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5/3/16: Top UFC Rematches to Book in the Next Year
With Conor McGregor desperate to avenge his loss to Nate Diaz, today I look at the top five rematches I’d most like to see come to fruition in the next year. The list is comprised mostly of fairly recent bouts that I think could breed a second fight by this time in 2017.
5. Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov II: The least recent matchup on this list, it’s nevertheless one of the most likely to come together before 2016 is out. Nurmagomedov’s the last man to defeat the current UFC Lightweight Champion, and if dos Anjos defeats Eddie Alvarez in July, there’s no more interesting fight for him than trying to avenge that most recent defeat. Nurmagomedov shook off his rust in his return last month, and this fight’s what makes the most sense for him next should dos Anjos win in July.
4. Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey II: There’s a lot more in the way of this fight happening than there was just a couple short months ago, but despite Holm no longer holding the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship there’s no question fans want to see whether or not Rousey can best the woman who took the belt from her. Rousey’s eventual return won’t be against Holm off the bat, but that fight is as intriguing – if not more so – than any other fight for Rousey. Given no one else had ever affected her, let alone hurt and defeat her the way Holm did last November, the rematch could be massive.
3. Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II: From a competitive standpoint, this fight didn’t need to necessarily happen in the first place, especially at 170 lbs, but to the casual UFC fanbase this might be the biggest possible fight to make. There’s a reason UFC 200 is likely missing out on significant business by this fight not being a part of the card. That said, it’s a vanity plea on the part of McGregor, especially if welterweight is a sticking point for it happening. It’s a fight that could be massively intriguing again, especially because there are things the Irishman can do t0 win that rematch, but it’s hurt a bit by the 170 lbs. of it all.
2. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo II: While I absolutely want to see the McGregor-Edgar fight, should it be Aldo winning on July 7 this fight has to happen. The 13 second finish at UFC 194 was unbelievable, but Aldo’s ten year unbeaten run necessitates this one being run back again. It now seemingly requires Aldo beating Frankie Edgar a second time, but whether that happens or not, a rematch lasting longer than 13 seconds in this feud seems like it needs to happen, and if it can be put together it should be put together.
1. Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit II: More than any other fight we’ve already seen, the matchup I most want to see again is a rematch of the January 2, 2016 main event. I still contend – despite Lawler’s commendable efforts – that Condit won that fight. With the “Natural Born Killer” ready to simply walk away from the sport at this point in his tenure, the rematch would give fans at least one more Condit fight; regardless, it’s one of the best and most exciting fights for the UFC to book right now.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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