UFC fight fans have been treated with some epic fights in 2021. We look at the top five fights of the year, which includes a variety of criteria.
We have considered fights that got the crowd on their feet with an incredible knockout or two fighters going to war.
5. UFC 264: Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier
It wasn’t the best fight of the year, but it created one of the biggest and most talked about moments.
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier ran it back for the third time and it was Poirier who dominated the biggest name in MMA.
It was the first featherweight fight to headline a card since UFC 178 and it didn’t disappoint.
McGregor started strong by landing 27/38 significant strikes, but the opening round would end in stunning fashion.
It’s safe to say McGregor wasn’t happy after the fight.
“This is not over! If I have to take this outside with him, I’ll go outside,” reported CNN.
The Irishman’s leg gave out, which resulted in his lower tibia snapping. It was a gruesome and unfortunate way to end the trilogy, but it made for great TV and it was one of the most talked about moments.
4. UFC 267: Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen
UFC purests loved Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen, which was an absolute slugfest at UFC 267.
The sportsbook took plenty of money for Yan, who was the better-prepared fighter after Sandhagen took the fight on short notice.
However, it didn’t stop Sandhagen from pushing Yan to his limits. Sandhagen threw an incredible 449 punches over five rounds, including one takedown.
Yan threw 280, but landed 56.4%. He was deadly with his significant strikes and the judges awarded Yan the decision victory.
Not every classic has to end with a stoppage and Yan vs Sandhagen was easily one of the most entertaining fights in 2021.
3. UFC 266: Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega
We couldn’t produce a top five list without adding Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega.
The UFC 266 main event was expected to be an instant classic and it didn’t disappoint. Australian Volkanovski was the betting online favorite, but everyone was aware of the danger Ortega presented.
The five-round classic made our list because of Ortega’s submission attempt, which looked locked in. Most UFC fans assumed Volkanovski would tap to the pressure, but he somehow wriggled out and started laying into Ortega.
With 60.7% of his strikes landing (229/377), Volkanovski scored an easy decision victory. However, the near submission is what made his victory stand out as one of the best fights of the year.
2. UFC 268: Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler
When the likes of Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler are involved in a fight, you can almost guarantee it will win Fight of the Night honors.
Even though it’s another fight that didn’t end in a knockout, the first two rounds were pure joy for UFC fans.
They traded huge blows in the opening round and Chandler rocked Gaethje, but as he always does, Gaethje returned fire.
He sent Chandler to the canvas in the second and never looked back, landing 63.4% of his significant strikes.
The third round slowed down, but the first 10 minutes made Gaethje vs Chandler a Fight of the Year contender.
1. UFC 269: Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier
It happened a couple of weeks ago, and Oliveira vs Poirier was the best fight of the year.
Oliveira had little respect in betting markets and Poirier was at the top of most UFC best bets list, but no one told Oliveira.
The Brazilian landed 62.4% of his strikes and forced Poirier out of his comfort zone. The American threw only 105 punches before being submitted in the third round.
Even though there were better fights in 2021, the moment of Oliveira retaining his lightweight belt was one that will live forever.