Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko: 10 MMA Fights Every Fan Would Want To See
Everyone loves to play matchmaker, let’s face it when it comes down to it, Joe Silva has quite possibly the best job in the world. His decisions go on to shape the course of the UFC’s directions for the long term and it has to be an awesome feeling to have that type of power and control.
With that being said I came up with a list of fights I would like to see happen. Keep in mind I am not taking into account any of the bouts that have just happened or are scheduled to take place in the near future.
This is just me looking at a group of fighters with a clean slate in front of me and getting an opportunity to see the fights that I want to see. Many of you might not agree with some of these bouts, but that’s what makes the world go round. Feel free to chime in with any thoughts or suggestions.
I am going to use both rosters under the Zuffa banner. That doesn’t mean they will all be Strikeforce against the UFC bouts. In fact I am not even going to look at what organization each fighter is in; I just want to match-up the guys who I think will make for them most exciting bouts possible.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
I become more of a Nick Diaz fan each and every time I see him fight. He is what pure toughness is all about, but don’t forget how highly skilled he is either. When you combine a solid chin, brilliant jiu-jitsu with ever improving striking and power you get a fighter who can defeat anyone on any given night.
Then you have Georges St. Pierre a man who works as hard if not harder than any other mixed martial artist alive. He has all the tools one could possibly want when it comes to fighting. His wrestling is superb, his striking is crisp and although his BJJ isn’t as strong as Diaz, he is no slouch in that department. He is methodical and implements the game plans that Greg Jackson draws up right down to the letter.
A solid match-up here, I could see this one going to the judges, but what happens between the time the first bell sounds and the last buzzer goes off could be legendary. Fans would be treated to some thrilling exchanges both on the ground and when they are on their feet. I truly hope that we get to see these two go toe-to-toe one day.
Cain Velasquez vs. Alistair Overeem
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Champion vs. Champion once again, two powerful punchers who can end a fight with one shot at any time. Velasquez has come so far in such a short amount of time and he is only going to get better. He is another one of those guys who lives for the sport. Overeem has accomplished something no other fighter has ever accomplished by becoming a champion in both mixed martial arts and kickboxing.
The smart thing would be for Velasquez to take Overeem down and punish him with some brutal ground and pound. It’s been a long time since Overeem was matched up against a wrestler the caliber of Velasquez. As a matter of fact he hasn’t competed against a solid grappler since he faced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira back in July of 2006. Granted that was five years ago and a lot about Overeem has changed.
The idea here is simple for each fighter. Velasquez wants to plant Overeem on the canvas while Overeem wants to keep Velasquez on his feet long enough to land enough shots to put him to bed. I love watching two mixed martial artists with different styles try and impose their will on one another. The ultimate in competition and knowing these two fighters fans would not be disappointed.
Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones
I listed this in another article I wrote last week involving Silva’s possible move to the light heavyweight division. My desire hasn’t wavered one bit and the idea of watching the young lion take on the greatest champion in UFC history has been chomping at the bit. Regardless of the age difference these two would put on one hell of a fight leaving fans wanting to see it again.
Make no mistake Jones has solid striking and he adds to that with his unpredictability and his surprise moves like the spinning back elbow and his arsenal of kicks. Even with all of that Silva still gets the nod when it comes to striking. Until someone beats him at his own game The Spider will be considered the best striker in all of MMA. As we have seen in prior bouts his wrestling seems to be his one weakness.
Jones would need to control Silva on the ground and he has to be very wary of Silva’s BJJ, which he has shown can be very good. At some point Jones may be tempted to try and trade with Silva, but it wouldn’t take him long to realize his best opportunity at handing Silva his first loss inside the Octagon would come on the mat. I actually have goose bumps thinking about this fight.
Sam Stout vs. Spencer Fisher III
I am not sure how many of you have seen the first two fights between these two warriors, but if you haven’t I suggest you try and watch them as soon as possible. Talk about two guys not giving an inch, Stout and Fisher battled for 30 minutes between the first two contests as if their lives were at stake,
Their bouts were both recognized as Fight of the Night on the respective cards they were on. Both fighters like to punish their opponents with good ole’ boxing and kickboxing. They mix in a little Muay Thai here or there to change things up a little bit, but when it comes right down to it they enjoy punching people in the face. Stout took the first contest via split decision back in 2006 with Fisher gaining a measure of revenge a year later.
Between the two of them they have earned a number of bonuses and their second fight was named as one of the UFC’s 100 greatest fights. With nothing more than bragging rights on the line fans could expect to see a fight similar to the first two. You wouldn’t have to worry about either fighter trying to eek out a win here.
Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian
This is another matchup I listed in an article last week. Florian has grown so much since his days on The Ultimate Fighter. Although he has been unsuccessful in trying to capture the UFC’s lightweight championship on two occasions, let’s not forget the hard work and the fighters he has defeated in getting to the top of the 155lb mountain.
Aldo has run through everyone of his opponents since joining the WEC in June of 2008. He has amassed a record of 8-0 with seven of those victories coming by way of KO/TKO. He has made good fighters look very ordinary. He punished former featherweight champion Urijah Faber’s legs for 25 minutes when they met on the WEC’s one and only PPV in April of 2010. His striking is superb and while we haven’t had an opportunity to see his ground game, the word is he has excellent BJJ as well.
