This past weekend in Brisbane Australia the main event of UFC Fight Night 33 saw UFC heavyweight contenders Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva put on one of the most brutal, grueling, and dramatic wars of attrition we have seen in the Octagon. Two men of that size and skill level fighting like that was among the most visceral displays of heart, courage, and stamina a sports fan will see…anywhere….ever! As the contest wore on and the drama built and built, even the most indifferent of casual fight fans surely found themselves screaming at the television, cheering for the fighter they were suddenly so invested in. Even if it were the first time someone was seeing a mixed martial arts bout they knew this was not something that happened often. This is the level of entertainment that MMA is capable of delivering. When the fight was finally over we waited for the judge’s decision with mixed feelings. Happy for the fighter we root for possibly getting such a big win, regret for the fact that someone had to lose, and relieved that these warriors made it out relatively safe. But then Bruce Buffer announced the result as a majority draw! Some felt it was a shame that neither fighter got to enjoy the thrill of victory, others were glad neither had to feel the agony of defeat. But as is often the case after such an incredible fight, fans ponder a possible immediate rematch. I say no way.
Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice
It is basic human nature to want more of the things that entertain us. It is also human nature to seek a definitive conclusion to such an extraordinary event that ends without one (remember the Sopranos Finale?) But in this case we should take a cue from Mother Nature and not expect to be able to recreate such an epic event. For a fight like Hunt vs. Bigfoot to go down like it did even once is an aligning of the stars. Every little thing that happened in the lead up to this fight in some way contributed to it being as awesome as it was. Maybe both fighters had a great camp? Maybe they were injury free? Maybe they needed the money and were going for a bonus? Maybe someone cut off and made an obscene gesture to Mark Hunt on the way to the Arena? The point is that we can never duplicate all of the involved factors and expect the same type of fight even if a rematch did happen.
Be Careful What You Wish For
To all of the fans clamoring for an immediate rematch I advise they heed the above advice. I mean after all, it is a safe assumption that most people in that group are fans of Bigfoot, or Hunt, or both. If this is in fact the case and they want to see as much of them in the octagon as possible, then a rematch is exactly what should not happen. How many fights like that do you think even a young fighter is capable of delivering?
Crunching Numbers (and Bones)
With Hunt and Silva at 34 and 39-years old respectively they may want to think twice before engaging in more fights like their last one. Look at the simple statistics of it; the 2 men have a combined fighting history of almost 25 years with 42 combined MMA fights, and Hunt another 43 kickboxing bouts. Of all the strikes Hunt has eaten in his last 10 fights 35% were courtesy of Bigfoot. Hunt was struck 274 times in his past 2 fights, and 297 times in the 12 FIGHTS BEFORE THAT! Bigfoot received 30 percent of all strikes taken in his past 10 fights from Hunt alone and was hit more times in 1 fight with Hunt then he was by Daniel Cormier, Travis Browne, Alistair Overeem, and Cain Velasquez in 6 fights! And finally, the 321 strikes landed between Hunt and Bigfoot was only 10 less than the amount landed between Shogun, Te Huna, Bader, Perosh, Barry, Palelei, Andrews, Hester, Scoggins, and Vaculik!
As you can see the argument against an immediate rematch between Hunt and Bigfoot is significant. We have to wonder if the 2 even want the fight because as tough as these dudes are, they are still human. I am not suggesting the idea be nixed no matter the circumstances, but unless the fight falls in line with Joe Silva’s usual matchmaking processes, why not just move on to the next one and enjoy the fact that we got to see one of the most incredible fights in history?