The Dream Fight for Every UFC Champion
Over the last month or so, super fights have dominated headlines in the MMA world.
Almost immediately after Anderson Silva disposed of Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, the current UFC middleweight champ has been speculated to fight seemingly every high profile opponent possible, with names like Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz frequently being mentioned as possible opponents.
While none of these possible super fights seem all that likely, there’s no denying that MMA fans have grown tired of seeing the best fighters in the world continue to defend their belts against the divisional contender with the best resume, and not the best matchup possible.
With champions like Jones, Silva, St-Pierre and Jose Aldo all a win or two away from effectively wiping out their respective divisions of all viable contenders, there’s little doubt that the number of fans calling for super fights is only going to grow over the next few months.
Some of the fights in this article fall under the super fight category—pitting current champions against each other and forcing fighters to switch divisions—but for the most part, every division already has a fighter in it who could be considered a dream matchup.
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious Johnson
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Here’s a little bit of a bonus fight to start us off.
While Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson are set to fight for the inaugural flyweight belt in September, there’s no denying that this is the biggest possible fight the UFC could make in their newest division.
After winning their respective semifinal bouts in the flyweight tournament, both Benavidez and Johnson proved that they are to be taken very seriously at 125 lbs, and with other top contenders like Ian McCall, John Dodson and Jussier Da Silva all a win or two away from securing a shot at a title fight, there’s little room to argue the fact that these are the two best in the division at the moment.
The flyweight division is still incredibly young at this point, but there’s no denying that the first ever title fight in the division features the two guys that deserve it most.
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber III
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Yes, I know that Urijah Faber just dropped a decision to Renan Barao in their interim title bout a few weeks ago, but there’s still some serious unfinished business to be settled between Faber and current champion Dominick Cruz.
The beef between Cruz and Faber began back in their WEC days, when Faber defended his WEC featherweight title against “The Dominator” at WEC 26.
After a bit of a controversy regarding the event posters, the fighters weren’t exactly fond of each other by the time the fight started. But Faber ended up enjoying the last laugh that night when he locked in a fight ending guillotine choke with just under two minutes into the first round.
By the time the two met again, their dislike for each other was at an all-time high.
The rematch took place at UFC 132, and after a ton of trash talk on both sides leading up to the fight, this time it was Cruz who would emerge victorious.
However, the fight was far from a dominant performance from “The Dominator” and it was obvious that the two would eventually meet again.
After both men gained another win, Cruz and Faber were selected as coaches for season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, and were set to have their rematch at the season’s end.
Unfortunately for fight fans, Cruz tore his ACL while training for the bout, and the match was cancelled in favor of the aforementioned Faber-Barao fight.
Regardless, Cruz and Faber still have a bit of a score to settle, and it would be surprising if a third fight doesn’t eventually happen.
Featherweight: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Let’s face it; Jose Aldo is just on a different level than the rest of the featherweight division.
The featherweight champ has completely destroyed almost every single opponent put in front of him during his time under the Zuffa banner, and the list of viable contenders for the 145 lb strap is quickly thinning.
That’s why Frankie Edgar needs to come down and give Aldo a challenge.
Edgar is currently set to fight Benson Henderson at UFC 150 in a couple of weeks, but if he is to lose there, why not give him an immediate shot at Aldo?
Sure, it may be a bit unorthodox to give a fighter coming off of back-to-back losses an immediate title fight, but Edgar is a former champion in his own right, and there isn’t a challenger at featherweight that will generate as much as excitement as “The Answer”.
Eventually this fight needs to happen.
Aldo has discussed going up to lightweight in recent weeks, but honestly, the featherweight division needs a fight of this caliber to try and help it gain a bit of prestige.
Other than Aldo and a brief couple of appearances from Kenny Florian, the division has had a serious lack of star power, and it would help the UFC tremendously if they had a fighter of Edgar’s caliber to market against one of the sport's future stars.
Lightweight: Benson Henderson vs Anthony Pettis II
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
There’s no chance that Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis could replicate the magic of their first fight at WEC 53, but they could still give us a hell of a rematch.
