Top 10 MMA fights of decade

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2000s: Top 10 MMA Fights

By Josh Gross and Ben Fowlkes,


Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mirko Filipovic Aug. 28, 2005

The highly anticipated heavyweight title fight took years to make official. But after 20 minutes, a broken nose and a slew of body shots, Emelianenko prevailed to successfully defend his belt.


Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar April 9, 2005

Credited as the fight that sparked the success of The Ultimate Fighter and, in turn, the UFC, Griffin-Bonnar lasted three rounds on the finale of the show's inaugural season. Both fighters were given UFC contracts, while the promotion inked a long-term deal with Spike TV.


Royce Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba I May 1, 2000

Out to win one for his family, Royce battled "The Gracie Hunter" in an hour-and-a-half war that tested both fighters' skill, grit and endurance.


Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II April 16, 2005

Trigg was accused of throwing an illegal shot -- one that left Hughes shocked but the ref unfazed. Regardless, Hughes retaliated in stunning fashion..


Randy Couture vs. Pedro Rizzo I May 4, 2001

For his first UFC heavyweight title defense -- and for the first fight with Dana White as president of Zuffa -- Couture battled Brazilian kickboxer Rizzo in one of the most brutal fights in history.


Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn I Jan. 31, 2004

Penn packed on the pounds to vie for Hughes' welterweight belt. And it paid off, as Penn secured his first UFC title with a first-round submission win.


Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva II Oct. 31, 2004

The rivalry that began in Pride and continued through to the UFC produced one of the greatest trilogies in MMA history. The second bout, at Pride 28, ended in a memorable, yet gruesome fashion.


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Mirko Filipovic Nov. 9, 2003

Eight months after losing his Pride heavyweight title to Fedor Emelianenko, Nogueira worked his way back to claim the interim title, dismantling the previously unbeaten "Cro Cop" in the second round.


Roger Huerta vs. Clay Guida Dec. 8, 2007

In the final win of his MMA career (he left in Sept. 2009 to pursue acting), Roger Huerta managed to come back after taking a number of punches and takedowns to submit Guida via rear naked choke.


Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye Feb. 24, 2002

There was only one way to end their person feud: with a memorable bout at Pride 19, a card fittingly named "Bad Blood."