The Ultimate Fighting Championship has had an absurd amount of classic fights:
However, some of those epic clashes were such perfect pairings that the UFC bookers had to do them again.
In celebration of great fighters punching each other in the face a second time around, here are the Top-10 UFC rematches of all time.
Top-10 UFC rematches - 10. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir II
Love him or hate, Brock Lesnar was a big deal a decade ago. And his UFC 100 triumph over interim-heavyweight champion Frank Mir was the pinnacle of that time. Some odd refereeing decisions, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu naivety, were key in Mir taking the first fight. In the rematch--which took the headlining spot on the promotion's historic UFC 100 card--The fight played out much like the original.
The battle once again went to the ground as you would expect from these two, but this time around the hulk from South Dakota was better prepared for a BJJ duel. He defended Mir's submission tricks at every turn and had some tricks of his own that ended with pummeling Mir with his cement-block-sized fists from half guard. It was the fight where Lesnar became an official box-office superstar for the UFC.
9. Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes II
When Chad Mendes faced off with featherweight superstar Jose Aldo at UFC 142, there was a hope the Team Alpha Male talent could be the man to push the champ to his limits. He didn't. Instead, he was on the wrong end of a highlight reel knee that will be on Aldo's hall-of-fame induction video. However, the rematch at UFC 179 actually delivered on the original's promise.
The version of "Money" we saw in the rematch was a fighter who had evolved as a striker and gave the Brazilian all he could handle and more for five ultra-competitive rounds. It was the first time during Aldo's legendary run as a featherweight champion that he was nearly outmatched technically. And that's why it's one of the top-10 UFC rematches ever.
8. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II
Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg was a round of wild old-school welterweight chaos. In his second chance at UFC gold, Trigg landed a knee in the clinch that looked to be an unseen low blow to Hughes. He pounced, and had the champ in serious trouble and almost locked in a rear-naked choke. However, his opponent recovered and landed the now-infamous from one side to the other slam, which eventually set up Hughes' own fight-ending choke, and another title defense in an unpredictable fashion.
7. Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II
When future UFC welterweight legends Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes met at UFC 50, the Canadian upstart simply was not ready for the championship spotlight yet. However, when they ran it back two years later, "Rush" proved why he just needed a smidge more seasoning before beginning his ascension to the top of the division.
On that night in Sacramento, California, he proved more than just having a fighting background based on athleticism and Karate. He helped to usher in an age of well-rounded talents and elevate what it meant to be a world-class mixed martial artist. Not to mention, it was a major shift in the division's history. The best welterweight ever--at the time--was dethroned and there was a new superstar from the land of maple leaves and hockey on the path to being one of the best UFC champions ever.
6. Quinton Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell II
We didn't know it at the time, but this fight ended an era. It put Chuck Liddell's ice-cold killer light heavyweight championship run on...well, ice. Quinton Jackson's 2003 win over "The Iceman" at Pride FC: Final Conflict was often criminally underappreciated. Apologists claimed that "Rampage" didn't get the best version of Liddell back then. By the time they met up again in 2007, Liddell was on a legendary light run and in the midst of a seven-fight win streak. Which included career-defining wins over future Hall-of-Famers Tito Ortiz (twice) and Randy Couture (also twice).
5. Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 2
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 2 is a memorable moment in UFC flyweight history for being the crowning of an ultimate underdog. Two years before this fight, Moreno was on the outside looking in as he was competing for Legacy Fighting Alliance in the hopes a win there could get him back to the big show, after being released months before. It did and he won three straight once he got in the Octagon.
After a fight of the year contender in their first go-around, fans were pumped for the rematch between the Brazilian and Mexican stars. Yet, instead of a back and forth war like the first fight, the second became a display of "The Assassin Baby's" evolution as he out-skilled and finished one of the most fearsome forces in division history. In one fell swoop, he became a UFC champion and the greatest Mexican-born fighter in MMA history.
4. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II
When Nate Diaz stepped in as a short-notice replacement to face Conor McGregor at UFC 196, no one expected it to set up the most anticipated rematch in history. But that's exactly what happened as their main event rematch at UFC 202 became the second best selling pay-per-view in UFC history. Although it did not have the definitive finish of the first, it was a wild affair with Diaz getting knocked down several times, and McGregor turning into Lance Armstrong late to survive. The majority decision victory for McGregor that evened the feud at one apiece has only made fans crave a rubber match even now, five years later.
3. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II
Frankie Edgar's performance in his rematch versus Gray Maynard at UFC 125 is maybe the most awe-inspiring on this list. The first round was one part utter dominance by "The Bully," and another part legendary survival by "The Answer." Yet Edgar's survival is not what makes their title fight so memorable, it was just as much about him going from down on the scorecards in a big way, to sweeping the rest of the fight and nearly getting a win despite it all. The bout was highly competitive throughout, and easy inclusion as one of the Top-10 UFC rematches ever, and the moment the New Jersey native truly became a UFC superstar.
2. Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway II
Simply put, Dustin Poirier versus Max Holloway at UFC 236 is one of the greatest lightweight fights ever. Both were miles ahead of the fighters they were in their first encounter in 2012. "Blessed" had become the defacto greatest featherweight of all time and was looking to get a second belt at 155, while Poirier sought to show cement his position as an elite level lightweight. This was one of those fights that certainly took a couple of months off the careers of both men, as they tore into each other for five championship rounds.
After five years of being the best striker every time he stepped in the Octagon, this was a night where the Hawaiian wasn't, and actually was brutalized at times during the bout. However, he also showcased the heart of a lion and added a new layer to his growing legend. It was also a huge moment wherein victory, Poirier was finally reached his potential and was recognized as a legitimate pound-for-pound talent in the UFC.
1. Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II
Rory MacDonald versus Robbie Lawler is not just the best UFC rematch of all time, it's one of the best fights of all time. While Holloway and Poirier took months off each other in their epic rematch, there is no doubt "Ruthless" and "Red King" carved a couple of years off the other in this bloody and ultra-violent UFC 189 welterweight title fight. I'm sure it's no coincidence that both men's win-loss record suffered after this caged melee. Since their legacy-defining war, the pair have posted a 6-9-1 combined record. While they never reached these same peaks in their careers again, this fight will forever be etched in fight fan's minds until the end of time.