Anytime a fighter loses, if he really did his best, he usually wants a rematch to prove he can be better .
Chuck Liddell took pride in settling the score in his rematches. He creamed Jeremy Horn the second time around, as he did Randy Couture. But sadly, he gained no satisfaction when he fought Quinton “Rampage” Jackson the second time, getting knocked out in short order.
It’s easy to see why fighters want rematches, but which sequels do the fans want to see, and why?
Most of the time, it’s because a fight was close and the winner was disputed; thus, a rematch is set up to give final and definitive proof as to who deserves to be the victor.
Occasionally, a rematch is booked because a normally good fighter had such a bad showing that the result is best forgotten; the best version of whomever never showed up, so the other guy won almost by default.
And finally, sometimes rematches happen as a due process of divisional rankings. Two fighters met before, and months or years later they meet again. But even as innocent as that sounds, you can bet the bout has some significance for both men.
Either way, a rematch has a special place in our hearts. Here are 10 rematches that we would like to see, offered in the spirit of settling disputes, redeeming bad showings and serving due process.
Fighters like Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard are corrosive to both themselves and their opponents. Sometimes they look like they could defeat the world, and other times they shoot themselves in the foot.
But the last time they fought, they took aim at each other and let it all hang out for 76 seconds, just like two gunslingers blasting each other with revolvers in each hand.
Cerrone managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by knocking Guillard out with a high kick to the head followed by a hard right hand—all of this after "The Young Assassin" had landed some heavy shots early that knocked "Cowboy's" equilibrium right into the river, sending him staggering about the ring.
It was fast, furious and final, but given that it was also a two-sided fight, a rematch would be excellent for the fans—possible weight class shifts be damned.
Prediction: Cerrone via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 3.
Their first bout took place at the finale of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. It was a nonstop affair that saw both men flying all over the Octagon. They threw punches, knees and kicks, worked for submissions and constantly scrambled for position.
The fight saw both men in a near constant state of flux between being dominant one minute and in danger the next, and the action was excellent.
Sanchez won the decision but got no respect from Diaz. Now, all these years later, maybe he can get it the second time around.
Or, maybe he will get pounded just like BJ Penn did.
Prediction: Sanchez via unanimous decision.
Since his shocking win over Gray Maynard, Nate Diaz seems to be back to his old self, full of confidence and acting as if he’s never lost a fight.
If there is one person who may take offense to that, it would be recently dethroned Benson Henderson, who dominated Diaz for all five rounds of their title bout at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz in December 2012.
Was that just a bad night for Diaz, or did he really lose to a better man, no matter how much it might pain him to admit it?
Put them together again, and let’s find out.
Prediction: Henderson via unanimous decision.
Any fight that spawns as much entertaining smack talk, engages such a polarized audience and polarizes them even further, and then delivers perhaps the greatest coup de grace in the history of the sport is destined for a rematch.
Bisping didn’t just “get stunned,” he didn't “just get clipped,” and no fan can say he “just got caught.” He got knocked out, and then he got hammered.
Honestly, Bisping was lucky that he was unconscious as Henderson leaped into the air, nearly a full three feet above him, much the same way it is better for a car crash victim to be limp at the moment of impact.
When Henderson came crashing down on Bisping, the entirety of his force was focused across the four knuckles of his right hand, which smashed into the Brit's face with the full weight that a falling body can deliver.
Yeah, it was ugly, and it is no wonder that Bisping has been dreaming about a rematch ever since.
And to be frank, given how bravely he has always bounced back, how consistently he has delivered for the UFC (an American company) and how unflinchingly he has carried the cause of MMA-in-England on his back, he has earned it, and then some.
Prediction: Bisping by split decision.
Maybe I am a sucker for past rivalries, but the first fight between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was awesome because it pitted Chute Boxe against the Brazilian Top Team in the Pride FC ring, and it was also a very close fight.
Both men knocked each other down, and their ground work was excellent. Shogun got the nod, but it could have gone either way.
