This past Saturday night, Chael Sonnen took his pro wrestling schtick to a whole other level. He book his own fight and added stipulations to that fight. After defeating Brian Stann at UFC 136, Sonnen delivered the following promo, “Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck. Super Bowl weekend, the biggest rematch in the history of the business. I’m calling you out Silva, but we’re upping the stakes. I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I will leave the UFC forever.”
Now saying that the best fighter in the world “absolutely sucks” and making stipulations that won’t be upheld doesn’t exactly make it the greatest promo of all time, but it did get me thinking: what would be some great fights if you added stipulations to them?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
*Cody McKenzie vs. Paul Sass – “Guillotine vs. Triangle Fight” / McKenzie is the master of the McKenzitine and Sass is the master of the Sassangle, so who has the better finishing move? The bout will be contested under the unified MMA rules, which means it won’t be a pure grappling match, but the fighter has to finish with their respective choke. If that means McKenzie KO’s Sass with a head kick and then locks on a guillotine or Sass rips off McKenzie’s leg with a leg lock and the slaps on the triangle, then so be it.
Prediction: I’d favor Sass because I think he’s the more well-rounded fighter and definitely the better grappler. Sass would likely pull guard, thus avoiding getting stuck in a guillotine, and then catch McKenzie in his famous triangle choke.
*Royce Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba – “Both Men Must Retire After the Fight” / Sakuraba obviously wants to keep fighting and it seems to me that Gracie wouldn’t mind fighting one more time. So have them fight each other, thus guaranteeing neither man gets seriously injured, but make them agree to retire after the bout. How do you uphold a retirement stipulation in MMA? Don’t book them. When Sakuraba begs DREAM to give him one more fight, DREAM needs to tell him they’ll think about it and then never call him back.
Prediction: Gracie would win because he’s the less broken down fighter. He hasn’t been in as many wars as Sakuraba and his body has been healing and resting up over the years, while Sakuraba has continued to fight and train. It would probably be a boring and sad fight, but at least it would be the last.
*Frankie Edgar vs. Joe Lauzon – “One Round Fight” / Edgar is a very slow starter, nearly getting killed by Gray Maynard twice in the first round in his last two bouts. Lauzon is a very fast starter, winning the majority of his fights in the first round and doing so in impressive fashion. It’s obvious that Edgar is the better fighter and that if it were a five round fight, Edgar would win 9 out of 10 times. But how about one round to settle it all?
Prediction: I’d still favor Edgar because he’s a smart fighter. He has a great chin and he’s a very good wrestler. I think he’d be too fast for Lauzon and then score a couple of takedowns to really secure the round. If Lauzon catches Edgar though, I guarantee he’d put him away because Lauzon has a great killer instinct.
*Demian Maia vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza – “No Stand Ups, but Sit Downs, and No Rounds Fight” / I want these two to fight, but I want to make sure it hits the ground. So even though the fight will start on the feet, if they’re not busy enough standing, the ref will put them on the ground with top position being determined by a pre-fight coin flip and rotating with each sitdown. If they’re stalled in the clinch, they’ll be put on the ground. If they’re stalled on the ground, have them flip positions. I want to guarantee that the fight will hit and be active, that’s why I’m also eliminating rounds. The fight goes until someone finishes (doesn’t have to be a submission) or one man is so exhausted that he can’t continue.
Prediction: I actually have no clue who to favor in this fight, so I turned to the best in the business when it comes to previewing fights. Here’s what 5OZ’s own Samer Kadi had to say…
Jacare. He’s got better striking (though that wouldn’t be much of a factor according to your Sonnen rules), he’s better in the clinch, and he’s got better takedowns and will likely end up on top. Plus, he’s got the better BJJ on the whole. He’s 2-1 against Maia in grappling matches, with Maia’s one victory being controversial and pretty close (one of Jacare’s wins came via submission).
That said, I feel like Maia’s got the better bottom game, and he’s got way better conditioning, which would be a factor considering there are no rounds. So while I think Jacare is more skilled, I can see Maia taking it via conditioning. I’d still pick Souza though.
“King Mo” Lawal vs. Quinton Jackson – “Leg Kicks Only Fight” / If you watch any “Rampage” fight in the UFC, you’ll hear Joe Rogan pretty much beg for Jackson to throw leg kicks, even though Jackson has never been a big leg kicker. I have a feeling that if Lawal, who is cut from the same boxing/wrestling cloth as Jackson, fought in the UFC, Rogan would be yelling the same thing. So how about they fight and are only allowed to throw leg kicks, just so Rogan is happy and hopefully they’ll throw enough leg kicks to appease Rogan for the foreseeable future so I don’t have to listen to him wonder why guys who never throw leg kicks, don’t throw leg kicks.
Prediction: I’d probably favor Lawal in this fight, just because he’s less set in his way than Jackson. He has had knee surgery though, which makes me wonder what kind of shape his knees are in, but I do think his legs can take more of a beating at this point in their respective careers since he’s been in less wars than Jackson.
*Tito Ortiz vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” – “Winner Gets Exclusive Rights to ‘I’m 100% Healthy’ Fight” / For years we’ve heard Ortiz claim to be “100% healthy” only to make excuses after the fight when he lost that his back still hurt or he had sand in his vagina. To Ortiz’ credit, he did make no excuses following his most recent loss to Rashad Evans, so good on him. Mirko seems to be going down that same road. While he’s not making excuses immediately after losses, prior to his upcoming fights, he’s been making excuses as to why he hasn’t been performing all that well. For years now he’s been claiming that his knees have been in bad shape and that they’re finally “100% healthy” and then he goes out there, doesn’t throw any head kicks, and gets knocked out. So have them fight and at least we’ll only have to put up with one man talking about his health after the bout.
Prediction: I favor Ortiz just because Mirko’s chin is absolutely shot and Tito proved against Ryan Bader that if you have a questionable chin, he can test it. Plus because of Mirko’s knees, I think Tito could actually take him down and grind him out.
*Brandon Vera vs. Pat Barry – “Winner Gets to Admire Their Own Work Fight” / I’ve always said that Vera and Barry are one in the same. They both have a lot of talent, a fair amount of charisma, and yet they don’t win fights because they’re too busy admiring their own work in the middle of the fight. So I’m going to give one of them a victory and after they win, they can celebrate like they just won the Stanley Cup for all I care.
Prediction: Since Vera actually has a ground game, I favor him in this fight. Honestly though, I think the fight would end in a draw just because neither guy can ever seem to win an important fight.
*Dan Henderson vs. Chris Leben – “Right Hand vs. Left Hand Only Fight” / Both men are known for their power and their chin. So I want to test their power hand and their chin against each other. Henderson is only allowed to throw his right hand and Leben is only allowed to throw his left hand. The fight can only end in a (T)KO as well. Something will have to give.
Prediction: This might be the fight I’m most excited for just because a one armed rock em sock em robot fight sounds pretty awesome. I give the edge to Henderson since I have more faith in his power and chin but the fight could just come down to who presses their button faster and more often.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC