By Seth Falvo
We here at CagePotato.com aren’t the types to say “We told you so,” which is convenient, because we couldn’t even gather enough interest in BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar III to mock it beforehand. The fight ended predictably; Penn continued to be no match for Edgar, and “The Prodigy” hinted at yet another retirement from MMA after it was over. Given the trilogy’s one-sided nature and predictable ending, we’re tempted to call it the most pointless trilogy in our sport’s history. But doing so would do the following trilogies a grave injustice:
Bryan Robinson vs. Andrew Reinard
Third Fight: Tuesday Night Fights, 01/24/2002.
Scoreboard: Robinson, 3-0.
A quick glance at the record of every ironman in MMA will reveal multiple victories over fighters who can best be described as “victims” and “warm bodies.” Reinard is Exhibit A: You can watch his entire three-fight career in only forty-eight seconds.
[Author Note: Robinson vs. Reinard is a stand-in for every pointless trilogy that other MMA ironmen have been involved in. Coincidentally, Robinson himself accounts for seven (?!?) of Travis Fulton's career victories.]
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Wanderlei Silva
Third Fight: Pride: Total Elimination 2003, 08/10/2003.
Scoreboard: Silva, 3-0.
Move along. We don’t need to re-open this wound.
Jeremy Horn vs. Chael Sonnen
Third Fight: UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie, 05/27/2006.
Scoreboard: Horn, 3-0.
Three fights. Two submissions. Zero interest. It’s hard to believe that the UFC once had such humble plans for Chael Sonnen.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz
Third Fight: UFC: The Final Chapter, 10/10/2006.
Scoreboard: Ortiz, 3-0.
A trilogy that saw a slightly disinterested relic from a bygone era get mercilessly picked apart by a hungrier fighter in his prime. In other words, it was the Penn vs. Edgar of its era.
Olaf Alfonso vs. John Polakowski
Third Fight: WEC 24, 10/12/2006.
Scoreboard: Polakowski, 2-1.
These two guys easily engaged in the most competitive, entertaining trilogy that made this list. If Polakowski didn’t waste the first three years of his career fighting Alfonso, he may be known to MMA fans for more than this.
Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard
“Third” Fight: The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, 11/30/2013.
Scoreboard: Diaz, 2-1, technically.
Depending on how you view TUF exhibitions, Diaz vs. Maynard may simply be a “pointlessly marketed as a trilogy” rematch. That the UFC wanted us to view their fight at The TUF 18 Finale as a trilogy made it eligible for this list. The “TUF exhibition + Unwatchable ‘second’ fight” formula sealed its fate as an inclusion.
Did we omit an especially pointless grudge match? Are you dying to make the case for Sylvia vs. Arlovski, even though it was technically a quadrilogy? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, or hit us up at our official Twitter account.