With UFC 90′s unfulfilling main event in the books, fans and media have been arguing whether Patrick Cote and Anderson Silva should one day rematch. With Cote needing 8 months to recover from knee surgery and Silva’s desire to fight as soon as possible, we may have to wait for this one. In the meantime, here our picks for the top five rematches that we need to see on the near term horizon.
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn
In their first and only meeting in March 2006 St. Pierre won a narrow split decision by outworking Penn in the later rounds with takedowns and some ground and pound. Penn claimed that St. Pierre’s fans cheered loudly for every takedown, which influenced the judge’s decision. St. Pierre’s fans assert that the damage done to GSP was because he took an inadvertent finger in the eye in the first round, rendering him unable to see Penn’s punches. The arguments have continued till this day. Nothing could be more fitting than a 5 round title fight in January at UFC 94 to settle the score. It will likely be showcased as the biggest fight in UFC history and may finally put an end to the argument of who is better, GSP or Penn.
2. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Inside a Cage)
Emelianenko is considered the best heavyweight if not the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world today. Nogueira is usually considered number 2 in the Heavyweight ranks. But just how far apart are 1 and 2? These two have fought three times and Emelianenko leads the series 2 fights to 0, with 1 No Contest. In both wins he dominated Nog and won lopsided decisions. But some have criticized Fedor’s opponent selection in the last few years, while Nog has taken on all comers. This fight would do one of two things: it will either cement Fedor as the greatest heavyweight and possibly fighter in the history of the sport and show that the gap between 1 and 2 remains as large as it did back in 2005, or it will expose Fedor’s lack of familiarity inside a cage as a serious weakness, and critics could once again question his place at the top. In either scenario the fans would be the winners, as two of the greatest heavyweight fighters ever would showdown one more time.
3. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
If you look up rivalry in the dictionary you’ll likely see a picture of these two staring coldly into each other’s eyes. Their rivalry started November 9th, 2003 at Pride Final Conflict’s 8 man tournament. Rampage was coming off an exhausting victory over UFC superstar Chuck Liddell, while Wanderlei decisioned Hidehiko Yoshida to make it to the final. Jackson looked tired and Silva capitalized and left his opponent staggering from his knees. They met again one year later in December where Silva once again brutalized the future UFC champion with vicious knees, leaving Jackson bleeding and unconscious between the ropes. They both have publicly announced their disdain for one another and the pair will meet up one more time at UFC 92 in what will ultimately go down as one of the greatest trilogies the sport has ever witnessed.
4. BJ Penn vs. Takanori Gomi
Possibly the best lightweight outside of the UFC, the lesser known Takanori Gomi (29-3) is ranked as one of the top 2 or 3 fighters in the world. Gomi and Penn met 5 years ago, October 2003 in Honolulu, Hawaii with Penn submitting the “Fireball Kid” with a rear naked choke, midway through the 3rd round. It was a back and forth fight and one that the Island won’t soon forget. Gomi went on to win 13 of his next 14 and Penn has become the biggest name at 155 lbs in the world. Hopefully Penn will stick around at 155 and the UFC can sign Gomi so they can meet one more time inside the cage.
5. Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture
The suggestion of another fight between these two would have been considered ludicrous two years ago, as both were heading in opposite directions. Couture had lost 2 of 3 – both knock outs from Liddell, and the Iceman was in the midst of a 7 fight win streak, including wins over Jeremy Horn and Tito Ortiz. Couture’s last loss to Liddell prompted a year long retirement before coming back to win the UFC Heavyweight title against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 and defending it once at UFC 74. The belt remains his today. In what seems to be a reversal of roles, Liddell has lost 3 of 4 and some have questioned whether he should step back into the cage ever again. However, Liddell is still 6 years Couture’s junior and should have many years of great fights left in him. If Liddell decides he wants to move to Heavyweight to face The Natural, a final fight between the two legends at this stage in their careers may mean more to them then all 3 previous combined.
Tell us who you’d like to see most and if we’ve left any off.