courtesy of bloodyelbow.com
There was a time when fighting in Japan was much more financially lucrative than fighting in the United States. That meant that the best competition was also in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Pride had fighters in their prime like Dan Henderson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Mirko Cro Cop and of course Fedor Emelianenko, to name a few. There was a time when Chuck Liddell went over to Japan to fight Rampage, resulting in a loss.
However, should it have ended there?
What if Dana had kept sending the UFC's best fighters over to Japan, or had the Pride fighters come here? What if we got to see fights like Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva in the prime of their careers?
The matchups possible from both organizations would be limitless, and most of them would include Cro Cop and Fedor.
Even though Dana eventually bought out Pride and the fighters came here to fight their UFC counterparts, the fights did not live up to the hype: the Pride fighters were past their prime.
We got a hint of what could have been with Chuck and Wanderlei squaring off, but imagine if that fight had been when both of them were at the top.
The superfights we speak of now with GSP, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva would not hold a candle to seeing Fedor in his prime, fighting in the cage against the best in the world.