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The greatest of all time… it is a subjective accolade, but poll some of MMA lovers from any age and the vast majority will provide up Georges St Pierre or Anderson Silva as MMA’s theoretical”man 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 very best versus the cleverest. Regrettably, the chances of this happening now are as slim as they ever were. “Hurry” vs.”The Spider” is a myth; just one of several super fights we will likely never see.
Sadly, it is not the sole one. Below are a few additional MMA superfights we never got to see…
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar
Partly as a result of UFC’s monopolistic advertising power and partly due to his best years being a decade ago, Fedor Emelianenko doesn’t always receive the respect he deserves from modern-day MMA fans. For people who witnessed his epic poem rampage through PRIDE’s heavyweight division though, he was the greatest heavyweight of his era… possibly the biggest ever.
While Fedor might have become the best fighter in his day, Brock Lesnar was easily the largest box office draw. An instant celebrity, he polarized an audience who didn’t understand what they wanted more; so 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 the speed and grace of a guy half his size. Whether it was down to popularity or notoriety he was a magnet to the paying public, headlining what was then the UFC’s biggest card over the likes of GSP, in what was just his third tilt with the promotion.
After 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 deal offering $2,000,000 per struggle, Pay-Per-View points and a direct title taken against Brock Lesnar was spurned; M-1 wished to co-promote Fedor’s fights, also supposedly wanted Zuffa to fund 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 exposed by greater fighters and abandoned the game. It could have become the biggest-grossing MMA fight of all time, but as is so often the case, politics ultimately ruined it.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tank Abbott
Throwbacks to another age, arguably another game, 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 for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, you have to feel that the cash guys were quietly pulling for a Shamrock success at UFC 1. He was 220 lbs of chiselled muscle, and the only fighter in the bracket using documented”free-fight” experience, Shamrock had the expression of an action hero and the ability to back it up.
A couple of decades after, David”Tank” Abbott hit the spectacle. Watch MMA reside or in a bar even now, and you will find no lack of out-of-shape, beer-swilling loudmouths eager to talk about their view of how they’d mop the floor with the guys on TV. Abbott was the man, just he can mop the floor with some of the guys on TV. Fat, cocky and sporting about the exact same amount of teeth since he had had karate course, Abbott was the manifestation of everything that a martial artist was not supposed to be.
There’s a bit of MMA folklore that states Tank was brought into shed, thus proving the theory that the British 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 stuff. When Tank started breaking heads in a number of the very violent UFC struggles of the era, a star was born, to the stage that the company set him on a monthly salary; something not replicated since.
There was legitimate bad blood between both parties, together with Shamrock and his”Lion’s Den” once hunting down Abbott backstage after he’d caused difficulty. Ken never caught him up though, either at the parking lot or even the cage, together 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 another generation, but for reasons unknown it was not meant to be.
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones
Ahead of the controversy that shelved him for that which would probably 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 aspects of the game, Jones looked insurmountable. In 2011he completed that which 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 weeks.
Even though Jones was painting an image of violence at the light-heavyweight division, Anderson Silva was creating a masterpiece at middleweight. Nobody had cleared such a talent-rich division and seemed so untouchable in doing so. So complete was Silva’s dominance, he had double moved up a weight class and demolished his resistance. His claim to the name of’best ever’ might be challenged by a scant few.
White once cited his ability to generate a Jones vs. Silva superfight occur as something that 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’ image was tarnished even farther; while he didn’t falter in the cage, a series of self-inflicted’personal difficulties’ stripped”Bones” of his dignity, credibility and — most importantly — his own ability to compete.
Silva is beyond his prime and threatening retirement. Jones is concentrated firmly on regaining the light heavyweight title he never lost in the cage. Problems outside the cage have almost certainly deprived us of one of the best battles inside.
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