THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY: MMA SUPERFIGHTS WE NEVER SAW
The greatest of all-time… it is a subjective accolade, but survey some of MMA fans from any age and the huge majority will provide up either Georges St Pierre or Anderson Silva as MMA’s theoretical”person to beat.” In late 2016, news of the French-Canadian’s return fueled whispers of UFC president Dana White’s”one who got away” — St Pierre vs Silva — the very best versus the cleverest. Sadly, the odds of this occurring now are as slender as they ever were. “Hurry” vs.”The Spider” is a fantasy; just one of several super fights we will probably never see.
Sadly, it is not the only one. Below are a few other MMA superfights we got to see…
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar
Partly due to the UFC’s monopolistic marketing power and partly because of his best years being a decade ago, Fedor Emelianenko doesn’t always receive the respect he deserves from modern-day MMA fans. For those who witnessed his epic rampage through PRIDE’s heavyweight division though, he was the greatest heavyweight of his age… possibly the greatest ever.
While Fedor could have become the best fighter in his day, Brock Lesnar was easily the largest box office attraction. An immediate celebrity, he polarized an audience who didn’t understand what they wanted more; therefore see him humbled in defeat, or glorified in victory.
Physically, Lesnar was a creature. Walking around north of this 265-pound heavyweight limit, the NCAA standout moved with the speed and grace of a guy half his size. Whether it was down to fame or notoriety he had been a magnet for the paying public, headlining what was afterward the UFC’s largest card above the likes of GSP, in what was his third tilt together with the promotion.
Following years of deriding the Russian while he plied his trade for the contest, White declared that signing Stary Oskol’s favorite son was his”obsession.” Accounts of what happened next differ depending on who you listen to them from. Fedor was tied up with M-1; based on White, a deal offering $2,000,000 per struggle, Pay-Per-View points and an immediate title taken against Brock Lesnar was spurned; M-1 wished to co-promote Fedor’s fights, and supposedly wanted Zuffa to finance the building of a stadium in Russia. M-1 refuted those claims, and talks broke down.
Fedor’s stock would drop considerably following three straight losses and Lesnar, while still a licence to print money, was subjected by greater fighters and left the game. It might have become the biggest-grossing MMA fight of all-time, but as is so frequently true, politics ultimately ruined it.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tank Abbott
Throwbacks to another age, arguably a different game, Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott were the poster children of the UFC’s formative years. Even though the event was thought to be a subversive info-mercial for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, you need to believe that the cash guys were quietly yanking a Shamrock success at UFC 1. He was 220 pounds of chiselled muscle, and the only fighter in the mount with recorded”free-fight” encounter, Shamrock had the expression of an action hero and the capacity to back this up.
A couple of years later, David”Tank” Abbott hit the spectacle. Watch MMA reside or in a bar even today, and you’ll find no shortage of out-of-shape, beer-swilling loudmouths eager to talk about their view of how they’d mop the floor with the men on TV. Abbott was the guy, only he could mop the floor with a few of the men on TV. Fat, cocky and wearing roughly the same number of teeth as he had had karate lessons, Abbott was the manifestation of everything a British artist wasn’t assumed to be.
There’s a bit of MMA folklore that states Tank was brought in to lose, thus proving the concept that the British artist would always succeed over the thug. His (admittedly limited) wrestling background was played down and he was branded a’Pit Fighter’ in promotional stuff. When Tank began cracking heads in some of the very violent UFC fights of the age, a star was born, to the point that the company put him on a monthly salary; something not repeated since.
There was even legitimate bad blood between both parties, together with Shamrock and also his”Lion’s Den” after hunting down Abbott backstage after he’d caused trouble. Ken never caught up with him either in the parking lot or the cage, together with both finally leaving the company for careers in pro-wrestling. Their surprise early-00’s returns once again sparked hope of a superfight from the other creation, but for reasons unknown it was not supposed to be.
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones
Ahead of the controversy that shelved him for that which could likely happen to be his fighting prime, few would argue that Jon Jones was not at the absolute pinnacle of mixed martial arts. A world-class athlete, not just adept, but an expert in all aspects of the match, Jones looked insurmountable. In 2011he completed that which was arguably the greatest season’s work of any combat sports athlete, defeating Ryan Bader,”Shogun” Rua,”Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida in the area of just 10 months.
Even though Jones was painting an image of violence at the light-heavyweight branch, Anderson Silva had been making a masterpiece at middleweight. Nobody had cleared out such a talent-rich branch and seemed so untouchable in doing this. So complete was Silva’s dominance, he’d twice moved up a weight class and demolished his resistance. His claim to the name of’best ever’ could be challenged by a scant couple.
White once cited his ability to make a Jones vs. Silva superfight occur as a tool which could define his own heritage as a promoter. Fate, as it is want to do, conspired against him. Silva’s standing plummeted after having a set of losses and a failed drug test. Jones’ picture was tarnished even farther; while he didn’t falter in the cage, a run of self-inflicted’personal difficulties’ stripped”Bones” of his dignity, credibility and — most importantly — his own ability to compete.
Silva is past his prime and threatening retirement. Jones is concentrated firmly on regaining the light heavyweight title he never lost in the cage. Issues outside the cage have almost certainly deprived us of one of the greatest struggles inside.
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