Florian doesn’t have the power that Aldo has, but he is a very good striker who knows how to stay out of harm’s way. Florian’s grappling would offer fans an opportunity to get a look at Aldo’s ground game for the first time. It better be good because we know that Ken-Flo knows what he is doing on the ground. I think we would see a little bit of everything here which would certainly be exciting to watch.
Diego Sanchez vs. Carlos Condit
There are a lot of fighters that I want these two see fight. I love both of their styles and each man has a tremendous amount of heart and determination. They have both shown in the past a propensity for digging down deep and getting that little extra something to take home a win. I realize that these two train together, but that only adds to my desire to see them go at it.
Sanchez has a gas tank that always seems like it’s full. In his last bout against Martin Kampmann he came in a little out of shape, but was still able to get through a rough fight and end the bout strong. Whether or not he won isn’t the issue here what I liked was his resiliency and his ability to keep moving forward. Those intangibles, the little things like that can give a fighter the edge that is necessary to win a close fight.
Condit was all but defeated when he fought Rory MacDonald at UFC 115 in June of last year. He has clearly lost the first two rounds, but when he came out for the third he was like a man possessed. He turned the tide immediately and in doing so earned a TKO victory with just seconds left in the bout. He never let the fact that he lost the previous two rounds stop him from accomplishing his goal. Sanchez and Condit are two fighters that I would love to see go to war.
Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping
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This is a fight I would love to see because the action before the bout would be just as exciting as what would take place in the Octagon. Here we have two of the best trash talkers in the game and quite possibly two of the most vilified personalities in all of mixed martial arts. Oh year, both men can fight as well. Add all of that to the American vs. British factor and what you have could be very explosive.
I would love nothing more than to see Sonnen dump Bisping on his ass for 15 minutes and ground and pound him back to England. We have to give The Count some credit as he does have some skills and it wouldn’t be easy for Sonnen to control him on the ground once he got him there. Bisping’s grappling skills have gotten better throughout the years and with all of his movement on his feet it wouldn’t be easy for Sonnen to take him down right away.
Sonnen is another methodical fighter and eventually he would figure out Bisping’s movements. The thought of Sonnen cracking the skull of Bisping with his elbow and fists would make this fight worth the price of admission. There is already no love lost between the two and if Sonnen wasn’t in trouble with the law and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, these two would probably be coaching opposite one another on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko
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Maybe this contest would have been more interesting a year ago or maybe this is the perfect time for it. Who knows? I do know that it would be fun to watch Lesnar use his size and strength to try and pummel Emelianenko in the same fashion Antonio Silva did. It would also be very interesting to see how Fedor would try and neutralize the size of Lesnar. Would he have one more great bout left in him as a heavyweight?
There isn’t much to breakdown here. It’s Lesnar’s speed, size and strength against the guile, tenacity and experience of the legendary Emelianenko. Fedor has shown time and time again that he doesn’t get flustered and all it would take is one mistake made by Lesnar. Could this be the last stand for The Last Emperor? I for one would love to find out.
Cain Velasquez vs. Shane Carwin
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I was so excited when the announcement was made last year that the two top contenders to Lesnar’s championship would meet inside the Octagon. I had been waiting for each man to take a step-up in competition and what better way to do it than against each other? Their skill sets are very similar in that they are both solid wrestlers with tremendous power in their hands.
There is one key difference, one area where Velasquez has a distinct advantage over Carwin. His cardio is head and shoulders better than anyone’s in the heavyweight division. The last time we saw Carwin he was being submitted by Lesnar after punching himself out in the first round of their UFC 116 bout. Carwin is an intelligent guy and it’s safe to say that he would use his energy more wisely the next time he has someone on the verge of being finished.
Velasquez hasn’t been hit by someone with the power of Carwin. The only time we saw his chin tested was against Cheick Kongo and he got dropped a couple of times, but he did recover quickly enough to get Kongo on the mat and back into his world. The thought of seeing these two throwing leather is very exciting. We all know Velasquez knows how to finish, but has Carwin learned how to do so without gassing himself out?
Gilbert Melendez vs. Frankie Edgar
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Many fans weren’t that impressed with Edgar’s two victories over BJ Penn. I admit that the first fight was a bit slow and could have gone in Penn’s favor. The same can not be said for the second time the two met as Edgar controlled the entire fight and showed the first win wasn’t a fluke. Styles make fights and when I think of Edgar and Melendez being in the same cage I see a great display of mixed martial arts.
El Nino has more power, but Edgar has better footwork and is faster. Edgar’s chin was tested on more than one occasion in his second bout with Gray Maynard and he was able to survive a brutal first round to come back and put on a great fight. Melendez was able to utilize his elbows for the first time when he defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri a week and a half ago in a rematch of their bout at Pride Shockwave 2006.
With a new weapon in his arsenal Melendez has become even more dangerous, but Edgar has proven that he can always raise his game up another notch. He has been the underdog in four of his last five bouts and he has won each and every one of them. Edgar is the superior grappler and that is where he would find the best opportunity at defeating Melendez although he can use his boxing to score points and avoid damage. Either way it’s pretty safe to say that these two would offer fans a great contest.