Everyone has been talking about it: Strikeforce is now a Zuffa-owned company. It’s become apparent that the upstart promotion will continue to operate as its own entity for at least the next two years or so, but after that it’s anyone’s guess. So of course, many are hoping that there comes a day where the UFC’s best meets Strikeforce’s best. I too can’t wait for that day, so here’s a little something we’ve all been discussing lately: my top 5 Strikeforce vs. UFC matches. Let’s get to it.
Before I begin, I’d like to point out that I’d like to see all five of these matches no matter when they happen and no matter who holds what championship in whichever division. Also, this list doesn’t take into account the army of dominoes that would have to fall into place for many of these fights to occur. In a perfect world where there are no such things as contract disputes and everyone can fight everyone else at their best, these are the five fights I want to see the most.
I think of this match and I can’t help but smile. I also can’t even begin to imagine the potential insanity both men could unleash in the cage against each other. Gilbert Melendez is Strikeforce’s best Lightweight by far, while Anthony Pettis has fully and finally reached top-division status after an amazing five-round war with Ben Henderson. This fight would probably set the standard for years to come.
It’s two of the best characters in MMA fighting each other… what’s not to love? Also, let’s not forget that both “Rampage” and “King Mo” love to bang and would probably spend every single second of this fight trying to knock each other’s heads off. Plus, I can’t even imagine how awesome the pre-fight trash talk will be between these two. Nothing about this fight or its build-up would be pretty, but entertaining? This fight has that in spades.
Although I don’t have a problem with taking a firm and even controversial stance on important issues, I’m not so rigid in my opinions that a fighter has no chance of winning me over. To this day, Nick Diaz stands out as the clearest example of that rule: I once utterly loathed him, but thanks in no small part to his many brilliant performances, I now consider myself a fan. I’ll go even one step further: he’s one of my favorite fighters, and currently one of the best Welterweights in the business. I’d love to see him fight GSP, who is already regarded as one of the best ever. Both men have a shot at winning this match, and I think Nick Diaz is one of the last, great challengers for GSP at 170.
This is the kind of fight where you wouldn’t be surprised if the ground shook the first time these two colossal titans locked horns. And that’s really the best way to describe these two hulking behemoths: they have a physique right out of Roman legends. And let’s not forget that these are two of the top Heavyweights in the business. Despite constant abuse from his cynics, Brock Lesnar is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and one of the highest-drawing UFC stars of all time. Despite constant accusations of chemical enhancement, Alistair Overeem is a K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, and the DREAM Interim Heavyweight Champion. This would be an awesome match no matter where both men are at in their careers when it does finally get around to happening.
And my number-one pick should come as a shock to virtually no one that’s followed me and my musings for any prolonged period of time.
When you talk about a “legacy fight”, this is what you’re talking about. Neither man has anything left to prove, both men will go down as one of the best in the history of the sport. However, I can and will admit that this fight doesn’t have the appeal it did back when Fedor was undefeated and Randy Couture was the UFC Heavyweight Champion. But none of that would matter if these two ever stepped into the Octagon against each other. I can’t think of a better way to end an era, as I think this fight would virtually close the book on Fedor’s and Randy’s careers. This fight still has an incredible amount of appeal, and it’s still easily the number-one “Strikeforce vs. UFC” fight I absolutely want to see.
And that’s what I think, fans and friends. What about you? What fantasy fights do you hope one day to see?