The UFC has been entertaining us with some lethal match-ups this year with fights such as Poirier VS McGregor, Diaz VS Lawler, Usman VS Masvidal, and many more, all of which have proved to live up to its hype. Out of the many fights that took place this year, these five fights stand out for different reasons and make it to our list of best fights of 2021.
5. Jiri Prochazka vs. Dominick Reyes, UFC Vegas 25
The Light heavyweight division fighter Jiti Porchazka made his arrival a special one with one of the most violent knockouts seen in UFC this year. The fighter from Poland kept his cool and pressurized Dominick Reyes early in the fight and even bloodied Reyes’ face. Things changed quickly in this fight though as Reyes started to land his counter punches which led to some real damage and it looked as if he was about to make a comeback after stunning Prochazka with a huge left. Prochazka then came up with something nobody expected. He unleashed his right elbow which was then followed by a thunderous spinning back elbow which knocked Reyes out cold. This fight also earned him the Fight of the Night and KO of the Night awards.
4. Stipe Miocic VS Francis Ngannou 2, UFC 260
The fight between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou was the biggest baddest rematch the UFC has ever seen. After failing the first time, Francis Ngannou made no mistakes this time out as he knocked Stipe Miocic out cold after just 52 seconds of the second round and was crowned the new undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion.
3. Max Holloway VS Calvin Kattar, UFC FIght Island 7
After losing back-to-back title fights against Alexander Volkanovsko, Max Holloway finally got to winning ways when he fought Calvin Kattar inside the octagon. Max put on an absolute masterclass and set a reminder for every featherweight contender that he is still the best in the division. The Hawaiian native displayed one of his best boxing performances by landing the cleanest of shots on his opponent. What made the fight more interesting is that Max kept this pressure on for the entire 25 minutes. The Highlight of the fight came when Hollaway yelled “I’m the best boxer in the UFC, baby” while looking at the commentator’s booth and avoiding Kattar’s punches at the same time.
2. Tony Ferguson VS Beniel Dariush, UFC 262
Beniel Dariush got one of the most high-profile victories of his career when he went on to defeat Tony Ferguson in what could be called an EPIC battle in the lightweight division. After three rounds of grappling masterclass by Darius, he went on to win the fight with 30-27 scores on all the judges’ cards. After this fight, fans started calling Tony Ferguson a superhuman for what he did inside the octagon. In round two of the fight, Dariush got Ferguson down to the canvas and kept the pressure. Ferguson, who was trying to find his way out, gave up his leg and Dariush was ready to set up a leg lock which he did. It seemed like Dariush did some damage, but Ferguson refused to tap. After the post-fight press conference, Dariush admitted that he could hear a pop sound when he got hold of the leg lock but still El Cucuy did not give up.
1. Kamaru Usman VS Masvidal 2, UFC 261
Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal in their rematch for the Welterweight title in the main event of UFC 261. One of the key reasons behind Usman being so consistent and dominant is because of his tremendous striking ability. He shocked the whole UFC world when he knocked out Masvidal with a big right just over a minute into the second round. Masvidal was gone to sleep as soon as Usman landed his first punch but he followed it up with a few ground and pound punches before the referee could pull him off. This fight wins not only helped him retain his title but also extended his win streak to 18 fight wins in a row.
[Image Credit: Kamaru Usman]