The Ultimate UFC Card
We're in a little bit of a UFC drought at the moment. The Ultimate Fighting Championship have increased their schedule of fight cards over the last few years a great deal, due to commitments in lucrative TV deals with ESPN and FOX prior to that. Almost every weekend, we could sit down and watch a quality live MMA event, but at the moment we don't have that luxury. With the UFC finishing their 2019 campaign last week with a Fight Night in Busan, South Korea- where The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung demolished late replacement and former champion Frankie Edgar- we don't have another event until January 18. UFC 246. The long-awaited return of the controversial and talented former double champ, the Notorious Conor McGregor.
In order to get my MMA fix, I've decided to go through the archives of UFC Fight Pass. The library is really astonishing. Not only does it have every UFC event ever (with PPVs added to the archives a month after they air live), they also have all the shows from Pride FC, Strikeforce, WEC, and many other fighting organisations. It's a solid use of $10 a month if you like combat sports.
So to entertain myself and give my blog more content- I'm making my own fight card up. I do this in wrestling forums sometimes when we write up our own pro wrestling shows, it's called "fantasy booking". In a slight variation here, I'm going to choose from fights that have already taken place as a sort of super card. Give it a go if you like and show me your Ultimate UFC Card via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in social media comments. A couple of ground rules I'm making for myself to make an interesting game out of this:
-I can only use a fighter once on a card.
-My card can have up to two title fights.
-No using 5 round main events on the undercard- if I want to use a classic non-title five rounder such as Shogun vs Henderson or Hunt vs. Bigfoot, it would have to take my main event spot.
Fairly simple. Let's do this!
Main PPV Card
Main Event: UFC Middleweight Championship- Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero (from UFC 225)
One of the greatest fights I've ever seen. I'm a huge Whittaker fan, but I was almost peeking through my fingers at the carnage that was going down, as Romero continued to press forward and land heavy shots that hurt the champ bad, but Whittaker showed his championship heart and battled back with everything that he had.
Co-Main Event- UFC Welterweight Championship- Robbie Lawler vs. Rory McDonald (UFC 189)
The main event of UFC 189 featured Irish mega-star Conor McGregor, who bested Chad Mendes to win the Interim UFC Featherweight Championship, but it was this war between welterweights that earned Fight Of The Night honors, and maybe Fight Of The Year. Literally a bloody war of attrition. The moment at the end of Round 4 where they glare at each other and the ref has to separate them... Goosebumps!
Middleweight Bout- Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping (UFC 100)
Simply because it might be the greatest KO of all time. These days, I don't mind Michael Bisping. Seems like a good dude that's matured with age, and I also think he put on the "bad guy" persona a bit because he knew that it would sell his fights and raise his profile. But back then, I hated the guy, and seeing Hendo shut his lights off was the most satisfying win ever!
Women's Bantamweight- Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano (TUF 17 Finale)
This was the second ever women's fight in UFC history, and as much as Ronda Rousey did to establish women's MMA to the mainstream, I have to think Tate vs. Zingano was a major turning point where people went "whoa, these girls can fight!" Equal parts violent and technical, plus both are very easy on the eyes... well, before they get busted up, anyway.
Welterweight- Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown (UFC 206)
Cerrone's fight style is perfect to open a PPV. Very flashy, but effective and technical. "The Immortal" Matt Brown has also referred to his own fight style as "technical brawling". This was violence personified from start to devastating finish.
Lightweight- Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis (UFC 229)
The hype for this show was all Conor vs. Khabib, and certainly the controversial brawl after the main event took all the media attention, but as far as pure MMA skill and exciting action between world-class fighters showing tremendous heart, you can't go past this scrap. Pettis is a name that would attract casual fans to the prelims, and hence this fight would be one that could entice last minute PPV buyers.
Heavyweight- Junior Dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt (UFC 160)
Two of the greatest heavyweights in the UFC go at it in a 3 round war, with a spectacular spinning hook kick finish coming late. Big boys representing!
Light Heavyweight- Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader (UFC 132)
A quick fight, but a feel good moment for a UFC legend. Ortiz was past his prime here, but managed to turn back the clock one time, scoring a submission finish via guillotine over a young powerful wrestler in Bader.
Light Heavyweight- Jon Jones vs. Stephan Bonnar (UFC 94)
Long before Jon Jones became the most dominant and polarising champion the UFC has seen, he shone in an undercard bout against TUF 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar. He utilised his Greco Roman wrestling skills, and an array of dazzling and unorthodox striking techniques to pick up the decision victory over a popular name in the UFC.
Fight Pass Prelims
Light Heavyweight- Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva (UFC 79)
This is how stacked this card is- two UFC legends are the featured bout on Fight Pass! Not only did it earn FOTN, it was the 2008 FOTY. This was a battle of hardened MMA warriors, 15 minutes of total carnage.
Strawweight- Paige Vanzant vs. Kailin Curran (UFC Fight Night- Edgar vs. Swanson)
Because Vanzant is one of the hottest girls to ever grace the Octagon (including the Octagon Girls). But her UFC debut was genuinely a fun fight, where PVZ got to display skills in the clinch and a good striking game which saw her impress with a 3rd round TKO. Also, figured I'd throw in a fight that had some time in it after the 11 second starching in the opening bout (see below).
Lightweight- BJ Penn vs. Caol Uno (UFC 34)
One of my earliest UFC memories is a young BJ Penn flattening his opponent in seconds and running out of the Octagon. Big time dose of excitement to start the card off.
Tried to have a mix of divisions and eras in here- it's hard trying to adhere to a normal card structure and include everyone worthy of being on a UFC super card. Some notable omissions- Anderson Silva and GSP (most of their best work was in title fights), Conor McGregor, Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson... but I still believe the above card would be a shitload of fun. Hey, maybe I should make it a playlist on Fight Pass. Although, they've changed the layout of the Fight Pass website... hopefully it's still doable. I'll see my fellow MMA fans next for UFC 246- McGregor vs. Cerrone!
Until next time, take care,