10 UFC Call Outs We Wish Would Happen
Joe Silva does what he can, but sometimes he needs a little persuading to settle on one particular match over another.
For instance, one fighter claiming that another fighter is overrated and an easy opponent to conquer, followed by a slander-filled rebuttal from the target, more or less sorts itself out.
Not that it all has to go down with such hostility. On the contrary, Alan Belcher recently called Vitor Belfort out fairly cordially, and his challenge was accepted quite congenially.
But the fight is still going to happen, and happen because of the call out, animosity-driven or not.
Why? Because the squeaky wheel often gets the grease, and call outs often yield fights.
Here, we'll take a look at the top 10 UFC call outs we wish would happen.
10. Stipe Miocic Calls out Cheick Kongo
There is no inherent beef between these two men, but if Miocic sought to further develop his burdgeoning MMA career by stepping over Cheick Kongo, the ensuing fight could be pretty interesting.
First, he'll have to get past Stefan Struve, but if he does that, then why not throw a little challenge Kongo's way?
Cheick Kongo is one of the most technically sound strikers in all of mixed martial arts, though he sometimes seems less than eager to ply his trade. Kongo's propensity to clinch has led to some less than dazzling moments inside the Octagon, his most recent outing drawing the ire of UFC president Dana White.
During the UFC 149 post-fight presser, White had this to say about Kongo's fight with Shawn Jordan:
Cheick Kongo and Jordan pushed against the fence for three rounds and I think that the ref let them do it. This isn't the Ultimate Clinching Championship, it's the [Ultimate] Fighting Championship.
If Miocic were to issue a challenge to Cheick Kongo you could bet your bottom dollar that it would bring out the best in the Frenchman.
Miocic is a very strong wrestler that would presumably have little trouble escaping the clutches of Kongo. He also has a penchant for striking that would undoubtedly make for an entertaining show.
A Miocic challenge of Kongo may not embody the most obvious call out, but it would certainly bring about a heck of a product.
9. Michael McDonald Calls out Urijah Faber
Urijah Faber is at a crossroads in his career. He is still fighting at a high level, but is he fighting at a championship level?
His recent record of 5-0 in non-title fights, and 0-5 record in title fights suggests a resounding "no!" But again, he is still right in the thick of things at 135.
Enter Michael McDonald.
The 21-year-old phenom recent collected a win over a legend in the form of Miguel Torres. Why not go for two?
While the division's title is being held hostage by an injured Dominick Cruz and an established interim title-holder in Renan Barao, McDonald could test his mettle against the best of the rest.
McDonald seems like a rather humble guy who may not be eager to call anyone out, but if he were to challenge Faber it would certainly produce an interesting contest—one telling of the trajectory of each fighter's career, as well as the title picture at bantamweight.
8. Dana White Calls out Vince McMahon
WWE president Vince McMahon was recently questioned about the UFC's presence in the pay-per-view realm during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
His response was not all that flattering.
McMahon stated that "We're [the WWE] in show business, they [UFC] are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal."
As you may or may not know, Dana White has never been one to receive external criticism with a grin and a promise to do better. No, he more often responses with profanity-laced defenses and accusatory rebuttals.
Wouldn't it be at least a little bit fun if he did it here?
Whether White fires back is yet to be determined, but if he does it will be a storyline worth keeping and eye on.
7. Donald Cerrone Calls out Jamie Varner (or Vice Versa)
The hatred in this rivalry has always been very real. At least the hate radiating from Cerrone towards Varner has always been real.
The pair split a couple of contests back in 2009 and 2010, but afterwards it seemed unlikey a rubber match would ever materialize, as Cerrone and Varner took dissimlar career paths after the disbandment of the WEC.
Cerrone began climbing the UFC ladder, while Varner was quickly cut from the promotion after losing in his debut.
But times have changed.
Varner recently made a triumphant return to the UFC, defeating rising star Edson Barboza via first-round knockout. The victory earned him a shot against division mainstay Joe Lauzon.
Cerrone is booked to contest Melvin Guillard this August, but win or lose, he would not be too close, or too far from title contention to call out Varner for one last kick at the can.
We've seen it twice before, but would anyone really mind if we saw it again?
6. Frankie Edgar Calls out Jose Aldo
This one is dependent on Edgar failing to recapture his lightweight title from Ben Henderson.
For quite some time there has been no shortage of critics suggesting that Edgar's frame is better suited for 145 than 155.
Despite the constant wave of constructive criticism, Edgar has not bitten to date. And it's difficult to blame him given the success he has found in the lightweight division.
But, another loss to Henderson—who absolutely dwarfed Edgar in the first showdown between the two—and maybe it will be time to listen to the arm-chair managers.
