Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit will fight again at UFC 158, and MacDonald has more than deserved the opportunity to face Condit again.
It was nearly three years ago when a rising superstar lived up to his billing. MacDonald, a 21-year-old Mixed Martial Arts prodigy, stepped in the Octagon to face the always dangerous Carlos Condit. MacDonald dominated.
The first two rounds were all MacDonald, as he got the better of the striking and grappling. But Condit turned the tide in the third round. As Condit dug deep and put the pressure on MacDonald, he stopped him with merely seven seconds to go in the fight.
The call was controversial, but MacDonald lived to fight another day. And fight another day MacDonald did. Since then, the now 23-year-old contender won four straight fights, including impressive wins against B.J. Penn and Nate Diaz.
So MacDonald deserves this rematch, but what other UFC fighters deserve a chance at redemption? Which fighters deserve an opportunity to erase an unconvincing loss from their record?
This biggest reason MacDonald deserves a rematch with Condit is perception.
Sure, Condit's hand was raised at the end of the night on June 12, 2010, but many questioned Kevin Dornan's decision to stop the fight. It looked as if MacDonald could survive for seven more seconds.
Instead of being amazed by Condit's performance (his comeback was nothing short of amazing for the record), most fans were blown away with the way MacDonald handled the situation and showed glimpses of greatness against a proven fighter.
Now, it's time to see MacDonald face Condit again. MacDonald's sharpened his striking, wrestling and submissions since he first faced Condit, but Condit has further transformed himself into a striking savage. It's almost serial killer like.
Both men deserve another shot at one another, and thankfully, the UFC is making it happen.
Erick Silva deserves another shot against Jon Fitch because he, like MacDonald, faded late in the matchup.
The showdown between Silva and Fitch incredibly resembled MacDonald's fight with Condit. Silva showed strong takedown defense early, and whenever Fitch was able to bring the fight to the ground, he was able to stand again and strike with him.
This was one of the better fights of 2012, and it was a Jon Fitch fight for crying out loud.
Like MacDonald at UFC 115, Silva made a large jump in competition when he faced Fitch, and after he gets a little more experience, he deserves to test his skills against Fitch again in the Octagon.
Who here truly believes Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is better than Travis Browne?
Anyone? Anybody out there? Speak loudly please. Yeah, didn't really expect a loud response. For those who missed the Browne, Silva scrap that took place on FX, you missed an entertaining knockout.
But also, you missed the reason why Browne has that one loss on his record now. In the first round against Silva, Browne blew his knee out. He could barely put any weight on it, much less kick with it.
Silva did what any great fighter would do and that's put the pressure on Browne and go after him. Silva connected and turned the lights out for Browne, but would this have ever happened had Browne's knee held up? Rematch anyone?
Thiago Alves is a fighter's fighter.
Time and time again, Alves goes out there and uses his Muay Thai to chop down his opponents. Rarely is this guy ever in a boring fight, and he goes after it every time he steps in the cage.
The same can be said about Martin Kampmann. So when Kampmann and Alves met last March, both fighters engaged in a striking clinic that found Alves rocking Kampmann on numerous occasions.
Alves was clearly winning the fight, and late in the third round he instigated a takedown. Bad move. Kampmann capitalized with a guillotine to win the fight with less than a minute remaining on the clock. For pure entertainment purposes, let's hope Alves gets another shot at redemption down the road with Kampmann.
Pat Barry's wild and wacky ride in the UFC has been everything except consistent.
Barry has been on top of the world at times, and he's been at the bottom of the barrel during others. His 5-5 UFC record speaks for itself.
But against Cheick Kongo in 2011, Barry experienced both the highs and lows in one vastly enthralling brawl. To say Barry rocked Kongo doesn't do it justice. He basically knocked Kongo out twice in the fight, but Kongo somehow, someway managed to move enough to keep the fight going.
With emotions at an all-time high, Barry started to throw wild haymakers, and he fell victim to a lethal right hand by Kongo. Barry was planted unconscious on the mat.
It was the most entertaining two-and-a-half minutes of any fight you'll see, and if Barry can keep his emotions in check (pun intended), he can avenge that loss down the road.
Just kidding, princess.
Whatever happened to a Rich Franklin/Dan Henderson rematch?
Both fighters once fought back at UFC 93, and the fight came down to a controversial decision. Henderson was awarded the victory but many felt Franklin was robbed. The rematch never came.
Fast forward to 2013 and both fighters are on different levels in terms of fighter rankings. Franklin is clearly nearing the end of his career, while ageless Henderson continues to push for title shots.
However, should Lyoto Machida beat Henderson at UFC 157, it would make a lot of sense to put him against Franklin. It would also be a great way for Franklin to go out in the UFC. Allow these two veterans to settle that controversial decision four years ago.
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson shocked the world when he defeated Joe Benavidez to become the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.
No one really saw it coming. Sure, everyone knew Johnson was one of the fastest fighters in the UFC (if not the fastest), and no one doubted his skill set.
Little did we know that he was better than Benavidez. He has to be. After all, he beat him fair and square when both fighters engaged in a closely contested five-round championship fight.
But is he really better than Benavidez? Did Benavidez have an off night and underestimate Johnson? Even though Benavidez lost to Johnson, both fighters are still considered to be the best flyweights in the world, and with Johnson edging Benavidez on the scorecards, a clear-cut winner is needed for validation.
How about the UFC finally gives Jackson what he's been wanting, what hardcore Jackson fans have been salivating at the mouth for?
Looking back, you'd have to be delusional to think that Griffin is the better MMA fighter. Sure, an argument can be made that Griffin earned that decision back in 2008 with those leg kicks, but it's hard to imagine Griffin coming close to beating Jackson again.
It's been long enough. Give Jackson his most coveted rematch, and he'll likely give the fans one more memorable knockout.
There will be a rubber match.
As dominantly as Cain Velasquez was in the rematch against Junior dos Santos, JDS already deserves a rematch. Why? Come on, don't be coy; you know why.
Injured or not, Dos Santos already holds a knockout victory over Velasquez. This win by Velasquez at UFC 155 nods the series up at 1-1, and after Dos Santos gets a win under his belt (much like Velasquez did), he'll earn himself another title shot.
But make no mistake about it—Dos Santos already deserves another shot.
Benson Henderson is on top of the world right now.
He's the UFC lightweight champion, and he beat a Diaz brother by brawling on national television. It doesn't get much better than that.
But somewhere in the back of his mind, he has to be thinking about Anthony Pettis. Because really, most fans still have that picture of Pettis landing the "Showtime kick" on their minds.
Henderson needs to face Pettis for the belt and erase that memory with a dominant win against his rival. It has to happen, it needs to happen, and should Pettis defeat Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6, it will happen.