In the world of mixed martial arts, there are fights and then there are super fights. When the sport was gaining traction again in 2005, Randy Couture defended the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title against Chuck Liddell. That was a super fight. When Liddell went on to defend the title for the first time following his knockout victory against “the Natural” against Jeremy Horn, that was a fight.
In the current state of the sport we excitingly call MMA, the UFC has several divisions that have been anchored at the top for several years. The middleweight division is led by the best MMA fighter in the history of the sport in Anderson Silva. The welterweight division has its equivalent in Georges St-Pierre, the light heavyweight division has their own in Jon Jones, the featherweight division has their own in Jose Aldo, and with his recent win against former Strikeforce lightweight champion, Benson Henderson has been at the top of the lightweight division for four fights.
With each of those champions doing their part in running through most of the legitimate contenders in their division, the MMA fans have been wanting to see the biggest stars in the sport take to the Octagon. You can make the argument that since UFC 100, there haven’t been any true super fights inside the Octagon. Yeah, Silva and Chael Sonnen have had two highly-hyped battles. Yea, Jones did have his public feud with Rashad Evans take center stage. But you could make the argument that neither Sonnen nor Evans are big enough names to contribute to a super fight.
Who Is The Best MMA Fighter?
Currently, the top MMA fighter in the game, Silva, has openly admitted to wanting a fight with Jones or St-Pierre. Silva has beaten all the top contenders at 185. He is set to defend his title against Chris Weidman at UFC 162, but that isn’t a fight fans are craving. St-Pierre has recently stated that he thinks top welterweight challenger Johny Hendricks is his next fight, thinking that Silva is too big for him to stand a chance against. In just two days, Jones will defend his title against Sonnen in a fight that many hope leads to a super fight with Silva.
If the UFC can’t find a fight within any mixture of those three fighters, the next best choice for a super fight would be Aldo vs. Henderson. Aldo has gone 22-1 in his career including 12-0 in World Extreme Cagefighting and UFC. He has beaten the best fighters in the division and in many of those fights, has done so in convincing fashion. With no real challengers in the weight class, the UFC is hoping to set him up with the final WEC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis. Should Aldo win that fight, he would be granted a shot at the lightweight strap.
Henderson is 19-2 in his career and has won all seven of his fights inside the Octagon since losing the WEC lightweight to Pettis at the final WEC event. He has knocked off Frankie Edgar twice, Clay Guida, Nate Diaz, and Melendez. With no top contender standing out above the rest of the crowd in the lightweight division, Henderson could be waiting for a chance to defend the title against Aldo.
While Henderson and Aldo don’t have the same name appeal as Silva, Jones, or St-Pierre, it would be a step in the right direction for the UFC. It would show the fans that they do give them what they want and that they aren’t all about making money. The quicker they can pit the top MMA fighters against each other in a fight like this, the better off everyone will be.
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