5 of the best lightweight fights in MMA history

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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The five greatest fights ever in the lightweight division of MMA.

MMA is a sport that has not been around for as long as other combat sports yet it has found a way to become extremely popular all around the world. That's mostly thanks to the high-level action that MMA has produced since its inception, leading to some of the most excitingly violent bouts in combat sports history.

The lightweight division is no stranger to such high octane drama. Although it took time for the 155 pound division to become popular in mainstream MMA, mostly due to the fact that fans were still fascinated by the heavier weight class, it is now one of the most highly competitive divisions across multiple promotions. One could even argue that the UFC's current lightweight division is one of the most competitive weight classes of all-time given the depth of talent available.

Picking five of the best fights in the lightweight division across all MMA promotions was not an easy task. I'm almost positive that you won't fully agree with my list but before you get all mad, let's look at the criteria I used for picking them.

The first point was how good the fight was on an objective level. Regardless of who or what was on the line, we tried my best to not let variables outside of the action get in the way of the selection process. Saying that, I have also taken into account historical impact and context. Some of the biggest fights in MMA history have taken place at 155 pounds and to leave them out would be blasphemous given their impact on the sport.

Now that the selection criteria is out of the way, it's time to rank the five best lightweight fights in MMA history from five all the way to the greatest 155-pound clash. A top five list can't be complete without some honorable mentions. Here are the five that just missed out on the cut, in no particular order:

  • Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33
  • Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58
  • Cowboy Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson I at WEC 43
  • Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson at TUF 25 finale
  • Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC on FOX 29