Tuesday, April 23

10 Worst UFC PPVs Of All Time, Ranked

Highlights

  • UFC 33 is widely regarded as the worst UFC event ever with every fight on the main card going to a decision.
  • UFC 208 was plagued with changes and injuries, but Germaine de Randamie became the inaugural Women’s Featherweight Champion.
  • UFC 90 saw multiple fighter injuries and changes to the card, but Junior dos Santos made his debut with a TKO victory.



When fans think of a UFC PPV, they only ever think about the good times. PPVs such as UFC 217, where Georges St-Pierre returned to glory and captured the UFC middleweight title, or even a hectic card such as UFC 229, where Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor, will forever live in the minds of fans of MMA forever.

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However, that doesn’t mean that all the PPV cards are good. Throughout the UFC’s history, there have been a lot of terrible cards that even the most hardcore of fans have wanted to forget. So we’re going to take a look at the past that the UFC wish didn’t exist, and rank the worst PPV cards of all time.

UPDATE: 2024/02/14 12:43 EST BY ETHAN SCHLABAUGH

Despite how beloved a company like the UFC might be by its die-hard and loyal fans, the company is far from safe when it comes to producing stinker events. Multiple events were either hyped up beyond belief and failed to meet expectations or looked weak the minute they were announced. With such a lineage behind its name, it isn’t hard to find a handful of events that fans were majorly disappointed with. Here are the absolute worst-received events in UFC history.



10 UFC 90: Silvia Vs. Cote

Almost Every Fight Needed To Be Changed Due To Injury

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

10-25-2008

15,359

Anderson Silva Vs. Patrick Cote (Middleweight Championship)

UFC 90 had numerous changes made to the card right before the event night. A majority of the scheduled names that were going to appear were removed due to injury or some other reason. Names like Ricardo Almeida, Gleison Tibau, and Diego Sanchez all suffered an injury and were replaced with a different fighter. Even the main event was rumored to be Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami, but that fight was canceled after Okami suffered a hand injury.


This card also featured multiple decisions and a knee injury finish in the main. The most fondly remembered match on the card was the debut of Junior dos Santos, who beat Fabricio Werdum in the first round via TKO.

9 UFC 97: Redemption

A Lackluster Performance From Anderson Silva

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

04-18-2009

21,451

Anderson Silva Vs. Thales Leites (Middleweight Championship)

This card, held in the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, saw the RACJ (the board created by the Quebec government) request a handful of rule changes from the Unified Rules of MMA before settling with the banning of foot stomps. Outside this odd situation before the event, the actual show was average, besides a quick one-round fight between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio Rua.


It would be the main event that held down this card as it saw Anderson Silva go to a decision against Thales Leites in a fight that saw both men bore the audience.

8 UFC 61: Bitter Rivals

Sold Off Of Shamrock Vs. Ortiz

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

07-08-2006

11,167

Tim Sylvia Vs. Andrei Arlovski (Heavyweight Championship)

Fan reception to Tim Sylvia and his reign with the Heavyweight Championship has not been the best, as fans perceive his fights to be boring. This card is a prime example of that, as the two big fights going in were the Heavyweight title fight between Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski and the other being the much-anticipated rematch between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.


The rematch of Ortiz vs. Shamrock ended up selling this show and saw a buy rate of 775,000 and a revenue of $30.9 million, a record for the UFC at the time. The actual fights themselves were alright with Ortiz and Shamrock delivering before fans had to watch a lackluster main event afterward.

7 UFC 112: Invincible

The Night Silva Annoyed Dana White

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

04-10-2010

11,008

Anderson Silva Vs. Demian Maia (Middleweight Championship)

Similar to the previous event, all it takes is a horrible main event to weigh down a decent card. That is what happened when Anderson Silva defended his Middleweight crown against Demian Maia on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The two went to a decision and saw Dana White refuse to put the belt around Silva’s waist after retaining.


The original fight was meant to be Vitor Belfort facing Silva, but Belfort injured his shoulder and wasn’t able to attend. Chael Sonnen was also planned as a backup, but he also couldn’t fight due to lacerations from his UFC 109 fight with Nate Marquardt. After the show, Ariel Helwani spoke with Dana White, where the UFC CEO apologized to fans and berated Silva’s performance.

