The UFC has presented many exciting and memorable fights since Zuffa, LLC purchased the company in 2001. Here is a look at the greatest matches from that period.<br><br>Nick Diaz and Diego Sanchez had a memorable war of words prior to their fight, with the outspoken Diaz asserting that Sanchez didn't belong to be in the Octagon with him. Sanchez proved Diaz wrong with aggressive takedowns and ground and pound, but Diaz also proved his worth in this competitive bout.
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Clay Guida vs. Tyson Griffin
UFC's lightweight division has featured some fast-paced and explosive fights, and few were any better than this showdown. Both men were unrelenting in their aggression, and showcased well-rounded skills in all aspects of the sport. Griffin pulled off a controversial decision.
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Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn
Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn squared off in a highly anticipated battle for a shot at Matt Hughes' Welterweight Title. Penn was able to batter and bloody St. Pierre in the first round. St. Pierre came on in the second and third, showing tremendous heart and pulling out the victory.
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Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Tito Ortiz left the UFC for over a year prior to this fight, and it was important he make a good impression in his return. Ortiz looked explosive early, and was able to withstand Griffin's charge in the second and third rounds to secure a decision win.
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Kendall Grove vs. Ed Herman
This was an unexpected surprise, as Herman and Grove engaged in a memorable ground battle. Both men fought for submissions, but it was Grove that would earn the judges' decision.
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Karo Parisyan vs. Diego Sanchez
Diego Sanchez was heavily promoted coming out of his successful stint on the Ultimate Fighter. He was given progressively more difficult opponents leading into this showdown with Parisyan. Parisyan gave Sanchez problems, but the unrelenting aggression of Sanchez netted him a decision victory and the respect of many non-believers.
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Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg
Few fights have turned around as quickly as this grudge match. Trigg nailed Hughes with an accidental low blow and when the referee didn't stop the fight, Trigg took Hughes down and pounded him. Trigg was close to winning with a choke, but Hughes fought out. He picked up Trigg and carried him across the ring for a violent slam, and submitted Trigg with a rear naked choke of his own.
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Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture
This was originally supposed to be the first Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell fight, but Ortiz wouldn't agree to terms. UFC brought in Randy Couture, and nobody gave him much of a chance. Couture was old and had lost two straight fights. That set up an amazing performance by Couture, who outboxed the striker Liddell the first two rounds, then took him down and finished him in the third.
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Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
This was the fight that got many Americans excited about the UFC. Bonnar and Griffin fought on a live Spike TV special to determine the light heavyweight winner of the first season of the Ultimate Fighter. Both men gave it all they had, in an exhausting standup war. Griffin won via decision, and fans embraced both men and the sport.
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Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn
Matt Hughes and BJ Penn first fought in 2004, where Penn shocked many fight experts with a decisive win. In 2006, it was time for their rematch. Again, Penn looked like the better fighter. He blocked Hughes' takedowns, beat Hughes standing, and exhibited a better submission game. However, Hughes persevered and in the third round he tied up Penn in a crucifix and pounded him until the referee stopped the fight.
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