Without a doubt, one of the most pleasurable past-times of sports fans is mulling over hypothetical scenarios.
What if this team drafts this player? What if this trade is made? What if this player returns from injury in time for the big game?
When it comes to mixed martial arts the pinnacle of "what if" indulgence takes the form of match-making. Whether it's bridging a gap between weight classes to finally get that super-fight you crave, pondering five more rounds of an epic championship clash or musing about how a battle between a couple of friends sworn never to fight would pan out, it doesn't get much better than putting yourself in Joe Silva's shoes.
We at Bleacher Report are fans first, writers second, and as fans, we love to play match-maker as much as anyone else.
As it happens, about 20 of our staff recently had a discussion regarding what fights we just absolutely have to see. And as you can likely imagine there was a great deal of overlap, a few head-scratchers and the recognition that our internal musings could become something that we could force people to read.
So, after submitting our collective fight fancies we took a vote to see which hypothetical bouts ranked as the most popular among Bleacher Report staff. Each writer voted for the 10 bouts they'd most like to see, and those votes provided the data for the following slideshow.
Our exercise didn't rely on any strict set of criteria. We didn't limit ourselves to fights that are likely to happen, or fights between competitors in any single organization (though the list is extremely UFC-centric). We did, however, keep it to active fighters, so there is no in-his-prime Fedor Emelianenko vs. Cain Velasquez or anything like that.
Without further ado, I give you my personal consent to begin viewing our compiled list (because I know nobody skips intro slides).
Let us know what you think in the comments section. What ones do you agree with? What did we miss? What does your list look like?