For every Harry Potter, there’s a Voldemort. For every Celtics team, there’s a Lakers team. For every tit, there’s a tat. In the UFC®, it’s no different.
In every weight class there’s only one champion, and needless to say, that sets the stage for some tension. Within MMA and the UFC®, fighters have shown their passion for winning at weigh-ins, pressers and, of course, in the Octagon™. Take the recent cases of Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, for example.
In some cases, it’s all talk and in others, it lays the foundation for some of the greatest rivalries in the sport.
Today, we give you our list of the UFC’s greatest rivalries and how you can get a
UFC VIP Experience while witnessing them!
The Lion’s Den vs Tito Ortiz
First, let’s pause for a brief history lesson on The Lion’s Den. Similar to the BlackZilians or Team Alpha Male, The Lion’s Den was a group of fighters who trained together.
The group trained by Ken Shamrock featured a cast of UFC® fighters that included Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Guy Mezger, Jerry Bohlander, Maurice Smith, and several others -- many of whom became UFC® champions. The Lion’s Den dominated throughout the 90’s and is well-known for their feud with former UFC® light heavyweight champ, Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz, one of the UFC’s earliest stars, faced The Lion’s Den head on. It all began after Ortiz’s win over Bohlander, which he celebrated by “finger shooting” the Lion’s Den corner and their coach, Shamrock. Ortiz further antagonized the group by wearing a t-shirt with an insulting comment regarding his next opponent Mezger, causing Shamrock to get into the Octagon™ to ask Ortiz to put a stop to his disrespectful acts.
Frank Shamrock fought Ortiz next and after coming out victorious, he directed several inappropriate comments and actions towards Ortiz’s corner. Then Ken Shamrock fought Ortiz and lost. To finally put an end to the feud, Shamrock raised Ortiz’s hand in a move that many felt signalled the end of the war.
This epic rivalry lasted until 2006 after Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3, where Ortiz defeated a then 42-year-old Ken Shamrock.
Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva
This rivalry makes the list both for the caliber fighters involved, as well as for the nature of the feud.
Chael Sonnen came into the UFC® with one thing on his mind: beating Anderson Silva. His main tactics consisted of attacking Silva outside of the Octagon™. Sonnen left nothing untouched as he taunted Silva with everything he could, including his home country of Brazil and his fighting style.
Their first meeting, at UFC® 117 saw Sonnen come just a few minutes away from claiming Silva's championship. In dramatic fashion, Silva was able to secure the submission and victory.
In the highly anticipated rematch, it was much of the same, with Sonnen dominating the first round. Silva ended the night early with a TKO stoppage in the second round.
Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir
Less than a week ago, MMA fans felt hope that they may see yet another chapter in this epic rivalry as Frank Mir was on record saying he would ‘like to welcome him back to the UFC.’ As these men are 1-1 in their fights against one another no fan would object to it either!
This rivalry began in 2008, when a very green Brock Lesnar made his UFC® debut. Mir was there to welcome Lesnar to the UFC®. While Lesnar’s strength and natural ability helped him dominate most of the match, Mir’s experience allowed him to hold on and get the win via submission.
When these fighters met again, it was a much different story. Lesnar dominated the match earning the victory with a flurry of brutal strikes to secure the win.
Be There for the Next Great UFC Rivalry!
Whether you're looking to see how Jones and Cormier play out, if Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler clock in another battle, or Anderson Silva take on Nate Diaz do it as a UFC VIP!
Get unparalleled access to the best seats around the Octagon™, meet UFC fighters, Octagon™ Girls, and other personalities, get behind-the-scenes tours and access, make your way inside the Octagon™, get into the exclusive VIP Hospitality Party Room, and have the ultimate
UFC VIP Experience!