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20 Strikeforce vs. UFC Match-Ups We’d Like To See Happen

(“Business as usual,” should include putting on the best fights Zuffa can.)

Since Zuffa announced two weeks ago that it had purchased its closest competitor, Strikeforce, MMA fans and analysts have been clamoring for dream bouts that seemed impossible when the organizations were owned by two different companies.

Although UFC president Dana White has repeated the same three words since the news broke, “Business as usual,” and reports have emerged stating that there won’t likely be any cross-over bouts until Strikeforce’s current fighter contracts run out and they can be locked into new deals with the UFC, that doesn’t stop the inner fanboys in us from licking our chops over some of the fights we want to see happen in the Octagon (or Hexagon).

Check out our list of 20 intriguing post-Zuffa Strikeforce purchase fights want to see made a reality.

Alistair Overeem vs. Cain Velasquez

The Reem is a juggernaut who has manhandled every opponent save one that he has faced in MMA since moving up to heavyweight. It’s going to take someone with the utmost skill, strength and game plan to take him out and Velasquez is a fighter who has all of those attributes. The only problem is that Overeem is a workhorse in the gym, and according to his trainers, he improves and learns exponentially faster than his teammates, so Velasquez would need to be on point to take out the dominant K-1, DREAM and Strikeforce heavyweight champion.

Dan Henderson vs. Jon “Bones” Jones

When nobody thought Anderson Silva could be beaten, Chael Sonnen stepped out of the shadows and used his Team Quest grinding wrestling base and solid boxing to pound a hole in the theory that “The Spider” was invincible. Sonnen and Hendo’s former TQ teammate Randy Couture has proven time and time again that even the strongest and most dangerous opponent can be beaten if you stifle his strengths and put pressure on him. Henderson surprised a lot of people when he knocked out Feijao. Given his steel chin, heavy hands and wrestling credentials, he could prove to be Jones’ Kryptonite.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock’s strengths are his wrestling and his strength, which play perfectly into the game of a world-class jiu-jitsu player like Werdum. Just ask Ken Shamrock how far his power got him against Royce Gracie. If Brock connects with his fire hydrant hands, the bout could be over before Mike Goldberg calls Lesnar one of the greatest heavyweights to ever step in the Octagon, but Werdum is seasoned and patient and has faced bigger opponents before, so it’s unlikely that he will lose his composure with the former UFC heavyweight champ.

Nick Diaz vs. George St-Pierre

If GSP gets past Jake Shields, he’ll be in the same position as Diaz who has effectively cleared out his respective promotion’s division. Sure Nick needs to get past Paul Daley, but with a head made of granite and an awkward, yet effective stand-up style that is as dangerous as his ninja-like jiu-jitsu game, Diaz has all of the tools to foil St-Pierre’s title reign, or at least make for one of the most entertaining 25 minutes in UFC welterweight championship history.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture

Let’s face it, this is a fight that we’ve wanted to see when both fighters were still in the prime of their respective careers and it still has the potential to entertain. There would be no smack talk, no disrespect between camps and no ad blood — just two old school fighters getting to work for 15 minutes to see which one of them is the better fighter. As much as people are writing Fedor off because of his past two losses, the ice cream loving Russian bear still has some gas in the tank and some ground to cover in the sport. That being said, you can’t ever count out “Captain America, even if he is precariously close to needing a bathtub with a door and a back-up camera on his Cadillac.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Rashad Evans

This is a fun little fight, especially since we’ve seen how King Mo exposed Gegard’s lack of takedown defense and Machida pointed out that Rashad’s nighty-night button didn’t have a safety. It’s a pick-em, which makes it awesome.

Rafael “Feijao” Calvancante vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Both fighters are coming off of disappointing losses and both are still very dangerous. Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned slugfest between two Brazilians who just want to scrap?

Roger Gracie vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Gracie hasn’t been really tested and you could argue that he isn’t ready for an opponent with the experience or skill level of Rampage, but if there’s anything that Jackson tries to stay away from, it’s a ground fight, and that’s not by coincidence.

Paul Daley vs. Thiago Alves

Neither of these guys is going to pull an Anthony Johnson and rick roll everyone. This fight is going to stay on the feet until one of them gets knocked off his feet. Who wins this fight? Slugfest fans.

Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy

Whether they hold this one on an Air Force base, in Texas, in Germany or even in Canada and the crowd is still going to be cheering, “U…S…A! U…S…A!” Both fighters know how to cut a promo and how to punch an opponent in the face, but Kennedy seems to know how to do it with a bit more gusto than “The Count.” Regardless of who wins the war of words leading up to the bout, it is a fight we’d tune in to see.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Chael Sonnen

Souza displayed an apt amount of striking in his last two fights with Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler, but his bread and butter is his jiu-jitsu, which Sonnen has a proven allergy to even at diluted strength. This is a dangerous fight for both fighters.

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Lyoto Machida

Machida’s striking is at another level than Lawal’s but Mo’s wrestling and game-planning might prove the difference in this fight. Lyoto has proven against guys like Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz that he has incredible takedown defense, but Lawal’s wrestling credentials arguably exceed any opponent Machida has faced, making this a fight that could give oddsmakers fits.

Robbie Lawler vs. Wanderlei Silva

Guaranteed fireworks. ‘Nuff said.

Gilbert Melendez vs. Frankie Edgar

Remember when two tomcats would go at it in cartoons and all you would see is a dust cloud rolling around with the odd foot, fist and head popping out of the tangle of bodies?

That’s exactly what this fight will look like, only better.

Shane Del Rosario vs. Shane Carwin

Both these guys like to stand and bang and both have the potential to decapitate. Any questions?

Jason Miller vs. Yushin Okami

Miller is one of those guys who can beat just about anybody and is resilient enough to take a beating and keep on coming. If he were Japanese, were a lot less crazy and had slightly better wrestling he’d be Okami. Both guys are tough as hell and can finish a fight 480 different ways. Whether or not they will against each other is a different story, but it’s a risk we’re willing to take.

Antonio Silva vs. Roy Nelson

Both guys love to throw hands and are BJJ black belts. Neither one has a clear-cut advantage in any area, but both can throw the kitchen sink at an opponent and take it as well. This would be a scrap, no matter where it went.

Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir

Two former UFC heavyweight champs-turned heels with the skills to back up their smack talk? Yes please.

Sergei Kharitonov vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

What’s a UFC purchase without a PRIDE rematch?

Brendan Schaub vs. Daniel Cormier

Two promising relative newcomers looking to prove themselves usually equals a barnburner of a bout and this fight would likely be no different. A win by either man would propel one of these fighters up in the rankings.

Cagepotato Comments

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Heyuck- March 30, 2011 at 10:25 am
Why not Maia vs Jacare?

I'd rather see that than Chael laying on Jacare until Jacare decides to finish it.
Squidjitsu- March 30, 2011 at 5:55 am
This was an EXCELLENT list, with the exception that Dan Henderson would get crushed by Jon Jones (and any of the other top 5 LHWs). Although his last fight with Anderson Silva didn't go very well, considering he's basically Chael Sonnen with better power (and slightly worse cardio) I'd be interested in seeing him make another run at 185.

Couture/Fedor would be an awesome match up, even as a three rounder; and for everyone who thinks it's 'too late', remember that Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell were both past their primes and still had one of the better fights in UFC history. Just because it's not for all the marbles anymore doesn't mean it's not interesting, and even relevant, if only in hindsight.
Palmtreeguy- March 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm
Oh and Dan Henderson is too smart to take that fight. He would politely decline or if forced he would retire! Would anyone blame him?
Palmtreeguy- March 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Yup what he just said /\
edhedicus- March 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm
GSP v Diaz would be a predictable, boring affair with GSP's hand raised at the end of 25 minutes of Diaz being rape choked on the ground. Did you not see Diaz v. Sanchez? Even a moderate wrestler handles his dumb ass. The people to beat GSP, weigh 185lbs....
Casa de los pantelones- March 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm
omg, 98% of those match-ups suck balls.
RwilsonR- March 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm
And let's see Overeem fight two fight in a row in a tested environment before we start getting orgasmic about his potential.
RwilsonR- March 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm
I think when you put a fight together like Daiz vs GSP you totally waste a lot of great potential match-ups for Diaz from fighters who won't totally outclass him in every way.
Diaz vs Condit
Diaz vs Lytle (if he is still fighting)
Diaz vs Hardy
Diaz vs Kampmann
Diaz vs Sanchez II
Diaz vs Penn
Diaz vs Fitch
Diaz vs Alves
Diaz vs Anthony Johnson
Diaz vs Kos
And in an alternate reality...
Diaz vs Shields
Diaz vs Diaz
RwilsonR- March 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm
Yushin Okami can "...finish a fight 480 different ways."?
I counted four-
30-27 Unanimous decision
29-28 Unanimous decision
29-28, 29-28, 28-29 Split Decision
29-28, 29-28, 26-30 Split Decision (if Cecil Peoples is judging)
ReX13- March 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm
KMagician Says:


