, including six first-round finishes, UFC 40 delivered some of the greatest finishes in MMA history.

Fans were treated to thrilling matchups and unforgettable moments that left a lasting impression. This event solidified the UFC's position as a premier organization and demonstrated the potential for future growth and success in the sport.

UFC 40: Vendetta will always be remembered as a pivotal moment in the history of MMA.

UFC 100: Lesnar Vs. Mir 2

Regarded as one of the most highly anticipated events in UFC history, UFC 100: Lesnar Vs. Mir 2 showcased the talents of top fighters and captivated audiences worldwide. Taking place on July 11, 2009, this event drew a massive PPV buy rate of 1,600,000 and had an attendance of 10,871. Headlined by the rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship, UFC 100 featured a stacked card with two title fights and a total of five finishes in eleven fights.

Here is a table highlighting the top moments and fight analysis from UFC 100: Lesnar Vs. Mir 2:

Top MomentsFight Analysis
Lesnar TKO's MirLesnar's dominant performance showcased his superior wrestling skills and brute strength. He overwhelmed Mir with ground and pound, ultimately securing a TKO victory in the second round.
GSP Dominates AlvesGeorges St-Pierre put on a masterclass performance against Thiago Alves, utilizing his superior striking and wrestling to control the fight and secure a unanimous decision victory.
Henderson's H-BombDan Henderson's iconic right hand, known as the "H-Bomb," landed flush on Michael Bisping's chin, knocking him out cold in one of the most memorable knockouts in UFC history.

UFC 100 will forever be remembered as a landmark event in the history of the UFC, delivering unforgettable moments and showcasing the highest level of mixed martial arts competition.

UFC 139: Shogun Vs. Henderson

Taking place on November 19, 2011, the historic event of UFC 139: Shogun Vs. Henderson showcased an unforgettable clash between two legendary fighters. While this card did not feature any title fights, it more than made up for it with a lineup of highly competitive matchups.

UFC 139 delivered several Fight of the Year candidates and memorable knockouts that left fans in awe. The main event between Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua and Dan Henderson was an absolute war, with both fighters displaying incredible heart and resilience. The fight went the distance, culminating in a unanimous decision victory for Henderson.

Additionally, the card featured thrilling bouts such as Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le and Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles.

UFC 139 will forever be remembered as one of the most action-packed and entertaining events in UFC history.

UFC 146: Dos Santos Vs. Mir

While not featuring the same level of anticipation as some other cards, UFC 146: Dos Santos Vs. Mir proved to be an explosive and entertaining event. Taking place on May 26, 2012, this card showcased a highly anticipated heavyweight title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir.

Dos Santos, known for his knockout power, was the reigning champion and one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. Mir, a former champion himself, possessed a dangerous ground game. The clash of styles made for an intriguing matchup.

In the end, Dos Santos showcased his superior striking skills, overwhelming Mir with a relentless barrage of punches and securing a second-round TKO victory. This fight solidified Dos Santos as one of the best heavyweight title fights in UFC history.

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UFC 189: Mendes Vs. Mcgregor

During the highly anticipated event of UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor, held on July 11, 2015, fight fans witnessed a clash of titans that exceeded all expectations. This card showcased the rise to stardom of Conor McGregor, who was on a path to becoming one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport. McGregor's charisma, confidence, and trash talk had already captured the attention of fans, but it was his performance in the octagon that truly solidified his status as a top contender. Facing off against Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title, McGregor showcased his striking prowess and resilience, ultimately winning the fight via TKO in the second round. This victory propelled him to the full featherweight title and catapulted him into superstardom. The impact of McGregor's trash talk cannot be understated, as it played a significant role in building up the hype and excitement surrounding the fight, drawing in fans from all over the world. This event serves as a prime example of the power of effective promotion and the impact it can have on the success of a UFC card.

Discussion Idea 1: McGregor's rise to stardomDiscussion Idea 2: Impact of trash talk on fight promotion
Conor McGregor's meteoric rise to stardom was evident during UFC 189.McGregor's charismatic personality and trash talk played a significant role in promoting the fight.
McGregor's skill, confidence, and charisma captivated fans and turned him into a global phenomenon.The trash talk between McGregor and Mendes created a buzz and drew in fans from all over the world.
McGregor's victory over Mendes solidified his status as a top contender in the featherweight division.The trash talk added an extra layer of excitement and anticipation, making the fight even more enticing for fans.
McGregor's rise to stardom continued after UFC 189, as he went on to become a two-division champion and one of the biggest stars in combat sports history.The success of UFC 189 demonstrated the power of effective promotion and the impact it can have on the overall success of a card.
McGregor's rise to stardom serves as an inspiration for aspiring fighters and a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and self-belief.The impact of trash talk on fight promotion cannot be understated, as it has the ability to generate hype, increase viewership, and create memorable moments in the sport.

