Fedor got it right. We're looking at the matchups we hope to see in 2009 that are just so good that we want to eat them right up.
I've listed the top 10 matchups I would like to see in 2009. Just for some variety, you won't see Anderson Silva more than twice—I promise. I'll also only do two matchups per division from the Lightweight to Heavyweight division.
No. 1: BJ Penn vs Urijah Faber
No, I'm not a stupid MMA wannabe fan. I know they are in different divisions currently. But with the way the WEC has been eliminating their divisions, this may be a possibility in 2009, especially since Urijah still has a loss to avenge against Tyson Griffin.
Regardless, this is a matchup that I would definitely like to see at 155 pounds, if at all possible.
No. 2: Kenny Florian vs Sean Sherk II
Right now, Florian has to wait and see what happens this weekend with B.J. Penn. After that, he should expect to get his title shot against the Hawaiian. However, when that is finally settled—or before that is settled—this matchup would be a good one to see. ...Again.
No. 3: Georges St. Pierre vs Carlos Condit
With the merger of the Welterweight divisions between the WEC and UFC, this makes for a very intriguing matchup. No matter what happens this weekend with GSP and Penn, I would still love to see this matchup if Dana could make it happen. ...Errr, I meant Joe Silva.
No. 4: Thiago Alves vs Georges St. Pierre
This is what we're all waiting for within the Welterweight division. Alves has been the No. 1 contender for a long time, and though I'm not his biggest supporter, the guy has done enough to get his shot. So, now we just wait for Super Bowl weekend to pass and Alves to get his shot.
He is the Kenny Florian of the Welterweight division.
No. 5: Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt II
Marquardt has come a long way since his first bout with Silva, and he didn't look bad in his first outing against him either. So, in my humble opinion, he should be getting the match against Silva instead of Leites. That said, I'm sure if Marquardt keeps keeps on winning that he'll be assured another championship bout soon enough.
No. 6: Demian Maia vs Dan Henderson
This would be a terrific matchup between two very good middleweights. Maia's BJJ is absolutely dirty, and Henderson's striking can take out anyone at anytime.
The matchup between the two would be a very good comparison for both fighters should either get a chance at Silva's title at 185. Simply put, possesses what both of them have in the way of skills. This would be a good one to watch.
No. 7: Anderson Silva vs Forrest Griffin
Skill vs Heart. Experience vs Determination. UFC Legend vs UFC Legend. Marketing this bout is a win-win no matter how it turns out.
Forrest is coming off a big loss against Rashad Evans, and will need a fight against a tough opponent to put him back in the running quickly.
Unfortunately, his hand injury is keeping him out for awhile, but that layoff might be time enough to prepare for someone like Silva. It's a dream match for the fans, and it would be one for the ages.
No. 8: Rashad Evans vs Quinton Jackson
This would be a good one to watch. Rashad, being a full-out wrestler and striker, against Rampage who uses his slams and strikes to bring out his all around game, would be a good matchup between two of the best at 205.
Jackson has another fight ahead of him currently in Jardine, but after that—depending on the outcome—he should be primed for a shot at Evans.
No. 9: Brock Lesnar vs Gabriel Gonzaga
I'd be very interested in seeing this bout. I'm a pretty big fan of Gonzaga, and I know that every MMA fan will call me crazy for even suggesting this one, but I think Gonzaga could put a dent in Lesnar.
No one expected Gonzaga to put a dent in Cro Cop, but one head kick later, Gonzaga's in a title shot against Randy Couture. Gonzaga could be ready for this shot after a win over someone like Shane Carwin.
No. 10: Cheick Kongo vs Shane Carwin
Another battle of the bigs. This would just be a fun one to watch. With no serious technical aspect to it, these two would just duke it out repeatedly. I'd love to just watch this.
Well, there's my list of the top 10 matchups I'd like to see in 2009. Comments always welcome, but be kind, as I worked on this for many hours today.