Greatest UFC Trilogy Fights of All-Time

MMA article at Knup Sports

There have been a lot of exciting rematch fights in UFC’s history, but there are a few matchups that have stood out over the past few years.

As we approach UFC 287 and the headlining rematch between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, I remembered that this next fight will be the 4th time these two men have fought against each other in a professional MMA fight. In light of this, I decided to list some of the greatest UFC trilogy fights of all-time.

In order to qualify for this list, two fighters will obviously have to have met and fought in the UFC octagon at least three times. Not only this but to be considered, the fights’ results would have to be pretty even, meaning that each side would have had to win at least one of the fights. Below are my picks for the four greatest UFC trilogy fights of all-time.

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

The Heavyweight title matchups between Americans Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier brought some of the most entertaining matchups and rivalries in recent memory. The pair first met for a bout at UFC 226 back in July 2018, when Miocic was looking to earn his 4th title defense against challenger Cormier. Unfortunately for Miocic, Cormier was able to knock him out late in the first round to claim the Heavyweight title.

However, this wasn’t the last we’d see from Miocic, as the two rematched a year later in August 2019 at UFC 241. After a highly contested matchup had ensued, Miocic was able to knockout Cormier in the 4th round, earning back the Heavyweight title and evening up the standings against his opponent.

The penultimate matchup between the two again occurred a year later in August 2020 at UFC 252, where the two would match up against each other for a final time for the belt. Both men brought their A-game and put on a very exciting fight, but after neither of the men were able to end the fight early, Miocic was crowned champion and successfully defended his belt after a Unanimous Decision following the 5th round. The three clashes between these legendary fighters were truly one of the best trilogy fights in the history of the UFC and will rightfully be regarded as such for years to come.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes

The next entry on our list is the trilogy matchups between Canadian fighter Georges St-Pierre and UFC Hall of Fame American fighter Matt Hughes. Their first matchup takes us all the way back to October 2004 at UFC 50, where the more experienced Hughes introduced himself to GSP by earning a submission from him at the end of the first round.

The two wouldn’t meet in the octagon again for over two years until UFC 65 in November 2006, as Hughes held the Welterweight title. This time it was GSP who had the last laugh, as he earned his revenge by knocking out Hughes midway through the second round and claiming the Welterweight title for himself. Now with their head-to-head records matching, they were set to meet for a third and final time to conclude their epic trilogy of fights.

Their final matchup against each other came at UFC 79 in December 2007, where the two men squared off in the Interim Welterweight title bout. After dominating most of the first two rounds, GSP was able to finish off Hughes by submission at the very end of the second round. It was a decisive finish in the last matchup between two of UFCs greatest legends.

Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor

The final entry on our list sees two of the most accomplished and well known UFC fighters in the past decade square off in a heated trilogy, fueled by a fierce rivalry. The two men, who were both excellent fighters and trash talkers, first squared off against each other in September 2014 at UFC 178. This was while McGregor was about to reach the prime of his career, as he won the fight with little difficulty in the first round by TKO.

The pair wouldn’t find themselves in the octagon together again for nearly seven years until UFC 257 in January 2021. After all that time, it was obvious that Poirier was the better fighter, as he knocked out Mcgregor midway through the second round. The two met again just six months later in July 2021 at UFC 264. In what would be McGregor’s last fight to date, Poirier earned a victory after the fight was stopped at the end of the first round, due to McGregor’s leg being broken.

Although this wasn’t a traditional back-and-forth trilogy fight, it was certainly one of the most memorable matchups in the history of the UFC. McGregor is scheduled to return to the octagon as a coach on the Ultimate Fighter, which will ultimately result in a matchup between Michael Chandler in late 2023. It will be interesting to see if McGregor is capable of making a comeback.

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