5 Greatest UFC Middleweight Championship Fights

UFC 194: Weidman vs. Rockhold
UFC 194: Weidman vs. Rockhold
R. Nath

The UFC Middleweight Championship is actually one of the earliest created titles in the promotion. While it isn't as old as the Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight titles, it came right after the Lightweight Championship.

Since then, the lineage of the title has been nothing short of magnificent. We've seen one of, if not the greatest of all time in Anderson Silva defend the title a whopping 10 times, a record that wouldn't be broken till Demetrious Johnson did it in 2017.

The rise and fall of Silva was just one of many stories in the prestigious weight division. From a weight standpoint, the decision to go to Middleweight has benefited superstars who would compete in both UFC Welterweight and Light Heavyweight. Robert Whittaker is perhaps the best example of this.

The 185-pound division has seen some of the hardest hitters and most technically gifted fighters in UFC history. Without going much further, let's look at the five greatest title fights in the storied Middleweight division.

#5 Michael Bisping (c) vs Dan Henderson - UFC 204

Image result for michael bisping vs dan henderson 2

UFC 199 was an important night for the Middleweight division. Michael Bisping had pulled off the upset of the year, knocking out Luke Rockhold in round one to become UFC Middleweight Champion.

That same night, Dan Henderson put away Hector Lombard with a spectacular knockout. If you're not aware, Bisping and Henderson had bad blood, dating back to before UFC 100. They would face off at UFC 100, where Henderson knocked Bisping out with the most devastating H-Bomb you'll ever see.

The occurrences at UFC 199 led Dana White to believe that Dan Henderson should get a title shot in the final fight of his career. Henderson was set for retirement, and it would either be redemption for Bisping in his hometown of Manchester, or a storied career ending for Dan Henderson.

Despite eating an H-Bomb or two, Bisping managed to prevail in an incredibly competitive contest to score a unanimous decision victory. Henderson wouldn't get his fairytale ending.

#4 Chris Weidman (c) vs Luke Rockhold - UFC 194

UFC 194: Weidman vs. Rockhold
UFC 194: Weidman vs. Rockhold

Come the end of 2015, Chris Weidman was the undisputed Middleweight King. He knocked off Anderson Silva from his throne and even beat him in a rematch. Weidman beat two legends in Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort before facing Luke Rockhold.

Weidman was the hot favourite despite Rockhold's pedigree, and while Weidman took the first round initially, Rockhold quickly turned things around. While it was close to some degree, Rockhold was dominant enough and would land a flurry of brutal strikes on Weidman, winning the Middleweight Championship.

#3 Rich Franklin (c) vs Anderson Silva - UFC 64

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Rich Franklin was proven Middleweight Champion and had two title defences to his name. Silva wasn't as well-recognised back then, and he wasn't the favourite heading into his title fight with Franklin.

He would end up putting Franklin away in a quick and dominant display, knocking him out with a knee strike one second shy of 3 minutes into the first round. It would kickstart the most dominant and impressive reign in UFC history, where Silva defended the title a record 10 times.

Demetrious Johnson would break his record four years later.

#2 Anderson Silva (c) vs Chris Weidman - UFC 162

Image result for chris weidman vs anderson silva 1

Anderson Silva was on a hot streak with 10 title defences. Heading into his bout with Chris Weidman, he was more confident than ever, and that was clear even inside the octagon with his showboating.

However, Silva showboated excessively and underestimated Weidman far too much. In round two, Silva was caught by a brutal punch from Weidman, knocking him down and out. Weidman secured a few more punches, sending Silva's dominant reign as champion to an incredible halt.

While many said that Weidman's win was a fluke, he would beat Silva in an immediate rematch just five months later.

#1 Anderson Silva (c) vs Chael Sonnen - UFC 117

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One moment changed it all. When Chael Sonnen took on Anderson Silva, he was the underdog, with everyone betting on Silva to dominate him and secure another title defence with relative ease.

However, what happened was completely different. Sonnen would end up dominating Silva throughout the fight, with the champion not getting the amount of offence in that he should have.

Sonnen was headed to a clear decision victory, but in the fifth round, he made one mistake, allowing himself to get caught and locked in a triangle armbar. Silva submitted Sonnen, walking out with his title by the skin of his teeth.

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Edited by Rajdeep Puri


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