6 UFC 122: Marquardt Vs. Okami

A Nothing Event

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

11-13-2010

8,421

Nate Marquardt Vs. Yushin Okami


UFC 122 is more fondly remembered for the unique alternate poster that saw Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami as zombies than anything the actual event provided. Comparing the attendance drops alone also shows what fans thought of this event, as UFC 121 saw 14,856, UFC 123 received 16,404, and UFC 122 only reached 8,421 (provided the show was held in Oberhausen, Germany).

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The original main event was meant to be Okami vs. Vitor Belfort, instead, Dana White pulled Belfort out and said he was going to challenge Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title, a match that wouldn’t finally happen until UFC 126 in 2011.

5 UFC 161: Evans Vs. Henderson

Planned Fights Couldn’t Happen

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

06-15-2013

14,754

Rashad Evans Vs. Dan Henderson


Something that can plague any MMA event is matches not happening for one reason or another. Unfortunately, UFC 161 would deal with this a lot. Matches needed to be moved around or outright canceled as fighters pulled out because of injuries, visa issues, or the need to bolster a poor main card.

The planned main event of Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland couldn’t happen due to Barao and a foot injury, so Evans and Henderson became the main event. Stipe Miocic was going to face Soa Palelei but due to the main event changing, the UFC tried to bolster the main card and have Roy Nelson replace Palelei. Finally, Antonio “Lil Nog” Nogueria was meant to face Mauricio Rua but a back injury stopped Nogueria from fighting and Rua was taken off the card altogether.

4 UFC 119: Mir Vs. Cro Cop

A Stinker Main Event


Date

Attendance

Main-Event

09-25-2010

15,811

Frank Mir Vs. Mirko Cro Cop

There are not many main event fights that are as disliked as Frank Mir vs. Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 119. Cro Cop would take the fight after the scheduled bout between Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was called off. Their three-round competition has been described as boring and saw neither man even land a significant strike before Cro Cop was knocked out via a knee strike.

The eventual fight between Mir and Nogueira would happen later at UFC 140 with Mir gaining the victory via a kimura in the first round, marking Mir as the first person to knock out and submit Nogueira. On top of that, Sean McCorkle would score his infamous victory over Mark Hunt, who was making his UFC debut.


3 UFC 208: Holm Vs. De Randamie

The Introduction Of The Women’s Featherweight Championship

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

02-11-2017

15,628

Holly Holm Vs. Germaine De Randamie

The amount of changes on this card was insane, as multiple fighters were replaced and the actual card itself was meant to be UFC 209 but became 208 and moved venues. One of the bigger matches on the card was going to be Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight title, but injuries and the amount of time between Holloway’s fight at UFC 206 made that not materialize.

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The main event saw Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie face off for the new UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship, with de Randamie becoming the inaugural champion.


2 UFC 149: Faber Vs. Barao

This Card Doesn’t Even Have Its Own Wikipedia Page

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

07-21-2012

16,089

Renan Barao Vs. Urijah Faber

The mess that was UFC 149 has become a joke among fans as the show is one of the few (if not only) numbered UFC event to not have its own Wikipedia page and instead combine it into the “2012 In UFC” page. The main event alone for this show was changed multiple times before settling on the interim Bantamweight Championship match between Faber and Barao.

Names like Mauricio Rua, Michael Bisping, Jose Aldo, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira were all meant to fight on this show before needing to pull out.


1 UFC 33: Victory In Vegas

The Absolute Worst UFC Show

Date

Attendance

Main-Event

09-28-2001

9,500

Tito Ortiz Vs. Vladimir Matyushenko

Going online and looking at every forum post or Reddit thread talking about the worst UFC event ever, most of the time leads people to UFC 33 where every single fight on the main card went to a decision. Even Dana White himself has stated numerous times how he believes this to be the absolute worst show in the company’s history.

The main event and the fight between Jens Pulver and Dennis Hallman have also been called some of the most uneventful five-round fights in UFC history. The last bit of disaster for this show saw many broadcasts of it cut out early, in the middle of the main event fight.


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