The UFC is home to some of the most exciting fights, but not every fight will be great. Sometimes a UFC fighter refuses to take any risks and plays it safe; other times an accident happens that ruins the fight. Here are the worst UFC main events in recent history.
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia
Fighting styles determine how exciting a fight will be, and the fighting styles of these two men just didn’t make a great fight. Tyron Woodley is a talented wrestler and striker, and Demian Maia is a fearsome Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist. Maia wanted to get Woodley on the ground and submit him, but Woodley’s expert wrestling allowed him to keep the fight standing.
Unfortunately, Woodley got injured during the first round, which stopped him from putting pressure on Maia. As a result, this 25-minute fight is regarded by many as one of the most boring fights ever. Maia kept trying to take Woodley down as Woodley easily shrugged him off. However, due to Woodley’s injury and Maia’s inability to strike, neither men were able to hit each other. Woodley ultimately won the 25-minute decision as he did end up hitting Maia more.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens
Just 15 seconds into this main event in Mexico City, Yair Rodriguez accidentally poked Jeremy Stephens in the eye while throwing a kick. The referee tried to give Stephens as much time as he needed to recover, but Stephens was unable to do so. This was a total accident, so the fight was ruled a no-contest.
As a result, fans who paid lots of money to watch Rodriguez, who’s Mexican, booed and chanted obscenities. Some fans even threw beer bottles at the cage, causing UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald to hide under his desk. This accident upset some fighters, too. Rodriguez and others thought Stephens faked the severity of his injury to get out of the fight. Meanwhile, Stephens demanded a rematch.
Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till
This fight is what happens when you pit two great counter-strikers, like Conor McGregor, against each other. Facing other fighters, Stephen Thompson and Darren Till can knock almost anyone out. However, because they’re both counter-strikers, they need their opponent to punch first. But both Thompson and Till were waiting for the other to punch fist, so neither actually threw many punches at all.
Not only did these men barely hit one another, but they mostly stared at each other and feinted for the entire 25-minute fight. In the end, Till was declared the winner as judges thought he was more effective with his strikes.
Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou
This was the co-main event of UFC 226, but it’s easily one of the most disappointing fights in recent memory. Francis Ngannou is a knockout artist who’s put many great fighters to sleep with one punch. Derrick Lewis is another knockout artist who puts on a show every time he fights. When this fight was booked, fans thought the two men would knock someone out in the first minute. However, the exact opposite happened.
The two men were so afraid of each other’s power that for the whole 15-minute fight, they mostly stared at each other and never committed to any strikes. At one point the referee warned the two men that they needed to fight. Lewis ultimately won, since he landed more strikes, but the fans were the biggest losers. Fortunately, both men turned it around, returning to their knockout-artist ways.