5 Top Contender Rematches We Must See

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2014

5 Top Contender Rematches We Must See

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    Forget about champions.

    How about the contenders who continuously put their careers on the line for just a shot at UFC gold?

    There will always be a titleholder for each division. There are not always going to be worthy challengers who are capable of pulling off the impossible.

    That's why we need to cherish the fighters the sport currently has in place and marvel in the excellence that these warriors have forged throughout the past few years.

    With that said, in regard to how entertaining and close-knit their first encounters were, here are five rematches involving elite contenders that we must see.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

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    Who doesn't love a war between little guys?

    As two of the very best flyweights walking this planet, Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall each hold a certain type of divisional promise.

    They each lost to champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson on their own accord, but when the two dynamic contenders met each other back at UFC 156, their skill sets meshed like peanut butter and jelly.

    Benavidez ultimately captured the unanimous decision, but it was one of the better battles at 125 pounds you're ever going to see.

    If McCall can get past Brad Pickett at UFC Fight Night 46 in less than two weeks, we could see the inevitable rematch by the end of 2014. 

Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit

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    Throw away the fact that Carlos Condit is still recovering from injury and his return is uncertain at this time.

    His road to a comeback will be a jagged one, but that doesn't mean The Natural Born Killer won't strike again.

    When he does, it would be something to see him test the waters again opposite youthful phenom Rory MacDonald.

    Condit ended MacDonald's bid for a split-decision victory way back in 2010 by securing a TKO with seven seconds left in the fight.

    The Canadian has certainly gotten better since that defeat, but Condit will undoubtedly regain divisional swagger upon his return. 

Gilbert Melendez vs. Benson Henderson

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    It didn't take long for Gilbert Melendez to showcase the skills that have fueled his career when he made his Octagon debut.

    The former Strikeforce star wasted no time in sending the lightweight division a message.

    Melendez went toe-to-toe over five grueling rounds with Benson Henderson, the champion at the time, who came into the fight with three straight championship victories.

    Their showdown on Fox was one of the better contested title fights in recent division history.

    Many people pegged Melendez as the winner, but as he's grown capable of doing, Henderson left the cage victorious by eking out a close decision.

    Whether Melendez wins or loses to current titleholder Anthony Pettis, a rematch with Henderson would be gorgeous. 

Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem

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    With one of the best knockouts in UFC heavyweight history, Travis Browne sent Alistair Overeem falling to the mat nearly one year ago when he threw a perfectly timed front kick.

    The finish earned him Knockout of the Night honors and a reputation as one of the best gamers in the sport today.

    Before Overeem gassed out and left the middle of his stance wide open, he had practically destroyed Browne for three straight minutes.

    With blistering knees to the body, punches to the head and a pace capable of overwhelming a wild buffalo, Overeem put it on Hapa like nobody had ever done.

    It would be magic to watch these two lock horns one more time and see how it plays out if Overeem doesn't blow his wad and actually defends his jawline. 

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva

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    Also in the realm of giants who love to kill other giants, we have Mark Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

    As two parts to arguably the greatest battle in heavyweight history, which ended in a majority draw, Hunt and Silva should marvel in the idea of a rematch.

    It's unfinished business for both men, and a victory for either would essentially launch him right back into title consideration.

    Obviously, Hunt has to get past Roy Nelson, and Silva needs to ward off Andrei Arlovski, but there's every reason to think this colossal collision will happen again sometime next year.


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