If Edgar made the drop to 145 he may have an instant title shot. To solidify that possibility, he would be well served to issue a verbal challenge to Aldo, who has made mincemeat of most of the existing competition at featherweight.
5. Rousimar Palhares Calls out Roger Gracie
Some of the mystique surrounding Rousimar Palhares' blood-chilling ground game was dispelled when he was handled on the mat by Alan Belcher.
What better way to reinsert yourself as the best MMA grappler in the division than by challenging the guy who, in the eyes of many, now possesses that accolade? But time is of the essence here, as there is a line forming to do just that.
Tim Kennedy recently expressed a desire to prove his grappling against Roger Gracie via Twitter.
I read @cokersf said @rogergracie was the best grappler in @Strikeforce. I would love to prove that is not the case.
Pretty ballsy, but I'd much rather see "Paul Harris" issue that challenge because the ensuing contest would be much more intriguing.
And does anyone really believe that a man named Gracie would decline a challenge fundamentally grounded in grappling?
4. Anderson Silva Calls out Rashad Evans (or Vice Versa)
Rashad Evans has not called out Anderson Silva per se, but he has acknowledged that that is a fight he would like to be a part of.
For his part, Anderson Silva isn't the calling-out type, but issuing a challenge to Evans would be, well, completely awesome.
The problem with the scenario is that whoever issues the challenge would have to change weight classes. Because of this it would be best if Evans was the challenger—that way the fight would be for the middleweight championship.
There are still interesting fights for Silva at 185, but contesting—and beating—Evans would do more for his legacy than victories over Chris Weidman or Michael Bisping at this point.
It's also a bit cliche and redundant for number one contenders like Weidman and Bisping to call out a champion, so we're going with Evans here.
3. Rory MacDonald Calls out Erick Silva (or Vice Versa)
Rory MacDonald is set to face off against B.J. Penn this September, but an encore against Erik Silva would be even more intriguing.
As the best two prospects in the welterweight division, MacDonald and Silva are on a collision course to become rivals.
We haven't heard a whole lot from Silva outside the Octagon, but MacDonald has not been shy about verbally exhibiting his confidence or calling opponents out. In fact, that's precisely how he landed a fight with Penn.
MacDonald called for Penn on The MMA Hour:
Right now I feel there's a guy that I want to fight before he leaves the sport and that's B.J. Penn. That's a guy I really want to fight. I respect him a lot. He's a legend and I think it'd be a really good matchup for me to have that fight in Toronto I think it'd be a great opportunity...I definitely think I'll win.
Taking a similar route with Silva would be great. Both guys have a full head of steam right now and are destined to meet eventually.
Why not get the ball rolling a little quicker than the natural progression of things demands with a calculated verbal jab?
2. Jon Jones Calls out Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier already kind of called Jon Jones out, but he didn't really go all the way.
In an interview with ESPN Cormier expressed his desire to contest Jones.
Imagine that: Me and Jones standing across the cage from one another. That would be crazy because you know I'm putting him on his back.
That's like a semi-call out. Right?
The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner does, however, go on to call that fight his "plan B," stating that he is only interested if teammate Cain Velasquez lays claim to the UFC heavyweight title.
For this fight to happen Velasquez would need to beat Junior Dos Santos to reclaim to heavyweight crown. Cormier would likely need to beat Frank Mir in his next fight, and would then have to decide on making the cut to 205.
A lot of variables there.
But, if Jones were to become vocal and call out Cormier, it might just provide the wrestling powerhouse with the motivation to take the bout regardless of who sits upon the heavyweight throne.
Such a challenge might not take Cormier's focus away from the heavyweight division entirely, but it would help.
I'd like to at least see Jon Jones stir the pot a bit if he defeats Dan Henderson in his next bout, if for no other reason than because he is running out of viable options currently fighting at 205.
Calling out Dos Santos would also be interesting, but that's not all that reasonable for Jones right now.
1. Georges St-Pierre Calls out Anderson Silva
The GSP challenge to Silva is the ultimate fantasy call out.
If St-Pierre is able to retain his welterweight title this November he will once again have the entire 170-pound weight class at his mercy.
While potential matchups against the likes of Johny Hendricks, Martin Kampmann and Nick Diaz remain, the excitement that would come with a fight against Silva would make people forget about those three in the blink of an eye.
There are two schools of thought on the call out: Some believe St-Pierre's best chance at securing a legacy as the greatest fighter of all-time is to defeat Silva, while others see the move as an nonobligatory risk that could play havoc with his body and damage his overall body of work.
But regardless of the camp you sit in, some part of you has to want this to happen.
It would mean big things for the individuals involved, for the fans that were fortunate enough to see it and for the sport itself, which would experience an influx in interest that may top any surge to date.