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Which MMA Fight Do You Most Want to See?


A post with a very simple premise: We ask some of the smartest people who cover MMA a question and post their answers. Our first question is: Which mixed martial arts fight would you most like to see?


Kid Nate, BloodyElbow.com: B.J. Penn vs Shinya Aoki. I might be getting ahead of myself by dreaming of this match when Penn could very well lose to Sean Sherk on May 24th and Aoki is only through the first round of the DREAM GP. Nevertheless, I believe at this very moment Penn and Aoki are the two most dangerous lightweight fighters on the planet. And unless something very dramatic takes place on the business side of MMA, I don't see them meeting in the ring or the cage anytime soon.

Penn has been on fire since moving back down to lightweight. His demolitions of Jens Pulver and Joe Stevenson sent a message -- the Prodigy is back. His power punching and merciless jiu jitsu make him a threat to any lightweight. But one man might not be worried -- Shinya Aoki. Aoki just smothered the very dangerous JZ Calvancanti -- a fighter known for his power punching and solid jiu jitsu game. Could he do the same to Penn?
Obviously Penn's jiu jitsu game is miles ahead of JZ's, but is it a match for the lanky Aoki? Too bad we won't get to find out for real ... in the meantime we can dream.

Steve Cofield, Mr. Sunshine: I want to see Fedor Emelianenko v. Randy Couture. I don't buy that Anderson Silva and Georges St.-Pierre are best pound-for-pound. Fedor is still the guy. No one has ever come close to sniffing a legit win against the guy. He's got the complete game. A dynamite BJJ repertoire and excellent hands. That said, Couture's game-planning is rivaled by few. So he could come with a plan to close the distance, dirty box and then work from the top after delivering some takedowns. But I think Fedor is so dangerous that he would catch Randy at some point with an arm bar or triangle choke. If they stayed on the feet, I think it would only be a matter of time before Couture would be in trouble.

Zach Arnold, FightOpinion.com: The fight I am most interested in seeing a promoter attempt to book is Fedor vs. Josh Barnett. The best heavyweight in the world versus the best American heavyweight fighter in the business. It's a match-up that the hardcore fans have wanted to see for the last couple of years and now, more than ever, is the time to book it. It's sad that the heavyweight division in MMA has crumbled since the death of PRIDE.

Given the fact that the heavyweight division worldwide is in shambles, Fedor and Barnett are realistically two of the few remaining credible heavyweight fighters in the business right now. They certainly aren't well-known by casual fans in the States, but the match-up itself is definitely marketable due to Barnett's personality and ability to put on a good show each time he fights.

Rami
Genauer, FightMetric.com: The fight I'd most like to see is Anderson Silva vs. Matt Lindland. In the run-up to Silva vs. Dan Henderson, the common sentiment was that if anyone could beat Silva, it would be a fighter like Henderson. He would control the clinch all fight long, use dirty boxing to rough up Silva, and take him down with Greco throws when needed. On the ground, he could control position and do enough ground-and-pound to either induce a loss like against Daiju Takase or grind out a decision like his loss to Luiz Azeredo. It worked for one round. Eventually, Henderson got caught and was submitted.

But all the stuff that Henderson was, Lindland is more. He lacks Henderson's punching power, but the goal isn't to knock Silva out standing anyway. I'd like to see Silva against a guy with Olympic medal winning Greco, a tough, grinding style, and who you know has no intention of going toe-to-toe. It wouldn't be the prettiest fight, but would be the ultimate test for Silva. If he can win that fight (especially in the dominating fashion we've seen lately), we wouldn't be talking about Silva in Fedor-like terms, it would be time to start giving him the full-on Rickson.

Dave Doyle, Yahoo! Sports: Urijah Faber vs.Miguel Torres. These are the two best lighter-weight fighters in North America. Featherweight Faber's wrestling is nasty and his ability to improvise under pressure is among the best in the world. Torres has world-class jiu-jitsu, killer striking, and spent much of his early career fighting bigger men back when it was hard for bantamweights to find quality opponents. This would be the WEC's answer to Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre.

***

Thanks to Kid Nate, Steve Cofield, Zach Arnold, Rami Genauer and Dave Doyle for participating. My own choice would be Anderson Silva vs. Paulo Filho. There are all kinds of reasons for this fight not to happen, including that Silva and Filho are friends who say they don't want to fight each other, and that Filho's recent drug problems raise the question of when he's going to be ready to fight. But here's the one reason it should happen: Silva is such a dominant middleweight that he's threatening to make the division boring, and the undefeated Filho is one of the few people who could step into the cage with him and make things interesting.