You can hate on the over-the-top theatrics of professional wrestling all you want, but there’s no denying the sport’s influence on the world of MMA. Do you think we would have ever seen Jonathan Ivey break out “The People’s Elbow” in a fight if The Rock hadn’t done it first? And how about that Chael Sonnen character, who we would all just write off as another boring wrestler if not for his Billy Graham-esque heel routine? The list goes on and on, but greater than the signature moves, greater even than the whimsical trash-talking pro wrasslin’ has inspired in our great sport, is the post-fight cage confrontation.
It has been responsible for some of the most unintentionally hilarious highs and Gus Johnsony lows that MMA has ever seen, yet we can’t seem to look away when such an inherently silly situation is presented in the aftermath of a fight. The UFC clearly understands this, and in an effort to set up everyone’s dream match of Anderson Silva vs.
Jon Jones Georges. St. Pierre, both the UFC and Silva’s manager have hinted that not only is the middleweight champ going to be in attendance at UFC 154, but should St. Pierre emerge victorious, the two will face off in the cage and lay the foundation for the next great MMA superfight. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a brief, albeit memorable, video tribute to the post-fight confrontation. Enjoy.
#5 – Rampage Jackson Promises Us Some Black on Black Crime
We don’t quite understand why so many professional fighters feel they need to repeat themselves at least a dozen times in order to get their point across, but at UFC 96, Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans were going to do it anyway. Jackson had just defeated Keith Jardine via unanimous decision, and Evans — three piece and all — was called into the octagon to bicker with Rampage while Joe Rogan quietly played the role of Paul Heyman in the background.
“I’m getting that belt back. Think about it, know it, see it,” quipped Jackson, as if we needed any reminder of how badly The Secret had poisoned his fragile mind in the time since he lost the belt. And you gotta love that even while trash-talking, Rampage still manages to squeeze in a few excuses for his performance in the fight he literally just got done with. That’s a respectable dedication to bullshittery right there folks. Although Rashad seemed content to simply mumble “Yeah, yeah, we’ll see” until the audience entered a state of reduplicative paramnesia, he would score the victory over Jackson when the two finally met at UFC 114, so we guess his words were ultimately meaningless. That goes double for Jackson.
Blame this on “The Axe Murderer’s” lack of English tutelage if you must, but it’s clear that something was in the air when Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva faced off at UFC 61. The creepily-long staredown, the whispered threats, the fevered pacing; you might even say that sparks were flying between the two legends (specifically, Nicholas Sparks). The year was 2006: Wandy was still a killing machine over in PRIDE and Chuck was the undisputed king/poster boy of the UFC. It was an MMA fan’s match made in heaven, and one that was all but guaranteed after Chuck bested “Babalu” Sobral (again) at UFC 62.
Although “The Iceman” was successful on his end, negotiations unfortunately fell apart between yet another PRIDE star and the UFC, forcing us to wait two long years to see these two throw down at UFC 79. In that time, Wanderlei had been nearly decapitated by Mirko Cro Cop and Dan Henderson in back-to-back bouts and a sans title Liddell was coming off a loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 76. Despite the significant deflation of hype heading into it, Liddell and Silva managed to turn in a Fight of the Year-earning performance that pleased even the most cynical of cynics. It would be Liddell’s last win as a professional. Wanderlei, however, has vowed not to retire until the moment he is permanently disabled in the octagon. Then again, if that happens he will still be able to find work if he looks hard enough.
#3 – GSP Ez Not Empress
Now this one is a perfect of example of life imitating (mixed martial) art(s). Just two events after Wandy and Chucky Boy engaged in one of the greatest cage confrontations in MMA history, Georges St. Pierre proceeded to totally blow up Matt Hughes‘ spot at UFC 63. Hughes had just finished defending his welterweight title — and earning some much needed redemption — against B.J. Penn, while St. Pierre had attended the event to support his fellow Canuck David Loiseau in his fight against Mike Swick. In the aftermath of Hughes’ victory, St. Pierre would reveal a brash side of his personality that we have yet to see again, declaring that he was “not impressed” with Hughes’ performance. It was a bold statement to say the least, especially considering that Hughes had already beaten St. Pierre in their first title fight at UFC 50.
Three years later, Kanye West would totally steal St. Pierre’s (and Taylor Swift’s) thunder by pulling the same kind of shenanigans at the 2009 VMA’s, the scoundrel. As for the St. Pierre/Hughes beef, well, we all know how that one ended.
But seriously, Kanye West is a piece of shit.