25 UFC Fights That Should Have Happened in 2012
As an MMA fan, you certainly know how devastated the UFC was by injuries this year. There was a card cancelled, countless cards reshuffled and countless fights moved, postponed or flat-out changed.
No card was exempt, and no place on the card was safe. Everything from title fights to Facebook prelims was hit at one point or another.
So let's look back on 2012 at 25 fights that should have happened this past year.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem
We'll kick off the list with a heavyweight title fight that should have gone down at UFC 146 between Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem.
The fight was set to be the main event of UFC 146, but when Overeem was pulled from the card due to a suspicious drug test, dos Santos faced Frank Mir.
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Erick Silva
Siyar Bahadurzada was set to face off with Brazilian prospect Erick Silva at UFC 142, in what was sure to be a fantastic matchup to see who takes the next leap in the welterweight division.
However, Bahadurzada had to pull out of the fight, and Silva instead faced Carlo Prater, who he ended up losing to by disqualification.
Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Erik Koch against Dustin Poirier had the potential to determine the next title challenger in the featherweight division.
Both fighters were top ten and were considered nearly ready for a shot at the belt. Unfortunately, Koch went down with an injury, and after some shuffling, Poirier ended up facing Max Holloway, who he defeated by first-round submission.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
You just had to know that this one would show up, didn't you?
Georges St-Pierre against Nick Diaz has been twice scheduled, but yet has never happened. The second time it was scheduled was UFC 143; unfortunately, St-Pierre was injured and was unable to fight Diaz.
Diaz instead faced Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight championship, a fight that Condit won by unanimous decision.
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit II
Due to how controversial the first fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit was, many fans were immediately calling for a rematch between the two.
It was rumored that Condit wouldn't take the fight, then that he would, then that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana metabolites and would be suspended.
It turned out the third rumor was true, as Diaz was suspended and thus unable to fight Condit once again.
Carlos Condit vs. Josh Koscheck
When Georges St-Pierre went down with the injury and was unable to fight at UFC 143, another fight was scrapped in the process.
Carlos Condit was supposed to fight Josh Koscheck that night, but when Condit stepped up to the interim title fight, Koscheck ended up fighting Mike Pierce, whom he defeated by split decision.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Alexander Gustafsson
When the UFC announced that a card would take place in Sweden, it was almost a lock that Alexander Gustafsson would be on it, and his original opponent was "Lil' Nog," Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
When Nogueira went down with an injury, Thiago Silva stepped up to face Gustafsson, who would go on to win by unanimous decision.
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve were set to do battle on the main card of UFC 146, but as you can guess, this fight did not happen.
Hunt was forced to pull out of a fight for the first time in his career, and Struve faced Lavar Johnson instead. Struve won by first-round submission.
Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir
Yet another casualty of the UFC 146 card was the co-main event between Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir.
This fight went down after Alistair Overeem was pulled from the card, as Mir was promoted to main-event status for the heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos, and Velasquez instead faced Antonio Silva.
dos Santos beat Mir by second-round KO, and Velasquez beat Silva by first-round TKO.
Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Silva
Yet another fight from UFC 146 to go down was Roy Nelson against Antonio Silva.
Silva was promoted to the co-main event against Cain Velasquez, and Roy Nelson ended up facing Dave Herman.
Silva lost by first-round TKO and Nelson defeated Herman by first-round KO.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort II
After coaching the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva were supposed to fight for a second time.
When Belfort broke his hand, the fight had to be cancelled, and Silva instead faced off against Rich Franklin for a second time, a fight that Franklin won by unanimous decision.
Daniel Sarafian vs. Cezar Ferreira
For the first time ever, the two finalists of a season of The Ultimate Fighter were unable to fight in the finals of the show.
Daniel Sarafian had to pull out of the fight against Cezar Ferreira due to an injury, and he was replaced by Sergio Moraes. Ferreira ended up winning against Moraes by unanimous decision.
Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch
Jose Aldo was rumored for several different fights, but when he was finally scheduled, it was for UFC 149 against Erik Koch.
Aldo later had to pull out of the fight due to an injury, and when Aldo pulled out, Koch was also pulled from the card for their fight to be rescheduled to a later date. That later date turned out to be UFC 153, but the fight did not happen once again, this time, due to an injury to Koch.
That fight was replaced with the next fight on our list.
