Five MMA megafights that lived up to the hype

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

April 1st, 2020

On any given night, an MMA fight can become legendary, but there’s something incredibly satisfying when the buildup and payoff are both incredible.

Unlike boxing, great fighters seek each other in the octagon and great fights are usually the result. These five fights had a tremendous build and backstory, but exceeded expectations when it came time for the action.

These are five megafights that lived up to the hype.

Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz II

The rivalry between two of the UFCs hottest fighters resulted in one of the most anticipated fights of the promotion’s history. In the midst of his legendary title run, Liddell faced off against a surging Ortiz when the two were at the top of their game.

Tensions ran high, but Liddell’s heavy hands ended the affair in the third round of the most lucrative pay-per-view event in UFC history to that point.

Georges St-Pierre vs. B.J. Penn II

When a fight is billed as “An Epic Battle of Champions,” there’s no way it would fly under the radar. The second fight between St-Pierre and Penn was the first time two reigning champions faced off in the octagon, and it delivered.

With the controversial ending of their first fight fueling the fire, the two fought on even terms until GSP turned the corner and battered Penn to force a corner stoppage.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

Sonnen told everyone who’d listen that he'd end Silva’s run with the middleweight title, and he almost did it.

The brash Sonnen brought as much fight as hype during the duo’s incredible first bout. He dominated Silva and appeared on his way to an incredible upset. But with the bout seemingly out of his hands, Silva miraculously applied a triangle choke to score a submission and retain his title.

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

The war between Jones and Gustafsson is, without question, the greatest light heavyweight fight of all time. Gustafsson was riding a six-fight win streak, and the two brought out the best in each other. It was a beautiful exhibition of violence and brutality.

Jones outlasted Gustafsson, who tired late, to secure a narrow points win.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović

Taking place at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, the battle between "The Last Emperor" and "Cro Cop" had the entire MMA world buzzing before and after the clash.

The two titans of the heavyweight division viciously pounded each other in a dazzling bout that featured hard hits and high drama in every round. Although he took a horrific beating early, Emelianenko made the adjustments he neeted to turn the tables and score a tight decision win.

Many consider it to be the greatest MMA fight of all time.