Unforgettable UFC Rivalries

By Karen Touma ( @KarenTouma )

We take another look at some of the great rivalries that have prevailed over the years of the UFC. Even the most humble of fighters such as B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes have had some great feuds that could questionably rival vendettas from the likes of Chuck Liddell and Frank Trigg.

My previous article (The Top 5 UFC Rivalries) certainly got the MMA community talking about their favourite UFC rivalries, I thought it would be remiss of me to not mention some of the most conversed rivalries by our readers.

So, here we go, round two of some of the greatest rivalries in the UFC.

Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz

When Chuck Liddell became the number one contender for Tito Ortiz’s title everything changed.

Training partners and friends they were no longer.

The feud began in 2002 when Ortiz refused Liddell a shot at the title due to “conflicts”. Liddell accused Ortiz that he was trying to obstruct the inevitable fight, which would happen two years later at UFC 47.

Ortiz lost via TKO in the second round.

They met again for a re-match at UFC 66 and Ortiz lost in the same fashion. It was certain that we would see a part three.

In 2010, Ortiz and Liddell coached in The Ultimate Fighter: Season 11. They were scheduled to fight, however, Ortiz pulled out due to an injury that required surgery. The war of words continued and Liddell condemned Ortiz for avoiding the fight.

The much yearned for trilogy has not taken place since and is unlikely that we will ever see it given Liddell has now retired from the UFC.

That said, given the opportunity, however, something tells me that Liddell would take the fight in a heartbeat should he be given the opportunity.

Matt Hughes Vs. Frank Trigg

Trigg challenged Hughes twice for his welterweight title and both times he was defeated in the first round via a rear naked choke.

The first round of their second fight is arguably the most exciting first round that the MMA community has ever seen.

Before the fight had commenced, Trigg went nose-to-nose with Hughes then proceeded to blow him a kiss. Naturally, rubbing up Hughes the wrong way, he responded by shoving Trigg and at that moment, we knew we were in for one hell of an entertaining fight.

In the centre of the cage they exchanged punches. Trigg caught Hughes with a knee to the groin that was not caught by referee Mario Yamasaki. As Hughes tried to regain his composure, Trigg saw an opportunity, swung a left hook which sent Hughes to the ground.

Hughes was in serious trouble as Trigg unleashed a barrage of blows and found the mount position.

As Hughes tried to maneuver his way out from underneath Trigg, he made a mistake and gave his back which landed him in a rear naked choke.

When Hughes’ face turned bright red, we all thought it was over, however, he shocked us all and escaped.

Moments later, Hughes picked up Trigg, carried him across the cage and dropped him on his back.

At the end of the first round, Trigg found himself in a rear naked choke and conceded a second defeat.

To this day, Hughes and Trigg despise each other and dare I say that these two will never kiss and make up.

B.J. Penn Vs. Georges St. Pierre

B.J Penn and Georges St-Pierre (GSP) first met in the Octagon at UFC 58 but it was not until UFC 94 when it all came to a head.

After GSP won their first fight via split decision, Penn dropped into the lightweight division which saw him grab the title early on.

However, Penn moved back up to the Welterweight division and challenged GSP for a re-match and a shot at the title.

B.J. Penn’s corner conceded the fight at the end of round four after the doctor assessed the damage caused by a much larger GSP.

It was not until after the fight that we found out that Penn’s camp filed a formal complaint to the Athletic Commission because GSP’s corner-man Phil Nurse applied Vaseline to GSP’s body illegally. *

Penn has called GSP a “cheater” ever since.

All claims were dismissed as false and warranted no disciplinary action or further investigation.

Matt Hughes Vs. Georges St. Pierre

Whilst there was no bitter feud, it was this rivalry against Matt Hughes that made Georges St. Pierre into the best pound-for-pound fighter that we see today.

Hughes and GSP met in the Octagon three times, each presenting a shot for the title.

In their first meeting at UFC 79, Matt Hughes defeated GSP submitting him in the first round via an armbar.

After admitting that he was intimidated by fighting his idol, he showed that this was no longer to be the case in their next two matches.

GSP fought Hughes again winning both occasions; at UFC at UFC 65 by TKO stoppage and at UFC 79 in ironic fashion, an armbar submission.

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