The UFC 139 Main Event bout between Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Dan Henderson is already being hailed in some circles as potentially the greatest fight of all time. The fight was certainly a phenomenal fight between two of the toughest guys we have ever seen in the sport of MMA, but the single greatest fight in the modern history of MMA? He opinions are like a******, so here is mine!
I don’t know what fight I would label the greatest of all time. I watch a lot of boxing, and I see the tired old relics that announce that sport throw around terms like ‘KO of the Year’ or ‘Match of the Year’ at nearly every event. I cringed when people labelled the Stephan Bonnar Versus Forrest Griffin the greatest fight of all time.
The number one thing I credit in an MMA fight is are they trying to finish the fight. Whether it be strikes with lethal intent or submission attempts, I like to see the fighters trying to get out of there before the 3 rounds are up. With Bonnar and Griffin, you got the feeling early in the fight that you were watching a fight that would go to the judges. Yes, it made for compelling viewing and it came at the right time historically.
Another factor in naming the greatest fight of all time that I would look for is back and forth action. I want to see a guy come back from the brink, and I want to see him take his opponent to that brink. I want to see transitions, reversals and submission attempts. I want to see heroic effort on defense followed by an offensive outburst.
Henderson and Rua was a great fight. But it was basically Henderson winning the first three rounds, and Rua winning the last two. Henderson did flurry with strikes to try and finish, but didn’t. Towards the end of the fight it was clear that Rua was the fresher of the two. Yes Henderson’s hand was raised at the end, but Rua had closed strong. It is an old cliche, but one or two more rounds and Rua wins the fight.
This subject is gonna start an argument. But for the greatest of all time, having a lot of back and forth action where both men are tested and also having a definitive finish are requisites. So don’t say ‘greatest fight of all time’ every time you see a solid war.
So here is a great fight for you to enjoy, at the time it was the greatest fight I’ve ever seen.