(There may be only one man on earth who can make the Santa hat look cool.)
I don’t want much this holiday season. Well, besides that Red Ryder BB Gun I ask for every year. And a pony. But there are some fights I’d like to see in 2009, and while I don’t think that mall Santa I tried to talk to is going to be any help (let’s just say it got heated and we both said some things we didn’t really mean), I’m holding out hope that the powers that be will hear my pleas and make some of these happen.
Here’s my wish list of ten fights for 2009. Some are very likely. Some are just barely feasible. But I tried to stay away from the downright impossible, hence the absence of Fedor vs. The Highlander. Feel free to let me know all about what’s on your list in the comments section:
1. Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre: Whether GSP beats Penn or not (magic eight ball says, “all signs point to yes,”) this has the potential to be the UFC’s biggest superfight ever. They have precious few opportunities to settle pound-for-pound debates, but this is their best shot. If MMA becomes legal in New York this year, as it probably will, this fight could do a Jay-Z and sell out the Garden in a day.
2. B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian: Perhaps no fighter in the UFC has improved so much by sheer force of will as KenFlo. Penn is the lightweight champ, and he deserves to be, which is why I really wish he’d stop chasing fights in other weight classes and set his sights on defending that title. Winning a belt is great, but defending it is how you cement your status as a dominant champ. Penn probably beats Florian in a tough fight, but there’s only one way to find out.
3. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett: If he beats Arlovski, this is the only realistically possible bout for Fedor that would still be compelling. I know they’re friends and all, but Affliction is starting to feel like a narrowing path leading only to this fight. Hopefully all parties concerned – Affliction, Barnett, Fedor, Fedor’s management team – can hold it together long enough to make it happen.