Overeem would knock out Velasquez/JDS but get lunchboxed into oblivion by Brock.
This time next year (or the year after that lol) Carwin will be the UFC Heavyweight champ, enough wrestling to beat Brock and good enough boxing to beat everyone else. War Carwin!
***
***
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This is...where do i begin? It's all wrong.
V.S.O.P.- March 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm
Great list. Propz to whoever did it. All these are incredible match ups!
Jim Harbaugh Scramble- March 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Pisschida would destroy Can Mo. Hopefully the Zuffa does not give Can Mo any fights, unless they to have Rampage KO him.
MKO- March 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm
I love Nick Diaz, but he's never going to beat a competent wrestler, much less GSP.
Gegard would get taken down and pummeled by Rashad, who fans will then hate even more.
Feijoi v Shogun - Def worth watchinh
Silva v Big Country - Excellent
Daley v Alves - good stuff to be named king of the WW gatekeepers; possibly fought at a catchweight of 191 lbs.
King Mo v Lyoto - 3 round fight, Machida by decision. 5 round fight, Machida by death from exhaustion
Robbie Lawler v Wand - Hell yeah!
Barnett v Mir - Barnett by tko because Mir is stupid enough to stay on his feet; Josh later tests positive for urine inconsistent with humans
Kharitoniv v Big Nog - please don't do this to Big Nog
Cain v Reem - Could be badass
Randy v Fedor - could be good, in the end everyone would just feel kinda bad that it's 2011
Lesnar v Werdum - see Brock steamrolling this one.
Bones v Hendo - I see Hendo getting TKOd for the first time
KMagician- March 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Overeem would knock out Velasquez/JDS but get lunchboxed into oblivion by Brock.
This time next year (or the year after that lol) Carwin will be the UFC Heavyweight champ, enough wrestling to beat Brock and good enough boxing to beat everyone else. War Carwin!
Koeikan- March 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm
Well, you started off strong.
BadBetterBestBlog- March 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm
Rampage vs King Mo
Henderson vs Silva Rematch
And can Alistair Overeem pass a drug test? Can anyone tell me the last time he fought in the states and was submitted to one?
Harry Sack- March 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm
Gokan Saki vs. Manhoef
Harry Sack- March 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Overeem crushes Velasquez any day of the week - and Im an admitted Velasquez fan. Overeem will get an automatic title shot and become the first MMA / K1 simultaneous belt holder. He'll defend the title minimum four times.
Diaz also has credentials to fight for a title right away. GSP isn't even close to invincible and hasnt finished a fight in some time now. Diaz is underated and has done himself no favors in managing his career thus far.
Turd Furgeson- March 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Shogun would kill that other guy.
FeelDaRiddum- March 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Half of these are stupid. GSP vs Diaz? Jackson vs Gracie? Evans vs Mousasi? SMH
F Bock- March 29, 2011 at 11:51 am
I cant wait till the strikeforce conracts expire to see the destruction that will lay in the Reem's wake.
Fedor Penn- March 29, 2011 at 11:46 am
The Reem will destroy everyone who doesn't duck him.
F Bock- March 29, 2011 at 11:42 am
Thank you RwilsonR, and I also agree w your statement, Although, I personally want to see Overeem and Dos Santos throw down, Overeems level of martial arts achievements, I believe, validate him for an immediate title shot. Although strikeforce is a different ballgame, w majority of heavyweight fighters on the roster that the UFC either wasnt interested in signing, cut or couldn't sign due to outrageous demands. Overeem is the current strikeforce Heavyweight champ, the K-1 grand prix heavyweight tournament winner and the Dream heavyweight champ. Hard to argue against an immediate title shot for him, especially considering the relatively thin roster of heavyweights w considerable name recognition other than Brock and Fedor. It would be an easy sell to the public now considering Zuffa's purchase of strikeforce and their video library.
RwilsonR- March 29, 2011 at 11:33 am
F Bock speaks the truth. Before throwing Overeem at Velasquez, have him fight JDS in an awesome stand-up fight! If he wins, he's earned his shot.
RwilsonR- March 29, 2011 at 11:32 am
I still think the SF champs need to earn a win over a contender before given a title match against the UFC champs. Diaz, Overeem, and the rest haven't beat the level of competition that say Jon Fitch has.
Now the Lesnar vs Werdum match-up is a great choice. Both are similarly placed in the division, and pose challenges for the other one.
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