Now, fair reader, our MMAConvert hour draws on apace; ten happy days bring in another fight show: but, O, methinks, how slow this old UFC 132 wanes! She lingers my desires with talk of a BJ Penn and Carlos Condit pairing, like a superfight or fantasy match-up long withering out a young fan’s revenue. Ahem. Sorry, it is summer, you know, and with the news that former UFC champ Penn will be facing the former WEC champ Condit – a dream bout if ever there was one – my mind goes to William Shakespeare. For while talk abounds of champs and their rightful challengers meeting in main events to come, there’s still room for whimsy in matchmaking, and such whimsy breeds thought from a mischievous mind. Penn vs. Condit, you say? I say give us more. Come, O playful Puck (a.k.a., Joe Silva), consider these fantastical pairings as well!
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tito Ortiz – The once-mighty Fedor is facing Dan Henderson at the end of the month, and depending on the outcome of that conflagration, there may still be some “legend” left in the Russian legend afterwards. So why not have him meet the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” in the cage? Ortiz has proven to have some pep left in his step (and punch and guillotine choke), and while it’s unlikely the ex-UFC champ could again challenge for the title, there’s nostalgic value to seeing him and the ex-Pride champ mix it up. I say let them go at it.
Chris Leben vs. Robbie Lawler – Lawler was playing the role of “hard-hitting slugger” long before the “Cat Smasher” ever appeared on SpikeTV, and while the ex-UFC star has always seemed to have a rough time of it with submission specialists, it’s highly unlikely Leben – whose default mode is “stand and bang” – will go for subs once he feels the kiss of leather on his face. Unless one of them slips on a banana peel en route to the Octagon or has a stroke during the referee’s instructions, this match-up has “fireworks” written all over it in big, bold letters.
Donald Cerrone vs. Shinya Aoki – Cerrone scoffs at jiu-jitsu black belts the way you and I scoff at the threats of gnats. But Aoki, a true master grappler, is the farthest thing from a jiu-jitsu player. Can the “Cowboy” cope with the Japanese star’s unorthodox style? Or will Aoki be taking a non-stop flight to Tokyo Narita International Airport with Cerrone’s leg in the seat beside him?
Gilbert Melendez vs. Gray Maynard – As the UFC’s current top lightweight challenger, Maynard is one hell of a fighter (and smothering blanket). As Strikeforce’s current 155-pound king, Melendez is a full-on thunderstorm in a jar with bolts of lightning escaping from beneath the lid. Once champ Frankie Edgar puts Maynard away for good, why not have Melendez deliver the killing blow?
Gegard Mousasi vs. Forrest Griffin – They’re capable strikers and capable jiu-jitsu guys and awful wrestlers, so why not have Mousasi and Griffin go at it? What’s the worst that could happen? They refuse to fight and instead exchange ghost stories?
Frankie Edgar vs. Eddie Alvarez – Yeah, yeah, Alvarez is under contract with Bellator and he and Edgar sometimes train together, so the chances of this bout happening are slim to none. But it would be cool to watch, no? Edgar’s got the advantage in speed and can land three punches to Alvarez’s one; however, all Alvarez needs is to land one bomb to give Edgar the stanky leg, and then it’s “go” time. What say you?