Top 5 One-Sided Fights in UFC History

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The best thing about the UFC is that they are constantly putting on the most competitive fights possible. We regularly get the #1 guy or girl in the division face off against their nearest ranking rival. The title is always on the line in fights that could go either way. There are no absolutes, no guarantees and no certainties in the UFC.

That’s what makes it so impressive when one fighter completely outclasses their opponent, beats them down and puts on a dominant one-sided performance.

We take a look at the top 5 one-sided fights in UFC history.

5 – Nate Diaz’s Performance over Donald Cerrone

Coming off the back of an armbar victory against Takanori GomiNate Diaz entered his UFC 141 bout with Donald Cerrone full of confidence. There was no doubt that this one was a competitive fight before the fight began. Taking place in the co-main event spot, Cerrone was a -285 favourite heading into the bout. He was riding an impressive six-fight winning run, was undefeated in the UFC and had finished four of six bouts.

The total stats of the fight proved just how big a beatdown Diaz put on cowboy. Outlanding Cerrone 238-96 on significant strikes, Diaz came away with his hand raised. He landed a total of 254 strikes across just three rounds. After Cerrone’s coach, Greg Jackson tried to rally his man ahead of the final round, he was greeted by Diaz flipping him off in typical Diaz fashion.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 30: (L-R) Nate Diaz punches Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone during the UFC 141 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Although the scorecards were 30-27 X 2 and 29-28, it’s fair to say Cerrone was never realistically in that bout. One-sided and a true beatdown.

4 – Conor McGregor against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205

On a historic night, the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor put on a historic, legendary performance. He was going for a first. The Notorious was looking to become the first fighter to hold two belts in two different weight divisions at the same time, something that had never been done before in the UFC.

Coming off a famous rematch with Nate Diaz in August, McGregor was set to headline the UFC’s first-ever event in New York City, taking place at Madison Square Garden. He took on Eddie Alvarez, a relentless wrestler with slick boxing, a phenomenal engine and a determination like few others.

The fight itself was a little bit of a let-down for fans of Alvarez. People expected him to put on much more of a challenge for McGregor, a strong wrestler who could lead to him gassing out.

What played out, however, was completely different. McGregor dominated the fight. He was too quick, too strong and too accurate for The Underground King. Knocking Alvarez down twice in the first round and finishing things in the second, McGregor made history in a fight that should have been a lot closer than it was.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: Eddie Alvarez of the United States (right) fights against Conor McGregor of Ireland in their lightweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

3 – Holly Holm over Ronda Rousey

One of the biggest upsets in UFC history came in the main event of UFC 193 when Holly Holm knocked out the undefeated, Ronda Rousey in the second round. Similar to that of McGregor’s UFC 205 performance, Holm made the fight a lot more one-sided than it should have been. Rousey was running through everyone in the division with ease and Holm was just 2-0 in the UFC having come over from professional boxing. It appeared that the grappler would be able to get her hands on her opponent, however, that was far from the case.

Holm was too quick and too elusive for Rousey, even making her fall to the ground after a big swing and a miss from the champion. It was the second round in which Holm ended things, after out-muscling Rousey in the clinch, she threw a brutal high kick that knocked Rousey out cold, handing her her first professional loss, a loss that started a downward spiral for Rousey.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 15: (R-L) Holly Holm kicks Ronda Rousey in their UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

2 – Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos 2

After a shock and a surprisingly quick finish by the challenger, Junior dos Santos in their first bout, Cain Velasquez proved that he was the better fighter when the two met a year later.

We know that Velsaquez’s gas tank is legendary in the heavyweight division, however, this fight showed just how good it is. Velasquez out-landed dos Santos 210-66 on total strikes and 111-57 on significant strikes. He landed 11 takedowns across 25 minutes and left dos Santos bloody, battered and fatigued after the fight.

The judges had it 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43, all in favour of the new champion, Velasquez, who dominated a fight that should have been a lot closer. The third fight between the two men saw Velasquez again come out on top, but it’s the second fight that really put a stamp on the rivalry.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 29: Cain Velasquez (top) punches Junior dos Santos during their heavyweight championship fight at UFC 155 on December 29, 2012 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

1 – Max Holloway’s shutdown of Calvin Kattar

I’m the best boxer in the UFC baby!”. The words shouted by Max Holloway as he boxed Calvin Kattar up badly, avoiding shots whilst looking out the octagon and being slick doing so. Coming off back-to-back losses to the champion, Alexander Volkanovski, Holloway had something to prove. Kattar entered the bout on a two-fight winning run. Despite only being a -155 favourite, Holloway put on the most dominant performance we’ve ever seen in the octagon.

Holloway broke multiple records on the night and cruised to a unanimous decision victory, scored 50-43, 50-43 and 50-42 by the judges. He out-landed Kattar 447-134 on total strikes. The striking differential was 312, a record-breaking amount. He also landed the most significant strikes in a UFC fight ever at 445. On top of that, he attempted the most significant strikes in history, 744. Holloway beat his own record of most significant strikes to the head, landing 274 on Kattar’s dome. He also landed the highest number of significant body strikes with 117.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 17: (R-L) Max Holloway elbows Calvin Kattar in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A truly crazy performance by Max Holloway and without a doubt, the most dominant victory in UFC history.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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