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UFC: Top 5 Fights Of The Year 2021

Alexander Volkanovski VS Brian Ortega
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship wraps up another successful year with brilliant fights and some of the biggest upsets in the history of the promotion. With so many unbelievable fights to look at in 2021, it was hard to choose the top five fights of the year, but we at Man’s Life have narrowed it down to these fights to be the best of 2021.

5. Kamaru Usman VS Colby Covington 2, UFC 268


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In the main event of UFC 268, The Nigerian Nightmare Kamaru Usman beat his arch-rival Colby Covington via unanimous decision with the judges scoring 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46 for Usman. The fight started slow but in round 2 the fight got real, Usman nearly put the fight to bed with a huge left but Covington found his rhythm later in the fight and hurt Usman with body kicks, and landed a hard combination that rocked the champion. In round 4, we saw the best of Colby Covington who landed some deadly leg kicks but it was Usman’s hard-right that landed late in round 5 which fell in his favor for a decision victory. With that victory, Usman also took his win streak to 15 fight victories.

4. Max Holloway VS Yair Rodriguez, UFC Fight Night: Holloway VS Rodriguez


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Unlike Usman VS Convington, this fight opened at a blistering pace, with Yair Rodriguez tagging Holloway with his wide range of strikes and heavy leg kicks. That was the case until the final minute of round 1 when Holloway landed a right hook that opened a cut under Rodriguez’s eye. In round 2, The Blessed changed his strategy and focused more on body shots and as for Rodriguez, he stuck to his plans of landing leg kicks and occasional shots to the head. In round 3, El Pantera’s pace slowed noticeably and the two found themselves in a heavy exchange and it was Rodriguez who got caught with a heavy cross which put him to the canvas. The Hawaiian international pounced on his opponent and landed a few punches before going for a submission. Rodriguez managed to scramble and get back to his feet and blasted Holloway with punches. Holloway then took control of the fight in the following rounds with Rodriguez occasionally landing dangerous punches and kicks. By the final horn, both men were cut up and swollen and the decision was a clear one for Holloway with judges scoring 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47.

3. Petr Yan VS Cory Sandgahen, UFC 267


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In the co-main event of UFC 267, Petr Yan established himself as one of the best fighters in the 135-pound category after defeating Cory Sandhagen via unanimous decision. In the first five minutes of the fight, Yan’s boxing was his weapon as he stuffed Sandhagen’s takedowns but it was the Sandman who got the better of him in exchanges. In the following round, Yan increased his pace and started landing kicks to the body and leg while Sandhagen kept switching stance to confuse Yan and kept landing jabs. Round 2 was closed after Yan connected a backfires-to-punch combo. As the fight continued, the fighters went tit for tat with the most impactful was Yan’s spinning punch which dropped Sandhagen on the canvas. The interim champ then landed heavy ground-and-pound but Sandhagen didn’t give up, he went for a leg submission. The two fighters transitioned back and forth till the end of the round. The championship rounds were the highlight of the fight with multiple takedowns and a massive head kick from Yan that thundered throughout the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi but Sandhagen shook it off and fought till the 25-minute mark after which the decision went Petr Yan’s way as he was crowned the #New Interim Bantamweight Champion.

2. Justin Gaethje VS Michael Chandler, UFC 268


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Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler faced off in the opener of UFC 268 in a three-round bout which exceeded fan expectations. As expected, the fight started with both men throwing leg kicks. In round 1, Chandler clipped Gaethje but the Highlight did well to get back at his opponent and win the round with his brilliant combinations. In the second round, we saw the best of Gaethje who landed a nasty uppercut. In round 3, Chandler knew he was going to lose on decision; so he went all out! It was a terribly misjudged approach against Gaethje who outclassed him in boxing, but the sheer determination of Chandler is commendable. After three rounds, Bruce Buffer announced Justin Gaethje as the winner via unanimous decision with the judges scoring 29-28, 29-29, 30-27.

1. Alexander Volkanovski VS Brian Ortega, UFC 266

In the main event of UFC 266, Alexander Volkanovski retained his UFC Featherweight championship in a title thriller against Brian Ortega which has to go down as the best fight of the year. The Great made a strong start to the fight and kept putting Ortega under pressure in the initial two rounds. The third round has to go down as one of the best rounds ever in UFC. Ortega caught Volkanovski’s leg in the air and landed a quick jab which put the champ down to the canvas and looked to seal the fight with a mounted guillotine choke but Volkanovski showed how tough he is as he managed to transition it into him being in top mount position to land some heavy ground and pound which led Ortega to have a swollen eye. In the following round, Ortega managed to secure a takedown and went for a choke right away but Volkanovski didn’t give up. Right when everyone thought the fight was over, the Australian gave a thumbs-up to the referee before escaping the choke. The fight surprisingly made its way to the judges after the pair traded heavy blows in the final round. The judges scored the fight 49-46, 50-45, and 50-44 in favor of Volkanovski as he retained his title and took his win streak to 20 straight wins.


[Featured Image Credit: UFC]