This weekend, the UFC will touch down in Denver with UFC on Fox 23.
Headlined by a bantamweight number one contender fight between Julianna Peña and Valentina Shevchenko, co-headlined by a welterweight battle between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal, and featuring other big names like Andrei Arlovski, Francis Ngannou, Aljamain Sterling and Nate Marquardt, this card looks like it could be one of the UFC’s best Fox shows ever.
In celebration of this stacked card, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite UFC on Fox events thus far. Click next to see ’em!
5. UFC on Fox 12: Lawler vs. Brown
Back in July of 2014, the UFC touched down in San Jose, California with one of its best Fox cards to date.
In the evening’s man event, we were treated to a five-round welterweight war between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown – which would earn both men Fight of the Night honors, and earn Lawler a rematch with then welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
The card’s co-main event, meanwhile, saw Anthony “Rumble” Johnson make good on the second fight of his run in the UFC light heavyweight division by delivering an unforgettable knockout defeat of Brazilian legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Other highlights of the card, finally, were Dennis Bermudez’s destruction of Clay Guida, Bobby Green’s controversial defeat of Josh Thomson, and the UFC debut of future strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Though this card was a little heavy in terms of decision victories – nine of the of the twelve fights on the bill reached the judges’ scorecards – it registered as one of the finest UFC on Fox cards ever all the same.
3. UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2
If there was one criticism of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson leading into his UFC on Fox 9 rematch with Joseph Benavidez, it was that he hadn’t finished many of his recent fights. In this rematch, Mighty Mouse silenced his doubters by delivering arguably the most violent knockout in UFC flyweight history, crushing his rival just over two minutes into round one.
In this card’s co-main event, meanwhile, we saw recently retired legend Urijah Faber score one of the most dominant wins of his UFC career, pummelling a game Michael McDonald to a second-round rear-naked choke.
The other big moment of this card occurred during the prelims, when Edson Barboza and Danny Castillo engaged in a wild, back-and-forth brawl, earning themselves Fight of the Night checks in the process.
3. UFC on Fox 17: Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2
The UFC closed out an action-packed 2015 with UFC on Fox 17, which emanated from sunny Orlando, Florida.
This card’s main event saw then lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos maul Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 66 seconds, chasing the fan favorite out of the lightweight division and up to the welterweight division where he’ll fight Jorge Masvidal on Saturday.
The co-main event, meanwhile, saw former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 champ Alistair Overeem knock out fellow striker Junior Dos Santos in a heavyweight battle that had been years in the making.
The undeniable highlight of the card, however, was Nate Diaz’s systematic destruction of Michael Johnson, which he followed with the profanity-ridden tirade that would ultimately earn him his first battle with Irish star Conor McGregor.
“Conor McGregor, you’re taking everything I worked for, mother f*cker,” Diaz bellowed into the mic after his win.
2. UFC on Fox 18: Johnson vs. Bader
Crushing Anthony “Rumble” Johnson knockouts are a surprisingly common occurrence on UFC on Fox cards. When the UFC touched down in Newark, New Jersey in January 2016 with UFC on Fox 18, the powerful light heavyweight delivered yet another Fox knockout – arguably the best of bunch – as he clubbed Ryan Bader to a first-round W.
The co-main event of this card produced an equally emphatic stoppage, as Big Ben Rothwell shocked the world by submitting the seemingly unsubmittable Josh Barnett with a second-round gogo choke.
The rest of the card, finally, was highlighted by Bryan Barberena handing the highly hyped Sage Northcutt the first loss of his career, and Alexander Yakovlev’s delivering a crushing, one-punch KO of Alexander Yakovlev.
1. UFC on Fox 4: Rua vs. Vera
When picking the top card on this list, there could be no other choice than UFC on Fox 4, which occurred in Los Angeles, California back in August of 2012.
This event’s unforgettable main card was kicked off by Mike Swick, who punched DeMarques Johnson’s head into the stratosphere with a series of second-round punches. Up next was an unforgettable lightweight war between frequent bonus winner Joe Lauzon and WEC veteran Jamie Varner. The co-main event, meanwhile, saw Lyoto Machida deliver one of the best knockouts of his career, flattening an over aggressive Ryan Bader with a blistering second-round punch. The main event, lastly, was an incredible light heavyweight war that saw Brandon Vera do far better than anyone anticipated against the legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, but ultimately fold under a torrent of fourth round punches.
Yes, with its emphatic stoppages and wild wars, UFC on Fox 4 stands out as the best Fox card thus far. Can this weekend’s UFC on Fox 23 steal that title? Time will tell!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/27/2017.