The Most Scandalous Fights in MMA History

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport known for its intensity, unpredictability, and sometimes, controversy. Over the years, there have been several fights that have not only captured the imagination of fans but also sparked intense debates and controversies. Here’s a detailed look at some of the most scandalous fights in MMA history.

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor (UFC 229)

Date: October 6, 2018
Event: UFC 229
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

The fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor is perhaps the most infamous in MMA history. The build-up to the fight was marred by intense animosity, including McGregor’s attack on a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and other fighters at UFC 223, which resulted in several injuries. The fight itself was dominated by Khabib, who submitted McGregor in the fourth round. However, the real scandal unfolded after the fight, when Khabib leapt over the cage to attack McGregor’s team, leading to a massive brawl involving both fighters’ entourages. The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined and suspended both fighters, making this one of the most chaotic and controversial events in MMA history.

2. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (UFC 117)

Date: August 7, 2010
Event: UFC 117
Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

Anderson Silva’s first fight with Chael Sonnen was filled with drama and controversy. Sonnen dominated Silva for four and a half rounds, landing numerous strikes and takedowns, which was unexpected given Silva’s dominance in the middleweight division. However, in the final moments of the fifth round, Silva managed to catch Sonnen in a triangle armbar, forcing him to submit. The controversy didn’t end there. After the fight, it was revealed that Sonnen had tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, leading to a suspension and fine. The fight remains one of the most dramatic comebacks and controversial moments in MMA.

3. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier (UFC 182 and UFC 214)

Date: January 3, 2015 (UFC 182) & July 29, 2017 (UFC 214)
Event: UFC 182 & UFC 214
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada (UFC 182) & Honda Center, Anaheim, California (UFC 214)

The rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is one of the fiercest in MMA history, marked by personal animosity and multiple controversies. Their first fight at UFC 182 saw Jones win a unanimous decision, but the build-up included a physical altercation at a press event and numerous verbal exchanges. Jones’ victory was later overshadowed by his positive test for cocaine. Their rematch at UFC 214 ended with Jones knocking out Cormier, but the result was overturned to a no contest after Jones tested positive for a banned substance, leading to his suspension. The repeated controversies surrounding Jones marred what could have been one of the greatest rivalries in sports.

4. Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm (UFC 193)

Date: November 15, 2015
Event: UFC 193
Location: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia

Ronda Rousey’s fight against Holly Holm at UFC 193 was a major upset that shocked the MMA world. Rousey, who had been undefeated and highly dominant in the women’s bantamweight division, was expected to easily defeat Holm. However, Holm delivered a masterful performance, knocking out Rousey with a head kick in the second round. The aftermath saw Rousey face intense criticism and scrutiny, and she took a lengthy hiatus from the sport. The fight is remembered not only for the stunning upset but also for the massive media frenzy that followed.

5. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir (UFC 100)

Date: July 11, 2009
Event: UFC 100
Location: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

Brock Lesnar’s rematch with Frank Mir at UFC 100 was highly anticipated and delivered both in terms of action and controversy. Lesnar dominated Mir, winning by TKO in the second round. However, Lesnar’s post-fight antics drew widespread criticism. He taunted Mir, made an obscene gesture to the crowd, and disparaged a major UFC sponsor during his victory speech. Lesnar later apologized for his behavior, but the incident highlighted the sometimes unpredictable nature of the sport.

6. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz (UFC 196 and UFC 202)

Date: March 5, 2016 (UFC 196) & August 20, 2016 (UFC 202)
Event: UFC 196 & UFC 202
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada (UFC 196) & T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada (UFC 202)

The rivalry between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz resulted in two of the most exciting and controversial fights in MMA history. At UFC 196, Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round, causing a major upset. The lead-up to the rematch at UFC 202 was filled with trash talk and confrontations, including a bottle-throwing incident at a press conference. McGregor won the rematch by majority decision in a closely contested fight, but the build-up and aftermath were marked by heated exchanges and controversy.

7. Bisping vs. Rockhold II (UFC 199)

Date: June 4, 2016
Event: UFC 199
Location: The Forum, Inglewood, California

Michael Bisping’s rematch with Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 was unexpected and controversial. Bisping, who took the fight on short notice, knocked out Rockhold in the first round to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. The victory was shocking given Bisping’s status as an underdog and the animosity between the two fighters. The post-fight verbal exchanges and Bisping’s triumph over a long-time rival added to the controversy and drama of the event.