The Fights of the Decade

Sniff, sniff. Hard to believe we’re a decade into this young millennium already. I can’t help but get sentimental. I tear up as I reflect on my favorite fighters pounding on each other in the Octagon or the ring. Don’t you?

I now present to you my picks for best MMA fights of the decade.

5. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs Gina Carano (August 15, 2009)

So it was one round and it ended with our hero battered to a pulp. It was still (a) an historic event, as it was the first women’s bout to headline a major MMA promotion and (b) an unbelievably entertaining round. Have you ever seen two fighters land so many clean strikes in such a small amount of time?

4. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II (April 16, 2005)

Hughes’ rematch with mouthy Frank Trigg started ominously after Hughes ate a heavy groin strike unseen by the referee. Trigg almost finished Hughes but couldn’t complete the choke. Hughes escaped and completed one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history and defeated Trigg via rear naked choke. Hard to believe it all happened in one round!

3. Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia (March 3, 2007)

“Not bad for an old man.” Joe Rogan said it best. The fight wasn’t great but Randy’s first-round knockdown of 6’8” Sylvia was a shot heard round the world. The grizzled Greco-Roman wrestling vet owns one of MMA history’s greatest upsets.

2. Fedor Emelianenko vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (August 28, 2005)

Two of the greatest heavyweights of all time, meeting in their prime during PRIDE’S peak? What more could you want?

1. Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar (April 9, 2005)

This fight gets the glory, hands down. Not only was it a phenomenal bout, an epic boxing exhibition in which neither guy relented, it was perhaps MMA’s most significant fight to date. As the Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale, it launched the UFC into mainstream popularity. Dana White and company have never looked back.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

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