Man, is it a good time to be an MMA fan or what? Who needs Georges St-Pierre, or a dominant heavyweight champion, or match-ups based on skill-sets instead of dollars?
That’s for the old fools.
MMA in 2016 is about CM Punk, chunky backyard brawlers who make Mama June’s cardio look strong, and a loudmouth Irishman who somehow thinks its OK to drop F-bombs and bully everyone around him when there are kids watching. And now, what do we got? The return of Wanderlei Silva.
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Yes, the 39-year-old who was banned for life for evading a drug test a year-and-a-half ago. The sentenced was reduced to three years, so Silva is set to fight sometime in 2017 — or sooner if he fights outside the country.
Aren’t we lucky? But hey, Silva is a legend, with some good fights under his belt. He is entertaining to watch, even if the sport has passed him by and most fighters know the way to beat him is to take him down and avoid trading punches with him.
So in the spirit of MMA in 2016, and Bellator’s penchant for promoting MMA version of Hee Haw, let’s take a look at top five fights for Silva that are sure to draw at least 1.2 million viewers on any given Friday night on Spike TV.
5. Wanderlei Silva vs. King Mo
Who knows what weight division Silva will fight in? Answer: it doesn’t matter. Silva vs. King Mo must happen, mostly because King Mo is gutsy enough to disregard his superior wrestling and instead trade with Silva. We know how that will end. King Mo is going be praying for a spinning backfist from Emanuel Newton after getting clobbered by Silva. Of course, Mo could just take him down and ground-and-pound him in three minutes, but Mo wouldn’t settle for that.
4. Wanderlei Silva vs. Tito Ortiz
Tito’s already beat him once and this is the kind of fight that would pop a big SpikeTV rating. These guys are about evenly matched at this age and Tito Ortiz, unlike Mo, isn’t going to trade punches with him, so we can’t look forward to Ortiz falling in slow motion. Ortiz will take Silva down and submit, but not before some good scrapping, dirty boxing and some name-calling. These are two MMA legends, and it’s a helluva a better fight than Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie.
3. Wanderlei Silva vs. Kimbo Slice
Kimbo Slice, meet someone who actually trains for a fight. This battle would be a race to throw the first right hand. Whoever lands first is going down and won’t remember any of it until they see it on TV. Silva would have the advantage because he is still relatively fast for his age and Kimbo doesn’t exactly excel against people who know how to fight … or who are under 50 years old. While Kimbo could blast Silva with a shot or two, Silva’s likely to hit him first and have Kimbo flashbacking to Elite XC.
2. Wanderlei Silva vs. Scott Coker
Scott Coker may not look like much these days, but he’s former talented kickboxer who would undoubtedly kick Dana White’s backside in a real fight. As anyone who has watched professional wrestling since 1997 knows, the promoter vs. the fighter is the best fight to make. It’s simple, Silva joins Bellator and starts talking about how he’s better than Bellator, that he’s the best thing that ever happened to the company, and then Bellator is only relevant because it signed a UFC and PRIDE legend. Coker, since he’s clearly a fan of professional wrestling angles, then decides to step in the cage and show Silva some respect. Of course, Silva will knock out Coker, but who knows? Maybe Coker can train at Jackson MMA work on his kicks, and figure out a way to pull off the upset. Imagine how much MMA fans would love Coker for stepping into the cage? That fight alone would make Bellator cooler than the UFC.
1. Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
This is MMA paradise. Silva holds the lead, two wins to one. It’s time to even the score. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is returning to Bellator and needs a big-time fight to showcase his talents. Jackson is Bellator’s biggest star, and Silva would be its second. These two guys would put on a spectacle that would probably end with Silva flat on his back and Jackson calling out Liam McGeary. This could even be a Bellator PPV event. Big names. Big Egos. Big Fists. Sort of like Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, except Silva and Jackson can fight and can last three rounds.