10 for ’10: The Fights We Need to See

How crazy is it that we’re already at 2010? For being such a monumental event, 2000 seems like forever ago, am I right? It’s time to focus in on the fights that will not only put butts in seats and money in organizational pockets in the coming year, but also bouts that will break ties, end feuds, potentially end all the “teammates won’t fight each other” debate and much more.

How’s that for build up? Betcha can’t wait to keep reading…

10. Georges St-Pierre vs. B.J. Penn 3

There are a whole slew of reasons for this fight – most of which can be articulated by the Penn fan in your circle of friends – and a few in opposition, which the GSP / forward thinking member of that same group can probably spell out quite easily.

Despite every member of Team Penn believing otherwise, records indicate GSP holds a 2-0 advantage on his Hawaiian nemesis, so a third dance wouldn’t even be a rubber match. So then why do it?

Because it would be awesome all over again, that’s why, and sometimes, the best things are the frivolous indulgences that you don’t really need, like new sneakers or another opportunity to watch Georges St-Pierre smash on B.J. Penn.

Besides, two champions meeting in the center of the Octagon is never a bad thing, and you know that the new, somewhat bulked up version of GSP probably wants to put a serious beating on Penn for all the steroid allegations he and his camp have made over the last year.

9. Rashad Evans vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Yes, this fight would be the new definition of anti-climactic and probably wouldn’t have any way of living up to the hype-death-CPR-new hype surrounding it, but still, you have to admit – you want to see this fight.

After listening to all the smack talk and nonsense during Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, and having a pretty solid suspicion that Jackson’s “retirement” from the UFC would be more of a “Randy Couture Retirement” than a “forever” deal, the fact that we’ve had to wait for this fight seriously sucks.

What better way to fix the suckiness than by having these two step in the cage and start chucking knuckles instead of watching them flap their gums?

8. Jamie Varner vs. Donald Cerrone 2

Donald Cerrone has spent the last year taking shots at Jamie Varner each and every time the opportunity has presented itself. I honestly believe that if you asked Donald Cerrone about the economy, he’d say something along the lines of, “It’s bad, but not as bad as Jamie Varner. That guy is just not a nice guy.”

Conversely, Varner has been fairly quiet for the last six months or so, rehabbing the numerous injuries he sustained – Oh That’s Right – fighting Donald Cerrone. So not only did the guy smash you with an illegal knee and put your career in jeopardy, he then went on the Jamie Varner Sucks Speaking Tour.

Dear Reed Harris,

Make this fight happen.

Championship or no championship, these dudes need to be locked in a cage together pronto.

Keep up the good work,


7. Shinya Aoki vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri

D’you know who doesn’t need to fight Shinya Aoki? Gilbert Melendez.

Okay – that isn’t entirely true. It’d still be a great fight to those of us in the Western World who are acutely aware of the talents and abilities of “The Tobikan Judan,” but there are a whole lot of people out there who won’t know the first thing about Aoki when he steps into a Strikeforce cage to face “El Nino,” so what’s the point?

Instead, why not officially determine the best Japanese lightweight in the sport? General consensus sides with Aoki, but the consensus (albeit a very slim one) in 2004 was the four more years of George W. Bush was what the country needed and that proved to be horribly wrong.

It would have happened already, but DREAM and Sengoku went ahead and made the awesome 2009 Dynamite! card where Aoki defeated Mizuto Hirota, thereby forcing us to continue waiting and me to put this fight on this list.

6. Sarah Kaufman vs. Tara LaRosa

You were sitting on a fastball and I buckled your knees with the curve…

You may not know them, but Tara LaRosa and Sarah Kaufman are two of the best female fighters on the planet. The fact that you don’t know them is only part of the reason I want to see this fight.

Besides these lethal ladies more than deserving additional attention, they actually match up quite well and would certainly put on one hell of a performance. LaRosa is 18-1 in her career and hasn’t lost since 2003, while Kaufman hasn’t lost period and eight of her ten career wins via T/KO.

Remember all the hype and attention that surrounded Carano – Cyborg back in August, well this is like that, except minus the hype and attention. Filling in for “hype and attention” will be “better competition and an awesome fight.”

5. Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear – Jose Aldo could shadowbox and it would be worth watching; that’s how exciting the Heavy.com 2009 Fighter of the Year is.

Just 18 months ago, you could have said the same thing for Urijah Faber and few people would have argued. “The California Kid” was the superstar of the WEC, and displayed the same flare/speed/power trifecta that Aldo brings to the cage now.

While flowcharting things would give you something along the lines of Aldo > Mike Brown >> Urijah Faber, this is fighting, not flowcharting, and you can’t really answer the question “Who would win between Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo?” based the results of fighting Mike Brown.

You can answer the question after watching the two actually square off. Consider this the P.S. to my Reed Harris letter from above.

4. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett

Five months later, the non-fight that led to the collapse of Affliction is still a fight I want to see.

Right now, Josh Barnett and the California State Athletic Commission aren’t quite seeing eye-to-eye; Barnett thinks their testing, labs and results are all garbage, while the CSAC believes Barnett tested positive for steroid (again) and therefore shouldn’t be getting a license any time soon.

That means seeing this fight inside of the next six months is out of the question, but that leaves June through December to get something done. It might have to be in Japan, but whatever. Somebody is bound to make it hap’n, Cap’n.

3. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir 3

While GSP and B.J. Penn don’t need a rubber match, these two big boys most certainly do.

As you’ll surely recall, Mir won the first, spoiling Lesnar’s UFC debut with a slick kneebar that he adeptly picked after getting punched in the face a bunch of times.

The second meeting involved a lot more of the punching Mir in the face and a lot less of the Mir winning by kneebar, as Lesnar earned a measure of revenge to go along with his unified UFC Heavyweight title.

Since then, Mir has gone Donald Cerrone, with Lesnar playing the role of Jamie Varner. A week doesn’t go by where the former two-time title holder doesn’t mention the name Brock Lesnar, despite the fact that the champ is holed up in Minnesota hideaway trying to get healthy.

Once he does – and he will – getting the two mastodons meet in the Octagon one more time to finalize things would be a terrific idea. Additionally, it will be a monster pay-per-view draw, so chances are that as long as Lesnar comes back healthy, we’ll see this fight.

2. Joe Lauzon vs. Dan Lauzon

Both fight in the UFC.

Both fight in the Lightweight division.

Both would like to be champion at some point.

What makes this even more outstanding is that big brother Joe has said on various occasions that he would be more than willing to fight his baby brother if need be.

If Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Joe Silva ever wanted the biggest “trump card” to play in the “He’s my teammate, so I don’t want to fight him” game, being able to counter with “Joe Lauzon beat the crap out of his little brother (insert various expletives if White is talking)” would be pretty hard to argue against.

1. Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva

As stated before, pitting two champions against each other is automatically a great fight.

When those two champions are two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, that great fight becomes a phenomenal fight and one that I would skip just about anything to see. I’m guessing there are a lot of fans out there who feel the same way.

GSP isn’t putting on maintainable muscle just to help fill out his new Under Armour shirts; the welterweight ruler knows that this fight will eventually be put on the table and considering the large stack of money that will surely be sitting next to the offer, getting into shape to take on the Middleweight champ makes a whole lot of sense.

As for Silva, he seems disinterested in fighting Vitor Belfort, already beat Nate Marquardt once, and won’t challenge Lyoto Machida for the Light Heavyweight title, so what else is there? A massive fight (and similarly sized pay day) for squaring off with the Welterweight title holder is one of few fights out there that might hold enough intrigue to get Silva psyched in 2010.

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