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
After Erik Koch pulled out of a title fight against Jose Aldo at UFC 153, Frankie Edgar was chosen to replace Koch, and set up a long dreamt-of superfight.
Unfortunately, this fight didn't happen either, as Aldo was forced to pull out of the fight due to lingering injuries from a motorcycle accident.
This fight is still what the UFC hopes to do, and it will likely take place early in 2013.
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber III
Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber have a longstanding rivalry. That rivalry was going to come to its pinnacle during their tenure coaching The Ultimate Fighter, and they were set to fight at UFC 148.
Unfortunately, Cruz tore his ACL during the filming of the show, and was rendered unable to fight Faber. Faber ended up facing Renan Barao for the interim bantamweight title at UFC 149, a fight which Barao won by unanimous decision.
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch
Michael Bisping and Tim Boestch were originally scheduled to throw down at UFC 148, on what would have undoubtedly been the biggest card in UFC history.
Unfortunately, this fight was moved to UFC 149 to bolster it, but it never ended up happening.
Bisping pulled out of the fight due to an injury and Boetsch ended up fighting Hector Lombard in his UFC debut. Boetsch would go on to win by split decision.
Thiago Alves vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
UFC 149 went through a lot of shuffling, and this fight in particular went through a lot of shuffling.
Originally, Thiago Alves was going to face Yoshihiro Akiyama. Then Akiyama pulled out and it was Alves against Siyar Bahadurzada. Then Alves pulled out and it was Bahadurzada against Chris Clements. Then Bahadurzada pulled out and it was Clements against Matt Riddle.
That one was confusing, I know.
Thiago Silva vs. Mauricio Rua
Thiago Silva was going to face off against fellow Muay Thai striker, Mauricio Rua, at UFC 149, but this fight went down just like many others.
Silva went down with an injury, and instead of giving Rua a new opponent on the card, Rua was pulled altogether and faced Brandon Vera in the main event of UFC on Fox 4. Rua won by fourth-round TKO.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cheick Kongo
Oh no, we're not done with UFC 149 just yet. Another fight from that card to bite the dust was a heavyweight matchup between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo.
Nogueira was forced to pull out of the fight because his broken arm hadn't healed as quickly as he had anticipated. Kongo instead faced Shawn Jordan and won a unanimous decision.
Brian Stann vs. Hector Lombard
The original main event of UFC on Fox 4 was to be a middleweight fight between Brian Stann and Hector Lombard.
Stann was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury, and Lombard was moved up to an earlier card where he faced off against Tim Boetsch. Lombard would drop a split decision to Boetsch, while Stann would later fight Michael Bisping.
Yushin Okami vs. Rousimar Palhares
This is another fight that went through multiple changes, although this one took place at UFC 150.
Yushin Okami was originally scheduled to face Luiz Cane, but when Cane was forced out with an injury, Okami was rebooked to face Rousimar Palhares. Palhares was then forced out with an injury, and Buddy Roberts stepped up to face Okami.
Okami would win by second-round TKO.
Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson/ Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen
Everybody should know what happened with UFC 151. Dan Henderson was supposed to fight Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title, but Henderson was forced out of the bout with an injury.
Chael Sonnen then offered to fight Jones on only nine days notice, but Jones turned down the fight, citing lack of prep time.
The card was then totally cancelled, and Jones faced Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 several weeks later.
Josh Koscheck vs. Jake Ellenberger
Up next was a scheduled welterweight matchup between Josh Koscheck and Jake Ellenberger. This fight was supposed to take place at UFC 151, but Koscheck had to pull out due to an injury.
Ellenberger was then set to face Jay Hieron, but after UFC 151 was cancelled, their fight was postponed until UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot. Ellenberger won a unanimous decision over Hieron.
Vitor Belfort vs. Alan Belcher
Vitor Belfort was scheduled to fight Alan Belcher on the main card of UFC 153. However, following the cancellation of UFC 151, Belfort was selected to face Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title at UFC 152.
Belcher later dropped off the card as well, as he was dealing with a spinal fracture, and was planning to face Belfort anyway. Belfort ended up losing to Jones by fourth-round submission.
Quinton Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
Another fight from UFC 153 that went down was a light heavyweight matchup between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Glover Teixeira.
Jackson was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury, and Teixeira instead ended up facing Fabio Maldonado. Teixiera battered Maldonado for two rounds before winning between the second and third round by doctor stoppage.
Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.