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5 best UFC pay-per-views of 2018

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.42K   //    Timeless

UFC 229 was the biggest show of 2018, but was it the best?
UFC 229 was the biggest show of 2018, but was it the best?

As with most years in the UFC, 2018 has been an up-and-down one when it comes to the quality of their shows. We’ve seen a handful of stinkers, but a handful of brilliant cards filled with action throughout too.

As it’s very hard to rank the free-TV Fight Night cards against the UFC’s bigger ‘numbered’ pay-per-views, I’m not going to attempt that and so this will be a two-part article, the first looking at the best pay-per-views of the year, and the second looking at the Fight Night cards.

So firstly, here are the 5 best UFC pay-per-views of 2018.

#5 UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington

Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington main evented the brilliant UFC 224 in May
Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington main evented the brilliant UFC 224 in May

The only pay-per-view of 2018 to be held in Brazil, UFC 224 was like a breath of fresh air after a couple of disappointing big shows in the form of UFC 222 and UFC 223. It didn’t have the biggest names on show – it only did 85,000 buys in fact due to a weaker headliner between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington – but in terms of action, nobody who did order could complain.

We got one of 2018’s best knockouts in the form of Lyoto Machida’s incredible front kick KO of Vitor Belfort; a wild brawl between John Lineker and Brian Kelleher ending in a violent knockout; and a super-quick finish from hot prospect Mackenzie Dern, who knocked down and choked out Amanda Cooper in just over 2 minutes.

While the main event turned into a bit of a slower, drawn-out affair with Nunes slowly dismantling Pennington en route to a 5th round TKO, the co-main event was the best fight on offer. Jacare Souza and Kelvin Gastelum put on a back-and-forth war, with Jacare dominating the first round with his grappling before Gastelum managed to come back with his stronger striking to take a razor-close split decision.

This was a show chock-full of finishes – alongside Jacare vs. Gastelum, only one other fight on the 13-bout card went the distance – and for its sheer entertainment value, it definitely belongs on this list.

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