The WEC title fight between Henderson and Pettis had everything going for it even before the world famous “Showtime Kick” connected.
WEC 53 was the final event in the promotions history. Henderson and Pettis were headlining that show and they had already given fans an unbelievable four-and-a-half rounds of action.
The second Pettis launched himself off of that cage, the fight hit legendary status.
Pettis walked out of the cage with the WEC belt that night, but it was Henderson that got the upper hand when they jumped ship to the UFC.
Henderson started his Octagon career strong, taking out tough contenders in Mark Bocek, Jim Miller and Clay Guida before earning his shot at Frankie Edgar and winning the belt.
Pettis didn’t have the same luck.
“Showtime” was promised a UFC title shot for his first fight in the promotion, but after the UFC 125 fight between Edgar and Gray Maynard ended in a draw, Pettis decided he wanted to remain active.
In his UFC debut, Pettis fought Guida at the TUF 13 finale and, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t keep “The Carpenter” off of him, and he ended up on the wrong end of the decision.
Pettis has since bounced back with two straight wins over Jeremy Stephens and Joe Lauzon, and is now likely just a win away from a rematch with Henderson and a shot at UFC gold.
Welterweight: Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
A fight between St-Pierre and Nick Diaz is something to get excited about.
Diaz has been calling out the UFC welterweight champion for years, and he’s come oh so close to getting his hands on him twice now.
The first time these two were set to fight was back at UFC 137, but that fight was nixed almost immediately after it was signed due to Diaz missing two straight press conferences for the fight.
St-Pierre ended up having to pull out of the card due to an injury anyway, and Diaz took over the headlining spot, where he battered B.J. Penn in the second half of their three-round fight, winning the decision and briefly sending “The Prodigy” into retirement.
After a post fight rant from Diaz convinced the UFC to reschedule the fight for UFC 143 on Super Bowl weekend, it looked like Diaz would finally get his shot.
Sadly, St-Pierre suffered another injury and this time it was major enough to put him out of commission until late this year.
Diaz ended up losing an interim title fight to Carlos Condit and then testing positive for marijuana metabolites in his post fight drug test, so the Stockton native will be out of action until early 2013 and any chance of a fight with St-Pierre is gone for now.
Super Fight: Jon Jones vs Anderson Silva
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
A lot of fans want to see Anderson Silva fight Georges St-Pierre, but a fight with Jon Jones makes far more sense.
Jones may be the only fighter in MMA with as much natural ability as “The Spider”, and if he was able to defeat Silva it would be a major passing of the torch moment.
Of course, that’s far easier said than done.
Silva’s striking is the closest thing we’ve seen to unstoppable inside the Octagon, and his unbelievable movement and patience make him even incredibly hard to hit.
Throw in his knack for finishing fights off of his back, and Jones is going to have problems wherever the fight goes.
Still, there’s no denying that Jones would be by far the toughest test of Silva’s career.
Jones’ size and length alone make him one of the toughest riddles in MMA to solve, and his high level wrestling and submission game have set him apart from the rest of the division.
There’s no denying that this is the biggest possible fight the UFC could make at the moment, but reluctance on both sides makes the possibility of this fight extremely unlikely.
Heavyweight: Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
The two best strikers in the heavyweight division seemed destined to fight at some point.
Junior dos Santos has been destroying everyone in his path since entering the Octagon back in late 2008, knocking out everyone from Fabricio Werdum and Mirko Cro Cop to Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir, but he has yet to fight someone who could hang with him on the feet.
Overeem is probably the only heavyweight on the planet who has a chance at passing that test.
The former Strikeforce champion possesses some of the very best kickboxing skills in MMA, and he did more than enough to earn a title fight when he throttled Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 last December.
The two heavyweight knockout artists were pair up and signed to fight at UFC 146 this May, but an irregular T/E ratio forced Overeem to be pulled from the bout.
Overeem will be eligible to return to the cage early next year, and if Dos Santos can win a rematch against Cain Velasquez in the near future, there’s little doubt the fight between Overeem and “Cigano” will eventually come together.