April 13, 2009
6 fights that need to happenUFC should book these soon
By NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports
The hardest part of a matchmaker's job is to strike a balance between what's good for business and what makes sense from a competition standpoint.
The two aren't always mutually exclusive, but there are times when you have to go for the cash -- like when Brock Lesnar was given a title shot after only going 1-1 in the UFC, or how smaller companies keep hiring Ken Shamrock.
For now, let's forget about money and focus solely on competition. These fights need to happen to answer the question at the heart of all combat sports -- who's the better man?
6. Dan Henderson vs. Wanderlei Silva
These two fought twice in PRIDE. The first time Silva punished Henderson on his way to a unanimous decision victory. At PRIDE 33, 'Hendo' knocked out 'The Axe Murderer' with a huge left-hook.
Silva has since stated that he was in rough shape for their second fight and wants another shot at Henderson. Now that they're both in the UFC middleweight division, we could finally see a rubber-match.
5. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
One of the more controversial decisions last year saw Forrest Griffin sprawl-and-brawl his way to the light-heavyweight title at UFC 86. Though he landed more frequently, Griffin's striking was largely ineffective aside from a series of leg kicks in the second round.
In the first round, 'Rampage' scored a knockdown, which two judges decided to pretty much ignore on their score cards. Jackson also overcame his injured wheel and threw the more damaging strikes over the course of the fight.
The judges unanimously gave the fight to Griffin, but many felt Jackson was robbed of his title.
At the end of the day, neither man did enough to decisively win the fight. At the moment, Jackson is taking time off for jaw surgery. Griffin, however, is set to return against Thiago Silva at UFC 101 in August.
A victory over the tough Brazilian would no doubt ensure he and Jackson cross paths again in the near future.