Some of the best bouts in UFC history stem from the biggest rivalries. Before the real fight even starts, fighters throw slurs back and forth from the time the match is announced, until they step into the cage. I’m sure most of us think of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen when we hear the words “biggest rivals,” but they aren’t the only ones. For your reading pleasure, the UFC has released what they believe to be the top 10 biggest grudge matches in UFC history. Check it out:
10. Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy — UFC 99
I think this rivalry often gets overlooked because it didn’t play out as a main event match up. No matter its place on the card, the heat between Hardy and Davis was legitimate, reaching a head in Cologne, Germany at UFC 99.
Hardy started his verbal assault on Davis after “The Irish Hand Grenade” had a steady run of success in England and Ireland, including collecting victories over Hardy’s fellow countrymen Jason Tan, Paul Taylor, and Paul Kelly. After calling him a “fake Irishman” and saying his website “looked like a St. Patrick’s day parade had blown up,” Hardy really struck a nerve when fans created Photoshopped images of Davis and posted them on the internet.
The two eventually stepped into the cage to settle things, with Hardy winning a controversial split decision, all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 with two favoring Hardy two rounds to one.
Davis was adamant about wanting an immediate rematch, but it never materialized, as Hardy would go on to beat Mike Swick five months later to earn a shot at Georges St-Pierre and the welterweight title.