I decided to list the 10 greatest rivalries in the UFC and before starting, I'll explain what I consider a rivalry.
For me, a rivalry is two guys who HATE! each other. Two guys who would be more than glad to beat the hell out of each other anywhere, anytime. I honestly don't consider Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell to be rivals, they always had alot of respect for each other and that's why they are not listed in the article below.
Two of the 10 rivalries that made the list actually began in PRIDE, but have been moved to the UFC, and that's why they figure below.
Ok so now that the essential has been said and that we all know on what those rivalries are based, let's get it on!
10. Andrei Arlovski vs. Tim Sylvia
These two guys first fought at UFC 51 for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship. It was Tim Sylvia's return fight since testing positive for drugs. The fight lasted 47 seconds and Arlovski was declared the new champion.
Arlovski continued dominating the heavyweight division and Sylvia started making his way back up the ladder and a rematch between both men was inevitable. Surely enough both men fought again with the title on the line and this time, it was Tim Sylvia who stopped Arlovski and became the new champion.
The UFC didn't wast any time making a third fight between the two men, which at this point started despising each other. Less than two months after their second fight, Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia fought for the Heavyweight title at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. The fight actually went the distance and Sylvia won a decision to keep the title. "The Pitbull" suffered an injury to his leg and Sylvia a concussion during the fight.
Since then, both men now fight for a rival company called Affliction and to intensify the rivalry even more, Tim Sylvia is actually banging Andrei Arlovski's former girlfriend Patrycja Mikula.
9. Matt Serra vs. Matt Hugues
The battle of the Matts, these two men are veterans of the UFC, both are or were great fighters and both men are former UFC welterweight champions.
The rivalry was made public on season six of TUF, but I think it began much earlier. Matt Serra is a Gracie student and Matt Hugues defeated Royce Gracie at UFC 60 and from then on the rivalry started.
Both men have been explicit on how much they hate each other calling themselves names and making the other look like an ass.
After the season six of TUF, both men were supposed to fight for the welterweight title at UFC 79. Unfortunately, Matt Serra got injured and Georges St-Pierre replaced him beating Matt Hugues and becoming No. 1 contender.
The title fight never occurred because of GSP beating Matt Serra for the title at UFC 83.
Both men are now schedule to fight in April of 2009. Of course, both men are sure to have victory, Matt Serra even said he would retire Matt Hugues.
8. Josh Koscheck vs. Diego Sanchez
Sanchez and Koscheck were actually good friends on season one of TUF. They were both on team Liddell and were actually training partners until the semi-finals. Of course in the semi-finals, Koscheck and Sanchez had to fight to advanced to the finals and they had a really entertaining fight.
Koscheck suffered a concussion and Sanchez was declared winner by split decision after three rounds.
Where this rivalry started? I'm not sure, somewhere between the first and second fight. They started trash-talking to each other, they had both made it at the same step in the welterweight division and had to fight for a second time at UFC 69.
During the weigh-ins of UFC 69, Koscheck wore sunglasses and Sanchez got offended and pushed Koscheck in front of everybody. Both guys were separated and Sanchez was fined.
Koscheck went on to win the fight by unanimous decision but it was discovered that Diego had staph infection during the fight and that may have affected his gameplan.
The fans have been waiting for the rubber fight between the two men since UFC 69 and something tells me it will happen alot sooner than people may think.
7. Phil Baroni vs Team Quest
Let's face it, Phil Baroni doesn't like alot of people but he HATES everybody from Team Quest. At UFC 34, Phil Baroni fought against Team Quest member Matt Lindland and lost by unanimous decision. Both men were scheduled for a rematch at UFC 41 and Matt "The Law" Lindland won by unanimous decision again.
At UFC 45, "The New York Bad Ass" had a fight with another Team Quest member, Evan Tanner. There was alot of controversy surrounding the first fight. Baroni was dominating the fight and cut Tanner in the face.
The ref stopped the fight for the medics to check it out and Tanner was able to get his head back together and came back to dominate Phil Baroni. The ref asked Baroni if he wanted him to stop the fight and Phil said yes.
Baroni was pissed when the fight was stopped cause he actually heard "Are you ok?". Out of anger, Baroni pushed the ref and was suspended for his actions.
He returned at UFC 48 and fought Tanner in a rematch and loss a decision. Phil's record against Team Quest is not too good (0-4) and Baroni has said a million time's on TV and in interviews that he hated any member of Team Quest and that his rivalry with them would probably continue forever.
6. Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
This is one of the two rivalries that began in PRIDE and is now transported into the UFC. At PRIDE 31 Coleman and Rua fought and nobody could've predicted what was going happen next.
