McGregor's rematch with Diaz voted greatest UFC fight of all time

UFC fans have given their seal of approval to the second meeting of the pair at UFC 202 in August 2016.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2 Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor pictured after their rematch at UFC 202. Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

TO MARK A quarter of a century in existence, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been asking its fans for their views on the greatest fight to have taken place in the 25-year history of the mixed martial arts organisation.

Recently, the UFC released a rather eyebrow-raising list of its top 25 fights. They then asked fans to select the best one via a series of Twitter polls.

Here’s the list:

25: Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo (June 2011)
24: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson (July 2017)
23: Georges St-Pierre vs. B.J. Penn I (March 2006)
22: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche (February 2013)
21: Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (May 2012)
20: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha II (July 2016)
19: Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin (July 2010)
18: Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi (December 2016)
17: Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (July 2010)
16: Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson (July 2008)
15: Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez (October 2013)
14: Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje (December 2017)
13: Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit (January 2016)
12: Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar I (April 2005)
11: Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn II (September 2006)
10: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva I (December 2013)
9: Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II (April 2005)
8: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen I (August 2010)
7: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (September 2013)
6: Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva (December 2007)
5: Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II (January 2011)
4: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II (July 2015)
3: Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson I (November 2011)
2: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz I (March 2016)
1: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II (August 2016)

What was striking about the UFC’s list was that although the organisation is celebrating 25 years of MMA, the oldest fight selected was the seminal meeting of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar at the TUF 1 finale in April 2005. Nothing from the first 12 years of the organisation’s back catalogue made the cut.

If the recency effect was to blame, then perhaps the fans who took part in the poll can be accused of the same. The final result is in and it correlates with the UFC’s choice.

The August 2016 rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202 has been voted as the greatest fight in UFC history, defeating the UFC 165 clash of Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson (55% to 45%) in the final in the voting bracket.

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The second fight between McGregor and Diaz was an epic battle which deserves to be considered in the debate. The Dubliner won via majority decision, having been defeated by Diaz via submission five months earlier.

But was it the best fight ever to have taken place in the octagon?

Let us know your views on that — and on the UFC’s overall list in general — in the comments section below…

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Paul Dollery

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