15 Legend vs. Legend Fights We Still Want to See

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

15 Legend vs. Legend Fights We Still Want to See

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    Mixed martial arts fans are always wanting more.

    The handful of historic battles from the past have helped satisfy our appetites to a point, but there's still something missing.

    We simply haven't seen all of the great fights out there.  From Anderson Silva to Alistair Overeem, to the recently retired fighters Fedor Emelianenko and Tito Ortiz, each legendary athlete serves as one part of a dream fight yet to happen.

    Based on historic implications and overall potential, here are 15 legend vs. legend fights we would do anything to see.

15. Georges St-Pierre vs. Rich Franklin

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    This may not be the first fight that comes to mind when mentioning legend vs. legend showdowns, but don't get it wrong.

    Healthy, Georges St-Pierre is arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, while Rich Franklin sports one of the most prestigious middleweight resumes to date.

    This would most certainly end in impressive fashion as Franklin likes to push the pace and St-Pierre is one of the best game-time athletes in the sport today.

14. Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem

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    Arguably the greatest submission expert in heavyweight history, former UFC champion Frank Mir would surely have his hands full against one of the greatest strikers ever in Alistair Overeem.

    We all saw what kind of trouble Junior dos Santos put Mir in while standing, so it's pretty obvious that this fight would be a battle of strategic supremacy.

    Nonetheless, Mir vs. Overeem would provide fans with instant action.  Not to mention it could come to fruition within the next year or two.

13. Dan Henderson vs. Tito Ortiz

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    Considering Tito Ortiz is freshly retired from mixed martial arts and Dan Henderson seemingly only has one or two relevant years left in his tank, this matchup would need to happen sooner rather than later.

    It's quite surprising that this fight never came up when Henderson made his initial return to the UFC in 2007, but it was most likely a product of the two fighters being on different career levels at the time.

    Regardless, Ortiz and Henderson are easily two of the top 10 most recognizable MMA fighters on the planet and would surely make it count if they ever met inside the cage.

12. Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz

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    This would probably be a completely one-sided fight considering Anderson Silva's reach, speed and skill set, but that doesn't mean Tito Ortiz couldn't take him down.

    We all saw the success Chael Sonnen had against Silva by taking him to the ground.  And even though Ortiz is a shell of his former self, the stocky light heavyweight is just as strong as Sonnen and prone to following his pre-fight strategy whenever he fights.

    Like I said, Silva would most likely win, but this would be a highly entertaining bout between two of the greatest champions in UFC history.

11. Anderson Silva vs. Wanderlei Silva

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    Get used to Anderson Silva's name being mentioned in this slideshow because a lot of these legendary fights wouldn't be legendary without him in them.

    This time he's matched up against Wanderlei Silva, a fellow Brazilian who's known for being one of the most vicious KO artists in mixed martial arts history.

    A fight between the two would definitely end quickly.  Either the more disciplined Silva would use his reach and movement to throw off the other or the more wild Silva would catch the other with a one-punch finisher.

    Either way, a Silva would prevail.

10. Randy Couture vs. Wanderlei Silva

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    Randy Couture vs. Wanderlei Silva would be downright explosive.

    Couture doesn't take crap from anybody and Silva doesn't like to be bullied.

    Once "The Natural" uses his stifling grappling skills to pin Silva up against the cage, uppercuts and knees are going to be thrown.

9. Randy Couture vs. Dan Henderson

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    Quite honestly, nothing has to be said on behalf of these two legendary fighters.

    Historically good friends and even more familiar training partners, the two world-class wrestlers would set it off if they ever met inside the cage.

    And even though Randy Couture and Dan Henderson may be considered the "old guys" of mixed martial arts, these grandpas still have enough left in the tank to take down the majority of fighters today.

    I'd probably have to go with Henderson on this one because of his power, but is it ever smart to bet against "The Natural"?

8. Anderson Silva vs. Antonio Minotauro Nogueira

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    Antonio Minotauro Nogueira is one of the most famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners on the planet, having mentored champions such as Anderson Silva and Junior dos Santos on the way.

    He has only been submitted once in his career and rightfully so, "Big Nog" is a true gamer.

