Top 5 Potential UFC Superfights
Why These 5 Matchups Could Be Considered Possible UFC Superfights
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s recent dominant decision victory over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169 certainly got the ball rolling with talk of a potential SUPERFIGHT with lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. It seems to be a fight that both fighters want and hopefully the bout with become a reality when “Showtime” is ready to return from his most recent knee injury.
Also of note, while light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has his work cut out for him on April 26 at UFC 172 against Glover Teixeira, he again expressed an interest in a potential showdown against heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez down the road. “Bones” also downplayed the possibility of a Superfight against current middleweight champion Chris Weidman, saying Weidman’s name isn’t big enough just yet, even though he’s recorded back-to-back wins over legendary former champion Anderson Silva.
These topics of conversation got me to thinking about what potential Superfights could possibly be made by the organization if the wheels were set in motion. In my opinion, there are a number of exciting lucrative matchups that the promotion could examine to provide a spark and heighten interest. There have been complaints about the dominant nature of some of the current titleholders. It seems difficult to find any contenders who could dethrone the likes of Demetrious Johnson or Renan Barao in the lower UFC weight divisions.
The idea of a Superfight is one that has been done before. The only other clash between existing champions was back in 2009 when B.J. Penn elected to make the move up in weight to try and wrest the welterweight strap from Georges St.Pierre. “The Prodigy” was allowed to hang onto his 155-pound belt in making the move up and was defeated by GSP in Las Vegas at UFC 94. That’s one of the sticking points in the discussions about Aldo-Pettis, as the Brazilian’s camp seems a little hesitant to have the featherweight champion vacate his crown.
In recent years, other potential Superfights between Georges St.Pierre and Anderson Silva and Silva vs. Jon Jones unfortunately failed to materialize. The conversations about how each UFC champion would fare against one another became commonplace because of the dominant nature of their respective title reigns. Of course, there has been plenty of change since those talks began, with St.Pierre on an undetermined sabbatical and relinquishing his belt and Silva recovering from a broken leg and two straight defeats. Jones is the only one of the three to emerge unscathed, although he did have a scare at UFC 165 in a very tough defense against Alexander Gustafsson.
There’s no denying that there is the potential to kick-start the Superfight discussions again and it could possibly begin with Aldo-Pettis later this year. Here are, in my opinion, the top five UFC Superfights that could be made.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.
5. Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino
This is a fight that has been discussed for years, dating back to their days in Strikeforce, and hopefully can become a reality at some point.
Ronda Rousey has emerged as one of the UFC’s brightest stars in a relatively short period of time and has a tough upcoming defense at UFC 170 against Sara McMann. If she gets by that obstacle, the list of challengers seems thin. “Rowdy” is unbeaten, with all eight of her career wins having come by her signature armbar. She’s in high demand for Hollywood movie roles and magazine photo shoots.
On the other hand, “Cyborg” is far from the glamorous personality that Rousey has become, but would still represent her toughest test. Cyborg is the fighter who sent Gina Carano on her way to an acting career after knocking her out in Strikeforce in 2009. The weight issue has always been a major obstacle, with Cyborg insisting in the past that she couldn’t make 135 pounds. Rousey has been adamant about not moving up in weight just to accommodate a potential opponent. Perhaps a fight at 140 pounds could be a solution.
A future showdown between Justino and the red-hot Rousey would seemingly be the best women’s fight that can be made in the Octagon.
4. Demetrious Johnson vs. Renan Barao
“Mighty Mouse” has become a dominant champion in a relatively thin 125-pound weight class. Meantime, Renan Barao has been leaving a trail of destruction in the 135-pound division. At present, there seems to be no potential opponent in either division that can end their reign. With that in mind, Johnson has said he would be on board to moving back up to bantamweight, where he used to compete for a potential Superfight if the money was right.
A matchup between these two would be a thrilling affair with Johnson’s athleticism and speed against Barao’s explosiveness.
3. Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre
I know there will be plenty of eye-rolling at this one, but you can’t tell me that a matchup between two of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon would not be a major draw. There would need to be plenty of fence-mending to bring St.Pierre back to the fold, while Silva needs to mend physically. This is a dream matchup that has been talked about for years, and now seemingly would be a case of better late than never. However, if you were have this matchup between two former dominant champions at a venue such as Cowboys Stadium, which has been discussed in the past, it would have the potential to be one of the organization’s biggest events ever.
2. Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis
This fight remains one of the best fights that the promotion can make at this time. Jose Aldo has reeled off six straight defenses of his 145-pound title and has seemingly run out of fresh challenges. Anthony Pettis captured the lightweight title against Benson Henderson and immediately called out the Brazilian. The men were to meet for Aldo’s belt at UFC 163 in Brazil, but that enticing matchup was scuttled due to a Pettis injury.
Both fighters want the matchup, as do fans and the organization, and it has the potential to be an explosive contest between two gifted young fighters who are currently in championship form.
1. Jon Jones vs. Cain Velasquez
This is a matchup that the heavyweight division can definitely use.
Cain Velasquez has emerged as a dominant champion with his explosive punching power, frenetic work rate and incredible cardio. While he did suffer a knockout loss at the hands of Junior dos Santos, he more than made amends for that by defeating his chief rival in lopsided fashion in their last two meetings. Jones has already established a new mark for most successful title defenses in the 205-pound weight class and is seriously considering a move up to the heavyweight ranks in the next year or so.
It would truly be a matchup of two of the most dominant fighters in the sport today.
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