With the MMA community focused on Anderson Silva’s second title defense against Chael Sonnen, exploring the most anticipated fights in UFC history seems like a good idea. Here are the five most anticipated fights in UFC history:
1. Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen II (UFC 148)
Many MMA fans expected Sonnen to get destroyed during his UFC 117 encounter against Silva, but the “American Gangster” had plans of his own. He dominated Silva for four and a half rounds, before succumbing to an armbar-triangle combo. Even if Sonnen had won his UFC 117 encounter against Silva, he would have been stripped of the title, due to his elevated testosterone levels. Still, the Portland native seems confident he’ll be able to replicate his UFC 117 encounter on July 7. Neither man can afford to lose at UFC 148, so it should bring out the best in them. The fight should live up to the hype, and I expect the UFC set some new records with the event.
2. BJ Penn versus Georges St. Pierre II (UFC 94)
The first and only “champion versus champion” fight in UFC history, MMA fans at the time couldn’t have hoped for a better matchup. GSP won the first encounter between the two, but many thought Penn was the rightful winner. BJ didn’t mince any words with GSP leading up to the fight, and it only made things more interesting. Unfortunately for “The Prodigy,” GSP turned out to be the better fighter at UFC 94, forcing Penn’s corner to stop the fight in the fourth round.
3. Tito Ortiz versus Ken Shamrock (UFC 40)
The beef between the two started when Ortiz decided to flip off the “Lion’s Den” after manhandling Guy Mezger at UFC 19. It took the UFC over three years to make the fight happen, but the long wait only increased the anticipation for the bout.
4. Brock Lesnar versus Frank Mir II (UFC 100)
Lesnar should have won his first fight against Mir, but he ended getting caught in a kneebar. Instead of acknowledging how well Lesnar did against him at UFC 81, Mir decided to taunt the former WWE superstar about his past, leading to some pretty entertaining verbal exchanges between the two.
5. Chuck Liddell versus Tito Ortiz (UFC 47)
Even though they might not like to admit it, many MMA fans enjoy a good soap opera. The “buddies turned enemies” storyline of the fight was simply irresistible for many fight fans, and they showed up in droves to watch the two settle their differences inside the Octagon.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.