Let's make 2012 "The Year of...OW! That hurts!"
With the recent seven-year deal the UFC signed with Fox, MMA is primed to be even more main stream than it’s already become in the past few years. Fight fans will have almost endless opportunity to catch amazing fights and dream matchups. While there are some fantastic fights already scheduled for the early part of 2012, we’re still not satisfied so here are a few we’d kill to see this year.
NICK DIAZ VS. GEORGES ST-PIERRE
Why It's Awesome: Who wouldn't want to watch Champion vs. Champion? Add into the equation that GSP hates Diaz, Diaz hates everyone, and the fact that this fight was already supposed to happen back in October. This bout has “ouch!” written all over it.
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Diaz no-showed a press conference. GSP got hurt. Diaz beat up BJ Penn and called out GSP before GSP got hurt again. Now Diaz has to beat Carlos Condit on Super Bowl weekend and the table will be set for a late 2012 matchup with St-Pierre.
Who Would Win: Nick Diaz. We think he has the perfect fighting style to knock off the longtime Welterweight champ.
RONDA ROUSEY VS. MIESHA TATE
Why It's Awesome: Have you seen these ladies? They’re as hot as they are ferocious. Not to mention that they're both badass fighters at the top of the Women's MMA game. They've already had Twitter wars, but that’s not good enough. The only people to get hurt on Twitter are teens with low self-esteem and your grandmother, whose arthritis can’t handle 140 characters.
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Miesha Tate already had a contender lined up in Sarah Kaufman. Rousey was rattling off wins in the 145-lb. division before dropping down to 135 for this fight. Good news is that the fight's already official for Strikeforce's March event.
Who Would Win: Our money's on Tate to keep her belt. Rousey's too new to the sport and brand new to the 135-lb. division.
JON JONES VS. RASHAD EVANS
Why It's Awesome: Jones (the youngest UFC title-holder in history) and Evans used to be teammates. That was before Jones said he'd fight Evans if asked and a feud brewed. Now they’re no longer BFFs and have begun trash talking. If a friendship needs to end, it’s best done through violence. Abe Lincoln said that. (Not the Abe Lincoln.)
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Injuries have derailed two slated bouts between Jones and Evans. If Rashad gets past Phil Davis on January 28th, these two are destined to meet this year.
Who Would Win: Jon "Bones" Jones. The UFC wunderkind is just too well-rounded and too explosive for Rashad. The scary thing is... Jones isn't even in his prime yet.
FRANKIE EDGAR VS. GILBERT MELENDEZ
Why It's Awesome: UFC Lightweight Champ Edgar and Strikeforce Lightweight Champ Melendez are widely regarded as the two best Lightweights in the world.
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Politics and bad timing. Melendez is required to languish in the sub-par competition of Strikeforce (at least for now) and Zuffa has no immediate plans to merge their two companies to make this super fight happen.
Who Would Win: Frankie Edgar. This would be an insanely close bout, but Edgar has more ways to win in what could end up being a toss-up.
ALISTAIR OVEREEM VS. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS
Why It's Awesome: Alistair Overeem completely decimated Brock Lesnar in December to earn the right to fight for Dos Santos' title sometime this year. We just don't know when. "The Reem" is the best overall striker in the Heavyweight division and "Cigano" is the best pure boxer. These two won’t be hitting the mat easily making for a hell of a standing war.
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Overeem signed to the UFC just prior to his December bout with Lesnar, while Dos Santos only beat Cain Velasquez to grab the UFC Heavyweight title in November, so the opportunity for these two beasts to battle it out in the Octagon hadn't come up... until now.
Who Would Win: Alistair Overeem. The guy is an absolute monster of a man with K-1 level striking. There aren't many Heavyweights in the world who can beat him. He can’t be hurt by tornados, volcanoes, or magic wolves either…according to this children’s book we’re writing.
ANDERSON SILVA VS. CHAEL SONNEN
Why It's Awesome: Anderson “The Spider” Silva has yet to lose in the UFC. Not only does he win every match, but he’s absolutely dominated every single one of them… except for the infamous bout with Chael Sonnen. Silva may have submitted Sonnen at UFC 117, but Chael cracked the code of how to beat "The Spider." That is, before Sonnen lost his concentration and fell into a Triangle Choke. Oh, yeah, and Sonnen has been running his mouth about Silva and his native Brazil so "The Spider" is mighty pissed off.
Why It Hasn't Happened Yet: Well, it did happen once. Silva beat Sonnen at UFC 117, but the highly-anticipated rematch has been on the shelf due to Sonnen's legal trouble, Silva's injuries, and plain old bad timing. If Sonnen beats Michael Bisping on January 28, this rematch is a virtual lock.
Who Would Win: Chael Sonnen. He showed everyone that Silva is vulnerable and that he knows how to beat the Brazilian. This time around, he won't fall into any submissions.