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Five Fights We’d Like to See on the UFC Rio Card

(“Screw what I said about business as usual. Let’s make some fan-fucking-tastic fights for this card.”)

With the UFC’s landmark Rio card fast approaching, we thought we’d sit down and think about a handful of bouts we as fans (and pseudo-reporters) would REALLY like to see added to the card.

(We’re looking at you Royce. Seriously. Walk away, dude.)

Here they are in no particular order:

(Video courtesy of Yoku)

Ricardo Arona vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

These two squared off six years ago at PRIDE final conflict 2005, but it was over in less time than it took for them to walk to the ring. In spite of the fact that Arona hasn’t fought since 2009, he has been training and is said to be in great shape. Rua’s conditioning for his fight with Jon Jones was questionable, so they would likely compete on a level playing field. Shogun wants to get back his belt and Arona wants to prove that he belongs in the UFC. Sure, the fight really wouldn’t do much for Shogun’s rankings if he won, but it would be a fun fight to watch and that should be what the fans in Brazil (and around the world) get. Screw Shogun-Griffin. We want a throwback fight.

(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAMatosinhos)

(Video courtesy of YouTube/LegensOfMMA)

Roger Gracie vs. Rich Franklin

Gracie is one of the fast-rising fighters in the game and Franklin wants to take one last run at UFC gold. Who better to match up than one of the next generation of Gracie fighters against a future UFC hall-of-famer like Franklin, who has never been submitted in 35 fights. This fight could go either way, but the fans would definitely walk away winners.

(Video courtesy of Yoku)

(Video courtesy of YouTube/HelloJapan05)

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Demian Maia
Although you might think this fight would turn into a grappling match, it could just as easliy be decided on the feet. They’ve competed against each other in the past more than once in jiu-jitsu and¬†Maia has won at least once, so if you think Jacare’s ground game is much better than Demian’s, think again.¬†Jacare proved his striking prowess against Tim Kennedy and Maia showed in his last fight with Kendall Grove that his time spent training with Wanderlei Silva has been put to good use. This is another fight that could go either way and would prove if Jacare is ready to vie for a UFC belt to compliment his Strikeforce one.

(Video courtesy of YouTube/BloodStreamMMAPro)

(Video courtesy of YouTube/nvnvsk8)

Vitor Belfort vs. Alan Belcher
Belfort is a fighter who prefers to stand and go toe to toe with his opponents and Belcher is a guy who will oblige him. Alan has been on the shelf for a while because of an eye injury, but he would have plenty of time to get into fighting shape and to get rid of the ring rust in sparring. Belfort will have a few cobwebs of his own to shake off after the devastating front-kick KO loss he suffered against Anderson Silva in his last bout.

(Video courtesy of YouTube/Damienhis)

(Video courtesy of YouTube/HelloJapan05)

Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Babalu has toyed with the idea of dropping down to middleweight for a while now and has already executed a successful test cut while preparing for his 195-pound catchweight bout with Robbie Lawler last year. He could reinvent himself as a 185′er and a win over a tough gatekeeper like Akiyama would jumpstart that initiative. Akiyama is no joke, though and wouldn’t hand over a win easily, especially when he has lost his last two bouts and a third in a row could mean his UFC release. Two hungry fighters who need a win equal a fight we would all be talking about on Monday morning.

Cagepotato Comments

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DARKHORSE06- April 20, 2011 at 2:10 am
You guys forgot Cung Le and Anderson Silva.
Trouser Snake- April 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm
I would hope to see an Aldo v Florian on this card. Maybe I'm the only one who likes this fight. I just can't see anyone at FW take Aldo if Hominick can't.
RwilsonR- April 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm
Roger Gracie vs. Rich Franklin is a great idea. Jacare vs. Maia would be good, as well. The rest are okay, but you could make a lot more interesting fights.
RwilsonR- April 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm
Ricardo Arona? Is he still alive?
Mike Russell- April 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm
@KrmtDfrog: Technically Babalu IS employed by Zuffa since he's under SF contract. Dana said he would consider bringing him back in an interview I saw a year or two ago.
2Dogs- April 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm
Well done with those matchups, would love to see everyone.
I may be dreaming but I would like to see Tank Abbot vs Brock
and I would look forward to seeing Dan Severn against Royce Gracie as well...
KrmtDfrog- April 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm
Like Babalu will ever be employed by Zuffa ever again.
FeelDaRiddum- April 18, 2011 at 11:23 am
paulo thiago gots to be on that card, maybe against thiago alves finally?
Dmonicideals- April 18, 2011 at 10:51 am
Not a bad lil list ya got goin' on, ladies.
Fedor Penn- April 18, 2011 at 10:42 am
Arona is going to have to earn a shot a shot at Shogun. He's not gonna get him in his first UFC fight. They should have done Shogun vs Rampage.
KJonesBeatdown- April 18, 2011 at 10:41 am
I'm liking all these matchups. Good job! Belfort vs Belcher is my favorite in this group
Turd Furgeson- April 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

For Silva.
DangadaDang- April 18, 2011 at 10:15 am
I like all these matchups, nice one CP
destinationblood- April 18, 2011 at 9:55 am
Happy Feet Vs. Rio....they can fight at featherweight.....
Dante- April 18, 2011 at 9:49 am
CP, you son of a bitch... YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN!
FrankShamrock- April 18, 2011 at 9:36 am
Paul Harris vs Anderson Silva? That wouldn't end well.
siksik6- April 18, 2011 at 9:35 am
lt's hard to believe that Maia and Palhares are in the same weight class.
Turd Furgeson- April 18, 2011 at 9:34 am
Y'all forgot about Palhares v. Silva.
Crap Factory- April 18, 2011 at 9:24 am
Yes to every one! That would be a card worth watching.
LOKI- April 18, 2011 at 9:22 am
Mood- April 18, 2011 at 9:21 am
Failing a Maia/Jacare fight a Maia/Palhares fight would be pretty awesome as well.