5 Things That Would Have Happened in MMA if the World Were Perfect

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Sometimes life does not give us what we want. It is the same in MMA. Whether a fight does not get booked, gets cancelled, or something just does not happen the way we envisioned it, the MMA community has seen its fair share of disappointing moments. Here are five things that would have happened in the world of MMA if everything was perfect.

5 Things That Would Have Happened in MMA if the World Was Perfect

  1. Alistair Overeem Wins a UFC Title

Looking back at Alistair Overeem’s career, it is hard not to be impressed. Turning pro at nineteen years of age, Overeem would go on to debut in Pride in 2002. He would go on to fight the likes of Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Mauricio Rua, and Frabricio Werdum before fighting for the promotion Strikeforce in 2006. Overeem would continue to compete on the international stage, winning the inaugural Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship in 2007.

In 2010, the “Demolition Man” would go on to win the K-1 Kickboxing World Grand Prix and the DREAM Heavyweight Championship. On December 30, 2011, Overeem would make his UFC debut at UFC 141 by defeating Brock Lesnar in a memorable first round finish. From there, Overeem would knock off the likes of Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, and Andrei Arlovski.

By this time, it seemed apparent that Overeem was destined to win UFC gold. With more than a dozen years of experience, winning championships and knocking off the best internationally, Overeem had his shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 203 against Stipe Miocic.

Unfortunately for Overeem, things did not go his way. After early success, Overeem was out struck by Miocic and ultimately suffered a TKO loss. In his last outing, Overeem was brutally finished by Alexander Volkov and was subsequently released from the UFC.

  1. Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000 Does Not Happen

On February 19, 2016, Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson) and Dada 5000 (Dhafir Harris) put on one of the worst showings of MMA of all time. This Bellator 149 co-main event was fueled by the fighters’ respective histories in street fighting. Kimbo Slice, “accomplished” in his own right, knocked off MMA legend, Ken Shamrock, at Bellator 138. Despite this, many of Slice’s early victories have come under scrutiny as some believe his fights to be fixed. In the opposite corner, Dada 5000 had competed twice professionally prior to the heavyweight showdown.

The fight itself was, if it were to be summed up in one word, boring. Little in terms of fighting actually occurred within the cage. Both men gassed incredibly quickly and the fight itself became extremely difficult to watch. With both men exhausted, Kimbo Slice was able to put together enough punches in the third round to overwhelm Dada 5000 and finish the fight.

The result of the bout, originally a TKO victory for Slice, was overturned to a “No Contest” on May 2, 2016, after it was revealed Slice had failed his pre-fight drug test.

  1. Chael Sonnen Knows the Rules

Chael Sonnen challenged for the UFC Middleweight Championship against Anderson Silva for the first time on August 7, 2010, at UFC 117. “The American Gangster” from West Linn, Oregon, was riding a three-fight win streak, knocking off Dan Miller, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt.

Sonnen was dominant throughout the first four rounds of the main event matchup, outworking Silva in the clinch, out wrestling Silva, and even out striking the “Spider”. Entering the fifth round, Sonnen was just five minutes away from winning the UFC Middleweight Championship. However, Sonnen did not leave the octagon as the 185-lb. champ. While working on the ground, Silva caught Sonnen in an arm bar from the triangle choke position, forcing a tap.

Later in a TMZ interview, Sonnen would explain, “We fought for five rounds. He gets a submission in the fifth. Now, I didn’t understand the rules. I thought if you tapped, you lost that round. So, I won the first four, and then he’s gonna win the fifth, and we’re gonna go to the judges. It turns out. I gotta plead ignorance.”

Jokes aside, after such a masterful performance, it would only seem appropriate if Sonnen had his hand raised at the end of the night.

  1. Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Comes to Fruition

Perhaps the greatest shortcoming in terms of bookings of the last few years of mixed martial arts is that Khabib Nurmagomedov never faced Tony Ferguson in the UFC cage. From 2015-2020, the pair was scheduled to square off on five separate occasions, but the fight never actually came to fruition.

Their first booking was set for the Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale; however, the fight fell out due to an injury suffered by Nurmagomedov. Injuries would plague this potential mega fight across the years, but on April 18, 2020, the pair was finally set to square off for the UFC Lightweight Championship. However, due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nurmagomedov was unable to travel for the fight. A late replacement in that of Justin Gaethje, would replace Nurmagomedov and crown an interim lightweight champion. Gaethje would go on to beat Ferguson in one of the more memorable fights of 2020.

On October 24th, 2020, Gaethje challenged Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title. “The Eagle” secured a triangle choke in the first round submitting Gaethje and retained the title. Subsequently, Nurmagomedov retired from competition, effectively ending any opportunities for a fight with “El Cucuy”.

  1. Fedor Emelianenko Signs to the UFC

Fedor Emelianenko is one of the greatest mixed martial art athletes of all time, yet he never stepped foot inside of a UFC cage. Emelianenko began his mixed martial arts career in 2000. In 2002, Emelianenko debuted in the promotion Pride. From 2002-2009, Fedor was undefeated, topping the likes of Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, and Tim Sylvia. It was at this point the eyes of the world were on Emelianenko and a UFC debut was undeniably imminent—until it was not.

Fedor and his team negotiated a contract with the UFC and Dana White; however, negotiations fell apart. Fedor’s first fight would have been a title shot against then-champ, Brock Lesnar. Things went to the wayside when Fedor and his team insisted that M-1 Global, a promotion he would later fight under, and the UFC co-promote an event.  After negotiations failed, Fedor would go on to fight for Strikeforce and M-1 Global until his retirement in 2012.

Again, the UFC and Dana White reached out to Fedor and his team to see if they could bring the heavyweight icon out of retirement to face Brock Lesnar. Unfortunately, negotiations fizzled out when Fedor insisted he was officially retired.

In 2015, Fedor would return to action, picking up two wins after a three-year layoff. Emelianenko would then sign with Bellator MMA and fight Matt Mitrione in his promotional debut. “The Last Emperor” last fought at Bellator 237, where he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by first round knockout.

On Friday, June 25th, Bellator MMA President Scott Coker announced Emelianenko’s return to action in an October 23rd headliner in Moscow, Russia.

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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