21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
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Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort

A rivalry that can transcend different organizations in one with deep roots. The rivalry between Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort did just that. It all began when both men were with Pride. Henderson was the welterweight champion when he won the middleweight championship. He was the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously for that promotion. Right before his middleweight title bout, he faced Belfort at Pride 32 – The Real Deal. Henderson walked away with the victory when he defeated Belfort by unanimous decision. Following the fight, Belfort tested positive for an illegal substance, 4-hydroxytestosterone. Due to this Belfort was suspended for nine months, and the bad blood between these two men began.

The second meeting was seven years later when both men were in the UFC. Henderson had made the move back up to light heavyweight and was on a crash course for the title. Belfort was fresh off a light heavyweight title loss to Jon Jones. The second fight with Henderson went well for Belfort, He won by first-round KO when he landed a huge head kick on Henderson.

Belfort had continued trouble with drug use throughout his career, and Henderson was publically weary of his ability to fight clean. Henderson accused him of being on “something” when they fought in 2013 as he mentioned to MMAFighting.com. However, the two were finally paired up again in 2015 at the ages of 38 and 45.

The trilogy fight took place on November 7, 2015, in Belfort’s home country of Brazil. This one would be the deciding fight between these two men who were nearing the end of their carers. Once again Belfort walked away victorious ending the fight with another first round KO. Since that last fight, both men have walked away from the sport and should go down as some of the best to have ever graced the UFC Octagon.