The Best One-On-One Fights In The MCU, Ranked

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Vote up the best head-to-head fights in the MCU.

Despite what some critics might say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not just a long string of epic fight scenes tied together by the loose threads of a plot - but that doesn’t mean the MCU is lacking epic fight scenes. Modern-day superhero flicks have a lot more depth and nuance than those of generations past, but the large-scale, superpowered fights remain a third act staple - and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

While many of the most memorable brawls in MCU history take the form of ensemble encounters - like the airport throwdown or Endgame’s climactic clash - it has also had its fair share of notable one-on-one fights. Unlike the more sprawling scenes, where the focus is on spectacle, one-on-one superhero fights bring more personal drama and emotion to the table. Arguing about which superheroes would be able to beat up the others is a classic playground discussion, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has managed to adapt the concept to the big screen time and time again. 


  • 1
    1,005 VOTES

    Thor Versus Gladiator Hulk

    When: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

    When Thor finds himself in the Grandmaster’s gladiator arena on the planet Sakaar, he’s initially overjoyed to see his “friend from work” - only for the dual-ax-wielding Hulk to unleash some pent-up fury on him. Thor manages to swipe one of the Hulk’s hammers and the two exchange mighty blows - and the Hulk manages to toss Thor around like a Loki-esque ragdoll. 

    The God of Thunder decides to start fighting smart, allowing him to briefly gain an advantage over the Jade Giant - but that only makes the Hulk madder. Bruce Banner’s alter ego gets on top of Thor and smashes him in the face repeatedly, causing Thor to lapse into unconsciousness and have an inspiring vision of his father - resulting in his own power-up and a lightning-fueled punch that sends the Hulk flying. At this point, however, the Grandmaster activates Thor’s control disk and shocks him into paralysis, allowing the Hulk to finish the fight with a 200-foot flying knockout punch. 

    1,005 votes
  • 2
    1,167 VOTES

    Captain America Versus Thanos

    Captain America Versus Thanos
    Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    When: Avengers: Endgame (2019) 

    With Iron Man unconscious and Thor beaten to a pulp, Captain America does what fans have been waiting a decade for and picks up Mjolnir - proving himself worthy of laying a powerful whooping on Thanos. Without hesitation, Steve Rogers begins to lay a series of shield, hammer, and lightning combos on the unsuspecting Mad Titan - and the result is a visual feast.

    Rogers wield Mjolnir like he’s been holding it for centuries, but even that isn’t enough to overcome the might of Thanos. The genocidal giant chokeslams Cap into the ground, recovers his dual-bladed sword, and uses it to smash the Avenger’s iconic shield to pieces. Thanos then bats Rogers a solid half-mile away so that he can regroup with his forces.

    1,167 votes
  • 3
    1,070 VOTES

    Iron Man Versus Thanos

    When: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

    Tony Stark pulls no technological punches when he finally comes face-to-face with Thanos. With Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy out of commission on Titan, it’s up to Iron Man to take on the Mad Titan by himself - and he puts up an impressive, if futile, fight.

    Stark busts out turbo-powered punches, an Infinity Gauntlet-disabling projectile, and a shield that can resist the power of the Infinity Stones. When that’s not enough to do more than draw a “drop of blood” from Thanos, Stark makes one last desperate attempt by converting the nano-particles in his suit into a massive sword - only to have Thanos rip it off his arm and run him through with it.

    1,070 votes
  • 4
    986 VOTES

    Captain America Versus The Winter Soldier: Round One

    When: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

    Steve Rogers arrives on the scene shortly after Natasha Romanoff has put up an impressive, if futile, showing against the Winter Soldier, only to be shot for her efforts. Mysterious metal meets mysterious metal as Captain America’s shield clashes against the Winter Soldier’s mechanical arm over and over again - all the while Cap dodges sporadic fire from the HYDRA super-spy.

    The shield ends up in the Winter Soldier’s hands, but he misses his chance by hurling it into a van. He busts out a knife and does his level best to slash Rogers, only to be disarmed - and then the fight descends into intense hand-to-hand combat. Captain America’s superior skills ultimately win the day, but not before he regains his shield and rips the Winter Soldier’s mask right off - only to see the face of the long-lost Bucky Barnes underneath. 

    986 votes
  • 5
    866 VOTES

    Hulkbuster Versus Hulk

    When: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

    The Hulkbuster armor - also known as “Veronica” - was designed with one purpose in mind, and it should be pretty obvious what that purpose is. Tony Stark gets to put the new suit to the test when Scarlet Witch sends Bruce Banner rampaging through Johannesburg. The two founding Avengers pummel each other through buildings and infrastructure - including an Iron Man vertical piledrive through a skyscraper - but Stark is unable to get the Hulk to calm down, and the property damage totals start to rise. 

    It's only after Wanda Maximoff’s power wears off - and the Hulk gets a look at all the destruction he’s been causing - that Stark is able to get the upper hand in the fight. All it takes is for the Jade Giant to relax a little - and for him to eat one more high-powered punch from the Hulkbuster.

    866 votes
  • 6
    781 VOTES

    Captain America Versus The Winter Soldier: Round Two

    When: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

    By the time Captain America and the Winter Soldier face off for their second all-out brawl, Steve Rogers is already aware that the legendary super-spy is really his brainwashed best friend. Aboard a HYDRA-controlled helicarrier about to wipe out millions, Steve Rogers does his best to reason with Bucky Barnes - all the while wearing his classic WWII duds. Barnes only responds with attempts to take out his old pal.

    Despite the blood loss - and the probable contusions from tumbling down several helicarrier floors in the chaotic struggle - Cap eventually manages to get the upper hand via a devastating chokeslam. He then maneuvers Bucky into a chokehold/leg lock combo that would make any MMA fighter proud and slowly puts the Winter Soldier to sleep.  

    781 votes