Since then, both men have grown, although Shogun has taken some serious poundings. But does that mean he couldn’t rise to the occasion as he did during his last fight when he knocked out James Te Huna?
Prediction: Nogueira via unanimous decision.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva II is the same song as the last time, second verse—minus any TRT mishaps, thank you.
Their first fight was one of the greatest MMA heavyweight slugfests ever, and no matter how many people bemoan the bout for its lack of technical excellence, it still had people on their feet screaming their heads off.
The five-round impact-collision test saw both men knocked off their feet, bloodied and bruised as they took turns playing both hammer and nail.
It was glorious.
They should do it again to erase any of the stain that was left by Silva’s elevated TRT levels. They both put on one hell of a fight, and a rematch seems fitting.
Prediction: Hunt via split decision.
Way back at UFC 47, Nick Diaz pulled off a big upset in only his second Octagon appearance, knocking out highly touted Robbie Lawler. Nine years later, Lawler has come full circle.
Would that be enough to see him defeat Diaz the second time around?
If Lawler defeats Johny Hendricks and gets the UFC welterweight title, this fight would become a real possibility, depending on how Dana White and Diaz play let’s-make-a-deal. With George St-Pierre, Anderson Silva and Cain Velasquez on the sidelines, the UFC could use a big name or two to help pick up the slack, and Diaz could slide right into his third title fight in a row.
But would he win? This isn’t the same Lawler he fought last time; this version is highly experienced, plays to his strengths, wields great power and remembers their first bout very well.
Diaz is still better than Lawler on the ground, but standing, "Ruthless" still has proven one-punch knockout power, and now he has the guile to know how to apply it without walking into danger chin-first.
Still, we are talking about Diaz, who has limitless cardio and a style that is usually only trumped by a takedown-heavy attack. But as Josh Thompson’s knockout of Nate Diaz proved, there is a first time for everything, and a title-desperate Diaz seems reckless.
Prediction: Lawler via TKO (stoppage due to cuts) in Round 3.
While Dan Henderson may be on the downside of a great career, some fights are still available to him, and one stands out: a rematch with Jake Shields.
The first time they met in Strikeforce, Henderson spent the first round blasting Shields from pillar to post, nearly finishing him on more than one occasion. Shields made it to the bell, regrouped and mounted a comeback that saw him take the rest of the rounds via wrestling and top control.
Shields gave an impressive showing, and Henderson delivered a bad one after the first round; he seemed to gas out after five minutes.
A rematch between both men at 185 seems the best way to determine who is really the best between them.
Prediction: Henderson via unanimous decision.
Their first scrap was voted Fight of the Year for 2012 by just about every press outlet and notable publication for the sport, and 2014 would be a perfect time to see them go at it again.
The last time they met, Dustin Poirier and Chan Sung Jung brought out the best in each other, throwing down hard for three rounds before Jung ended the bout in Round 4 via D’arce choke.
It was a high-action fight that saw both men seriously tested. A rematch would look about as solid as one would hope; their styles and attitudes mesh perfectly, and this time, Poirier’s star is on the rise.
Would Jung be able to bounce back from his loss to Jose Aldo and get the victory, or would Poirier prove he’s just that much better than he was the first time?
So many questions leave only one way to find the answer: rematch time.
Prediction: Poirier by split decision.
Whenever a truly fighter is tested for the first time, questions arise. In the case of Jon Jones, he was taken to the limit and bloodied by Alexander Gustafsson in a bout that many thought should have seen the title change hands.
But as everyone has an opinion, the great thing about the sport is that it can answer such questions and provide a reality that usually ends speculation.
Make no mistake about it: Jones and Gustafsson need to fight again, and if the Swede wins, they will need to fight a third time. Personally, I had Jones winning the bout, which was much closer than the scorecards could ever tell.
It is up to Gustafsson to prove he has learned his lesson and can take the belt by force.
Prediction: Jones via unanimous decision.