5 best UFC title fights in 2021

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After a difficult 2020 thanks to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 has been a truly excellent year for the UFC.

The UFC has held some spectacular events over the course of 2021, and many of those events have seen epic title fights that have put the lead role on them.

So with a total of 18 UFC title fights already taking place during 2021, which were the most memorable overall?

It’s hard to decide, but after a lot of twists and turns, here are the top five UFC title fights in 2021.

# 5. Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns – UFC 258

Kamaru Usman was pushed to his limits by Gilbert Burns at UFC 258
Kamaru Usman was pushed to his limits by Gilbert Burns at UFC 258

Reigning UFC welterweight king Kamaru Usman was the only champion to defend his title on three occasions during 2021.

A violent knockout by Jorge Masvidal was almost certainly the best finish produced by ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, but the best fight from Usman overall came at UFC 258 in his defense against Gilbert Burns. What made this fight more memorable than Usman’s two other title fights in 2021 was the fact that he had to dig deep to get away with the gold around his life.

Burns, who was a bit of an impeccable challenger despite beating Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley in 2020, did what Masvidal and Colby Covington could not. He dropped Usman with a big right hand in the first round.

Usman seemed on the verge of losing the grip on the title, but he somehow recovered, showed an amazing chin, and then began to work his way back into the fight by hammering Burns with his stick.

As the match ticked on, it was clear that ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was starting to take control. Admittedly, early in the third round he got a stiff jolt that put ‘Durinho’ down.

Burns did his best to try to recover but could not get back on his feet and Usman did not give up until the match was over.

Despite not being as long awaited as Usman vs. Masvidal 2 or Usman vs. Covington 2, this welterweight title fight proved to be an underrated classic and is still the closest Usman has come to be exposed to so far.


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