Lesnar, Edgar: Top 5 greatest UFC comebacks of all time ranked

UFC 200 - Weigh-in

The UFC is known for showcasing some of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters on the planet, but fans love an underdog or someone that can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Some of the greatest fighters in the history of the company feature in the list of the greatest comebacks ever, including Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and Matt Hughes.

Whilst something like ‘best comebacks’ is purely opinion-based, we’re sure that you will agree with some of the absolutely gargantuan feats of ability from some of the fighters we’ve listed!

Here are the fan picks for the top 5 greatest comebacks in UFC history, including the likes of Anderson Silva and Brock Lesnar.

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UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Former UFC fighter, Matt Hughes, speaks to the media after a showing of a documentary about him during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

UFC Top 5 Greatest Comebacks

Tapology has an extensive fan-voting system for the best rankings in a number of different elements of MMA.

One of the metrics is ‘the best comebacks in MMA,’ and we’ve taken the top 5 and will rank them ourselves in this article.

5. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II – UFC 52 (April 2005)

A number of years ago, UFC President Dana White revealed in a UFC documentary that this was his favourite fight of all time across MMA, boxing and all combat sports.

Hughes would end up taking the win via Rear Naked Choke submission at 4:05 of Round 1. Trigg had hit Hughes with an illegal low blow and the referee had not seen it, so Trigg went on the offensive and ended up getting his own Rear Naked Choke submission, but Hughes was able to lift Trigg off of the ground and he slammed him on the OPPOSITE SIDE of the octagon before getting his own ground and pound in and applying his own submission for the win.

What an unreal fight.

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UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: Frankie Edgar reacts after losing to Marlon Vera in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

4. Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard II – UFC 125 (January 2011)

Another absolute banger of a fight and arguably the greatest in Lightweight history. Interestingly, Edgar only managed to claw out a draw in this match, but he did retain his belt after it looked like he was doomed in round 1.

Maynard managed to catch Edgar in the first with a big left hand and he spend most of the 

round chasing the champion and completely dominating him.

Edgar got knocked down a few times in the round, and Joe Rogan stated at the time that it was the biggest beatdown he’d ever seen a fighter take and then recover from.

Look for this contest on UFC FIGHT PASS, you won’t regret it.

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UFC 226:  Miocic v Cormier
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 07: Brock Lesnar (L) confronts Daniel Cormier (R) after his heavyweight championship fight against Stipe Miocic at T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cormier won by first-round knockout. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

3. Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin – UFC 116 (July 2010)

Heading into this massive contest, many fight fans and commentators were saying that the ‘Beast Incarnate’ was unstoppable inside the octagon.

Well, Carwin proved that the former UFC Heavyweight and WWE Champion is in fact human, with the challenger managing to make Lesnar go down to the canvas where he spent a lot of round 1 in a fetal-like position as Carwin rained down punches.

Carwin would make a fatal mistake by trying to end the contest too quickly, with the heavyweight gassing himself out before the end of the round.

Lesnar would then recover for round 2 and would end up getting Carwin in an arm-triangle choke to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

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Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011
LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 30: Mixed martial artists Jay Silva and Cheick Kongo arrive at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort on November 30, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

2. Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo – UFC on Versus 4 (June 2011)

Combat sports fans on Tapology have this ranked as the #3 greatest heavyweight MMA fight of all time, and for good reason.

Essentially, Pat Barry was hoping to move up the ranks of the UFC with a win over Kongo, but his opponent had different plans.

After knocking Kongo down twice, the behemoth heavyweight managed to swing for the fences after staggering to his feet and he stopped Barry in what Joe Rogan called “one of the craziest stoppages I have ever seen.”

Check out the full fight below courtesy of the BT Sport YouTube channel:


1. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen – UFC 117 (August 2010)

And here we go, the greatest UFC comeback in the history of the MMA company, and for good reason.

This fight was essentially nearly five rounds of Sonnen proving why he was one of the best Middleweight grapplers on the planet, dominating the-then Brazilian 185-pound champion.

Sonnen also managed to score really well on the feet, especially at the start of round 1 when he hit the champion with some vicious strikes.

The contest went all the way to round 5, and it was a completely dominant performance from the challenger Sonnen. If the round had finished? He would’ve become the UFC Middleweight Champion.

But, the fight didn’t end there, and Silva (a BJJ black belt) was able to catch Sonnen with a triangle choke at 3:10 of round 5 to retain the greatest comeback we’ve ever seen inside the octagon.

If you have never seen it, check out the full fight below via the official UFC YouTube channel, because it is THAT good.


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