5 Most One-Sided Rivalries Where We'd Like to See 1 More Fight
No matter how even a fight looks on paper, sometimes theory falls short of fact.
Perhaps one of the hardest jobs in combative sports is that of matchmaker, who wants to maximize the potential of action toward an honest end every single time. Much of this is based on the styles of the fighters and their proven ability to implement said styles under harsh conditions.
But when this fails for whatever reason, it can end up in a one-sided fight that leaves many viewers disappointed and unfulfilled.
It also leaves behind serious questions for the defeated: Did he just have a bad night, or were his skills simply overstated?
To that end, here are five MMA fights that could see those questions answered with the finality they deserve.
Tito Ortiz vs. Randy Couture
UFC 44 was supposed to be a triumphant return for Tito Ortiz against the “aged” Randy Couture.
Most who were bold enough to voice their opinions felt Ortiz would run over the interim champion. Instead, Couture dominated the wrestling exchanges, took Ortiz down nearly at will and stayed on top for the majority of the bout.
Couture nullified nearly every advantage that Ortiz was predicted to have and won a lopsided unanimous decision. In a fight with so much hype and momentum, the result was both inspired and anti-climatic at the same time.
Granted, the odds of a rematch happening are slim to none: Couture is retired, and Ortiz cannot seem to stay healthy. But now that both men are affiliated with Bellator, it is still a tantalizing option if Couture should get the itch to come back for one more ride.
And being in a cage with Couture again is probably the closest Ortiz will come to his heyday.
Jon Jones vs. Mauricio Rua
In their first bout, Jon Jones hit his stride, landing a hard knee to the face of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua—who from there never seemed like he ever recovered.
Jones basically gave Shogun a serious thumping that finally saw him reduced to a battered heap on the floor in Round 3.
Since then, Shogun has taken even more beatings that are sure to age him as a fighter. But in his last fight with James Te-Huna, he looked very sharp and like his younger, more dominant self.
Should he keep this current edge, a rematch with Jones would go a long way to either cementing the dominance of Jones or proving that Shogun was knocked off his game by that knee strike in their first fight.
Either way, both men would have total closure and so would the fans—especially if Shogun can still kick and punch the way he did in the video above.
Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi
What should have been a tough, grueling contest between Nate Diaz and Takanori Gomi turned out to be a shockingly one-sided fight at UFC 135.
Gomi had been co-author in one of the greatest MMA fights ever against Nate’s big brother Nick during the final days of the Pride organization.
Given the similar styles of the Diaz brothers, it seemed like a bout between Nate and Gomi would provide much the same drama and action.
Instead, Diaz picked Gomi apart with relative ease and ended up submitting him inside of the first round.
It is hard to know with any certainty if Diaz was that much better, or if Gomi was just having a very bad night. Personally, I believe Diaz was just that much better on that night.
Given how incredible his bout with Nick was, it would be nice to give Gomi the chance to show he is much better than his fight with Nate left us to believe.
And even now, it is still a compelling clash of styles: the power puncher versus the boxer. If Gomi could implement the same strategies of Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson, he might shock us all.
If not, it’s still hard to believe he wouldn’t give a spirited effort in a fight that would be long on action and short on excuses.
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
When Jon Jones defended his lightweight title against former training partner Rashad Evans, it brought the subject of teammate versus teammate front and center.
In a bitter split, Evans ended up leaving Greg Jackson’s camp well before the fight, but even now it seems as if he left something behind in New Mexico.
The fight, which seemed to have all the makings of a bad-blood bout, turned out to be a cautious affair that saw Jones win a unanimous decision.
Neither man really fought with the passion that seemed due for such a fight. The principles that the animosity seemed to be based on were not defended by either man.
A rematch would give them a chance to prove themselves with an authority that was missing in the first meeting.
Would the reach and style of Jones allow him to win as easily as he did the first time? Or would Evans show that he has learned how to get inside and utilize his speed and power to knock the champion out?
I would like to find out.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
I am hesitant to put Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz II on this list. Given that both men are now on the sidelines and it is doubtful they will ever come back, it seems improbable that it could ever happen.
The only reason to include is based on how uninspired the first fight was. This was in direct contrast to all the hype and talk from both men.
St-Pierre said that he was going to put the worst beating on Diaz that one could ever see in the UFC; anything but that happened at UFC 158. St-Pierre won a unanimous decision via takedowns, maintaining a strong top position and his jab.
It was smart and efficient, but totally lacking the aggression of his words.
Diaz wasn’t exactly setting the cage on fire, either. He seemed to taunt when he should have been fighting, and in the end he gathered up his sour grapes and left the sport.
After five full rounds, St-Pierre retained his title, while Diaz retained his opinion; nothing was honestly resolved.
Should St-Pierre return to the UFC, one way to pull Diaz off the sidelines would be to give them a chance to fight again, and it would make a natural main event.
If they cannot fight with a motivation that equals their dislike the second time, then perhaps the words and principles didn’t mean that much to them to begin with.