Everyone wants to see two all-time legends square off – regardless of the sport.
Say for instance in the NFL. When you have two teams with exceptional records, and both enter the playoffs as No. 1 seeds, most feel that would make for the best game possible. But, nine-times-out-of-10, those two teams do not make the Super Bowl.
Does that mean the game blows? Sometimes, but not always.
This past year, for instance, the Baltimore Ravens were a low seed and they went on to claim the Lombardi Trophy, defeating the San Francisco 49ers.
What does this have to do with MMA? Well, I am getting to that.
Super-fights do not always live up to the hype that surrounds them, if they even come to fruition, anyway.
Think back to Georges St-Pierre vs. BJ Penn from several years ago. Did that fight give fans all that they wanted to – and more? Hardly, as GSP picked Penn apart and grounded him into the mat, forcing a stoppage of the contest.
Pairing two fighters together, who have both been the best in their respective divisions for years, is a difficult task.
Are both fighters of similar age? Are they both healthy? Is one coming off a tougher fight than the other? Does one have more to lose than the other?
When you talk about pairing GSP with Anderson Silva, or Silva with Jon Jones, these are questions that need to be asked.
Would it make for a spectacle to see Silva vs. Jones headlining the first-ever UFC show in Madison Square Garden? Of course. The amount of publicity and notoriety the two would bring would rival any previous fight.
But, can Silva’s knowledge withstand Jones’ youthful energy? If we could take the Anderson Silva of maybe four or five years ago and pair him up with “Bones,” would that make for a better contest? Likely.
St-Pierre and Silva are both closer in age and have more of the same “mileage” on their MMA bodies compared to Jones, but the difference in weight is of interest here, as the Canadian appears uninterested in moving all the way to middleweight, while “The Spider” doesn’t seem too keen on dropping to 170 pounds.
These three fighters are the “most-talked-about” when it comes to super-fights, but was everyone impressed with Frankie Edgar-Jose Aldo? Did that live up to the hype of a super-fight?
How about the upcoming Aldo-Anthony Pettis fight? Should that be considered a super-fight? Personally, I feel unless it is champion vs. champion, there is no need for “super-fight” to come into play. Pair up Aldo and Benson Henderson and we have a case; heck, even Henderson-Melendez is more of a super-fight because “El Nino” was the final Strikeforce champion and carried the belt for several years.
Super-fights are going to be more of a hot topic discussion on message boards and with friends than amongst UFC officials I feel. Each division has several worthy challengers, and those champions need to remain as headliners.
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting