Four (realistic) fights we want to see in 2013
By James Walker
Mixed Martial Arts fans love to play matchmaker. Everyone who follows the sport seems to enjoy predicting the next top contender in line for a title shot or conjuring up a dream matchup.
HeavyMMA decided to channel its inner Joe Silva and come up with four fights that need to happen in 2013. This is not about fantasy fights like Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva. Both have already said they won’t do it. These are fights that, MMA gods willing, can actually come together.
Here are our top four realistic matchups we want to see happen in the next 15 months.
No. 4: Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, bantamweight
Analysis: The trash-talking already has begun. Rousey wants Santos. Cyborg wants Rousey. All that’s left to do is make the fight to kick off 2013. The biggest hitch is weight. Rousey is the bantamweight champion and feels Santos should drop the weight to make the fight. We agree with Rousey. The challenger should chase the champ, not the other way around. If these weight issues can be worked out, the good news is this would be a tremendous fight for women’s MMA. The bad news is there are not many high-profile options next for the winner of this matchup.
No. 3: Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, light heavyweight
Analysis: This fight almost happened on short notice. When Henderson bowed out of UFC 151 due to a knee injury, Sonnen, who had been talking smack about Jones, took on the challenge with just eight-day’s notice. However, Jones felt ambushed and turned down the fight. Now, Sonnen must get by Forrest Griffin in December and maybe one additional top contender next year to earn his way up the rankings at light heavyweight. Barring an upset to Victor Belfort or Lyoto Machida, Jones should still be champion well into next year. Give both fighters ample time to train and Jones won’t turn it down a second time. The storylines and subplots in this matchup will draw big gates and pay per view sales.