The greatest of all time… it is a subjective accolade, but poll some of MMA fans from any age and the vast majority will offer up either Georges St Pierre or Anderson Silva as MMA’s theoretical”man to beat.” In late 2016, news of this French-Canadian’s return fueled whispers of UFC president Dana White’s”one that got away” — St Pierre vs Silva — the best versus the cleverest. Sadly, the odds of it occurring now are as slender as they were. “Hurry” vs.”The Spider” is a myth; one of many super fights we will probably never see.
Sadly, it’s not the sole one. Below are a few other MMA superfights we got to see…
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar
Partly as a result of UFC’s monopolistic advertising 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 those who witnessed his epic poem rampage through PRIDE’s heavyweight division however , he was the best heavyweight of his age… possibly the biggest ever.
While Fedor could have been the best fighter in his day, Brock Lesnar was easily the biggest box office draw. An instant celebrity, ” he polarized an audience that didn’t understand what they desired more; therefore see him humbled in defeat, or glorified in success.
Physically, Lesnar was a creature. Walking round north of the 265-pound heavyweight limit, the NCAA standout moved with all the speed and elegance of a man half his size. Whether it was down to fame or notoriety he had been a magnet to the paying public, headlining what was afterward the UFC’s largest card over the likes of GSP, in what was his third tilt 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 based on who you hear them from. Fedor was tied up with M-1; according to White, a bargain offering $2,000,000 per struggle, Pay-Per-View points along with a direct title taken against Brock Lesnar was spurned; M-1 wanted to co-promote Fedor’s fights, and 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 straight losses and Lesnar, while still a licence to print money, was exposed by greater fighters and abandoned the game. It might have become the biggest-grossing MMA struggle of all time, but as is so often true, politics ultimately ruined it.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tank Abbott
Throwbacks into another age, arguably another game, Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott were the poster children of the UFC’s formative years. While the event was thought to be a subversive info-mercial for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, you have to believe that the cash guys were quietly pulling for a Shamrock victory at UFC 1. He was 220 lbs of chiselled muscle, and the only fighter in the bracket using recorded”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 reside or at a bar even today, and you’ll find no lack of out-of-shape, beer-swilling loudmouths eager to share their opinion of how they’d mop the floor with the guys on TV. Abbott was that guy, only he can mop the floor with some of the men on TV. Fat, cocky and sporting roughly the exact same number of teeth as he had had karate lessons, Abbott was the manifestation of all a British artist wasn’t supposed to be.
There is a bit of MMA folklore that states Tank was introduced into lose, thus proving the theory that the martial artist would always triumph over the thug. His (admittedly limited) wrestling background was played down and he had been branded a’Pit Fighter’ in promotional material. When Tank started breaking heads in a number of the very violent UFC fights of the age, a star was born, to the point that the company set him on a monthly salary; something not replicated since.
There was legitimate bad blood between the two parties, together with Shamrock and also his”Lion’s Den” after hunting down Abbott backstage after he had caused trouble. Ken never caught up with him either at the parking lot or the cage, with both eventually leaving the company for professions 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 never meant to be.
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones
Ahead of the controversy that shelved him for what could probably happen to be his fighting prime, few would argue that Jon Jones wasn’t at the absolute pinnacle of mixed martial arts. A world-class athlete, not only skillful, but an expert in all facets of the match, Jones looked insurmountable. In 2011, he finished what was arguably the greatest year’s work of any combat sports athlete, beating Ryan Bader,”Shogun” Rua,”Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida in the area of just 10 months.
Even though Jones was painting a picture of violence in the light-heavyweight division, Anderson Silva was creating a masterpiece at middleweight. Nobody had previously cleared such a talent-rich branch and looked so untouchable in doing so. So complete was Silva’s dominance, he had twice moved up a weight class and demolished his opposition. His claim to the name of’best ever’ might be challenged by a scant couple.
White once cited his capacity to generate a Jones vs. Silva superfight occur as a tool that could define his own heritage as a promoter. Fate, as it is want to do, conspired against him. Silva’s standing plummeted following a series of reductions and a failed drug test. Jones’ image was tarnished even further; while he did not falter in the cage, a series of self-inflicted’personal difficulties’ stripped”Bones” of his dignity, credibility and — most importantly — his ability to compete.
Silva is beyond his prime and threatening retirement. Jones is concentrated firmly on regaining the light heavyweight title he never dropped in the cage. Issues beyond the cage have almost certainly deprived us of one of the greatest battles within it.
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