Top 5 UFC Rivalries

With the much-anticipated fight between Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans taking place next Saturday, I decided to look back and think of other fights that had this much animosity between the two competitors. Here is my list of top five rivalries in the UFC since the Zuffa inception:

1. Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock – While the fights were pretty lopsided, you could always feel the heat and rage between these two. Tito was a showboat and Ken was mister intensity. They never really had a chance to be friends. The first fight really did a lot to help the UFC land a network television deal and bring more attention to the sport. Then, the two added to their rivalry with their coaching appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Season 3. Too bad for Ken he lost all three fights to Ortiz, but the rivalry was still classic.

2. Matt Hughes and Matt Serra – This rivalry is about two guys that want to be the Alpha Male. Serra is always playing the disrespect card and Hughes is an honest jerk. Hughes dominated the UFC Welterweight division for years and had no problems talking about how inferior his opponents were while Serra shocked the world a few years ago and Hughes called his title reign a “fluke”. These two also coached opposite one another in The Ultimate Fighter Season Six, which led to a fight at UFC 98 that Hughes narrowly pulled out. Still to this day, Serra has preached for a rematch and still proclaims his dislike for the future Hall of Famer.

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Behind the scenes of a live MMA event

My hands were sweaty, my face was red but I wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass.

“Dana, could you tell me where you see Jose (Aldo) on your pound-for-pound list.”

The question was simple enough. I mean I ran it through my head a million times in a little over two minutes. The wording, the timing, the tone all needed to sound just right. After all, this question was directed at Dana White, President of the UFC and WEC.

Following Saturday’s WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber pay-per-view event, which was sponsored by AMP Energy, White and select fighters addressed the media. And there I was, covering my first MMA live event thanks to the people at AMP Energy.

At 27, I have been a dedicated MMA fan for seven years. Having seen the early days of Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, I was re-introduced to the UFC with Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture at UFC 43 and have been hooked since.

But I am not just a fan, I am a sports writer, and have been for about 10 years now.

I knew that the opportunity of covering MMA for and The Scores Report was one I wanted to be a part of because I knew that I could do it objectively and with the respect and knowledge that MMA fans want from their writers. I’m not just a fan. Still, even having interviewed some of the top athletes in the world, my eyes were locked in with White’s as he awaited my question.

As any MMA fan knows, if White thinks you asked him a stupid question, he will let you know and he will probably sprinkle in a few expletives to describe his feelings.

So I asked my question.

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Top 10 Significant UFC Fights

With UFC 100 a week away on July 11, I decided to look back at what got the UFC to this point. Here is my take on what I believe are the 10 most significant fights in UFC history, helping the company become what it is today.

1. Stephan Bonner vs. Forrest Griffin – Ultimate Fighter Finale 1: This fight was not only the most memorable fight to watch, but may also be the fight that really pushed the UFC into the next level of mainstream popularity. Following the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter, a show which UFC President Dana White and co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta funded out of their own pocket, the finale took place live on Spike TV, which was airing live fights for the first time in the history of cable television. The UFC knew it needed something big to happen to not only keep a cable television deal, but earn future advertisers, and also prolong its reality show for future seasons. Bonner vs. Griffin delivered just that. The two fought to the very end and both were so even, it was impossible to decide a clear winner for most fans. The fight at one point drew 10 million viewers, which was just what the UFC needed. The back-and-forth, non-stopped action gave the UFC an identity to fans that had never seen it before and got the ball rolling that has allowed the UFC to snowball into what it is today.

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Friday MMA Review 3/13

Charles LewisHere’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of

– Quinton “Rampage” Jackson scored a unanimous decision victory over Keith Jardine at last Saturday’s UFC 96. After the fight, Jackson was offered an opportunity to challenge Rashad Evans in late May for the light-heavyweight title that used to belong to him, but nagging injuries will keep him out of action until later this year. Instead, undefeated Brazilian contender Lyoto Machida will be the challenger for Evans’s first title defense.

– Charles “Mask” Lewis, co-founder of the MMA apparel/lifestyle company TapouT, died in a car accident late Tuesday night in Neport Beach after colliding with another car. The other driver survived, though he was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.

For a photo tribute to Charles Lewis, click here to head to COMBATLIFESTYLE.COM.

– Following a positive steroid test after his last fight, MMA legend Ken Shamrock has been suspended from competition for one year and will not be able to take on Bobby Lashley later this month at the Roy Jones Jr.-promoted “March Badness” card. He will be replaced by Clay Guida’s ne’er-do-well brother Jason.

New York Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Rob Walker told us why MMA belongs in New York State, while grumpy old man Bob Reilly told us why it’s bad for society.

– UFC lightweight champ BJ Penn filed a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, claiming that Georges St. Pierre cheated during their UFC 94 fight though improper usage of Vaseline, and speculated that he may have ingested a substance that made his body slippery.

– The cast of “The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K.” was announced.

– Even legendary boxing promoter/double-murderer Don King wants a piece of the MMA action.

– At a press conference on Thursday, it was announced that former EliteXC welterweight champ Jake Shields and former EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler will face off in a non-title fight at Strikeforce’s May event. Also, Nick Diaz gave Frank Shamrock the finger.

MMA Review for Friday, February 20

Kimo LeopoldoHere’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of

– Could we try to go one week without an MMA fighter getting arrested? The latest cage-fighting jailbird is Kimo Leopoldo, a UFC old-schooler who got caught impersonating a Long Beach police officer while carrying around “a small amount” of methamphetamine.

– MMA hottie/former American Gladiator Gina Carano took some sexy new photos for Maxim.

– At last Friday’s Wargods event, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock armbarred some fat dude, while Tank Abbott scored a brilliant KO via illegal rabbit punches.

– BJ Penn has put his frustrations about his slippery loss to Georges St. Pierre into a charming little conspiracy-video. Meanwhile, legendary UFC ref John McCarthy says that the greasing thing has “always been an issue” in MMA.

– The UFC’s new action figures will armbar the crap out of your little Ninja Turtles.

– Montreal will allow the UFC to return to their city as long as there’s none of that barbaric foot-stomping going on. You can check out the fight lineup here.

– UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson goes down tomorrow night in London. Swing by for our liveblog of the tape-delayed Spike TV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and prepare thyself by checking out this roundup of the fighters who will be making their Octagon debuts, our occasionally-helpful betting advice, and our interviews with main-card fighters Nate Marquardt and Chael Sonnen.

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