This was an extremely difficult list to make, so I’m sure some of you will disagree with my picks for the best PPVs in the past five years.
After UFC 132, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was that the best PPV I’ve ever seen? It was a great PPV, but it wasn’t the best. It sure did get me thinking, though, so I made a list of the top five PPVs over the past five years.
I can’t reiterate that it’s only the past five years enough, so don’t get mad when UFC 47 and UFC 52 aren’t on the list. Fights that just missed the cut were UFC 66, UFC 92, UFC 63, UFC 91 and UFC 102.
This PPV proved that Cain Velasquez was for real, had an amazing fight between Joe Stevenson and George Sotiropoulos, featured three knockouts on the main card, and had a Wanderlei Silva fight. Enough said.
The Stevenson/Sotiropoulos fight was such a fun fight, and the Silva/Michael Bisping fight was a fun one to watch as well.
Bader and Keith Jardine had a good scrap going until Bader caught Jardine’s chin flush and sent him to the canvas. Mirko Cro Cop and Velasquez both won by stoppage, and it was the first time (excuse-free) that we saw Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira truly knocked out.
Did the main event lack? Yeah. But as for the rest of the card, it was outstanding. Had the main event been a lot better, this would have been No. 1 on my list.
The main card featured Lyoto Machida’s “Crane Kick,” two knockouts, a nice battle between Ben Henderson and Mark Bocek and a great fight between Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick.
The atmosphere was great because it was in front of the largest crowd in UFC history, and I’ll always remember Hominick’s intro. It was a historic night for the UFC and for MMA fans.
This PPV got the largest PPV buys in UFC history, and it was a great event.
Brock Lesnar got his revenge on Frank Mir and had a “WWE moment" after his fight, Dan Henderson put a smile on every American's face with one of the most brutal knockouts ever over Michael Bisping, Georges St-Pierre dominated Thiago Alves, and Alan Belcher and Yoshihiro Akiyama had a great fight.
Henderson’s KO and Lesnar’s post-fight antics will always be remembered by every hardcore MMA fan.
From the moment this card was announced, I knew it was going to be great.
The stylistic match-ups were set up to have great fight after great fight, and I said in my article before the event that it was as if Joe Silva and Dana White got together and made a card strictly for the fans. No huge PPV-selling names on this card, with the exception of Wanderlei Silva, and none were needed.
UFC did it WEC style. Not a lot of huge hype surrounding the event, just a great card that delivered great fights. The main event is a Fight of the Year Candidate, Carlos Condit had a beautiful flying knee KO, Tito Ortiz saved his career with a first-round guillotine and Chris Leben put Silva to sleep early.
It was a great night of fights that lived up to its card’s billing.
This event got a tremendous amount of attention leading up to the fight.
ESPN was all over Brock Lesnar’s return to the octagon after being forced to withdraw from UFC 106 due to diverticulitis.
The UFC had an interim champion in Shane Carwin, who many believed would defeat Lesnar and become the new champ. That wasn’t the case. Lesnar pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history and defeated Carwin by way of an arm triangle.
The rest of the card was brilliant as well. Yoshihiro Akiyama had another classic fight, and this time it was with Chris Leben. Chris Lytle pulled off a beautiful submission against Matt Brown, Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino had a fun fight, and Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar was an all-out war.