UFC Rivalries: Revisiting 5 Classic Fights That Defined the Sport

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has given birth to some of the most heated and unforgettable rivalries in the world of mixed martial arts, attracting passionate fans who eagerly follow every move, even betting on outcomes through platforms like FanDuel Sportsbook.

These epic battles transcend mere competition, etching themselves into the fabric of the sport and igniting passions among fans and fighters alike.

Delving into the ferocious face-offs and intense personal duels that have shaped UFC’s history, one can explore the war of words between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to the legendary clashes of Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.

These rivalries showcase the raw emotion, strategic brilliance, and relentless determination that make UFC an unmissable spectacle, embodying the pulsating heart of a sport that never ceases to thrill.

1. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

One of the most thrilling rivalries in UFC history is that between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. Two tremendous encounters between these two boxers, known for their aggressive attitudes and extraordinary skills, left spectators in amazement.

Diaz’s tenacious resiliency and mastery of the ground game defeated McGregor, the dynamic striker. McGregor was defeated by Diaz in their first fight, a surprising upset that rocked the MMA community.

McGregor evened the score in the rematch with a valiant victory by majority decision. Both matches featured heated exchanges, dramatic turns, and a demonstration of sheer will and tenacity.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz’s rivalry is remembered as a spectacular UFC episode that set the standard for contemporary MMA rivalries.

2. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier

The Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier rivalry is more than just a clash of two outstanding fighters – it’s a deeply personal feud filled with animosity and tension. Both Jones and Cormier are considered among the best light heavyweight fighters, and their confrontations inside and outside the octagon have been heated and contentious.

They’ve fought twice, with Jones winning on both occasions, but the rivalry has extended beyond those bouts, marked by public verbal spats and differing philosophies.

Despite the controversies surrounding Jones, his duels with Cormier have been tactical masterclasses, displaying a blend of striking, wrestling, and mental warfare. The Jones vs. Cormier rivalry encapsulates the intense competition and personal stakes that make UFC rivalries so compelling.

3. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz

The rivalry between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, which epitomized a classic clash of both techniques and egos, is a pillar of the early history of the UFC.

A trio of fights between the well-known knockout artist Liddell and the skilled wrestler Ortiz attracted the attention of spectators. Each altercation became a must-watch event due to their real animosity against one another.

In the first two fights, Liddell prevailed and displayed his superior striking abilities. Years later, Ortiz asserted the decisive win, bringing a dramatic end to their conflict.

In addition to providing exciting entertainment, the Liddell vs. Ortiz rivalry was crucial in establishing the UFC’s reputation in the history of mixed martial arts.

4. Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate

The rivalry between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate is one that helped propel women’s MMA into the spotlight.

Their intense competition and contrasting fighting styles created a dynamic and captivating narrative. Rousey, known for her judo prowess, faced off against Tate’s strong wrestling background in two memorable battles.

Rousey’s armbar submissions became a defining aspect of both fights, leading to her victories over Tate. However, Tate’s resilience and determination made these encounters genuinely thrilling and competitive.

The Rousey vs. Tate rivalry not only provided high-level athletic drama but also played a significant role in showcasing the talent and potential of female fighters in the UFC, setting a precedent for the growth and success of women’s mixed martial arts.

5. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen is a rivalry that defined a chapter in UFC’s middleweight history.

Known for his unparalleled striking and fluid movement, Silva faced Sonnen’s aggressive wrestling and relentless trash talk in two unforgettable bouts. In their first encounter, Sonnen dominated for almost five rounds, only for Silva to snatch victory with a last-minute submission.

The rematch saw Silva emerge more decisively, but not without a spirited challenge from Sonnen. This rivalry was marked not only by their contrasting styles inside the octagon but also by the psychological warfare outside of it.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen will always be remembered for its drama, intensity, and the way it captivated fans of mixed martial arts worldwide.


All the fights mentioned above are remarkable examples of the greatness that comes with mixed martial arts sports.

Whether it’s exciting knockouts, punishing submissions, or technical dominance, there is never a dull moment when two fighters enter the octagon.

Perhaps that’s why MMA has become one of the most popular sports in the world. Not only do you get to witness world-class fights between elite athletes, but you also get to enjoy the superior level of entertainment that comes with watching such clashes unfold.

The constant evolution of techniques and strategies employed by the fighters is another draw to fans since every fighter brings something unique into their fight styles and arsenal.

No matter who comes out victorious at the end, one thing is for certain – this sport provides unforgettable moments that we fans will remember for years to come!

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