The five biggest UFC bouts that never happened in 2012Posted on August 26, 2012, 08:37 PM by Mike Drahota
Obviously 2012 has been a year that held huge potential for MMA. While I wouldn't say it was a horrible year for fighting, the insane amount of injuries and other controversy that wrecked cards is unprecedented. From main events all the way down to preliminary cards, we saw an unheard number of big fights shifted, canceled, and just generally thrown into the muck. UFC 151's cancellation was the icing on the cake in what was the weirdest year MMA has ever seen. And it's not over yet. Let's take a look at the five biggest fights that never happened in 2012. GSP vs. Nick Diaz would have been huge, but Diaz was suspended and GSP had a torn ACL, so I'm sticking to fights that actually came close to happening, in 2012. I repeat, GSP vs. Nick Diaz was a pipe dream for 2012, I understand it is not on the list. It would have been a great fight. Do you think it will ever happen?
Dan Henderson vs. Jon Jones:
Currently the most talked-about canceled fight, and arguably the most ever, this fight showcased a dominant champion in Jones, who has not exactly gained the favor of the fans. Henderson was thought to be a great underdog, but I think many people were rooting for the knockout power of his right hand to pull off the monumental upset at UFC 151. Will we ever get to see these two warriors collide? Let's hope so.
Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem:
These two behemoths were set to collide at the ground-breaking UFC 146 in May, until Overeem's failed surprise drug test at a press conference put a stop to the bout. There was tons of discussion when it happened in April, and there still is. Overeem continues to goad dos Santos into a bout, but it appears that ship has sailed as dos Santos is rumored to be set to face Cain Velasquez in a rematch this December. Still, it is likely we will see these two duke it out in the not-so-distant future.
Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen:
In a whirlwind of hoopla and trash talk, Jones ultimately decided against facing Sonnen as a replacement opponent for Dan Henderson at UFC 151. Sonnen and Jones interestingly had a back-and-forth Twitter war a few weeks ago, and now Jones is insisting that it was a planned sneak attack by Sonnen, who knew that his training partner Dan Henderson was seriously injured. Whatever the background, Jones had barked that Sonnen was not deserving of a spot against him. Now, Jones's camp insists they want the Sonnen fight badly, just not on 8 days' notice. Either way, the pay-per-view numbers would be huge.
Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva:
In a matchup of hugely popular Brazilian fighters, these two famed strikers were set to go head-to-head at UFC 147 as part of what was once an absolutely blockbuster of a scheduled card. Unfortunately, it fell apart due to Vitor Belfort's broken hand, and Silva instead faced Rich Franklin, losing a decision. The fight would have great for Brazilian MMA fans, who love their fighters to the fullest. Now, Belfort will have, let's say, a step up in competition as he is set to face Jon Jones at UFC 152 in Toronto on September 22nd. Should he pull off the upset with his lightning-fast hands and BJJ, it will be quite interesting how the saga of UFC 151 ultimately ended up.
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber:
This was a rematch that was set to headline the finale of TUF 15. In the first bout, Faber choked Cruz out during his monumental run as WEC champion. The second bout featured a close call of a decision, but ultimately Cruz retained his UFC Bantamweight title. The grudge match was set to decide the series until Cruz unfortunately tore his ACL in training. What's more, Urijah Faber lost the Interim Title bout to Renan Barao, so the third match should be much farther off than when 2012 first rolled around. Faber is great, but the young guns appear to be surmounting him at 135 lbs.