Most fights on the main cards of UFC events are organized months in advance, with fans getting hyped up well before the fight date. This is mostly due to these fights involving reigning UFC champions who are defending their titles against high profile contenders.
Given this information, one would typically expect such fights to be hotly contested, however, the UFC has dished out the occasional fight that has shocked fans with its one-sidedness and failure to live up to expectations. Let's take a look at some of the title fights that surprisingly came up short in terms of competitiveness.
10. UFC 199: Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping
Rockhold went into the fight as the newly-crowned UFC Middleweight Champion looking for his first successful title defense. Bisping had other plans.
While Rockhold dominated the start of the match, pressurizing Bisping with a barrage of leg kicks, Bisping showed patience and eventually took advantage of Rockhold's lack of defense by surprising him with a pair of fierce punches that sent Rockhold to the mat. On getting back up, Bisping gave him yet another hard knock and sent him back down to the floor. This time, Rockhold could not recover, and Bisping won by TKO after a mere 3 minutes, 37 seconds in the first round.
This fight shows that no matter how close a fight may seem, it only takes one defining moment to flip it on its head, as Rockhold's 17 strikes against Bisping's 21 had no impact on the final result.
9. UFC 222: Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya
Having defeated Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 to clinch the Women's Bantamweight Championship, this was Cyborg's second time defending her title. Her opponent was the Russian Yana Kunitskaya, who was also making her UFC debut.
While Kunitskaya put in a hearty performance at first, even landing a takedown against Cyborg, it was the Brazilian-American who came out on top, proving why she is the undisputed champion.
Cyborg went on to land a series of hard punches, and after a massive 42 strikes, defeated the Russian by TKO after 3 minutes and 14 seconds in round 1. This was yet another exhibition of Cyborg's dominance of the Bantamweight division, earning her 10th straight victory.
8. UFC 128: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs Jon Jones
Before this much-anticipated fight even started, news regarding Jon Jones spread like wildfire across the UFC community due to Jones and his trainers apprehending a robber just hours before the start of the event. This aside, Jones was already regarded as one of the UFC's most promising rising stars in the Light Heavyweight Division.
Many expected this fight to be competitive, with "Shogun" coming fresh off a landslide victory where he KO'd Lyoto Machida in round 1. This expectation couldn't be further from the truth, however, as although the fight lasted 3 rounds, Jones absolutely battered Rua, landing a colossal 102 strikes, while Run only managed a measly 11. Jones also dominated in the grappling department, successfully executing all 3 of his attempted takedowns. Eventually, Rua went down after being pummelled by a series of strikes while on his hands and knees, and Jones was consequently crowned as the youngest ever UFC champion.
7. UFC 227: T.J. Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt
This event card saw a rematch between Dillashaw and Garbrandt, who previously fought at UFC 217. Last time out, Dillashaw knocked out then-UFC Bantamweight Champion Garbrandt in the second round to take his crown.
Such a one-sided result was highly unexpected, as both athletes are known to be heavy hitters as well as top fighters in the bantamweight division - not to mention that both fighters have been bantamweight champions in the past. Even more surprising is that the rematch mirrored the past in many ways, with the second fight being even more one-sided in Dillashaw's favor than the first. Using his fatal high hooks to counter Garbrandt's aggressive demeanor, Dillashaw knocked out his bitter rival after just 4 minutes and 14 seconds of first round action. This saw Dillashaw extend his record to 17 wins and only 3 losses, and ensured his retention of the title up until the present.
6. UFC 170: Rhonda Rousey vs Sara McMann
UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Rhonda Rousey went into the fight undefeated in UFC competition, while it was only the second fight for her challenger, Sara McMann, who defeated Sheila Gaff in her UFC debut.
While McMann came out swinging (looking to put Rousey on the backfoot early on), the champion knew how to turn the tide of the match and soon forced McMann against the fence. What followed was a barrage of merciless knee kicks to the body. Soon after Rousey let loose on her opponent, she executed a ruthless knee kick that visibly caused McMann a world of pain, and the match consequently ended with a TKO decision in Rousey's favor. This came after only 1 minute and 6 seconds of first round action.
While many expected this to be Rousey's toughest title defense challenge, they were soon proved wrong as Rousey showed exactly why she was the undisputed champ.
