Ortiz vs. Griffin III and 10 Rematches That Don't Need to Happen
There are a number of reasons why fans don't care to see Ortiz and Griffin match up again. Both men are getting up there in age and both are about done in the fight game. Ortiz was granted a parting wish from the UFC, as it's expected he will call it a career following the rubber match with Griffin.
Ortiz's gift may be every UFC fan's nightmare on July 7. Although the previous two encounters have been close fights to call, this battle means little for either man's career or place in the rankings.
The above mentioned qualities can be found in almost every one of the rematches on this list. Most mean very little in the broad spectrum of MMA, and nearly all of them would mean little for the two men competing as well.
Yet these fights are very real possibilities which could make MMA fans moan and groan in displeasure should they become a reality.
Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar III
When rumors of Brock Lesnar's return to MMA began to circle after his appearance at UFC 146, Frank Mir was a name that was immediately brought up as a potential opponent for the former heavyweight champion.
The two first met in Lesnar's UFC debut in 2008. Despite promising displays of offense by Lesnar, he was eventually forced to tap out after making a silly mistake against the jiu-jitsu ace Mir.
A rematch headlined the biggest show in UFC history at UFC 100. The trash talk leading up to the fight was great, and it was clear both men genuinely disliked each other. Although Mir is the better submission grappler, he was unable to use those skills as Lesnar smothered him en route to a TKO victory.
The time for making these two men meet in a rubber match has long passed, as Lesnar is nothing more than a running joke among MMA fans. And although Mir was just placed into a title bout, it is clear that he cannot match up well with the top guys in the division.
A rubber match could be a draw with more casual fans, as Lesnar's name will always be a draw to them, but it would do nothing for either fighter.
A win for Mir would be a victory over a guy many fans consider to be completely disinterested with the fighting game. If he were to lose, it would totally destroy Mir's credibility in the heavyweight division.
Likewise, a win for Lesnar would mean little, as Lesnar destroyed Mir in their second encounter. Another loss would just reaffirm the idea that Lesnar wants nothing to do with real competition.
Phil Davis vs. Alexander Gustafsson II
When Alexander Gustafsson and Phil Davis met each other at UFC 112, it was a battle of blue-chip prospects within the UFC's light heavyweight division. They were both also undefeated at the time.
Gustafsson was able to shrug off Davis' takedown attempts initially, but was eventually submitted with an anaconda choke by the former Penn State wrestler.
The loss remains Gustafsson's only blemish to date, and a rematch could be possible in the future. Davis would provide a credible name for the Swede to build his title aspirations on and could be billed as a "revenge match" by the UFC hype crew.
Although initially it sounds like a great idea to have these two match up again, it makes zero business sense for the UFC. Both men are still considered top prospects in the division, and given that Jon Jones has virtually cleaned out the top of the division other than Dan Henderson, new title challengers may be needed.
The UFC should handle these two men's careers much in the same way they did with Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez as they both rose up the heavyweight rankings at the same time. Gustafsson and Davis shouldn't meet each other again unless there are some form of title implications on the line.
Why only have one prospect when you can prevent a rematch and keep both men as highly-touted prospects?
Quinton Jackson vs. Mauricio Rua II
Quinton Jackson first met Mauricio Rua in 2005 under the Pride banner. It was the opening round of the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix and a matchup of two of the most exciting stars in the organization.
Their bout was as close to a one-sided affair as one could get. Rua would actually break Jackson's ribs with a series of knees and finished the fight in dramatic fashion by unleashing a couple soccer kicks to the face of Jackson.
Since then, both men have held the UFC Light Heavyweight title and also tasted defeat at the hands of Jon Jones. Following the loss to Ryan Bader, Jackson voiced his displeasure with the UFC and expressed interest with a rematch against Rua. The rematch was planned, but before anything was official, Jackson opted to have surgery.
The surgery may have saved the UFC from a matchmaking mistake. Rua is still considered a top-ranked fighter in the division, while Jackson has looked like a shell of his former self in his past handful of fights. If Rua were to win, it would be over a big-name opponent, but given the manner in which he won the first bout, anything less than pure domination would be considered a disappointment.
