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| | Awesome UFC.com article on rematches and trilogies...
The following is an article on rematches from UFC.com:
The rematch is a strange beast to figure out. In boxing (with obvious exceptions, of course), it can be a recipe for disaster, with the fighter who has lost the first time usually losing in a more decisive fashion in fight number two. But in mixed martial arts, the rematch has been a perfect vehicle for redemption, with fighters somehow able to pull off the impossible and reverse the result of a losing bout, and sometimes doing it spectacularly.
Doubt me? Well, let’s go to the numbers…
In the close to 16 year history of the UFC (793 fights), there have been 42 total rematch series, which also encompass eight trilogies. 25 of these series (and three trilogies) have started and ended in the UFC, with 17 of them (and five trilogies) either beginning or ending in the Octagon. Of these 42, 22 have seen the winner of the first bout repeat his win in the rematch. But 20 have seen the result reversed in fight two. That means a little over 47% of rematches see a different result than that of the first fight. If you’re picking fights, that’s a little too close for comfort, and good news for guys like Renato Sobral, Stephan Bonnar, and Georges St. Pierre, who will look to get revenge on previous conquerors Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, and Matt Hughes, respectively, in the next couple of months.
Liddell, the UFC light heavyweight champion, knows plenty about facing familiar faces, as he’s 3-2 in these series, going 2-1 against Randy Couture and 1-1 with Jeremy Horn. In the opening bouts against both Couture and Horn, Liddell was beaten emphatically, getting grounded and pounded out by Couture in June of 2003, and getting put to sleep by Horn in March of 1999. ‘The Iceman’ got his pound of flesh in 2005 and 2006 return matches with Couture, winning by knockout each time, and though he had to wait over six years to get Horn again, in August of 2005, he made it all worth it as he stopped his nemesis in the fourth round of their championship rematch.
But how will Liddell react when he’s the one who won the opening bout of a rematch series, as he did when he knocked out Sobral in 2002? Will he slack off in training for his UFC 62 main event or be overconfident? Not according to the champ, who said earlier this week, “I think he (Sobral) is a great fighter and I think it’s gonna be a good fight. I’m planning on knocking him out sometime during the fight – I’ll catch him sooner or later - but I don’t think it’s gonna be an easy fight.”
For Sobral, it’s all about redemption on August 26th.
“He defeated me in the past and I am eager to beat him up this time because he's between me and the UFC belt,” said ‘Babalu’.
Also on the UFC 62 card at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will revisit their classic 2005 bout, one which saw both fighters get awarded UFC contracts after a torrid three round war.
The winner of that bout, Griffin, went on to win two UFC bouts before losing a razor-thin split decision to Tito Ortiz in April, a bout which may have gained the Georgia native even more fans in defeat.
Bonnar notched three UFC wins after the Griffin bout, but he too lost his last bout, dropping a lackluster decision to Rashad Evans in June. Neither fighter has ever engaged in a rematch before, either in the UFC or outside of it, so their reaction to fighting a familiar face will be interesting to note, but given the styles and attitudes of both, there’s reason to believe the rematch will be just as exciting as the first bout, regardless of the end result.
In September, at UFC 63, one man trying to change the end result will be Georges St. Pierre, who will be engaging in the first rematch of his career against UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes.
In October of 2004, the Canadian was submitted by Hughes with one second left in the first round. Since then, he’s gone on a tear, beating five quality foes in a row, including Hughes conqueror BJ Penn in March, and it’s obvious that St. Pierre is a changed fighter, mentally and physically, since his lone MMA loss.
But all the changes in the world may not help him against the unflappable champion, who is 4-2 in UFC rematch series, going 4-0 against Frank Trigg (2-0) and Carlos Newton (2-0), and 0-2 against crafty submission ace Dennis Hallman (the first loss took place in a 1998 Extreme Challenge bout, with the rematch coming at UFC 29 in 2000).
But that’s why they fight ‘em, because anything can happen in a fight, and especially in a rematch, where UFC history has proven that when you pit two familiar rivals against each other, all bets are off.
THE CHAMPS – The four current UFC champs (Tim Sylvia, Chuck Liddell, Rich Franklin, and Matt Hughes) are a combined 11-5 in rematch series or trilogies. Franklin, the middleweight boss, is undefeated in such series at 2-0, having beaten Evan Tanner in both of their bouts.
THE FIRST – It’s no surprise that the first UFC rematch series was between the first two UFC Hall of Famers, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. It also saw the first reversal of fortune (somewhat) when Shamrock fought back from his UFC 1 loss to Gracie to get a draw in UFC 5 in 1995.
