5 of the best (and worst) rematches in UFC history

Counting down the best and worst rematches in UFC history.

Rematches in MMA can be a fickle beast. Some rematches are booked to capture the excitement of the first fight. Some are booked because the first fight was so close that a second fight feels necessary to settle the score. Some rematches are better than the first fight, some worse.

The UFC has a long history of booking some of the sport’s biggest rematches involving the sport’s biggest stars. In some cases, the rematch is a home run, producing an incredibly compelling fight. In other cases, though, the UFC has struck out, booking rematches that result in boring or predictable results.

 (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

BEST: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 202

After Nate Diaz shocked the world to upset Conor McGregor on short notice, the rematch between Diaz and McGregor seemed all but inevitable. Like their first encounter, the rematch came with a war of words between two of the sport’s best trash talkers, with McGregor exuding his typical confidence and Diaz flaunting his street-tough persona.

The fight delivered 25 minutes of tense action and swings in momentum. Similar to their first fight, McGregor found ample success early, tagging and even dropping Diaz with punches. But also like the first fight, Diaz survived the early onslaught and appeared to be turning the tides as McGregor tired. However, this time, McGregor displayed uncharacteristic patience and restraint, refusing to fall into Diaz’s exhausting game. In the end, McGregor walked away with a razor-thin majority decision, causing fans to call for what would be a massive rubber match if it is ever booked.

Worst: Vitor Belfort vs. Rany Couture at UFC 46

Sometimes a rematch is a flop through no fault of the fighters. That’s what happened when Vitor Belfort challenged then-champion Randy Couture for the UFC light heavyweight title in January of 2004. Seven years prior, at UFC 15, Couture turned in a phenomenal performance against Belfort, stunning the young and undefeated fighter with a steady stream of takedowns and ground and pound.

In the time between their first and second fights, both Couture and Belfort developed immensely as fighters, and their rematch at UFC 46 was one of the most anticipated fights of the year.

Just seconds into the fight, Couture pressed forward with a flurry, pinning Belfort to the cage. Although it didn’t appear that Belfort had connected with anything meaningful, Couture was immediately squinting. Moments later, referee John McCarthy stopped the action, only to find that Couture’s eyelid had been cut open by a grazing blow, prompting the doctor’s stoppage.

“What a letdown,” said commentator Joe Rogan, perfectly summing up the situation.

Published at Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:39:06 +0000

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