For Jackson, a win over a top fighter like Rua would be a great way for him to begin his post-UFC career. It would also damage the UFC in that a top contender was taken out by a guy many fans consider to be "done" in MMA.
A rematch may create a bit of nostalgia for Pride fanboys, but at this point in the two men's careers, a rematch is nothing more than a novelty fight.
Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz II
Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz initially met in one of the most talked about fights in 2012 at UFC 143. Coming into the bout, MMA fans were expecting a barn-burner as both men were noted for their high-paced offense-first fighting styles.
Instead of a five-round war, fans watched Condit execute a picture-perfect game plan to win the UFC Interim Welterweight title. Diaz, like many fans, expressed his anger over Condit's unwillingness to engage following the bout and subsequently announced his retirement from MMA.
A rematch was reportedly in the works, and most fans were initially excited for the two men to meet again. Alas, the rematch reports fell through, and Condit has since moved on to await Georges St. Pierre's return.
If Diaz were to ever return, a rematch with Condit would surely be discussed, but there's really no need for it to happen. It likely wouldn't happen until over a year from the original bout, and Condit could be the undisputed champion by then if he defeats GSP. Also, a long line of fresh title challengers would await Condit should he win against GSP.
Even if Condit loses to GSP, thus setting up a potential bout with a returning Diaz, would UFC fans be tricked into watching them battle again? Would fans want to watch Condit imitate a similar strategy that was viewed as "running from a fight" by a great deal of the MMA community? Would Dana White want to deal with Diaz not "playing the game" again?
All questions that surely point any fan into realizing a rematch between Condit and Diaz is not necessary anymore.
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar III
The first meeting between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar is widely regarded as the most influential fight in UFC history. Although the reality show The Ultimate Fighter was successful in helping build the UFC brand, it wasn't until Griffin and Bonnar fought that people truly began to tune in.
The TUF finale fight was immensely entertaining and placed both men into the permanent good graces of UFC President Dana White. What few fans seem to remember is the rematch between these two.
At UFC 62 Griffin and Bonnar met again. Once again, the fight went all three rounds, but this time there was no question who the better fighter was. Griffin earned an unanimous decision victory with all three judges scoring the bout 30-27.
Recently there was talk of Griffin and Bonnar becoming coaches on a future season of TUF and thus fighting each other following the conclusion of the show. Luckily, those talks seemed to have died down, as a rubber match between the three isn't likely to resemble anything of the great first fight that fans remember most.
Griffin has visibly been on a decline in recent years and has been hampered by injuries. Bonnar, meanwhile, has won three straight, but wins over Krzysztof Soszynski, Igor Pokrajic and a snoozefest against Kyle Kingsbury aren't exactly the best bargaining chips.
A rubber match would be one way for the UFC to send Griffin off into the sunset, as it appears he's heading that way. But with three wins in a row, Bonnar needs a top-level opponent if he wants to be considered "in the mix."
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard IV
As two top contenders in the lightweight division, it is very possible that Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar will meet again in the Octagon. Maynard certainly wants it, having even contemplated the idea of dropping to featherweight when talks of Edgar moving down a weight class were at their height.
Their first meeting was a showcase of Maynard's superior wrestling, as the former Division I All-American used it to keep Edgar on the mats. A rematch came about as Edgar won the title at UFC 112 and Maynard earned a title shot at UFC 118.
The rematch became an instant candidate for fight of the year as Maynard had about as close to a 10-7 round as humanly possible. Edgar was able to survive and would go on to complete a miraculous comeback through the later rounds. The fight would eventually be scored a draw.
The third meeting between Edgar and Maynard started just as the second encounter did with Maynard nearly finishing Edgar in the first round. Maynard was able to pace himself this time and looked to continue the offense beyond the initial five minutes.
Edgar once again stormed back and this time was able to defeat Maynard via TKO in the fourth round.
The second and third fights from Edgar and Maynard were entertaining; there's no doubt about that. But given the fact that Maynard couldn't finish the job at UFC 125 or UFC 136, why would fans believe he could overcome Edgar's resiliency this time around?
Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva II
Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva first met inside a cage all the way back in 1998. The fight would become a highlight reel moment for Belfort as he literally punched Silva from one side of the Octagon to the other.
