When Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor collide at UFC 229 in Las Vegas on October 6, it is not going to solely be the most important struggle of the 12 months, but additionally a battle for the UFC light-weight title.

Whereas the heavyweight champion could be thought-about the “Baddest Man on the Planet” and numerous different belts have produced extra iconic title reigns, the light-weight division has lengthy been thought-about the deepest and most proficient division within the sport and, as such, there has all the time been an excessive amount of status and respect that comes with capturing the 155-pound crown.

Solely 10 males have had the excellence of holding the title and there have solely been 24 light-weight championship fights throughout the practically 25-year historical past of the promotion, however inside that small pattern are some really basic battles and memorable contests.

With an eye fixed in the direction of the extremely anticipated headlining act at UFC 229, we thought it made sense to roll out a listing of the most effective UFC light-weight title fights of all-time.

That is The 10.

UFC 35: Jens Pulver def. BJ Penn by majority determination (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

The primary UFC occasion to be headlined by a light-weight struggle, this was a gathering of the 2 greatest lightweights on the earth, with Pulver trying to efficiently defend his title for a second time and Penn difficult for the belt in simply the fourth struggle of his profession.

On the very finish of the second spherical, Penn attacked an armbar that doubtless would have ended the struggle had he locked it up 10 seconds sooner. However after that near-finish, “Lil’ Evil” did a greater job of defending and getting off offense of his personal at any time when the struggle hit the canvas, sustaining a gradual tempo and output to come back away with a slim victory.

The 2 would meet once more a number of years later after serving as opposing coaches on Season 5 of The Final Fighter, with Penn securing a second-round submission win to even their private collection at one win every in what proved to be Pulver’s remaining struggle within the Octagon and a efficiency that may propel “The Prodigy” into his second light-weight title struggle.

UFC 80: BJ Penn def. Joe Stevenson by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:02 of Spherical 2 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

This one has grow to be engrained within the reminiscences of struggle followers because of Martin McNeil’s iconic picture of Stevenson on his knees, his face awash with blood, on the finish of the competition, but it surely’s additionally one in every of Penn’s signature victories.

When you’re ever questioning why so many individuals wax poetic in regards to the Hawaiian and what he was in a position to do contained in the cage regardless of his document trying considerably pedestrian, this is likely one of the fights you may name as much as see why Penn is taken into account the best light-weight of all-time and probably the greatest fighters in UFC historical past.

From the outset, he dominated Stevenson, a really succesful, proficient fighter who entered the competition on a four-fight profitable streak. Penn confirmed his world-class grappling sport and break up the previous TUF winner huge open with a slicing elbow within the remaining minute of the opening spherical earlier than replicating his floor dominance within the second and in the end sinking within the choke.

UFC 84: BJ Penn def. Sean Sherk by TKO (flying knee and punches) at 5:00 of Spherical 3 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

Sherk had claimed the light-weight title when the belt was reintroduced at UFC 64 by outworking Kenny Florian after which was on the decision when Penn received the belt in his struggle with Stevenson in Newcastle upon Tyne 4 months earlier.

This was a enjoyable, aggressive kickboxing match by the opening two rounds, with Penn exhibiting superior quickness along with his fingers and variety in his choices, whereas Sherk provided sharp counters and a few punishing, however rare low kicks. Within the third, Penn began pulling away, snapping Sherk’s head again with stiff jabs and sliding out of the best way of most of the challenger’s choices.

With lower than 10 seconds left within the body, Penn backed Sherk into the fence with a collection of glancing punches and as “The Muscle Shark” bounced off the cage, Penn flew in, catching him flush along with his knee. Eight rapid-fire follow-up strikes landed earlier than the horn sounded to sign the top of the spherical and whereas it appeared Sherk had survived, he was unable to proceed and the struggle was stopped.

Not solely is that this probably the greatest light-weight title fights of all-time, but it surely’s additionally on the brief record for high ending sequences in UFC historical past as effectively.

UFC 107: BJ Penn def. Diego Sanchez by TKO (medical doctors stoppage) at 2:37 of Spherical 5 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

Sanchez entered this one a roll, having received 4 straight and incomes Combat of the Night time honors in every of his first two victories since transferring to light-weight so as to garner a title shot. Many puzzled if the previous Final Fighter winner could be the person to dethrone “The Prodigy.”

Penn made it clear that wasn’t going to occur when he dropped Sanchez with the primary proper hand he threw 28 seconds into the competition. Whereas Sanchez would survive the opening storm of punishment, he was fully outclassed the remainder of the best way, with Penn hurting him a number of instances.

A little bit over two minutes into the fifth spherical, Penn blasted Sanchez with a kick that prompted the challenger to right away search for a takedown, and once they lastly separated quickly after, Sanchez was sporting a large minimize above his left eyebrow that may convey the struggle to a halt.

This may show to be Penn’s remaining victory at light-weight and the final time he appeared just like the dominant determine that many thought-about the very best within the sport on the time.

UFC 118: Frankie Edgar def. BJ Penn by unanimous determination (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

Edgar had unseated Penn from the light-weight throne 4 months earlier at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, incomes a unanimous determination victory that many questioned. Partly due to the debated final result, but additionally due to Penn’s prolonged reign atop the division, a right away rematch was scheduled and, this time, there was little doubt as to who was the higher man.

