Top 5 Truly Memorable UFC Title Rematches
5 UFC Title rematches that produced the most excitement
The UFC is capping off what’s been a terrific year of fights in 2013 with a double dose of title rematches at the year-end finale at UFC 168 in Las Vegas. Chris Weidman will be looking to show his first victory over Anderson Silva was no fluke, as he looks to squash “The Spider” for a second straight time and retain his middleweight title. While Weidman remains undefeated he doesn’t seem to be getting the respect he should be getting, as most observers point to Silva’s clowning for the reason he had his lengthy title run come to an end at UFC 162. Will Silva gain his revenge or will Weidman emerge as the true force at 185 pounds? We will find out this coming Saturday night. On the women’s side of the ledger, after ratcheting up their already bitter rivalry on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, undefeated bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will once again look to get the better of a very determined Miesha Tate in what shapes up as an outstanding grudge match.
Title rematches always provide an interesting dynamic. One fighter is looking to even the score after tasting defeat, while the other competitor is looking to prove once again he’s simply the better mixed martial artist and retain his belt. The intensity level and mutual disdain seems to bubble over a little more when elite fighters see a familiar face staring back at them on the other side of the Octagon.
While there’s no doubt the UFC has been booking more title rematches in the last few years to the point where some believe they’ve been doing too many, there are legitimate reasons as to why they occur. Sometimes they can be brought about because the first clash produced a close or even controversial decision, the fact that the first fight was simply so good that the demand is there to see it again, or perhaps two talented fighters who met earlier in their careers were destined to square off again with a title at stake in the second clash.
With the UFC closing out 2013 with a pair of title rematches that could end the year with fireworks, I will now take a look at what are for me the top five most memorable title rematches in UFC history.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports
5. Georges St.Pierre vs. B.J. Penn 2
This fight was the first time in UFC history that current champions in different weight classes would meet inside the Octagon. St.Pierre was the welterweight champion heading into UFC 94 in Las Vegas, with the lightweight kingpin Penn making the move up in weight. Penn believed he had gotten a raw deal in losing a split decision to St.Pierre at UFC 56 in a welterweight title eliminator. Penn was confident in his abilities, but St.Pierre had developed into the dominant figure that would rule the division for years. He dominated "The Prodigy" in the rematch with his improved striking game and dominant wrestling. After Penn had endured four rounds of punishment, his corner decided to stop the fight. St.Pierre had retained his title in a much more decisive fashion than his first victory over Penn.
4. Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos 2
Velasquez had his first heavyweight title reign end in shocking fashion on the very first UFC on FOX when he was dazed by a powerful dos Santos right hand and finished in just 64 seconds. Many wondered if Velasquez would be able to deal with “Cigano’s” power in the rematch, and the challenger at UFC 155 showed why so many had predicted a dominant reign in the division. Velasquez dominated the rematch from the opening round winning back his title with a brutal beat down of dos Santos to earn a unanimous five-round decision.
3. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 2
These two lightweights had met previously in 2008 with “The Bully” utilizing his grappling skills to defeat Edgar by unanimous decision. “The Answer” shocked the MMA world by upsetting the legendary B.J. Penn to capture the UFC lightweight title at UFC 112. Edgar/Maynard 2 at UFC 125 produced truly one of the most extraordinary lightweight title fights in the organization’s history. Edgar cemented his reputation as a never-say-die competitor by withstanding a brutal onslaught in the opening round. Maynard had Edgar seemingly out on his feet and staggering about the Octagon after badly hurting him with his powerful punches. The champ somehow managed to regroup and regain his senses between rounds and came on to control the contest in rounds two through five to keep his title thanks to an epic, hard-fought draw.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir 2
Lesnar, who was at a very raw stage in his MMA career, lost to Mir in his Octagon debut at UFC 81. The WWE superstar battered Mir early on but got overaggressive and fell victim to a kneebar in just 90 seconds. Lesnar proved a very quick study during his UFC career as he was able to get his revenge in the headliner of a stacked UFC 100 event to unify the heavyweight title. That card, which produced a PPV buy rate of 1.6 million, remains the all-time best for the promotion. Lesnar took a more cautious approach in the rematch against Mir using his mammoth size and strength to batter his opponent en route to a second round stoppage. The disdain between the two combatants was in evidence at the end of the fight when Lesnar continued to berate his already beaten opponent. Lesnar then went off on a memorable post-fight tirade in his Octagon interview.
1. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 2
The original matchup at UFC 117 saw Sonnen stun fans and experts alike by delivering a five-round beat down of “The Spider” only to fall prey to one of the greatest come-from-behind submissions ever. Silva retained his title via triangle armbar at 3:10 of the final round. The anticipation was at a fever pitch for the rematch at UFC 148. Sonnen’s trash-talk was taken to new heights in advance of their second encounter. Could Sonnen finish the job in the rematch, or would Silva silence the cocky challenger? After a solid opening round “The American Gangster” made a fatal error when he missed a spinning back-fist attempt and ended up pinned against the cage. Silva delivered a huge knee to the body and delivered subsequent strikes to close the show in dominant fashion in Round 2.
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