Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: UFC Must Book Super Fights, Not Gimmick Ones
By Joshua Molina
In the past year, Jon Jones has fought twice — against Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort.
Those are two guys who, at this stage of their career, probably ought to be competing in the World Series of Fighting, not for a UFC title.
Anderson Silva has fought twice in the last year, against Stephan Bonnar and Chael Sonnen.
How is it that the supposed two best fighters in the world, separated by one weight class and 20 pounds, have fought a combined four times in the last year, and against only three different opponents?
By way of comparison, at least Georges St-Pierre, the other guy in the pound-for-pound great discussion, fought two top contenders within a five-month span this last year.
It is absolutely time for some Super Fights.
There’s no good reason for these big fights not to happen. If you ask any boxing fan over 40 to recall some of his best fight memories, he will mention Mike Tyson and a series of Super Fights that elevated the sport.
We had Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns for the welterweight title. There was Leonard vs. Roberto Duran – twice – for the welterweight gold. Leonard, Duran and Hearns all moved up two weight classes to fight middleweight champion Marvin Hagler, who beat Duran and Hearns, but lost to Leonard.
Leonard eventually won the light-heavyweight championship. Great fighters such as Hector “Macho” Camacho, Oscar de la Hoya, Roy Jones Jr. and Evander Holyfield all moved up in weight classes, and guess what? They are all now remembered as among boxing’s elite.
One of the problems is that the public doesn’t clamor for big MMA fights in the same way it does boxing fights. The UFC is still wildly popular among its base, but your average person could probably fire off the names of five boxers past, and present, for every one MMA fighter they could think of.
MMA needs SuperFights and it needs it now.
Unless of course Chael Sonnen can convince Dana White that he deserves a title shot against Cain Velasquez.