It’s already October and another year is coming to a close. Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship have a lot to look forward to as the sport continues to grow. With action packed fights such as Lesnar versus Velasquez and Koscheck against St. Pierre on the horizon, we have a number of contests to debate with our friends. However, the year 2011 gives the matchmakers a chance to continue impressing fight fans. Here are a few battles that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and his staff should put together.
Nate Diaz (13-5) versus Evan Dunham (11-1)
This would be a fight showcasing a pair of twin towers in the 155 pound weight class. Diaz and Dunham both stand nearly six feet tall and use that height to their advantage. They both use their long arms and legs to keep fights at bay while pelting them with constant shows. For example, look at how Dunham fought Sean Sherk at UFC 119 and Diaz’s battle against at Marcus Davis at UFC 118. Another interesting aspect of these two combatants is their abilities on the mat. Diaz and Dunham have extensive grappling abilities and have used them to subdue opponents in the past. These fighters love to push the pace while in the cage and wouldn’t back away from a fight. Either standing or on the ground, Dunham versus Diaz would be a very interesting fight.
Josh Koscheck (15-4) versus Jon Fitch (23-3)
The battle between welterweight teammates is what excites most about a Koscheck/Fitch match-up. Both of these fighters are a part of the American Kickboxing Academy stable. They are also contenders to the welterweight title currently held by Georges St. Pierre. Koscheck will receive his chances at the belt this December. Fitch is considered by many to be the next in line for a title fight. While both Josh and Jon want the masses to believe the teammates will never stand on opposite sides of the cage, one must wonder what would happen in Koscheck were to defeat St. Pierre.
Anderson Silva (27-4) versus Mauricio Rua (19-4)
A Rua versus Silva match-up would showcase the UFC’s current light heavyweight and middleweight champions. Both of these fighters are known for their dominance in stand up fighting. Rua was at his peak while fighting in the Pride Championships during the early portion of this decade. Currently, he seems to have recovered that form, although another knee injury has him sidelined at the time being. Silva, who is undefeated while fighting in the UFC, also is going through a recent downturn of sub par performances in the cage. Silva has moved up and performed well in the 205 weight class, dominated both James Irvin and Forrest Griffin. A battle between two current champions would give fans grade A showcase in stand up combat skills.
Georges St. Pierre (20-2) versus Jake Shields (25-4-1)
Jake Shields left the Strikeforce fighting organization and walked away from while holding it’s middleweight championship. At one time he was also the Strikeforce welterweight champion. Now as a part of the UFC roster a match-up against Georges St. Pierre is almost automatic. St. Pierre has looked dominant in victories over recent contenders and Shields offers a fresh name to combat the champion. Shields also has the skill set that may put St. Pierre in a dangerous position once the fight hit’s the ground. Shields is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blackbelt under Cesar Gracie and his abilities could thwart the wrestling skills that St. Pierre so often exhibits. Besides, the UFC should make this fight simply because St. Pierre has beaten almost everyone else in the weight class.
Frank Mir (14-5) versus Brock Lesnar (5-1)
The rubber match between two UFC heavyweights would be sure to create a stir. Mir stopped Lesnar with a knee bar during his debut for the company in 2008. Since that time Brock has went on to become the UFC Heavyweight champion. The duo meet again in 2009, this time to unify the title. Lesnar had his hand raised this time after a second round TKO victory. Mir has been adamant that he wants his rematch, but waits on the list of contenders to the title. His recent win over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic may have moved him closer to another title shot. With one victory each in what may be the UFC’s biggest rivalry, a third fight would be a sure draw.