There are so many potential match-ups for UFC fans now that Strikeforce is closing its doors. Young guns rising and some of the sport’s most storied athletes still remain on the roster. BJPenn.com takes a look at ten essential fights that need to take place in 2013.
10. Gilbert Melendez vs. Frankie Edgar
Gilbert Melendez is not ranked as the consensus number one fighter at lightweight because he was not fighting in the UFC. Sure, his last two fights have been uninspired, but imagine playing a video game where there are basically one or two threats to your top spot. It would get boring very quickly.
Frankie Edgar is a guy who can step up to the plate no matter who the pitcher is and usually knock it out of the park when it comes to big fights. He would make Gil step his game up and the pace of the fight would be fast and furious.
The end result of this booking is an exciting fight that MMA fans would get their money’s worth out of.
9. Rory MacDonald vs. Nick Diaz
Rory MacDonald is a monster. He is athletic, skilled, and tenacious. Nick Diaz is skilled, unpredictable, and dangerous. This fight is a powder keg.
Diaz has to hate MacDonald. Rory’s new GSP worthy, rich boy, GQ clothing look coupled with an attitude that just infuriates his haters would be fuel for the fire. Nick’s brother Nate got manhandled by Rory and you have to bet Nick would want revenge for the Diaz family. No one is quite sure how Rory handles personal feuds and this would be a litmus test from hell. MacDonald would either come out of that pressure situation a diamond – or coal dust.
8. Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping
So this is a no-brainer. Earlier this year, Michael Bisping claimed to be the unofficial Strikeforce champion after a sparring session with Rockhold. Luke responded with some verbal shots of his own claiming it was the other way around and that Bisping was pretty much hallucinating. The reason this fight has to happen is that Luke is a different animal than any other fighter Mike has faced. He’s tall, agile, and accurate with his striking. He is similar in those aspects to Anderson Silva. This would be the first time Bisping would be fighting someone with a striking style resembling his own.
7. Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
Champion vs. Champion. Benson Henderson is the top ranked fighter in the world at lightweight. Gilbert Melendez is the hardcore fan favorite to hold the true top spot at 155 pounds. This fight would answer a lot of questions and settle the dispute for most people as to who really is the king of the lightweight division.
6. Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping
Michael has been begging and pleading for a title shot since day one and each time he has been denied. He is always one fight away from getting said shot. He fights top ten fighters that are enough to put him one fight away consistently, but never that one guy who warrants him a legitimate shot. A win over Chael Sonnen would have given him the shot for sure, but he lost a close decision and the opportunity to face Anderson Silva. His next obstacle is Vitor Belfort and a win over Belfort just might do the trick.
5. Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva
Ever since Silva got obliterated by Vitor Belfort at UFC Brazil in 1998 he has wanted revenge on Belfort. They were scheduled to meet at UFC 147, but Belfort pulled out citing injury. Wanderlei was very vocal about doubting the validity of the injury and his desire for the fight to still happen. Fans are still hoping this fight happens and Dana White needs to book it before they both retire.
4. Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson
Ever since Roy accused of Shane of cycling off steroids it has been on. Shane brushed the comments off initially only to become frustrated again when Roy Tweeted about it. If that wasn’t enough Shane pulled out of his fight with Roy due to injury and the steroid rumors surfaced again and Carwin was once again accused of not having enough time to cycle off, or get them out of his system before he was tested. There is still bad blood between the two and this one needs to happen.
3. Luke Rockhold vs. Anderson Silva
Champion vs. Champion. Silva has called out Rockhold albeit in a polite manner through master manager Ed Soares. Rockhold has stated on several interviews that he wanted his first fight in the UFC to be with Anderson. It would make sense to have the last Strikeforce Middleweight Champion to get a shot at the current UFC champion – if Rockhold doesn’t draw Bisping first.
2. Daniel Cormier vs. Junior Dos Santos
The hottest prospect to come out of the American Kickboxing Academy in a long time is Daniel Cormier. Cormier defeated Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett and ever since then his stock is high. Junior Dos Santos has beaten the top heavyweights and cleared out the UFC division he is currently the king of. Cormier has top notch wrestling and very heavy hands. A true worthy opponent for JDS.
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva
This one has to happen because a lot of fans are tired of hearing about it. If there was a fighter that you call the anti Anderson Silva it would be GSP. Strong wrestling, elusive striking, and strength in general. Silva might have a tough time staying on his feet in this bout. On the flip side if Anderson connects GSP is going to sleep. Condit scrambled his brains significantly in GSP’s last title defense. Silva is a finisher and GSP would have been put away. This fight needs the green light because this truly would settle who the best pound for pound fighter in the world today really is.
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