The UFC has offered some truly unforgettable fights this year – many of which are still on the tip of the tongue of combat sports fans.
MMA fans were treated to a plethora of iconic fights that will be remembered for a long time.
So SunSport thought it would be fair to recap the first five fights of what turned out to be another stellar year for the MMA leader.
THE FIVE BEST UFC SUNSPORT FIGHTS OF 2021
Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler
As soon as the battle for fan favorites Gaethje and Chandler was announced, fireworks were expected. And the boy made a pair.
The former lightweight title challengers collided on the main card of UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden.
And their confrontation was like two hurricanes crashing into each other.
Both men went bankrupt from the start and rocked several times in the first round. Gaethje, however, took control in the second when he let Chandler down with a perfect uppercut.
Chandler, to his credit, managed to survive the storm and kept moving forward like a possessed one.
The two men ended the fight bruised and bruised and had to be transported to hospital after their long war.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
The long-awaited meeting of featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and former title challenger Brian Ortega was well worth the wait.
The most recent Ultimate Fighter coaches faced off at the main event of UFC 266 in Las Vegas and pulled off one of the best fights in the history of the 145-pound division.
Australia’s second UFC champion was in the process of breaking up Ortega until he was let loose in the third and trapped in a guillotine – T-City’s iconic move.
The end of Volkanovsky’s reign as the featherweight king seemed imminent, but he managed to fight back against the vice-like stranglehold and the triangle attempt that followed.
The Great roared back in the fourth and nearly ended the fight with a brutal barrage of dirt and pound that left Ortega bloodied.
Ortega somehow survived the onslaught and reached the fifth round, although he has nothing more to give in his attempt to dethrone the imperious Volko.
Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
Max Holloway closed the first UFC card of the year with an absolutely stunning individual performance in his featherweight clash with Calvin Kattar.
Many fight fans advised the skillful boxer Kattar to give Hawaii one of his toughest tests outside of champion Volkanovsky, but they were wrong.
Blessed staged an absolute clinic against the Bostonian, whom he bloodied with a UFC record of 445 strikes.
The 29-year-old put Kattar back together with his fluid boxing and use of close-range elbows.
And he provided a sensational viral moment when he turned to the commentary team in the middle of the fight and declared himself the “best boxer in the UFC” as he surprisingly dodged six punches. fist.
Although the fight was a one-sided fight, Holloway’s masterclass on Fight Island was without a doubt one of the highlight moments of the year.
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen
Following an injury to bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, former defending champion Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen ended up battling for the interim belt in the main co-event of UFC 267 in October.
Fans were drooling over the stylistic match as soon as the fight was announced. And the two men have indeed delivered in their dust from Abu Dhabi.
Russian wrecker Yan showcased his wide array of strikes with several unorthodox combinations – many of which took to Twitter the next day.
But the Sandman Sandhagen didn’t let the former champ do it his way and gave No Mercy the toughest test of his time in the UFC.
The judges ultimately preferred Yan’s work, although Sandhagen’s stock increased significantly thanks to his valiant display – which he returned with just five weeks’ notice.
Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena
The penultimate title fight of 2021 between reigning female bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes and underdog Julianna Pena caused the biggest upheaval in UFC history.
After being dominated in the first round, Pena, winner of Season 18 of Ultimate Fighter, rallied around the second and went to war with the dominant champion.
Pandemonium ensued when the Venezuelan Vixen began tagging Nunes with stiff punches and finding a home for her right hand.
Nunes came back roaring like the lioness she is and stabbed the challenger with her own heavy shots.
But determined to get her hands on UFC gold, Pena dug deep and stayed in the fire.
A creaking right hand just past the three-minute mark sent a tired, shaken Nunes into desperate fashion, so much so that she fired for an out.
Pena missed the attempt and quickly moved to the back before blowing up the roof of the T-Mobile Arena by sinking into a choke in the back and forcing the seemingly unstoppable Brazilian to reluctantly submit to her. will.
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