Since then, Belfort has endured an up-and-down career while Silva became one of the most dominant champions in MMA history during his reign in Pride.
The two men were scheduled to meet each other after coaching on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, but Belfort had to pull out of the bout with a broken hand. With a win for Silva, the UFC very well may attempt to put this fight together again, but there's no need for Belfort and Silva to fight again.
Belfort is still widely considered to be a top-five middleweight and could be one fight away from challenging for the UFC title once more. Silva, meanwhile, hasn't had the success in the UFC that he had in Pride and was nearly finished in his victory over Cung Le.
The timing of this rematch is way off as it means little to fans outside of Brazil and doesn't make any sense. At this point in his career, giving Silva novelty fights is a great idea for "The Axe Murderer," but Belfort should be competing against higher-ranked fighters than Silva.
Also, the idea that the UFC felt fans should have to drop hard-earned money to watch this as a main event is absurd.
Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thompson IV
The Gilbert Melendez-Josh Thompson rivalry has become the cornerstone of the Strikeforce lightweight division. The men have met each other three times inside the cage, and all three bouts have been wildly entertaining.
Thompson was able to emerge victorious in the first meeting, but Melendez evened the score by showcasing how far he had come as a fighter in the second fight. As entertaining as the first two fights were, it is the rubber match where most of the controversy stems from.
A great deal of MMA fans and writers believed Thompson should've had his hand raised. The fight was so close that a fan could make an argument for either man and not be considered wrong. Following the contest, Melendez and Thompson were immediately met with questions about a fourth meeting.
Melendez wants no part of a rematch, and for good reason. Another win over Thompson does little to hold onto Melendez's place among the lightweight elites. A loss would be devastating for his career, as MMA fans already believe Melendez to be over-hyped due to not competing in the UFC.
As for the promotion, Strikeforce should move on from the rivalry. It was a great rivalry and gave the company some great fights along with great storylines through the years. But it's time for Strikeforce to shift the spotlight elsewhere.
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin III
The rubber match between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin through a run of bad luck has been pushed up to the co-main event of UFC 148. Normally a place to settle a fighter's place in the rankings or to settle an intense rivalry, this fight features nothing of that sort.
Ortiz continues to be a major draw for the UFC despite winning only once in his past eight total fights over the span of six years. He's helped his stock with UFC brass and fans by completing a turnaround from his "bad boy" image. This has made Ortiz a relative fan favorite these days, despite the losses and obvious decline of the former champion.
Griffin, meanwhile, has had more success, but don't let the 2-1 record in his last fights think he has the upper hand. One of the victories was a close fight with Ortiz in 2009, while the other was a victory over the much smaller Rich Franklin.
It was Griffin's loss against Mauricio Rua that was particularly telling of where Griffin's place among the light heavyweights should be.
Griffin has other avenues of revenue, such as his handful of books, and will always be considered one of the most influential figures in the UFC, just like his adversary Ortiz. Regardless of what both men have done in the past, their rubber match means little for both fighters in the future and even less when speaking of the present.
Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson II
When Mauricio Rua and Dan Henderson clashed at UFC 139, it was one of the best fights in MMA history. The back-and-forth affair left both men battered and bruised. Rua in particular had massive swelling around his face and was a bloody mess through most of the fight.
Following the event, fans were already preparing for a rematch down the road. But this may be a case of having too much of a good thing if the two men were to fight again.
Henderson has clearly moved on from the idea of fighting Rua again, as he will be matched up against champion Jon Jones at UFC 151. If Henderson were to win the title, that would mean the possibility of a rematch with Rua wouldn't happen until sometime in 2013—a long time from the original meeting in 2011.
Rua will have his own troubles to deal with as he is in a no-win situation against a seemingly rededicated Brandon Vera. A win over Vera would do nothing to give "Shogun" credibility to challenge a possible champion in Henderson, and if he were to lose, you can bet the Internet will be lit up with headlines of "Rua Should Retire."
A rematch is extremely likely not to live up to the first one despite the amount of hype it would likely receive. Fans should just appreciate the showing the two fighters displayed at UFC 139. We should just leave it as one of the best fights in MMA history and not tarnish it with a rematch or even possibly a rubber match.