Piggy-backing on my random ideas for UFC fighters that I’d like to see coach against each other on The Ultimate Fighter – and the next in my ongoing celebration and crash course of all things TUF – is this little exercise in time travel and the age old question: What would happen if Fighter A could have gone three rounds with Fighter B? Just like LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan, this is an impossible task based on hypotheticals, but what would the Internet be without people asking the question, “What if?”
Obviously, some of the show’s best fighters have faced off over the years, and two former champs will actually meet up in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 31 in November, as Colton Smith (TUF 16) and Michael Chiesa (TUF: Live) will both look to bounce back from their previous losses. So that makes my job a little tougher by stealing two champs out of my pool of choices, but the fun part about playing make believe is that this doesn’t necessarily have to make sense.
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I know that Evans hasn’t fought at Heavyweight since his victory in The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale main event back in 2005, but he would let a little thing like that get in the way of a fight between two TUF fan favorites, would he? I’m pretty confident that Nelson would take the fight, because he’s a guy that puts butts in the seats, and while I’d still put my money on Evans to pull off the superfight W, I think that Roy’s concrete chin could go the distance.
The original The Ultimate Fighter Light Heavyweight champ against the show’s third Light Heavyweight winner, this isn’t as much an endorsement for Bader as it is my silly fanboy wish to see Griffin defeat all of the TUF Light Heavyweight winners to prove that he’s the weight division’s greatest champion. Granted, he is regardless because he was the first to go on to actually win a UFC championship belt, but it would still be great if science could create a way for us to make these imaginary fights happen. Stupid science, always letting us down.
As I’ve already previously declared multiple times, I’m going to sing Gastelum’s praises as my new favorite fighter until he loses, and then I’ll deny that I ever picked the guy to win every fight. Just like Griffin and the Light Heavyweight division, Sanchez was the original Middleweight champ on The Ultimate Fighter, so I’d love to see the most recent champ take on the first. And it can still happen with Sanchez still going strong. Fingers crossed.
This isn’t as much about my appreciation for Matt Cerra’s career as much as it’s about some good, old-fashioned U.S. of A revenge against James Wilks, who was the winner of the Welterweights division on 2009’s The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom. Both men are technically retired, as Serra has always said he’d come back if the venue was Madison Square Garden (get your act together, New York!) and Wilks would be risking paralysis if he ever fought again, but if that weren’t the case, Serra would be the perfect guy to pit against him to get a little revenge for America.
Here’s a fight that could be a reality sooner than we think, as both Diego Brandao and Rony Jason are exciting young featherweights with strong records since they joined the UFC. Brandao is 4-1 including his tournament victory at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller while Rony is 3-0 dating back to his TUF: Brazil win last year. The Featherweight division has a lot of exciting, young blood in its rankings already, but these two have the potential to be more exciting than any of them.