We are approaching the back-end of the UFC calendar year and there have already been some mouth-watering bouts to look back on. With a plethora of incredible fights over the past year, we have compiled the five best UFC fights of 2021.
Jiri Prochazka vs. Dominick Reyes: UFC Fight Night
The first fight to make the list is that of Jiri Prochazka vs. Dominick Reyes, and this blockbuster showdown is surely the KO of the year. The fight started with hot prospect Prochazka stamping his authority very early on peppering Reyes’ face near the start of the first round.
Reyes did remain composed, swallowing some huge shots and began to counter the big-hitting Czech fighter. The American’s retaliation proved futile in the end after Prochazka went through the gears hitting his opponent with a right elbow, which was followed by a spinning back-elbow that left Reyes helpless on the floor.
Mike Davis vs. Mason Jones: UFC Fight Island
Davis vs. Jones makes the list for a very different reason than the Prochazka vs. Reyes fight that ended in a brutal KO. Davis and Jones locked horns in a thrilling contest on the dunes of Fight Island, vying for supremacy for the entire length of the fight.
In the end, the total of 225 strikes were landed over the course of three rounds and the judges raised Davis’ hand by unanimous decision. The unanimous decision, however, does not tell the entire story as Mason Jones punched in a phenomenal shift in the eight walls of death.
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns: UFC 258
The Usman vs Burns fight had the makings of what could have evolved into a heated rivalry between the two former teammates, and this fight did not disappoint the fans.
Burns let his presence be known early on, landing some devastating strikes and stalking Usman while looking for the opportunity to finish him off. Usman remained resilient and stood his ground while keeping a good head. Once the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ recovered, he showed why he was the favorite to retain the welterweight belt turning all the momentum in his favor.
After two knockdowns in the second round, Usman finished off Gilbert Burns 34 seconds into the third by knocking him to the mat with a laser-pointed jab following up with a series of punches on the prone challenger forcing the official to declare Usman the winner by TKO.
Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar: UFC Fight Island
The last fight on our list features two titans in the featherweight division who put on a show that none will forget. Max Holloway was coming off back-to-back title fight losses against Alexander Volkanovski, while Calvin Kattar had the reputation as a top contender in his own right.
The fight is remembered not only for the intensity but for the outrageously brashness of Max Holloway as he put in the performance of his life after bouncing back after two losses. “Blessed” showcased his far superior boxing for the full 25 minutes and was even heard shouting “I’m the best boxer in the UFC” during the fight.
Calvin Kattar proved his durability as round after round Holloway scatter gunned strikes. Kattar survived the five-round onslaught and was given the nod of approval from Holloway’s team as the Hawaiian got his hand raised.