BIGGEST TURNAROUND – After Caol Uno was knocked out in 11 seconds by BJ Penn in November of 2001, the last thing on anyone’s mind was a rematch. But after UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver proved Penn to be human, there was some intrigue involved when the two met up again in February of 2003 for the now vacated title. And though Penn and Uno tried their best to break each other, there would be no winner in bout two, as they fought to a five round draw. One thing was for sure though, Uno showed that he had the chin and heart to stand up to Penn’s thunder for 25 minutes.
YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP – Poor Kazushi Sakuraba. The future Pride superstar made his Octagon debut on December 21, 1997 against Marcus Silveira, and the bout was stopped after Sakuraba briefly got rocked by his foe. Sakuraba and his corner were livid over the stoppage, and after Tank Abbott was forced to withdraw from the night’s tournament due to a broken hand, the first Sakuraba-Silveira was declared a no contest due to what was deemed a quick stoppage, and a rematch was scheduled…for the same night! Sakuraba went on to submit Silveira in their rematch. What a Christmas present.
THE REMATCH KINGS – Who are the UFC rematch kings? Light heavyweight and two-time heavyweight king Randy Couture and fellow Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock lead the way with eight rematch or trilogy bouts. Couture’s final tally in his series with Liddell, Vitor Belfort, and Pedro Rizzo is 5-3. Shamrock, who had rivalries with Tito Ortiz, Kimo Leopoldo, Dan Severn, and Gracie, checks in at 3-4-1. Early UFC pioneer Don Frye compiled a 5-3 rematch series record, but three of those bouts were held outside of the UFC Octagon.
UFC REMATCH SERIES
Ken Shamrock-Kimo Leopoldo – Shamrock 2-0
Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock – Ortiz 2-0
Dan Severn-Ken Shamrock – 1-1
Royce Gracie-Shamrock – Gracie 1-0-1
Guy Mezger-Tito Ortiz - 1-1
Dan Severn-Oleg Taktarov – Severn 2-0
Dave Beneteau – Oleg Taktarov – Taktarov 2-0
Oleg Taktarov-Marco Ruas – Taktarov 1-0-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Tank Abbott – Cabbage Correira – 1-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Mark Coleman- Don Frye – Coleman 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Randy Couture – Pedro Rizzo – Couture 2-0
Kazushi Sakuraba-Marcus Silveira – Sakuraba 1-0, 1 NC
Pedro Rizzo-Tra Telligman – Rizzo 2-0
Pat Miletich-Shonie Carter – Miletich 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Fabiano Iha-LaVerne Clark – 1-1
Chuck Liddell-Jeremy Horn – 1-1
Matt Hughes-Carlos Newton – Hughes 2-0
John Lober – Frank Shamrock – 1-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Rich Franklin-Evan Tanner – Franklin 2-0
Evan Tanner – Phil Baroni – Tanner 2-0
Jeremy Horn-Jason Godsey – 1-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Matt Hughes-Frank Trigg – Hughes 2-0
Dennis Hallman-Matt Hughes – Hallman 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Josh Barnett-Bobby Hoffman – Barnett 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Josh Barnett-Semmy Schilt – Barnett 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Frank Trigg-Dennis Hallman – Trigg 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Matt Lindland-Falaniko Vitale – 1-1
Matt Lindland-Phil Baroni – Lindland 2-0
BJ Penn-Caol Uno – Penn 1-0-1
Caol Uno-Din Thomas – Uno 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Frank Mir-Wes Sims – Mir 2-0
Hermes Franca-Yves Edwards – Edwards 2-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Trevor Prangley-Chael Sonnen – 1-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Thiago Alves-Derrick Noble – 1-1 (1 outside of UFC)
Randy Couture-Vitor Belfort – Couture 2-1
Randy Couture – Chuck Liddell – Liddell 2-1
Nick Diaz – Jeremy Jackson – Diaz 2-1 (2 outside of UFC)
Tim Sylvia – Andrei Arlovski – Sylvia 2-1
Jeremy Horn-Chael Sonnen – Horn 3-0 (2 outside of UFC)
Pat Miletich-Chris Brennan – Miletich 2-0-1 (2 outside of UFC)
Mark Hall-Don Frye – Frye 3-0 (1 outside of UFC)
Don Frye – Gary Goodridge – Frye 2-1 (1 outside of UFC)