    For Silva, who's surprisingly just as old as Nogueira, showing his teacher who's boss could be a career accomplishment.

    Personally, I don't think any sort of jiu-jitsu would come into play during this fight, due in part to Silva's exceedingly superior striking game, but it would be interesting nonetheless to watch them roll.

7. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar

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    Words can't explain how much I want this fight to happen.

    While the majority of mixed martial fans would cringe at the idea of calling Brock Lesnar a legend of the sport, I'm going to take the bullet on this one and do it myself.

    I'm strictly basing Lesnar's legendary status on his ability to create hype leading up to his fights and his incomparable knack for turning over PPV sales into the millions.

    A fight with Fedor Emelianenko would probably be the highest grossing fight in MMA history and could actually happen within the next year or so if Dana White and company exhausted the money and effort to put it together.

    Emelianenko would most likely win, but you never know for sure what Lesnar is going to bring when he comes to fight.

6. Vitor Belfort vs. Rampage Jackson

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    Vitor Belfort vs. Rampage Jackson may be higher on this list than many people would like, but the fact of the matter is that both of them are young enough and relevant enough to eventually make this legendary showdown a reality.

    Belfort and Jackson are well-known for being two of the most prominent finishers in the sport's history, combing for career knockout victories over Randy Couture, Tank Abbott, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell and Kevin Randleman.

    To say this fight would end with someone's lights turned off would be an understatement.

    I honestly can't predict a winner, so I'll leave this one alone.

5. Alistair Overeem vs. Fedor Emelianenko

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    The magnitude of this fight is beyond reason.

    Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko are easily the two most popular international fighters in mixed martial arts history, combining to win championships in multiple organizations such as Pride, DREAM, Strikeforce, K-1 and Affliction.

    Each fighter holds his own prestige, but these two legends could easily be considered the most dominant fighters of all time.

    A showdown between the two would easily attract the biggest audience in MMA history and could introduce the American market to Emelianenko's greatness if he did in fact come to the UFC to fight "The Demolition Man."

4. Anderson Silva vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua

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    Would this not be the first fight Anderson Silva would be thrown into if he ever moved from middleweight to light heavyweight?

    If it isn't, it should be.

    How epic would it be for the UFC to pit Silva against Mauricio Shogun Rua to headline one of their expansive Rio Brazil, PPV events?

    It'd be barbaric.  Dana White and the Fertitta brothers would be sipping wine and counting their cash as two of the most prolific fighters ever battled it out for Brazilian supremacy.

    I'm taking Rua.

3. Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones

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    At what point do you consider Jon Jones a legend?  Seriously?

    If Jones proves victorious over Dan Henderson at UFC 151, you'd have to consider him a legend.  It's as simple as that.

    He'd have four straight light heavyweight title defenses over some of the world's best fighters in Henderson, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.  Not to mention beating Mauricio Shogun Rua to win the title back at UFC 128.

    As for Anderson Silva, his status speaks for itself.

    Too bad neither guy will fight the other.

2. Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko

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    What's better than seeing the greatest American champion fight the greatest European champion?

    Probably nothing, unless Chris Brown and Drake actually settle things inside a boxing ring.

    This historic showdown between Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko would be scary.  It would slightly tarnish one legacy while launching the other into cosmic greatness.

    When the dust settles, one true champion will stand and the world will know what heavyweights are truly made of.

1. Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre

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    Beyond last-second comebacks and million-dollar bribes, a truly legendary bout between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre seems like the most reasonable scenario.

    Both UFC champions have dominated their rightful divisions for nearly six years, knocking off every relevant contender in their path.

    It has been said that Silva is the greatest fighter of all time.  His numbers surely suggest that, but have people forgotten about St-Pierre's historic reign over a more diverse weight class?

    Maybe.  Maybe not.

    The fact of the matter is that the only way to settle who's the true pound-for-pound greatest fighter in the world is to have them, well, duke it out.

    St-Pierre has already said that with proper time to put on weight and train for this fight, he'd be interested.

    If he can knock off Carlos Condit and escape 2012 a champion, and Silva can swat away Chris Weidman and Michael Bisping, this fight could seriously happen towards the end of next year.

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