The greatest of all-time… It’s a subjective accolade, but poll any group of MMA fans from any age and the vast majority will provide up either Georges St Pierre or Anderson Silva as MMA’s theoretical”person to conquer.” 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 best versus the brightest. Regrettably, the odds of it occurring now are as slender as they were. “Rush” vs.”The Spider” is a fantasy; just one of many super fights we’ll likely never see.
Regrettably, it is not the sole one. Here are a few other MMA superfights we never got to see…
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar
Partly as a result of UFC’s monopolistic marketing power and partially because of his very best years being a decade past, Fedor Emelianenko doesn’t always get the respect he deserves from modern-day MMA fans. For people who witnessed his epic poem rampage through PRIDE’s heavyweight division thoughhe was the best 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 draw. An instant celebrity, ” he polarized an audience that didn’t understand what they wanted more; therefore watch him humbled in defeat, or glorified in success.
Physically, Lesnar was an animal. Walking round north of this 265-pound heavyweight limit, the NCAA standout transferred with all the speed and grace of a man half his size. Whether it was right down to popularity or notoriety he was a magnet to the paying public, headlining what was then the UFC’s biggest card above the likes of GSP, in what was just his third tilt with the promotion.
After years of deriding that the Russian while he plied his trade for the contest, White declared that registering Stary Oskol’s favorite son was his”obsession.” Accounts of what happened following differ based on who you listen to them from. Fedor was tied up with M-1; based on White, a bargain offering $2,000,000 per struggle, Pay-Per-View points along with an immediate title shot against Brock Lesnar was spurned; M-1 wished to co-promote Fedor’s fights, also allegedly wanted Zuffa to finance the construction of a stadium in Russia. M-1 refuted those claims, and talks broke down.
Fedor’s inventory would drop considerably following three consecutive losses and Lesnar, while still a licence to print money, was exposed by greater fighters and abandoned the game. It could have been the biggest-grossing MMA struggle of all time, but as is so frequently the case, politics finally ruined it.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tank Abbott
Throwbacks to another age, arguably another sport, Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott were the poster children of the UFC’s formative years. Even though the event was intended as a subversive info-mercial to get Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, you have to believe that the money guys were quietly yanking a Shamrock success at UFC 1. He was 220 pounds of chiselled muscle, and the only fighter in the bracket with documented”free-fight” experience, Shamrock had the expression of an action hero and the ability to back this up.
A few decades after, David”Tank” Abbott hit the spectacle. Watch MMA live or at a bar even now, and you’ll find no shortage of out-of-shape, beer-swilling loudmouths eager to talk about their view of how they would mop the floor with the guys on TV. Abbott was the guy, only he can mop the floor with a few of the guys on TV. Fat, cocky and sporting roughly the same number of teeth since he’d had karate lessons, Abbott was the manifestation of all that a martial artist was not assumed to be.
There’s a little MMA folklore that says Tank was brought in to lose, thus proving the concept that the British artist would always triumph over the thug. His (admittedly limited) wrestling foundation was played and he had been branded a’Pit Fighter’ in promotional stuff. When Tank started breaking heads in some of the most visually violent UFC fights of the age, a star was born, to the point that the company set him on a monthly wages; something not replicated since.
There was even legitimate bad blood between both parties, together with Shamrock and his”Lion’s Den” once hunting down Abbott backstage after he’d caused trouble. Ken never caught him up either at the parking lot or the cage, with both eventually leaving the company for careers in pro-wrestling. Their surprise early-00’s returns once again sparked hope of a superfight from the other generation, but for reasons unknown it was never meant to be.
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones
Before the controversy that shelved him for that which would likely happen to be his fighting prime, few could argue that Jon Jones was not at the absolute pinnacle of mixed martial arts. A world-class athlete, not only skillful, but an expert in all facets of the game, Jones looked insurmountable. In 2011, he finished 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 space of just 10 months.
While Jones was painting a picture of violence at the light-heavyweight division, Anderson Silva was creating a masterpiece at middleweight. Nobody had previously cleared out such a talent-rich branch and seemed really untouchable in doing this. So complete was Silva’s dominance, he’d double moved up a weight class and demolished his opposition. His claim to the title of’best ever’ could be challenged by a scant couple.
White once mentioned his ability to generate a Jones vs. Silva superfight occur as something which could define his own legacy as a promoter. Fate, as it is want to do, conspired against him. Silva’s standing plummeted following a set of reductions and a failed drug test. Jones’ picture was tarnished even further; while he didn’t falter in the cage, a run of self-inflicted’personal issues’ stripped”Bones” of his dignity, credibility and — most importantly — his ability to compete.
Silva is past his prime and threatening retirement. Jones is concentrated firmly on regaining the light heavyweight title he never dropped in the cage. Issues outside the cage have almost certainly deprived us of one of the best struggles inside.
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