The newly minted champion employed the identical technique that led him to victory in April, working a stick-and-move placing sport with well timed takedowns blended in, maintaining Penn off-balance from begin to end.

After a protracted stretch the place Penn appeared invincible within the light-weight division, Edgar made him appear to be a mere mortal of their second assembly, showcasing superior quickness and motion to run away with the rematch and cement his standing as the brand new ruler of the 155-pound weight class.

UFC 125: Frankie Edgar and Grey Maynard struggle to a draw (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

One of the best struggle of 2011 passed off on the primary day of 2011 as Edgar and Maynard locked up in a light-weight title struggle to shut out UFC 125 and so they delivered an absolute basic.

A left hand floored Edgar simply over a minute into the struggle and Maynard by no means let off the gasoline for the rest of the spherical, punishing the champion all through the body and showing on the verge of incomes the stoppage a number of instances over. By some means, Edgar not solely survived, however returned to start out the second like nothing had occurred, twisting Maynard round with a clear proper hand halfway by the body and punctuating the spherical with a forceful scoop slam with a bit over a minute left on the clock.

The struggle was shut the remainder of the best way residence and would come all the way down to how the judges scored the competition. All three officers noticed it otherwise, with one scoring it 48-46 for Maynard, one other providing the identical rating for Edgar and the third having the struggle even at 47-47, ensuing within the bout being declared a draw.

UFC 136: Frankie Edgar def. Grey Maynard by TKO (punches) at 3:54 of Spherical 4 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

Ten months after their epic encounter to start out the 12 months, Edgar and Maynard lastly stepped into the Octagon collectively to resolve issues at UFC 136 in Houston, Texas.

Once more Maynard rocked Edgar within the first, wobbling him with an uppercut simply previous to the halfway level of the spherical earlier than placing him on the mat with an analogous blow a minute later. Edgar exited the spherical on shaky legs and sporting a badly damaged nostril, whereas Maynard did effectively to preserve his vitality regardless of having the champion on the ropes.

“The Reply” received his legs again below him within the second and began discovering a rhythm within the third, pulling even within the contest heading into the championship rounds.

With simply over a minute left within the fourth and Edgar beginning to distance himself from Maynard, the champion related with a brief proper hand out of a stuffed takedown try that sat the challenger down. Clubbing proper fingers adopted and when Maynard fell to the canvas, Edgar unleashed a torrent of lefts that prompted referee Josh Rosenthal to step in and cease the struggle.

You’d be onerous pressed to search out one other two-fight tandem nearly as good because the pair of championship wars these two mixed to ship in 2011.

UFC 164: Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson by submission (armbar) at 4:31 of Spherical 1 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

The duo that met within the remaining struggle in WEC historical past crossed paths for a second time below comparable circumstances, with Henderson as soon as once more coming into because the champion and Pettis reprising his position as challenger – the one variations being that this time, the struggle was for the UFC title and was happening in Pettis’ hometown of Milwaukee.

Pettis had been scheduled to drop to featherweight and problem Jose Aldo for his title, however a knee harm scuttled these plans, whereas Henderson was slated to face TJ Grant earlier than the Canadian contender was sidelined with a concussion, creating a chance for the previous WEC rivals to run it again.

Henderson managed the opening three minutes of the struggle, tying Pettis up alongside the fence and chipping away at his legs with low kicks. However a collection of physique kicks within the fourth minute of the competition stung the champion, and when Henderson used a failed Pettis cartwheel kick try to provoke a grappling trade, “Showtime” shortly laced up an armbar, leaving Henderson no selection however to faucet.

UFC 185: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Anthony Pettis by unanimous determination (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

After efficiently defending the light-weight title in December in opposition to former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez, it felt like Pettis was poised to get pleasure from a prolonged reign atop the 155-pound weight division, however Dos Anjos had different concepts.

Utilizing a excessive strain, excessive tempo method that may grow to be the blueprint future opponents would use in opposition to Pettis, the Brazilian put the champion on the defensive and by no means gave him a chance to catch his breath. Over 25 minutes, Dos Anjos merely wore Pettis out, repeatedly taking him to the bottom and by no means seeming nervous with any of the offense the champion provided.

This was a breakthrough efficiency for the Brazilian veteran, who began his UFC profession with consecutive losses and was by no means actually thought-about as a possible champion till he marched into the Octagon in Dallas and mauled Pettis to win the title.

UFC 205: Conor McGregor def. Eddie Alvarez by TKO (punches) at 3:04 of Spherical 2 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)

On an historic night time in New York Metropolis, McGregor closed out the primary UFC occasion at Madison Sq. Backyard in spectacular trend, turning into the primary man to carry titles in two divisions concurrently by piecing up and placing away Alvarez in lower than two rounds, simply as he had predicted.

A minute into the struggle, McGregor dropped the light-weight champion with a left hand. A minute later, a brief left despatched Alvarez to a knee within the middle within the middle of the cage. Alvarez was down once more 20 seconds later, as soon as once more felled by McGregor’s deadly and fast left hand.

Alvarez would survive the body, however he wouldn’t make it out of the second. He appeared to clinch extra and decrease McGregor’s output – and due to this fact the harm he took – for the primary three minutes, however then the Irishman uncorked a mix that put the champion on the ground and introduced the struggle to an in depth.

This was McGregor at his best possible, and if you happen to want a reminder of what he’s able to earlier than he returns to the cage in opposition to Nurmagomedov in October, pop this one in and revel in.

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