In 2007, the UFC picked up a majority of the Pride Fighting Championship's assets and fans began to get their wish: that they would see the top fighters from each organization against each other.
For the most part that happened, with the most notable match being Chuck Liddell against Wanderlei Silva.
However, even with the fall of Pride, many great matchups elude the fans due to promotional restraints (mostly UFC restraints, honestly).
This is a list of five fights that I personally would want to see between fighters in different organizations.
Gilbert Melendez has now defeated everyone he has ever been in the ring with after defeating Mitsuhiro Ishida and Josh Thompson in revenge matches.
He is the current Strikeforce lightweight champion, and if he gets through his April 13th test against Shinya Aoki, he would clearly be the best lightweight in the world, under B.J. Penn.
Penn is the former UFC welterweight champion, current lightweight champion of the world.
In his last two fights, he has bulldozed his way through the top two competitors the UFC had for him, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez.
A win in his next fight against Frankie Edgar does little for his legacy, but further cements his status as the top lightweight and adds another top name to his resume.
The lightweight challenges are running out for Penn.
If he plans to clear the division before a possible move back to welterweight, a fight with the Melendez/ Aoki winner would be huge.
If Penn could win that, there would be no debate as to who the greatest lightweight for years to come is and was.
Besides a match with Jay Heiron, the options are not many for Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz.
I personally don't doubt a Diaz victory in that fight, though it is a worthy challenge for the title.
Besides a rematch with Thiago Alves, there are not a lot of matchups involving Jon Fitch that could be considered headliners.
His workmanlike style hasn't made him a favorite to many fans as of late, and his refusal to fight any of his teamates in the UFC has limited his options.
I could see Fitch being the biggest UFC asset to change hands since Dan Henderson.
It was well-documented that he hasn't always been on the best terms with the higher ups in the UFC. He was briefly dropped by the organization when he hesitated to sign over his likeness rights to the UFC when they were in production of their latest video game. And Dana White has made no secret he doesn't approve of the whole "teammates don't fight teammates" philosophy.
Fitch however, does have three fights left on his contract, so this could be some time from now.
Also, Diaz seems very content outside of the UFC.
Both of these welterweights are at the top of the division, but I would have a hard time believing either of them could top the champion, Georges St. Pierre.
Nonetheless, a match between these two would be very intriguing, especially if scheduled for five rounds.
"I would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC," stated Joachim Hansen in 2008.
Unless Hansen has a strange enjoyment for bleeding hemorrhoids, I don't think he is going to be fighting in the UFC anytime soon.
He remains one of the top lightweights in the world, with notable wins over Shinya Aoki, Yves Edwards, and Takanori Gomi.
In my opinion, if it wasn't for B.J. Penn, Kenny Florian would be the UFC lightweight champion.
Kenny continues to impressively dispose of all other challenges, seemingly easier with each fight. With his last three wins over Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson, and Clay Guida, Florian is clearly in his prime.
This is just one of those fights i don't think will ever happen. Period.
Two of the most underrated and well-rounded light heavyweights on the planet, Gegard Mousasi and Rogerio Nogueira.
Mousasi, the current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, is on a 15 fight win streak and coming off a first round blitz over Renato Sobral and a second round TKO over Sokoudjou.
Nogueira is currently on a six fight win streak including his last win, a first round knockout over Luis Cane. He holds notable wins over Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Both of these men could be at the very top of the 205 lb. list in the near future, and there is not a single fighter in their division that I would make them an underdog to.
This fight goes without saying... but I'll say it anyway.
The top two heavyweights in the world.
Fedor Emelianenko, arguably the biggest asset that the UFC did not attain with their purchase of Pride, remains unbeaten still to this day (as far as I'm concerned).
Brock Lesnar, the wrestling powerhouse who unified the UFC titles with his destruction of Frank Mir, appears unstoppable.
Could Fedor make up for the size and strength difference with the muscle between his ears?
Would Brock's wrestling and power be too much for the Russian heavyweight?
Hopefully at some point there is enough money (or sense) on the table to force this fight to happen and prove who the top heavyweight really is.
As long as Brock is still in the UFC and the UFC refuses to do any cross promotion, I don't see this fight happening in the near future.
The one thing all these fights do have in common is one of the fighters is in the UFC. It is the UFC's strict rules over their contracts that is to blame for these fight not taking place.
However, it is hard to argue with a business model that has worked so well thus far.
Even if the fans don't like it.