The Top 5 MMA Events

Sep 14, 2022 - by Steve Gerweck

MMA is a sport that has become a mainstay of the global sporting landscape. From humble beginnings in the roots of Japanese professional wrestling, MMA has quickly become one of the most popular sports of the day.

It has also become one of the most lucrative, particularly regarding online betting. Fans regularly follow the MMA betting odds on the latest fights, generating millions for every event.

Let’s look at the top five MMA events of all time. No surprise, but Conor McGregor is in all of them, and UFC dominates the standings.

UFC 246 – McGregor vs. Cerrone

Conor McGregor featured in one of the most highly anticipated welterweight matchups ever, as he faced off against Cowboy Donald Cerrone.

The main event of the evening would end in a 40-second TKO, the second-fastest of McGregor’s career. The action started frantically, with McGregor countering Cerrone with a devastating high kick that landed right on the jaw. He quickly took his rival to the floor before unloading with a series of punches that forced the fight to be stopped.

UFC 202 – Diaz vs. McGregor II

McGregor had already taken his first-ever defeat against Nate Diaz, where a rear-naked choke submitted him. The return fight would generate 1.6 million PPV buys, putting it at number four on the list of the biggest MMA events.

The personalities and styles of the two combatants went together perfectly, and the bloody second installment of their rivalry delivered entertainment. Unlike UFC 246, UFC 202 would go the five-round championship distance.

Both fighters scored significant blows, knockdowns, and combinations. The win by unanimous decision came during the first two rounds when Diaz was knocked to the canvas three times. He would recover to go the distance, but there were no disputes over the eventual winner.

UFC 257 – Poirier vs. McGregor II

UFC 257 would match 246 with another 1.6 million buys. The main event of the evening was the rematch between Dustin Poirier and “The Notorious.”

In early 2021 during the Covid era, the match took place at the Etihad Arena. Poirier shocked the world by stopping McGregor’s comeback in its tracks with a TKO in round two.

He landed a solid combination of punches that appeared to catch McGregor off-guard. The strikes flawed the former champion and leveled the series at one win each.

UFC 264 – Poirier vs. McGregor III

The entertainment value of the previous two installments and the fact that both fighters had one fight each meant that a trilogy was inevitable. It would come at UFC 264, which scored 1.8 million buys on PPV after an epic preview featuring WWE star Becky Lynch.

Unfortunately, the fight was stopped early because when McGregor slipped, he broke his leg in scenes broadcast live around the world. The sickening injury meant that Poirier won the trilogy clash without the decisive win he wanted.

McGregor already asked for a fourth fight after this defeat. Whether that eventually happens is unknown, as McGregor will have a significant road back from injury to full fight sharpness.

UFC 229 – Khabib vs. McGregor

At 2.2 million PPV buys, the first fight between the unbeatable Russian Khabib and McGregor remains the most-purchased event in the history of MMA.

Many consider it the ultimate UFC event because of the build-up, the entertainment value, and the fight itself. It was, in many ways, the perfect package.

The fight was spectacular, with Khabib showing his unnatural dominance from the opening bell, including scoring a knockdown on the Irishman in the second round. Despite the threat of the fight ending early, McGregor rallied and managed to make it to the fourth round before the big Russian eventually submitted him.

UFC 229 is still the gold standard for MMA because it influences bringing new fans to the sport. The mainstream nature of the rivalry between Khabib and McGregor meant that people who had never considered watching an MMA event tuned in and watched in awe.

Since Khabib’s retirement, it’s unlikely that there will ever be a third confrontation between the two men.


Even though these are the top five MMA events of all time, this ranking is based on the number of PPV buys. While these events were entertaining, many fans have their own opinions on what is considered the greatest event ever. In particular, many cite the first-ever UFC event, The Beginning.

Opinions are divided on what the best MMA event is ever, but what is clear is that this is a sport that continues to grow.

What’s your all-time favorite MMA event?

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