The 411 MMA Top 10 03.18.13: Top 10 Potential Superfights
Posted by Alex Rella on 03.18.2013
From Anderson Silva vs Georges St-Pierre and Ronda Rousey vs Cyborg Santos to Dominick Cruz vs Jose Aldo, Silva vs. Jon Jones and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 potential superfights!
Top Ten Potential Superfights
Hey everybody, I am Alex Rella and GSP clearly cheated by seeing pictures of Nick Diaz training with kneebars. This week we will be looking at the top ten potential superfights. Superfights can be really exciting when built properly and not overdone. We already got one this year with Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar and that did not disappoint. My guess is we'll see another good one towards the end of the year. So for the purpose of this list, superfights are high profiled fights between fighters of different weight classes. These aren't completely random fights either. They are all fights that at least one fighter has expressed interest in or the UFC has tried to set up. And they're all within reasonable range of weight. So no Joseph Benavidez vs Michael Bisping type fights. The fights are ranked based on potential fight quality, significance, drawing ability, and some of my own opinion.
Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard IV
Urijah Faber vs Mike Brown III- Both of these fights are rematches between guys now in different weight classes. As much as I want to see these fights, they're only honorable mentions for the sake of being original.
Quinton Jackson vs Matt Mitrione- Mitrione competed on the last season of TUF Rampage coached and they talk trash every now and then. Mitrione would give Rampage the straight up slugfest that he desires and I'm sure he wouldn't mind not worrying about cutting weight.
Ronda Rousey vs Gina Carano- It would be really cool if Carano were to return to MMA, but her movie career is going pretty well so far and no way she makes 135 lbs so it would have to be at 145 if they were to fight.
10: Anderson Silva vs Rashad Evans
I was really pumped for Rashad Evans' return to action back in February. Not only is it great to see one of the best light heavyweights fighting, but it appeared he was going to get a middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva. And then he had the worst fight of his career. Now he has a fight against Dan Henderson coming up and a third loss in a row could mean the end for his career. But there is still the possibility that Evans recaptures his fire for fighting and pushes for that potential fight with Silva. Evans' strong wrestling and the ability to effectively mix in his striking could make for an interesting matchup with the Spider.
9: Anderson Silva vs Frank Mir
Talks of this superfight have died down as Silva has much better options in GSP and Jon Jones, but the two have expressed interest in fighting. Mir has stated that he would drop down to 235 lbs for the fight, so it would be more of a catchweight fight. This would be a chance for Anderson Silva to show how good he is. Silva rarely gets tested and this would most likely be the hardest fight of his career. I could see this fight really going either way. Mir has the size advantage and would likely hurt Silva if he were to connect, but Silva is so fast that he Mir might not be able to. Silva would have the advantage with striking, but working in the clinch could go either way. Silva is no slouch when it comes grappling, but Mir is one of the UFC's all time best submission artists so I would give the heavyweight the advantage on the ground. Part of me would rather see this than Silva's other potential superfights.
8:Ronda Rousey vs Bryan Caraway
I know this fight will never happen in the UFC, but it would be awesome if it did. I think saying that female fighters can or should fight male fighters is similar to saying flyweights should fight the much heavier weight classes. One isn't better than the other, but it's ridiculous and won't happen, although you do open yourself up to criticism if you're a man calling out a woman. Bryan Caraway is an ok bantamweight in the UFC, but is known mostly for dating the much more successful Miesha Tate and for being a chauvinistic prick. There have been a couple times where Ronda Rousey and Dana White have made claims that she hang with the guys in a fight. Who knows maybe she can beat some of them in a fight, but they mainly just do it so it's talk trash about how tough she is. Male fighters really shouldn't take offense to this, but there's no harm in disagreeing in a respectable manor.
Bryan Caraway clearly decided to take a different route and tweet that he would knock her teeth down her throat and break her arm. He later deleted the tweet and claimed to be misunderstood and he would never hurt a woman, but girls shouldn't call out men. No, we all understood what you meant and I think you should put your money where your mouth is. They're in the same weight class and Caraway is a decent grappler with no striking so it could be a very winnable fight for Rousey and I would put money on another armbar victory. Even though I think Rousey would be the favorite in this one, there is the potential for this to go horribly wrong so it won't officially happen, but I would love to hear if Rousey just beat the shit out of him backstage or something like that.
7:Dominick Cruz vs Jose Aldo
Dominick Cruz is still on the disabled list with a torn ACL, but there isn't much competition waiting for him when he returns. If he were to defeat Renan Barao and finish his trilogy with Faber, there isn't anybody left in the division. These are big if's considering his injury, but Cruz is one of the best fighters in the world when healthy. Cruz has mentioned moving up to fight Jose Aldo in the past and this would be a big fight for both men. Cruz is a former number one contender at featherweight and his cardio, wrestling, speed, and diverse striking would make him a huge threat to Jose Aldo. Cruz would be the most well rounded and complete fighter that Aldo has ever faced at this point. Personally I would like to see this fight more than some of the ones ranked higher, but there are too many conditions that have to be met first that will hold it back from happening. If Cruz comes back healthy in top shape and Aldo stays at featherweight, this would be a pretty big fight and an awesome one to watch.
