21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
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Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes

Not all MMA rivalries have to be based on hate. Sometimes the best rivalries in sports have to do with skill and entertainment rather than bad blood. This is the case between Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes. These two fighters are known as some of the nicest in the sport but inside the cage, their skills are second to none.

In the early 2000s, the UFC welterweight division was full of stars. From BJ Penn to Matt Serra many names from that era can now be found in the UFC Hall of Fame. Two of those fighters who might go down as the best of all time are St-Pierre and Hughes. Hughes came on the UFC scene back in 1999 at UFC 22. He won the welterweight strap in 2001 and defended it five times. When the chance to regain his title came around again the man standing in his way was a young up and comer named Georges St-Pierre.

Hughes made easy work of St-Pierre in that first meeting defeating him by first-round submission. Following that fight, both men continued on winning streaks and they both knew they would meet again soon. St-Pierre confronted Hughes in the Octagon following his win over BJ Penn and called out Hughes for a rematch saying he was “not impressed” by his performance.

The two would get the chance to fight for the second time and this time it was St-Pierre who would walk away with UFC gold. St-Pierre was able to stop Hughes by way of TKO. Two fights later the trilogy fight was set. This time it was for the interim welterweight belt and St-Pierre once again took the cake. These two men will forever be known as some of the best to ever fight inside the Octagon, and their legacies will forever be intertwined because of their rivalry