MMA’s Classic Rivalries

Silva v Sonnen

Most of the trash talk you hear seep from the lips of MMA fighters is little more than marketing tactics used to draw the attention of the general public. But every now and then, bad blood does indeed boil between two professional fighters, and when it does, you know things are going to get exiting, violent, and likely bloody.

There’s nothing quite like a true old fashion genuine rivalry, so here is a few that quickly come to mind. Feel free to join in and add your classic rivalry in the comments sections.

Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz: These two men genuinely despise one another. Ken feels disrespected by his junior, and I think Tito just feels like… well, Ken’s a joke. Either way, this has been a fun, heated rivalry that we were able to witness blossom into near hatred courtesy of Spike’s MMA reality T.V. series “The Ultimate Fighter”.  Tito went on to clean Ken’s clock on three separate occasions.

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir: I truly believe Brock Lesnar felt embarrassed by his submission defeat to Frank Mir; I think he expected to turn Mir into hamburger meat and trot off into the sunset. However things didn’t happen like that upon the initial meeting of these two. Mir snagged a leg, pivoted, secured the kneebar and that was all she wrote. Perhaps the heat would have eased after that… had Mir not suggested that Lesnar didn’t hit as hard as his “little sister”. The animosity was on from there, and Lesnar turned the rematch into an unsettling violent affair as he rendered Mir unconscious before accosting him with a barrage of verbal insults.

Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva: Who can blame “Rampage” for not being a big Wanderlei fan? The man was not once, but twice nearly decapitated by the savage Brazilian. Jackson would go on to find some measure of closure within the confines of the octagon, as he knocked his arch rival out in the first round of a very significant bout at UFC 92. While no bad blood seems to boil at this point, it wouldn’t be a shocker to find these two on conflicting sides of opinion in the future.

Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva: There’s no kidding anyone here: as respectful as Anderson conducts himself post-fight, you know deep down he carries a hefty dislike for Chael Sonnen. And, whether he respects what Anderson is capable of not, Chael clearly isn’t a fan of the champion. The two engaged in an amazing battle at UFC 117, and a rematch seems all but inevitable, and oh so right: these two were destined to be enemies, and blood will be shed.

Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber: They both clearly rub each other the wrong way (as inappropriate as that sounds), but neither is afraid to acknowledge the others’ ability. They’re also quite classy when it comes down to the fights and their outcomes (both men possess a victory over the other at this point). Make no mistake however, these guys do not like each other in the slightest, and both are eager to dish punishment. At this point, it looks like both men summon the best in each other when sharing cage time and that bodes well for the future as these two will be coaches for the upcoming 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Written by: Tony Hackerott

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