UFC 199: Rockhold Vs. Bisping 2

Notably, UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 showcased an astonishing turn of events that left fans in awe. This event, held on June 4, 2016, not only featured two title fights but also delivered some of the best fights in UFC history.

The main event saw a stunning upset as Michael Bisping, stepping in on short notice, knocked out Luke Rockhold to become the middleweight champion.

Additionally, the co-main event between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber showcased their long-standing rivalry and ended with Cruz successfully defending his bantamweight title.

Another notable fight on the card was Max Holloway's impressive victory over Ricardo Lamas.

With its thrilling matchups and unexpected outcomes, UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 undoubtedly solidified its place as one of the best UFC cards of all time.

UFC 202: Diaz Vs. Mcgregor 2

The intensity of the rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor at UFC 202 showcased the resilience and determination of both fighters. Taking place on August 20, 2016, in front of a crowd of 15,539, the event did not feature any title fights but had several notable matchups including Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira and Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story.

The significance of this rematch cannot be overstated, as it had a profound impact on the careers of both Diaz and McGregor. After suffering a submission loss in their first encounter, McGregor was able to secure a hard-fought majority decision victory in the rematch, solidifying his status as one of the UFC's biggest stars. The fight also established Diaz as a fan favorite and further elevated his reputation as a tough and resilient fighter.

UFC 205: Alvarez Vs. Mcgregor

Surprisingly, UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor showcased an unprecedented level of excitement and anticipation. This historic event, held on November 12, 2016, had a record-breaking attendance of 20,427 and featured three title fights.

Here is an analysis of McGregor's impact on the UFC and MMA community, as well as a comparison of Alvarez and McGregor's fighting styles:

  1. McGregor's Impact:
  • McGregor's star power and charismatic personality drew massive attention to the event, elevating it to legendary status.
  • His trash talk and promotional skills helped generate hype, making it one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history.
  • McGregor's success in multiple weight classes solidified his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
  1. Alvarez vs. McGregor's Fighting Styles:
  • Alvarez, known for his aggressive boxing and wrestling skills, aimed to utilize his experience and physicality against McGregor.
  • McGregor, a precision striker with devastating knockout power, relied on his movement and counterpunching abilities to dismantle his opponents.
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UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor was a monumental event that showcased McGregor's impact on the sport and highlighted the contrasting fighting styles of Alvarez and McGregor.

UFC 217: Bisping Vs. St-Pierre

UFC 217: Bisping Vs. St-Pierre showcased a highly anticipated clash between two legendary fighters in the middleweight division. The event took place on November 4, 2017, and featured three title fights, making it a standout card in UFC history.

The main event saw Michael Bisping defending his middleweight title against Georges St-Pierre, who was making his highly anticipated return to the Octagon after a four-year hiatus. St-Pierre displayed his exceptional skills and ultimately submitted Bisping in the third round, becoming the new middleweight champion.

Additionally, the card featured other notable title fights, including Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the bantamweight title and Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas for the strawweight title.

The combination of these high-stakes matchups and the impressive performances delivered by the fighters make UFC 217: Bisping Vs. St-Pierre one of the best UFC title fights of all time.

UFC 218: Holloway Vs. Aldo 2

However, fans were eagerly anticipating the rematch between Max Holloway and Jose Aldo at UFC 218. This event, which took place on December 2, 2017, showcased the skills and legacies of these two fighters.

Here are some discussion ideas about UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2:

  1. Fighter legacies: Max Holloway's rise to dominance and his rivalry with Jose Aldo. Holloway had established himself as the Featherweight champion and was looking to solidify his position by defeating Aldo once again. On the other hand, Aldo, a former champion himself, aimed to reclaim the title and prove that Holloway's victory in their first encounter was just a fluke.
  2. Rematches in MMA: The significance and impact of rematches in the UFC, focusing on the Holloway vs. Aldo rematch. Rematches often provide fighters with an opportunity to correct their mistakes or prove their superiority. In this case, the rematch between Holloway and Aldo allowed both fighters to showcase their growth and evolution as athletes, while also adding another chapter to their ongoing rivalry.

UFC 229: Khabib Vs. Mcgregor

The highly anticipated clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor at UFC 229 showcased the remarkable skills and intense rivalry between these two fighters. Taking place on October 6, 2018, this event drew a massive audience, with 2.4 million pay-per-view buys and an attendance of 20,034.

While only featuring one title fight, UFC 229 delivered an unforgettable card with several notable matchups. Tony Ferguson faced Anthony Pettis in a thrilling battle, while Dominick Reyes took on Ovince Saint Preux in a light heavyweight bout.

Looking ahead to the 2024 UFC card predictions, it is difficult to imagine a card surpassing the hype and excitement generated by UFC 229. However, with the ever-evolving nature of the sport, it is possible that future events may surprise us with even more thrilling matchups and epic rivalries.

UFC 245: Usman Vs. Covington

Featuring a highly anticipated clash between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Colby Covington, UFC 245 delivered a memorable night of action-packed fights. This card showcased the best of what the UFC has to offer, and it solidified its place among the best UFC cards of all time.

Here are four reasons why UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington deserves its spot on that list:

  1. Epic Main Event: Usman and Covington put on a five-round war that showcased their incredible skills and determination. It was a back-and-forth battle that had fans on the edge of their seats.
  2. Stellar Co-Main Event: The featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski was a technical masterpiece. It was a true display of high-level mixed martial arts and ended with Volkanovski dethroning Holloway.
  3. Two More Title Fights: UFC 245 also featured two other title fights, with Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against Germaine de Randamie and Petr Yan taking on Urijah Faber for the vacant bantamweight title. Both fights provided excitement and showcased the depth of talent in the UFC.
  4. Memorable Undercard: The undercard of UFC 245 was stacked with exciting fights, including a thrilling performance by Geoff Neal and an impressive knockout by Irene Aldana. It was a night filled with finishes and memorable moments.

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington truly had it all – intense rivalries, high-stakes title fights, and a lineup of talented fighters. It was a card that exemplified the best of the UFC and solidified its place among the best UFC cards of all time.

UFC 236: Holloway Vs. Poirier 2

UFC 236: Holloway Vs. Poirier 2 was an electrifying event that showcased the immense talent and heart of the fighters involved. The card featured two interim title fights and saw a total of 7 finishes in 13 fights, adding to the excitement and intensity of the night.

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One of the standout fights of the evening was the main event between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier, which was awarded 'Fight of the Night'. This thrilling rematch proved the importance of rematches in the sport, as both fighters put on a spectacular performance, displaying their skills and determination.

The event not only delivered on the promise of high-level competition, but it also demonstrated the significance of a second chance for fighters to prove themselves and settle the score.

UFC Card (TBD)

One of the most highly anticipated events in the world of mixed martial arts is an upcoming UFC card, yet to be announced. While the details of this card remain unknown, there are several factors that can contribute to its success and make it a memorable event for fans.

Here are some elements that could potentially elevate this UFC card to legendary status:

  1. Top rated commentators: Having experienced and knowledgeable commentators can greatly enhance the viewing experience. Their analysis, insights, and storytelling abilities can add depth and context to the fights, making them more engaging for the audience.
  2. Memorable entrances and walkouts: The walkouts of fighters can create a sense of anticipation and excitement. From elaborate productions to unique music choices, these entrances can leave a lasting impression and set the tone for the fights to come.
  3. Stellar matchups: A stacked card with high-profile fights between skilled athletes can captivate fans and generate buzz for the event. Each matchup should showcase the fighters' unique styles and skills, creating a compelling narrative for the audience to follow.
  4. Unexpected moments: Unforeseen twists and turns in the fights can make an event truly unforgettable. Whether it's an underdog scoring an upset victory or a back-and-forth battle that goes the distance, these unexpected moments can leave a lasting impact on the audience and solidify the card's place in history.

As we await the announcement of this mysterious UFC card, fans can only hope that it will deliver on these elements and become another unforgettable event in the sport's rich history.

UFC Card (TBD)

To be determined, the upcoming UFC card promises to deliver a thrilling lineup of fights that will captivate fans worldwide. With the history of top UFC cards that exceeded expectations and the most memorable fights in UFC history, there is a high standard for this event to live up to.

The anticipation for this card is palpable, as fans eagerly await the announcement of the fighters and matchups that will grace the octagon. Will this card feature a highly anticipated title fight that will go down in the annals of UFC history? Or perhaps it will showcase an underdog story that leaves fans in awe?

Whatever the case may be, this upcoming UFC card has the potential to join the ranks of the all-time greats and leave an indelible mark on the sport of mixed martial arts.

Who Are the Surprise Inclusions on the 15 Best UFC Cards of All Time?

Who are the surprise inclusions on the 15 Best UFC Cards of All Time? From thrilling fights to unexpected matchups, these cards have seen some remarkable moments. As fans tune in to watch, they rely on the expertise of the best ufc commentators of all time to deliver unparalleled insights and analysis. Their commentary enhances the viewing experience, making every fight even more unforgettable.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the UFC has delivered some truly remarkable cards throughout its history, showcasing the best fighters in the world and providing fans with unforgettable moments.

These cards have not only evolved in terms of fight quality and production but have also broken records and garnered widespread popularity.

As we continue to witness the growth and success of the UFC, it is important to appreciate the nostalgia of earlier cards while also celebrating the modern achievements that solidify its status as the pinnacle of mixed martial arts.

Mike Williams
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