APEX Anniversary: The Best Fights to Take Place at the UFC APEX

APEX Anniversary: The Best Fights to Take Place at the UFC APEX

June 14, 2024|

Since its inception as an outlet to hold UFC events through the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC APEX has been a staple of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in recent years. Whether you loved the no crowds, the ability to hear the corners and exactly what was going on inside the cage, or hated it, this venue has held numerous fights that have made its mark in UFC history. This weekend will be the APEX's 100th show in just a few years of activity, headlined by top flyweight contenders Alex Perez and Tatsuro Taira. The APEX has held some of the best fights in the division's history and has captured some fantastic moments.

Let's take a look at some of the best fights to take place at the UFC APEX.

Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou

To kick off the list, we have a fight that didn't last long, but it was a memorable one for the impact that it had on the sport. Francis Ngannou was coming into this fight on a five-fight first-round knockout streak, with a previous loss to Miocic in which he simply got outclassed. Miocic got the better of The Predator, and so fans anticipated a similar result their second time out. However, when the fight started, we knew we were looking at a different Ngannou. Francis was patient, picked his shots, and was able to survive the wrestling offense of Miocic. He even landed a takedown of his own to the surprise of the commentary team. Finally, to cap off a brilliant performance, Ngannou countered a blitzing Miocic with a punch that sent Miocic to the canvas and Francis followed it up with a brutal shot that left the champion out cold. It was a shocking but amazing performance by Ngannou who certainly "leveled up" to get his revenge.


Cory Sandhagen vs TJ Dillashaw

Another great fight that took place inside the UFC APEX, was TJ Dillashaw's return to the octagon. Following Dillashaw's failed double-champ attempt at flyweight, he was hit with a lengthy two-year suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Dillashaw was out of the sport from 2019-2021 in which he was given top-three opponent Cory Sandhagen upon his return. This was a fight between two of the best in the division and a chance for Dillashaw to announce his return in a big way. The fight was very back and forth, with Sandhagen landing 128 significant strikes compared to Dillashaw's 110 over the course of five rounds. In the end, Dillashaw was given the win via a split decision, which many found to be controversial.

Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns

One of the few championship title defenses we saw inside the UFC APEX, we saw Kamaru Usman defend his welterweight title against longtime teammate and friend Gilbert Burns. For the longest time, we saw Usman look virtually unbeatable, but Burns came out very aggressive and scored an early knockdown against the champion. Usman survived and made some fantastic adjustments for the remainder of the fight, utilizing his jab that caused serious problems for Burns. Usman dropped Burns in the second round, and finally broke him in the third as the referee stopped the action within the first minute of the round. The commentary reactions made this fight special, as Gilbert Burns finally made Usman look human, but the resilience of the champion proved to be the difference maker that night.


Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno I

The fight that kicked off an unforgettable rivalry between two of the greatest flyweights of all time. Figueiredo and Moreno first met back in 2020, following Figueiredo's flyweight title win over Joseph Benavidez. Both fighters came out very aggressive from the opening round, and both had significant moments throughout the fight. The fight was virtually even until Figueiredo was deducted a point for a low blow, which eventually proved to be the difference maker. Regardless, Figueiredo kept the forward pressure and rallied to score an eventual draw with Moreno. The point deduction ultimately cost Figueiredo the win, but this fight still went down as one of the greatest fights in UFC flyweight history. Neither fighter was set on losing the opportunity to hold an undisputed UFC title, and they were destined to meet again and settle the score, which they did.

Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker

Perhaps the best fight we've seen at the UFC APEX, we saw Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker bang it out in a slugfest that lasted five rounds. Hooker was riding a three-fight win streak at the time and was looking to establish himself as a contender at Lightweight against the legend, Dustin Poirier. From the opening bell, these two went at it, both landing vicious shots that caused a lot of damage. Despite both men having significant moments, Poirier's experience was the difference maker as Hooker started to fade into the championship rounds. It's often rare for a fan to hear what goes on inside the cage. With a loud arena, whether you're at home or live at the event itself, you unfortunately aren't able to hear. This fight was special because you could hear the impact of each shot landing on the other fighter, and each fighter's reaction to each one. Poirier and Hooker went at it from bell to bell, and this fight being at the APEX made it a memorable one.

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