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Dream a Little Dream of Strikeforce vs. UFC

Anthony Pettis ninja kicks Ben Henderson.Saturday's announcement that Zuffa, parent company of the UFC, had bought top rival Strikeforce took the MMA world by surprise.

It also gave UFC president Dana White a new No. 1 catch phrase when "business as usual," spoken dozens of times during his interview with MMA Fighting and on Monday's media call, replaced "he's in the mix," his previous favorite go-to response.

But even though, as White says, the UFC and Strikeforce will continue, for now, to operate the same way as they did last week, last month and last year – "business as usual" as separate promotional entities – it hasn't stopped MMA fans from early salivation over some potential fights that used to be just pipe dreams.

And even though "business as usual" might prove to be legit and they may never happen, having the UFC and Strikeforce under the same banner at least can make us feel a little bit like Lloyd Christmas in "Dumb and Dumber": "So you're tellin' me there's a chance ..."

Let's take a look at a pair of dream superfights in each crossover weight class (lightweight to heavyweight) between current UFC fighters and current Strikeforce fighters. And hey, if any of them ever get booked, you can always say you read it here first.

Dream Fight: Gilbert Melendez vs. Anthony Pettis.
Their similar builds – both 5-foot-9 with good reach – make this a no-brainer fight. It's not champion vs. champion right now. But within a couple years, it very well could be.
Sideshow Co-Main Event: Shinya Aoki vs. Takanori Gomi. Because they weren't always fighting in the same weight class, this is one dream battle that never happened during both fighters' Pride days. But Aoki's often otherworldly submission skills matched up against Gomi's legendary wrestling skills and heavy hands is a fantasy style clash for the ages. Plus, with the UFC's desire to eventually return to Japan, this becomes a no-brainer fight between two legends.

Dream Fight: Scott Smith vs. Chris Lytle.
A couple of heavy-handed dudes who have no problem strolling in and firing off round after round with the fists until someone drops? Sure. Sign me up for that – it's a Fight of the Night lock if ever there was one.
Sideshow Co-Main Event: Nick Diaz vs. Nate Diaz. With all the talk of teammate vs. teammate being off limits to many fighters, here's not just teammate vs. teammate, but brother vs. brother. The thing is, the Diaz boys are probably just crazy enough to do it, too. Yeah, it has sideshow written all over it. But is there any way this wouldn't be an amazing fight?

Dream Fight: Tim Kennedy vs. Brian Stann.
Maybe this qualifies as a sideshow, too – too decorated military men who also happen to be pretty outstanding fighters. Kennedy would have the edge on the ground; Stann would have the edge on the feet. But pretty clearly, the best way to do this one would be on a Fight for the Troops show as the main event – not just a great fight, but for a great cause. Everyone wins.
Sideshow Co-Main Event: Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Chael Sonnen. A battle of a pair of mouths. Both Miller and Sonnen are highly intelligent guys who know how to talk the talk. And as entertaining as they both are, many fans find their schtick wears thin after a while. This would be an opportunity to get the loser to stifle the talk for a bit. But could you imagine the trash talk in the pre-fight hype? It would be vintage.

Light Heavyweight
Dream Fight: Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
This is a great fight that never was at Pride Total Elimination 2005. Hendo was submitted by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the tournament's first round – and a second-round showdown with Shogun never happened. Though they were each dominating Pride at the same time, this fight never happened (though Henderson fought at welterweight part of that time, while Rua was at middleweight). Even though age is clearly on Rua's side, Henderson recently proved 40 is the new 30. You throw age out the window if you can make this matchup.
Sideshow Co-Main Event: Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. This one's all about the entrances. A cape and a crown against a great big chain and a howl? Yes please. Rampage would have to work his takedown defense like never before, though, as King Mo would very likely look to do his best Rashad Evans impersonation and take Rampage down at will.

Dream Fight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture.
Even though Fedor has an unprecedented two straight losses, and even though there are plenty of calls for him to hang up the gloves, this is the one everyone has been calling for for years now. Couture's age hasn't been a factor before, and there's no reason to think he wouldn't continue to be in superhuman shape for what would be one of the most legendary fights in history. Sure, we would have all loved this fight even more four or five years ago. But I'm in the better-late-than-never camp.
Sideshow Co-Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley. This is actually a great matchup of two accomplished wrestlers, not to mention two accomplished fake wrestlers. Lesnar gets the overall nod, but we'd watch because at any moment they could forget where they were and try to throw each other over the top rope. As long as Vince McMahon is sitting cageside, this is one I'd pay to see.