Coleman went for a takedown and Rua actually broke his arm while falling down. Coleman continued to hit Rua not knowing what had happened, the fight was stopped and then Coleman started insulting Mauricio's brother and all members of team Rua got inside the ring and team Hammer House soon followed.
Both teams started pushing each other in the ring and all hell broke loose. Phil Baroni was in Coleman's corner and he actually hit Wanderlei Silva in the face who was on Rua's team.
Backstage after the fight, team Hammer House tried to apologize but Rua and his team wanted nothing of it. Considered like one of the most anticipated rematches in recent history, Mark Coleman will fight Mauricio Rua at UFC 93.
5. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz
Where to begin? They were training partners and maybe even friends but when Chuck Liddell became the number one contender for Ortiz's title... shit began to happen. Tito was supposed to defend the title against Chuck but Tito wasn't able to defend the title for some reason.
Chuck started to say Tito didn't want to fight him because he was scared and they were buddies, which Tito said wasn't the case.
Tito ended up losing the title to Randy and the UFC decided to make the Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Liddell fight at UFC 47. It was one of the most anticipated fights in MMA history and Tito loss.
The bad mouthing didn't stop between both guys, Chuck was saying Tito was afraid and that he was a wuss, but Tito kept saying he wasn't afraid of no man. Both guys ended up having a rematch at UFC 66, this time for the UFC light-heavyweight title and Chuck won again.
The rivalry isn't as intense as it was before but these two guys will probably never be training partners ever again.
4. BJ Penn vs Jens. Pulver
In 2001, BJ Penn was arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world. He was dominating the lightweight division and finally got a shot at the title against the champion Jens Pulver in January of 2002. BJ was considered the favorite to win the fight but "Lil Evil" put on a performance of a life time beating BJ Penn by majority decision and keeping the title.
After the fight, BJ wanted an immediate rematch but Pulver ended up leaving the UFC. Their paths crossed again when Jens Pulver returned to the UFC and both men were rival coaches on season 5 of TUF.
Dana White promised that both fighters were scheduled to fight at the season finale. Both fighters were more than happy for the rematch, especially BJ.
The rivalry got more intense during the taping of the show and in the finale, Jens Pulver was dominated and loss by submission in the second round. The rivalry seems to be over, both men hugged after the fight and buried the hatchet after several years of hatred.
3. Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
This is the second of the ten rivalries that began in PRIDE, but now continues in the UFC. I don't really know how the rivalry started, but they fought for the first time at PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 and that's probably where it all began.
Wanderlei dominated "Rampage", delivering 17 consecutive knees to the head of his opponent.
They never tried to hide the hatred they have for each other and Quinton wanted a rematch a soon as possible. Unfortunately, Jackson received the rematch and lost again.
Now, both men are now UFC fighters and the rivalry between them never stopped. For the third time, Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva will fight at UFC 92 and "Rampage" will be seeking to win for the first time against "The Axe Murderer".
2. Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz
At UFC 19, Tito Ortiz defeated Lion's Den fighter, Guy Mezger and he then did the unthinkable, he flipped off Ken Shamrock and his Lion's Den. Shamrock freaked out and confronted Tito face to face and that's where it began folks.
Ortiz then became champion and Ken did everything to get a title shot and shut Tito up.
At UFC 40, it was time for the first Ortiz/Shamrock fight. Tito Ortiz dominated Ken Shamrock and kept the title. Shamrock was pissed after the loss and both fighters continued to trash talk to the other.
Ortiz defeated Ken again at UFC 61 and then both guys were chosen to be coaches on season three of TUF and were scheduled to fight after the show.
Ortiz made alot of new fans on the show for his dedication to his team and Ken Shamrock made a complete fool of himself as a coach. Ortiz ended up beating Shamrock a third time. Both guys HATE each other and have made it public for years now and this is a never ending rivalry.
1. Tito Ortiz vs Dana White
Now this is a rivalry!! Dana White was actually Tito's manager before he became president of the UFC. When he finally became president, he left Tito's side and started making his life a living hell.
Tito was champion, Tito was winning alot of fights and he was the poster boy for the company. He demanded more money from the UFC and he never got it.
Dana called Tito a jackass and Tito called Dana a jackass and all hell broke loose. Even when UFC made more money and became a huge company, Tito never received more money and he left. He decided to return to the UFC, but never wanted to talk business with Dana, he made deals directly with the Fertitta brothers.
Dana made it public he hated Tito Ortiz and promised he never would be champion again. Tito even wore a shirt for the UFC 84 weigh-ins that said "Dana White is my BITCH!!" These two guys will NEVER like each other, they tried to settle the score in the past and it never worked.
Wow, there it is people—two hours at writing this article and there you have it. Like any other list, some people will disagree with me, but this is my opinion of the 10 best rivalries in this company's history.
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