6:Urijah Faber vs Frankie Edgar
I admit I have been on a bit of an Urijah Faber kick lately as he's been highlighted a few weeks in a row now. Faber is always a win or two away from a title shot in the UFC's shallow bantamweight division, but he has mentioned a few times in recent months that he would like to fight Frankie Edgar and I think that would be a great fight. I think occasional fights at featherweight would be great for Faber's career. It would open more big money fights in the later part of his career for him and I think he can still beat most of the guys at 145 lbs. Frankie Edgar is also at a weird point in his career too. He's lost three title fights in a row and now has to build himself back up if he wants to stay a top fighter. Edgar recently annoyed me stating that he deserves a top name to fight and I really don't see how he does. He moved down to a division for a title shot and failed, and now is complaining that guys like Cub Swanson are just numbers to him. Unfortunately there aren't many "name" guys at featherweight, but Faber could be that high profiled fight that he wants. This could easily be a main event on FOX or a co main event on a pay per view. I would give the edge to Faber in this one the way Edgar has been fighting lately too. Faber hasn't defeated a really upper level fighter in a few years, but his type of scrambling and high level grappling would give Edgar a lot of trouble. Edgar usual boxing and evasive movement could go out the window as well as Faber is used to fighting guys that are just as fast at bantamweight. This would be a big win for both fighters as each man had great runs as champions.
5: Jose Aldo vs UFC Lightweight Champion
It has been announced that Jose Aldo will receive a lightweight title shot if he successfully defends his featherweight title against Anthony Pettis this summer. I wish Aldo would stay at featherweight just a little while longer as the featherweight division is starting to get pretty good, but I understand moving up to the next weight class. Aldo is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and has defended his title six times already. A win over Pettis would be his second consecutive victory over a former lightweight champion as well. I am curious to see how Aldo does in the UFC's highly competitive lightweight division. He'll be fighting much larger opponents, many of which are strong wrestlers. A fight with either Benson Henderson or Gilbert Melendez would be awesome.
4: Cain Velasquez vs Jon Jones
I hope Jon Jones stays at light heavyweight for a little while longer. I'm not a fan of his, but he's so close to breaking all of the records at 205 lbs and he has interesting competition coming up in Gustafsson and Teixeira. That being said, Jones is going to move up to heavyweight eventually. The heavyweight division is so thin and will be for the foreseeable future that Jones will likely get a title shot upon moving up in weight. The matchup between Jones and current champ Velasquez would be really interesting. Jones would still have a size and reach advantage, but he hasn't gone up against someone with that kind of striking and such a strong wrestling background. Both have great cardio and it could come down to who is the better wrestler. If Jones is able to nicely defend Sonnen's wrestling next month, I might give him the advantage over Velasquez. It would be an exciting fight either way.
3:Ronda Rousey vs Cyborg Santos
Only Cris Santos honestly knows whether or not she is truly incapable of dropping down to bantamweight, but this fight can still happen even if it isn't for the UFC title. Ronda Rousey can and should fight Cyborg at 140 lbs. I completely agree with why this fight hasn't happened yet though. First there is the principle of it, Cyborg has been cheating for who knows how long and Rousey shouldn't have to budge for her. Secondly, a catchweight fight early on in the women's division would depreciate the value of the bantamweight title. It won't take long until Rousey has cleared out the women's bantamweight division. There's the winner of Tate/Zingano, Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, and that's about it for potential challengers. The same goes for Santos over in Invicta. Both ladies are going to be out of top options in about a year and a half or so. Not only will they need each other, but this superfight can really take women's MMA to the next level. Their legitimate hate for each other and completely different fighting style would make for a truly great feud.
2: Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones
This is the other main potential superfight for Anderson Silva. I personally don't see this fight happening, but Dana White is going to really push hard for it if GSP keeps turning down the fight with Silva. Silva has had forays at 205 lbs in the past and has almost been even more impressive fighting the heavier guys. James Irvin is a joke, but Forrest Griffin was a former UFC light heavyweight champion and Silva became the first person to really finish Stephan Bonnar. Jon Jones presents much a larger challenge than any of these men with his wrestling background, size and reach advantage. Jones used to be very against this fight saying how it was a lose-lose fight for him and it would "crack" his greatness, but he's warmed up to it a little bit and I think he would give in if given enough money. Silva might be less inclined to take this fight than the GSP one, but throw enough money at him and he should say yes. This would be an awesome fight and Silva might even be the slight underdog in this one.
1: Anderson Silva vs Georges St-Pierre
The potential fight between the two best fighters of all time has to be ranked number one. Who knows if this fight would be at welterweight, middleweight, or a catchweight. Anderson Silva and his camp badly want this fight. On a side note, I thought it was laughable when Lyoto Machida said he wanted to fight GSP. I really understand why GSP has turned down the fight so far and it seems genuine. The welterweight division is his main priority and he doesn't want to move on until he has defeated all the top competitors. He's broken all of Matt Hughes' records and there really isn't anybody else waiting at welterweight past Johny Hendricks. GSP may change his mind after his next title defense. Silva would be the favorite regardless of what weight the fight happens at, but you can't count out GSP. I think both are fairly equal in terms of speed and Silva would have the clear advantage striking, but GSP's wrestling could be the difference maker. GSP wrestles very different from guys like Chael Sonnen, but he's a smart enough fighter that he could modify his style. This has the potential to be the biggest fight in MMA history.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
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Thursday April 4th-the card includes Vader, Billy Graham, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Colt Cabana, Kevin Matthews, Starman, John Morrison, Elijah Burke, Rock N Roll Express, Briscoe Brothers, Trent Barretta, Sonjay Dutt, Kevin Steen, Anthony Nese, Davey Richards, Necro Butcher, The Sheik, New Jack, Simon Dean, and Tommy Dreamer.
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Next week I'll rank the ten best fighters that competed in MMA tournaments