A great rivalry is one of the biggest selling points a sports league has to offer. The UFC is no different and from its origins in 1993, the fight promotion has built and sold some of the biggest rivalries in combat sports. UFC fans are anticipating UFC 249 and Tony Ferguson’s fight against Justin Gaethje. Fight fans can use this bonus at sign-up before betting on the fighter they believe will win the huge showdown at UFC 249.
It didn’t take long for the UFC to market its first major feud. That first rivalry didn’t happen overnight and it took some time for it to come to fruition. But the buildup is what makes a great feud between fighters. The UFC has seen a few different eras since its inception and these rivalries helped define the promotion. UFC fans can also use this exclusive William Hill Promo Code and get exclusive offers.
Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock
Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock were the marquee fighters in the early days of UFC. Sure, Dan Severn was also one of the top battlers, but Gracie and Shamrock had a feud like none other in the early days of the promotion. UFC 249 will see new rivalries created and old feuds reignited. Fans can use the William Hill promo code to get a bet bonus before wagering on the fights at UFC 249.
The two fighters met at UFC 1 with Shamrock complaining after the bout that the rules kept being changed during the original tournament to accommodate Gracie. Gracie won the first fight thanks to a choke.
They met again at in the Superfight at UFC 5 going the distance in a 30-minute time limit draw and again in a five-minute overtime. To this day, there is still bad blood between the rivals as nothing was every resolved.
Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn
As previously mention, Severn was one of the original top fighters in the UFC. This was a time that mixed martial arts didn’t have its own style, rather UFC fighters arrived at events with their own unique approach. Grapplers were dominant during this era and Severn; an Olympic wrestler, was a star.
The pair met at UFC 6 where Shamrock made Severn tap out. They met again at UFC 9 with Severn getting the win on a split decision. Severn has spent a lot of time since leaving UFC complaining about Shamrock’s out of the octagon activities and the two certainly do not like each other still.
Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell
Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell emerged as top light heavyweights in the UFC at the same time. The duo finally met at UFC 47 as Liddell won with a second-round knockout. The two wouldn’t meet again until UFC 66. Liddell was the light heavyweight champion and just like in the previous fight, scored a win, this time by stoppage in the third round. The two still have an intense dislike for one another to this day, especially after Ortiz pulled out of their third encounter.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes
Matt Hughes was one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC during the early 2000s. Hughes met rising star Georges St-Pierre at UFC 50 for the vacant UFC welterweight Championship. The wily veteran won the first encounter thanks to St-Pierre tapping out to an armbar.
They met again at UFC 65 in St-Pierre’s first-ever pay-per-view main event bout. The fight drew 500,000 PPV buys as St-Pierre recording a TKO win and took home the UFC welterweight championship. St-Pierre won the rubber match between the two thanks to an armbar submission at UFC 79.
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
This was one of the most exciting rivalries to watch simply for the crossover appeal that WWE star Brock Lesnar had. Lesnar joined the UFC after finishing up with the WWE and missing out on a roster spot with the Minnesota Vikings. Frank Mir was a tough heavyweight with plenty of octagon experience when the duo met.
Their first meeting came at UFC 81 with Mir scoring a tap out win. Lesnar was critical of referee Steve Mazzagatta not breaking Mir’s armbar quick enough after tapping out. The hulking former collegiate wrestler was also unhappy with Mir’s attitude toward Lesnar’s entry into UFC.
The fighters met a second time at UFC 100 in a title unification match (Lesnar was the heavyweight champion while Mir was the interim champ). The two headlined the UFC’s biggest show to that point with Lesnar winning the match two minutes into the second round. Lesnar’s crossover appeal in such a big event was one reason UFC exploded into the mainstream.