As the foremost MMA promotion on the planet, the UFC has organized a lot of fights over the last two decades. While most go ahead, some of them fall through due to fighter’s egos, pre-fight injuries, and out-of-the-cage business. Today we’re looking at the best UFC super fights that didn’t happen – but should have.
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1. Anderson Silva V Georges St-Pierre
A fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre was teased throughout both of their careers, yet it never happened. Both fighters were open to it as they rose to become the UFC’s greatest fighters of their time, at the same time.
Making them face off against each other was the obvious fight and one that commentators and fans wanted. Unfortunately, the size difference made the fight improbable for some – Silva was larger – but fans maintained that GSP would still have a fighting chance despite that.
2. Conor McGregor V Jose Aldo II
This is one of the latest missed opportunities in the UFC – a potential rematch between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. It was McGregor’s 13-second win over Aldo in 2015 that won him the Featherweight Championship and propelled him into the limelight.
Both fighters are active but now, with McGregor moving up in weight class and Aldo moving down in weight class, it’s unlikely they’ll ever face each other again. There’s also no bad blood there like McGregor had with Khabib, so they have no reason to go at it.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov V Tony Ferguson
Having mentioned Khabib Nurmagomedov, The Eagle missed out on his own incredible fight against Tony Ferguson. This wasn’t just a fight that the UFC never scheduled – they tried to schedule it five separate times. Each and every time, it fell through.
The bout fell apart five times, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and then 2020, due to injuries and then the pandemic.
4. Fedor Emelianenko V Brock Lesnar
What happens when a WWE-turned-UFC heavy-hitter goes up against one of the best heavyweight fighters in MMA? Sadly, we don’t know because Brock Lesnar never got his shot at Fedor Emelianenko.
Despite Dana White aggressively pursuing a match-up between the two, even rumored to have traveled to Venezuela to book Emelianenko in person, the negotiations fell through and the Russian fighter never fought in the UFC.
5. Amanda Nunes V Cris Cyborg II
There are a lot of comparisons between McGregor V Aldo and Nunes V Cyborg – they were fast fights that would have made great rematches. It made Nunes the biggest name in female fighting as she secured titles across two weight divisions, something a woman had never done before.
Would Cyborg beat Nunes if she had a chance of revenge? It’s a shame that the chance of revenge, and redemption, never came for Cyborg’s only loss in 13 years. With Cyborg out of the UFC with a bad breakup, the rematch isn’t going to happen.
6. Randy Couture V Mirko Cro Cop
After Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia, and with the UFC purchasing the Pride Fighting Championship, many wanted him to face one of Pride’s best athletes – Mirko Cro Cop. Along with Emelianenko, Cro Cop was the meanest heavyweight fighter outside of the UFC, so bringing him in against Couture would have been a great event to welcome Pride to the UFC.
7. Conor McGregor V Rafael dos Anjos
McGregor has missed out on many fights but his bout with Rafael dos Anjos had the potential to earn him a record as the first man in the UFC to hold two weight class titles simultaneously. Unfortunately, dos Anjos pulled out and so Nate Diaz stepped in.
8. Cris Cyborg V Ronda Rousey
At one point, the rivalry between Cyborg and Ronda Rousey was heating up in women’s MMA. Like with many super fights, weight class got in the way. Rousey refused to gain more weight, even slighting Cyborg for a past positive drug test, and the fight never happened.
9. Jon Jones V Dan Henderson
Along with Anderson Silva and GSP, Jon Jones was one of the biggest fighters in the UFC in 2012. As reigning light heavyweight champion, he was set up to face the #1 contender at UFC 151. Unfortunately, Henderson tore his MCL and the fight fell through. Jones did face Henderson in a grappling match for SUG 2, though with no belt on the line and nowhere near as much hype.
10. Jon Jones V Anthony Johnson
A later Jon Jones fight that could have been would have seen him face Anthony Johnson in 2015. Johnson was on the warpath and now Jones was in his way, and many wanted to see what happened when they collided. Tragically, Jones committed a hit-and-run incident and was suspended.
Those are the biggest fights that never happened, in the UFC at least. In most cases, the fighters have moved on, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see any of these match-ups in our lifetimes, and that’s a shame.
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