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5 UFC fights that matched the McGregor vs Khabib hype

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:43 IST

Conor 
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov - Will it live up to the hype?

On October 7, 2018, UFC superstar, Conor McGregor will step into the Octagon for the first time since November 2016 when he takes on Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

McGregor was one half of the second highest grossing combat sports event in history when he battled Boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017, for a staggering 4.3 million pay per view buy-rate

McGregor, who has also contested four of the five highest-grossing UFC events in history faces perhaps his sternest test versus the dominating, unbeaten Russian, Khabib.

Khabib has racked up 26 consecutive victories with his grinding take-down and clinch style which wears his opponents out mentally as well as physically.

His method is in stark contrast to the stand-up striking of McGregor which makes their impending clash so interesting.

The hype surrounding the bout between the biggest draw in UFC history and it's greatest unbeaten performer has been the biggest in several years as anticipation builds to an impressive crescendo.

This slideshow counts down five other occasions where the UFC hype machine has matched the excitement to McGregor versus Khabib.


#5 Tito Ortiz vs Ken Shamrock - UFC 40 (November 22, 2002)

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Tito Ortiz rocks Ken Shamrock with a huge right hand
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Widely credited as the event that saved the UFC from potentially going under is the UFC 40 show headlined by Light-Heavyweight Champion, Tito Ortiz's title defense against legendary UFC veteran and former WWE superstar, Ken Shamrock. The card earned 100,000 pay per view buys, nearly double what all other UFC events were attracting at the time.

UFC, after a strong start in the mid-1990's rapidly decreased in popularity as government pressure forced most states to ban the sport which greatly reduced its reach and as a result, it's mainstream appeal.

However, with the American MMA return of the global superstar, Shamrock to the organization after a six-year hiatus, his anticipated comeback led to mainstream coverage of the sport for the first time in many years.

Ortiz's brash and cocky promotion of the event and his continual disrespect of his opponent led to an incredible fervor for the show which at the time was unmatched.

The fight itself was entertaining albeit largely one-sided for its three-round duration as the aging Shamrock struggled to withstand the ground and pound onslaught of his younger opponent. 

But what an incredible spectacle.

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Published 19 Sep 2018, 15:33 IST
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