It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., and until a few years ago that always meant a reasonably big pay-per-view event for the UFC.
From 2006 until 2015, fans could count on the Saturday before the holiday for a card usually worth traveling for. The 2006 event was at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the next nine went down at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas – and fans came out to take advantage of that extra holiday off day on the tail end.
The big pay-per-views centered around the holiday stopped in 2016, but we still got 10 years worth of highlights, and plenty of them.
This holiday weekend, we’ve taken a look back at the 10 Memorial Day weekend UFC pay-per-views and the best submissions (Friday), knockouts (Saturday) and fights (Sunday). Monday, we want you to vote for the best overall event of the 10.
Check out the 10 pay-per-views, listed chronologically, and vote on your favorite below.
- The 10 best submissions in UFC Memorial Day weekend history
- The 10 best knockouts in UFC Memorial Day weekend history
- The 10 best fights in UFC Memorial Day weekend history
Date: May 27, 2006
Notes: Matt Hughes headlined against legend Royce Gracie, who returnedd to the UFC for the first time in more than a decade. Hughes dominated for a first-round TKO. The setback was one of only two in Gracie’s career. At the time, the event was the UFC’s top pay-per-view in history. In nine fights, there only was one decision. Stoppage winners included Gabriel Gonzaga, Brandon Vera and Diego Sanchez.
Date: May 26, 2007
Notes: In the headliner, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Chuck Liddell in a rematch from their PRIDE days. Jackson won the light heavyweight title and a “Knockout of the Night” bonus. There were seven finishes in nine fights, including Houston Alexander, Din Thomas and Alan Belcher.
Date: May 24, 2008
Notes: In the main event, B.J. Penn defended his lightweight title with a third-round TKO of Sean Sherk. There were nine stoppages in 11 fights, including Shane Carwin, Rousimar Palhares and Wanderlei Silva – who took out Keith Jardine in 36 seconds. Plus, Lyoto Machida dominated former champ Tito Ortiz on his way to an eventual title shot.
Date: May 23, 2009
Notes: Lyoto Machida finished Rashad Evans with a second-round knockout that became an all-time UFC highlight reel stoppage for the way Evans folded up along the fence. Machida became the light heavyweight champion with one of seven finishes in 11 fights on the card. In the co-main event, “Ultimate Fighter 6” coaches Matt Hughes and Matt Serra fought in a grudge match that Hughes took by unanimous decision. Chael Sonnen and future lightweight champ Frankie Edgar also won decisions.
Date: May 29, 2010
Notes: Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson settled their grudge after coaching opposite each other on Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter” the preceding fall. Evans won a unanimous decision. There were four stoppages in 11 fights. Mike Russow picked up one of the year’s biggest comebacks and upsets with a third-round knockout of Todd Duffee.
Date: May 28, 2011
Notes: Quinton Jackson headlined a Memorial Day weekend show for the second straight year and picked up a unanimous decision sweep of Matt Hamill. The main event was supposed to be Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III, but the fight fell through – as did Jackson vs. Thiago Silva. There were three finishes in 10 fights, including Travis Browne’s bonus-winning Superman punch stoppage of Stefan Struve.
Date: May 26, 2012
Notes: Junior Dos Santos defended his heavyweight title with a second-round TKO of former champion Frank Mir in the main event. In the co-feature, Cain Velasquez knocked out Antonio Silva in the first round to set up a rematch with Dos Santos. The main card was made up of five heavyweight fights, all of which ended in stoppages for “JDS,” Velasquez, Roy Nelson, future champ Stipe Miocic and Stefan Struve.
Date: May 25, 2013
Notes: Cain Velasquez fought Antonio Silva in a rematch in the headliner and defended the heavyweight title with an 81-second TKO. Junior Dos Santos knocked out Mark Hunt late in the third round of their heavyweight co-main event to set up another shot at Velasquez and the heavyweight title. The event featured six finishes, and future champions Khabib Nurmagomedov and Robert Whittaker also picked up wins on the card.
Date: May 24, 2014
Notes: In the main event, T.J. Dillashaw dominated Renan Barao to win the bantamweight title. The upset snapped Barao’s 32-fight winning streak and sent him, for the most part, on a huge downward spiral. In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier choked out Dan Henderson, then called out Jon Jones. Future champs Robbie Lawler and Tony Ferguson also had knockout wins earlier on the card.
Date: May 23, 2015
Notes: In the headliner, Daniel Cormier submitted Anthony Johnson to win the vacant light heavyweight title after it was stripped from Jon Jones. In the co-main event, middleweight champ Chris Weidman finished Vitor Belfort with a first-round TKO. Other stoppage winners included Donald Cerrone and Andrei Arlovski, and Colby Covington won a decision on the prelims.
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