What Would the Super Bowl of the UFC Look Like?
This Sunday is the biggest sports days in North America – Super Bowl XLVIII, live from Giants stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Millions of eyes will be glued to not only what happens between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, but the money spent on famous commercials and a half time show that will be scrutinized more than any other Bruno Mars performance.
People will be talking and tweeting about the event like no other. So it got me thinking, if the UFC were to put on a “Super Card” what would it look like? Before you read on, let me set the ground rules:
1. No cross divisional dream matches. I’m sticking with guys who are currently in or scheduled to fight in a currently weight class. So as cool as a Jon Jones vs. Cain Velasquez fight would be, the fact is, one is currently a light heavyweight and one a heavyweight.
2. No bringing back question marks. By that, I mean, Georges St.Pierre and Anderson Silva’s returns are mysteries, therefore, they don’t get a place on the card.
3. I’m doing a full 12 fight card just like a real event, including fights from the all UFC’s current weight classes.
4. While it would be awesome, I’m avoiding just putting on a bunch of title fights. It’s too easy, and not as fun.
Women’s Bantamweight Fight
Jessamyn Duke vs. Raquel Pennington
We need to open the biggest UFC card in history with a bang – and what’s better than a rematch of one of the best fights of 2014 and in the history of the Ultimate Fighter series.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Eddie Wineland
Every fight card needs a fight fan fight. The name recognition may not be through the roof, but they don’t get much better than these two. The fighters are so close in the rankings that a fight between the two could end up being a title contender battle.
Brendan Schaub vs. Minotauro Nogueira
Another rematch to end the Facebook fights. Nogueira looked dominant beating Schaub earlier in his career, but “The Hybrid” is a more complete fighter and would give the Brazilian a much better fight this time around.
Clay Guida vs. Dustin Poirier
I really wanted Poirier on the main card, but with all the available talent, he finds his way onto the card via the prelims. A fight with Guida would not only cement Poirier’s reputation as a battle tested warrior, but for Clay, a potential win would help him find his career again.
Light Heavyweight Fight
Phil Davis vs. Glover Teixeira
I think this has the potential to steal the show. The classic wrestler vs. striker fight that needs to be included on the big card. Davis has all the potential in the world and Glover could be the next champion of the division.
Matt Brown vs. Hector Lombard
This is a fight, which in the real world, needs to happen. Lombard came in with endless hype and is only now coming into his own as a UFC fighter. Brown is the complete opposite; from almost getting cut, to on the cusp of a potential title shot.
Woman’s Bantamweight Fight
Miesha Tate vs. Alexis Davis
Both women are pioneers in the sport and deserve a spot on the card. Main eventing the prelims would not only do them justice and provide a great fight, but would further bring spotlight to the UFC’s most watched division.
Lightweight Title Fight
Champion: Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez
In my opinion, this the dream fight that everyone wants to see, that no one is really talking about. While the division has plenty of contenders, Melendez has separated himself from everyone else. First, there is the solid argument that he should already be the champ after controversially losing to Ben Henderson. He followed that up with a fight of the year contender, beating Diego Sanchez. Pettis on the other hand, is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Opening up the card with a title fight? Why not?
Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar
Is there a hotter fighter in all of mixed martial arts than Cub Swanson? He’s on an unbeaten role that is leading him to a title shot. Standing in his way is everyone’s favourite fighter, Frankie Edgar. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t like Edgar. He’s the constant underdog who just fights. This could be fight of the night.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Vitor Belfort
Fireworks? Any super card must include a fight between two Brazilians. The country is the motherland of MMA and these two warriors would put on a battle that would make their homeland proud. Belfort has resurrected his career, and Souza is the fighter no one in the middleweight division wants to fight. When it comes to this fight, don’t blink.
Co Main Event: Women’s Bantamweight Title Fight
Champion: Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano
The two fighters were supposed to coach opposite each other on the last instalment of the Ultimate Fighter season and square off at the end. An injury to Zingano derailed those plans. However, that still doesn’t mean Zingano isn’t the most deserving fighter out there. She decisively beat Miesha Tate and would potentially present problems for the champ on the feet and on the ground. Fact of the matter is, Rousey must be on the card. She’s transcended the sport in so many ways. There is perhaps no other fighter in the sport who attracts as much attention as the “rowdy” one. The only star who might overshadow her is . . .
Main Event: Light Heavyweight Title Fight
Champion: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson
This was the most difficult choice. First, I wasn’t sure whether to go with Jones defending his title or Cain defending the heavyweight title. In the end, it came down to the more interesting fight. Cain defending his strap against Fabricio Werdum or Travis Browne would be a great fight, but it doesn’t have the mass appeal as the rematch between what some consider THE fight of 2013. Once I settled on Jones and his star power, the next step was picking his opponent. It came down to the big rematch or the potential fight with Daniel Cormier. I chose the big Swede because it promises to be the better fight. Cormier is a great fighter, but he tends to be very smothering in his fight style. I want my main event to be a complete fight, on the ground and on the feet. With Cormier, we’re potentially looking at a wrestling match. Personally, I think Gustafsson beat Jon Jones the first time around. Both fighters would have learned from their mistakes and take this main event to another level.
Agree? Disagree? Have your own dream card? Have your say! Comment below or send me a tweet!