UFC London: The Greatest Ever UFC Shows Outside The US Ranked
While predominantly the domain of the US, there’s no question that UFC events held around the world pack just as hard a punch, garnering the same sort of energised crowds and celebrated fighters that US spectators have long enjoyed.
UFC London, set forJuly 23rd, is just a Showtime Kick away. Fans of UFC betting are about to witness the show of their lives when English heavyweight sensation Tom Aspinall takes on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes in one of his biggest challenges yet. Blaydes has been defeated by only two men in his career, and Aspinall will need to put on a big performance to become the third man on that list.
As thrilling as the heavyweight match is bound to be, the unofficial headliner of UFC is fan-favourite Paddy Pimblett facing fellow grappler Jordan Leavitt. While both root their fighting styles in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, their respective executions are distinct. Pimblett will look to push the pace on his opponent, seeking a victory not just for its own end, but as a statement to justify the hype.
The undercard matches include a title eliminator between Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir, and the return of Alexander Gustafsson.
Aside from UFC London, the promotion has already held events on five continents and aims to travel outside America at least twenty times annually. Ahead of UFC London on July 23rd, Bodog is taking a minute to highlight the top five greatest ever UFC events outside the United States.
5. UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm (Melbourne, Australia)
Ronda Rousey changed women’s MMA. She was the catalyst for millions of women becoming fans of the sport and headed the charge to allow women to fight in the UFC.
As the first women’s bantamweight champion, the culmination of Rousey’s reign came in Melbourne, Australia, in November 2015, at UFC 193. The challenger was then-undefeated boxing hall-of-famer Holly Holm. UFC betting tipsters couldn’t have been more wrong, as Rousey entered the octagon a staggering -900 favourite.
A controlling first round for Holm continued into the second as she landed left hands and circled off to nullify Rousey. Rousey turned her back on Holm one minute into round two. Holm spotted the opening and knocked Rousey out cold with a head kick. Holm’s excited reaction to her victory at Etihad Stadium, in front of a record crowd for UFC, became legendary.
UFC 193 was the first time the main and co-main events were to be contested between women. It was also the most attended UFC event ever at the time, a huge statement for women’s MMA.
4. UFC Fight Night 204: Aspinall vs. Volkov (London, England)
On the heels of multiple cancelled events, UFC London was the first such event to hit the UK in three years. The famously rowdy British fans had been eager to witness the new crop of their compatriots in the flesh. On March 19th, 2022, they got their wish.
Recently signed star Paddy Pimblett brought all his hype to the O2 Arena in the people’s main event. He choked out Kazula Vargas in the first round, garnering a massive ovation from the crowd. His teammate Molly McCann, who himself scored an incredible knockout on the same night, climbed the octagon to celebrate alongside him, riding the current of that evening’s electricity in the air
Almost all of the British fighters were victorious. Exciting finishes from Paul Craig; Muhammad Mokaev, Arnold Allen, and others cemented the contendership of various Brits in their respective divisions. UFC President Dana White called it the “biggest Fight Night in UFC history.” A huge compliment to the fans and fighters in London.
3. UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida (Toronto, Canada)
UFC 140 on December 10th, 2011 saw the youngest champion in UFC history Jon Jones, make his second title defence against Lyoto Machida.
The upper weight classes dominated the event. The Nogueira brothers each had a bout below the headliner, taking on legends in Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz. Mir’s arm-snapping kimura submission of Big Nog became one of the most notorious in MMA.
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung overcame UFC betting odds of +300 in his second bout in the promotion. Following his never-before-seen Twister spine-lock submission in his debut, he continued his run through featherweight by knocking out Mark Hominick in just seven seconds.
This event was filled with late replacements and became a patchwork of the original card. And yet still stands as one of the most balanced, high-level displays in UFC history.
2. UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal have shared a very heated rivalry at welterweight. Since Masvidal began his climb towards the title with a knockout over Darren Till at UFC London in 2019, he and champion Kamaru Usman were at each other’s throats.
Usman was scheduled to face Gilbert Burns at UFC 251 on July 12th, 2020. But when Burns had to withdraw with COVID-19 a week prior, Masvidal opted to step in. With just six days of preparation, Masvidal gave Usman the closest fight of his reign.
This card also featured two of the best fights in recent memory. Max Holloway took a controversial loss to champion Alexander Volkanovski, while Petr Yan knocked out icon Jose Aldo. Even the prelims featured elite talent—with now-champion Jiri Prochazka taking on Volkan Oezdemir.
1. UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
At a time when the UFC franchise was touring with increased vigour, Rio de Janeiro played host to #134 on August 27th, 2011. Despite Brazil being well represented on the UFC roster, having produced a number of champions, it was the first event held there in thirteen years.
The main card featured a Brazilian in every fight. Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the greatest UFC fighter ever, made an incredible ninth defence of his middleweight belt. Mauricio Rua bounced back from losing his light heavyweight title to defeat Forrest Griffin in the first round. Home victories for Barboza and Rodrigo Nogueira spurred on the ravenous crowd, who coined the famous “Uh vai morrei” (You’re going to die) chant at this event.
UFC 134 was voted the best event of 2011 by Sherdog.
If the upcoming UFC London is anything like it was in March, then it could easily be the next UFC betting event that makes the next iteration of this list. The odds are ready to be gripped with both hands, so dive inside the Bodog sportsbook and secure your odds before the big day.