Though some MMA fans are ragging on the UFC 78 lineup for having a weak main event*, UFC 79 looks like it’ll make up for that starless night like a motherfucker. How stacked is this card (aka “Nemesis”)? Well, we already knew about the Serra vs. Hughes grudge match**, and the historic light heavyweight meeting between Chuck Liddell and PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva. But yesterday, Bubba the Love Sponge (I know, bear with me) reported that Dan Henderson may be fighting in December — and at middleweight (a wise move after his loss to Quinton Jackson in his UFC debut). What this means is: 1) Nemesis has the potential to be one of the greatest UFC cards of all time, and 2) With PRIDE now absorbed into the UFC, it’s all becoming one big Circle of Life (no, I will not link to that Elton John/Lion King video). Let’s run down the timeline…
12/9/00: Wanderlei Silva beats Dan Henderson (unan. dec., PRIDE 12)
11/9/03: Quinton Jackson beats Chuck Liddell (corner stoppage TKO, PRIDE Final Conflict middleweight semi-finals)
11/9/03: Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson (strikes TKO, PRIDE Final Conflict middleweight finals)
10/31/04: Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson for the second time (KO by knee, PRIDE 28)
2/24/07: Dan Henderson beats Wanderlei Silva to win the PRIDE middleweight title (KO by punch, PRIDE 33)
5/26/07: Quinton Jackson beats Chuck Liddell for the second time to win UFC light heavyweight title (strikes TKO, UFC 71)
9/8/07: Quinton Jackson beats Dan Henderson to retain UFC light heavyweight title (unan. dec., UFC 75)
So from these fights, it could be inferred that Silva > Jackson > Henderson > Liddell. What we really need to see, therefore, is a re-rematch between Silva and Jackson, to determine if Rampage really deserves his UFC belt. Hopefully Dana White can make that happen if Wanderlei can give “Mr. Rock Star Lifestyle” his third-straight loss.
* For the record, I’m psyched for Bisping/Evans, and all you Count-haters can suck my eggs.
** I see this one going the same way as Ortiz/Shamrock after TUF 3, with the frustrated hothead coach so frustrated and hotheaded that he can’t fight properly in the Octogon — Serra for shocking upset #2.