Who had the best opponent for their pro debut?


Steel Belt
Jul 16, 2008
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Which fighter (current or past) had the most difficult opponent during their debut?
I'm sure there are cases where a fighter took on a future champ in their early stages that would rank ahead, but as far as already established 'best' Prado fighting Phil Davis has to be close to it.
UFC debut or simply pro debut?

In terms of UFC debut, Joe Lauzon faced and defeated Jen Pulver, who was seen by some as the current UFC Lightweight Champion.
Most difficult UFC debut?

Probably Brock vs. Mir, Lesnar was only 1-0 at the time.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Brian Ebersole (both made their pro mma debut together).
Forrest Griffin debuted against Dan Severn.
George St. Pierre faced Ivan Menjivar in his debut.
Mike Pyle fought Rampage (UD loss) in his debut and Fitch (RNC win) in his second fight.
Both Yuji Nagata and Choi Hong-man faced Fedor and Mirko CroCop in 2 of their first 3 fights.