5. UFC 226: Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
Whilst Stipe Miocic went into the fight as the reigning heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier was looking to make history by becoming a champion in two UFC divisions simultaneously; a feat that would certainly be feasible due to Cormier going into the fight as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
It was an aggressive fight consisting mostly of stand up combat, with Miocic and Cormier exchanging 24 and 25 significant strikes respectively in just over 4.5 minutes of first round action. Despite Miocic's height advantage, it was Cormier who opportunistically took the upper hand, knocking Miocic to the mat with a hard right hook.
While the fight seemed evenly matched until the decisive moment, Cormier certainly proved to UFC fans worldwide why he is constantly involved in the debate over who the greatest fighter in MMA history may be.
4. UFC 197: Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson vs Henry Cejudo
"Mighty Mouse" Demetrious Johnson went into this fight as the undisputed UFC Flyweight Champion, having defeated every other challenger to his title defense apart from Cejudo, who he was yet to face. Cejudo, on the other hand, went into the title fight on a hot streak, having won his first four UFC fights.
While many expected Johnson to have a tough time holding onto his title, they were soon proven wrong as after almost three minutes in round one, he battered Cejudo with a series of knees, one of which resulted in the challenger falling to the mat, whilst Johnson continued to bombard him with punches in order to bring the contest to a close.
While Johnson landed 35 strikes, Cejudo only managed 8, exhibiting Johnson's merciless dominance that allowed him to carry out 11 title defenses. Recently, the tables turned, however, as Cejudo defeated Johnson in a rematch at UFC 227 to become the new flyweight champion.
3. UFC 107: BJ Penn vs Diego Sanchez
This fight marked Penn's third UFC Lightweight Championship defense, and contender Sanchez didn't look too shabby himself, going into the fight on four-match winning streak.
While many may argue that this fight was not so one-sided - due to the fight almost going the distance - those who spectated the match pound-for-pound will wholeheartedly disagree. Starting in round 1, Penn was hammering Sanchez with a series of right hooks, taking him down once with the referee coming close to ending the fight early on. Round 2 was no different, with Penn drawing first blood and Sanchez bleeding from his right ear. In round three, Penn hammered Sanchez with a series of uppercuts that resulted in a mouth bleed for the contender. Round 4 saw no end to the carnage, with Penn catching Sanchez out with two left hooks and a knee. Finally, in round 5, Penn pushed Sanchez to the breaking point, and with a thunderous kick and a bombardment of uppercuts, brought Sanchez to his knees. The referee finally decided to call a timeout, and upon inspection of the deep cut over Sanchez's left eye, the doctor decided to call the fight.
This fight was an absolute bloodbath, with defending champion Penn quite literally pummelling his opponent in every round. The fact that Sanchez held out for as long as he did was remarkable, to say the least.
2. UFC 207: Amanda Nunes vs Rhonda Rousey
In one of the most highly anticipated UFC fights in the history of the sport, former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Rhonda Rousey took on current champ Amanda Nunes, who was coming in hot off of a four-fight winning streak. Adding to the hype was Rousey's need to stage a comeback after losing her title to Holly Holm at UFC 193 .
What was expected was an all-out war; what was delivered was a merciless beatdown, with Nunes knocking Rousey to the mat with a mere 48 seconds on the clock. While Nunes came out like a freight train, hitting Rousey with 27 significant strikes, Rousey could hardly catch a break, only managing to strike 7 times.
This fight asserted Nunes' dominance in the women's bantamweight division, as is evident by the Brazilian's 7 fight win streak, 11 career wins by knockout and 6 first round finishes.
1. UFC 194: Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor
This fight was highly anticipated for a number of reasons. Firstly, the opponents had a long-standing grudge leading up to the encounter. Secondly, Aldo was the undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion, having won all of his previous UFC encounters. Thirdly, McGregor was one of the UFC's hottest new prospects, having won all of his first five UFC fights, four of which were won by KO or TKO.
Once the fight commenced, not only were UFC fans' high hopes for the epic encounter dashed, but they were also deprived of any real talking points considering that the fight only lasted 14 seconds. While Aldo swung at McGregor with two successive punches, McGregor countered the second punch with a left fist that connected solidly with Aldo's face, sending him down to the canvas.
Just like that, "The Notorious" Conor McGregor was crowned as the new UFC Featherweight Champion, and the Irishman instantly became a household name in the world of UFC.