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UFC on rematches

By Stephan | July 28, 2006

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By Stephan Marceau

Many of us (us includes me, yes) have been complaining that all we have been getting lately in the UFC is rematches, well the UFC itself has posted an article analyzing that very fact.

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.

Thomas Gerbasi does a good job with numbers to convince us that rematches are worth rewatching because they are often unpredictable, thats because the at the upcoming UFC 62, the two main events are rematches, Sobral vs Liddell has great potential, but Bonnar vs Griffin I’m afraid will not be able to live up to its first encounter, Forrest may have progressed more than Stephan has. Also a reason for this article to appear is that from an entertainment value, many of the rematches we have been served lately have not been very good. Of course the latest Sylvia vs Arlovsky was a total bore, the one previously was fun but quick. Ortiz vs Shamrock predictably bad for Ken; don’t even think of doing a trilogy with this one.

Topics: Media, MMA, Stephan Marceau, UFC | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “UFC on rematches”

  1. Dr J says:


    That was actually a pretty good read by Gerbasi. It doesn’t do much to convince me that most of the rematches being fought today in the UFC are pointless.

    Liddell vs. Sobral 2 is a good rematch.

    Griffin vs. Bonnar 2 is not.

    When it is so obvious that certain fights are scheduled just to make money and not for the actual content of the fight, its hard to get behind the UFC. The UFC really just needs to cut back on all these shows so they can have a solid card lineup from top to bottom for their PPV events.

  2. Todd says:

    While I agree that the griffin/bonnar fight will probably be far more one sided in favor of Griffin this time around I think that the fight itself is a perfectly legitimate rematch. The firt go around was so close and arguably could have gone either way there is something to be said for a rematch (thankfully not 4 or 5 months after the first) to see whose skill sets have improved more.

  3. Todd says:

    One more thing…. It seems that one of the problems with rematches is epitomized by the Arlovski/silvia, who fought 3 times in under 18 months. It is one thing to have a rematch a couple of years after the first, another to have a rematch and another rematch so close together. The problem is not rematches per se but the thin competition present, for this case, in the heavyweight division of the UFC. There are a number of fighters in the division currently trying to make a name for themselves and work their way up to title contender status, but at best only a handful of fighters at the level needed to provide a legit title shot at this time. So what needs to be done it would seem is to broaden the talent level either by recruiting already established fighters in each weight division, and not merely bring in fighters who are trying to make a name for themselves, or decentralize the corporate structure and allow for cross competition between various organizations… on a regular basis.

  4. Had Arlovski v Sylvia been a “good rematch”, nobody would be bitching. I have no problem what so ever with “rematches” and at some point, I look forward to a Tito v Forrest rematch and a Tito v Chuck rematch.

  5. Let me clarify…Sylvia v Arlovski ended up sucking. But had it been a WAR, nobody would have complained. On paper I didn’t see it as being a bad rematch….just ended up that way.

  6. Stephan says:

    I agree that we didnt know that Arlovsky vs Sylvia was going to be so bad. I was actually somewhat excited about it, and was sure it wouldnt have gone beyond the first round.

    Having the rematch so quickly after the other Sylvia vs Arlovsky rematch is an indication of how thin the UFC heavyweight division is, and as pointed out, having so many events now, may be diluting the quality of the shows!

  7. FredEttish says:

    I think there should only be rematches in two instances. First, there is some level of doubt or controversy surrounding the first fight. In the case of Griffin vs. Bonner it was an extremely close decision that could have gone the other way.

    The second legit reason for a rematch is an instance where the losing fighter has vastly improved and worked his way back to the top. This is the obvious case with Liddell vs. Sobral.

    I have no problem with these two fights and other fights like it. However, the two main fights at 61 did not qualify as legitimate rematches in my book.

  8. Ivan Trembow says:

    Wow, what a credible, unbiased journalist that Thomas Gerbasi is. It’s not like he’s actually working directly for Zuffa. Oh, wait a minute…

  9. Todd says:

    “Wow, what a credible, unbiased journalist that Thomas Gerbasi is. It’s not like he’s actually working directly for Zuffa. Oh, wait a minute…”

    Whether or not he works for Zuffa he still has to make arguments that are convincing and based on evidence. To dismiss simply because he works for Zuffa isn’t terribly persuasive in itself.

  10. Ryan says:

    Since Gerbasi writes for, the official site of the org, aren’t you just stating the obvious. Why would anyone believe think it was objective?

    Arlovski won 1 easily, Sylvia won 1 easily. The third fight is the classic rubber match. Both fighters wanted it. The public wanted it (look at tickets sold) and the UFC wanted it because all their marquee guys were injured. How is this not legit? Because it was rushed?

    As for Bonnar vs Griffin II, people were talking rematch from the second the first fight was over yet UFC did not rush it. They let both fighters grow in hopes that they would fulfill their potentials and the eventual rematch would be much more anticipated and surpassed in skill. UFC probably didn’t want the rematch to come off loses for each fighter, but they can’t fix the outcomes.

  11. Ivan Trembow says:

    I’m saying that Zuffa, for which Gerbasi now works, is not the most unbiased source for Zuffa-related news and analysis, and you’d be wrong to expect anything but puff pieces (albeit well-written puff pieces).

  12. Lynchman says:

    While may not be the place for unbiased articles, neither are many of the MMA websites and Blogs that out there.

    There are many of them that spend far more time attacking certain people and orgs than they do actually contributing anything worthwhile.

    I read the aticle in question, I thought it was a pretty good peice. Of course it was written to promote a certain idea, but he did a good job of it.
    Since the site is indeed owned by the UFC, it is not like they make any attempts to hide their motives.

    Again, there are many “independant” sites or blogs whose perspectives are always skewed in one direction while proclaining that they merely “report” things or give analysis.

    Ivan is outstanding and does a great job, the entire MMAweekly staff deserve kudos for their hard work and professionalism. I also want to mention Zack and the great stuff he does here. It is a shame that some of the others are unable, or unwilling, to follow the same path.

  13. Carson Wells says:

    I can’t really add to or retract from the comments made about the UFC writers writing pieces which flatter the UFC, but the whole rematch thing is not making sense. First of all if there are no or few rematches at this point in time then you either have fewer shows (which no MMA fan could want), or you have shows featuring bouts between unknown fighters. Though the unknowns sometime surprise us with entertaining bouts, I would rather spend 40 bucks on well known fighters, rematch or otherwise.
    The rematches also make perfect sense from a marketing viewpoint. No promoter is going to trust a product which generates around 400k PPV sales to a bunch of unknown fighters. Those fights belong on ESPN2 at midnight on a Tuesday. Hopefully MMA will gain a weekly spot on cable to feature some of the lesser known fighters, but as for the bigger PPV events I’ll stick with what I know.

  14. Ivan Trembow says:

    I was not referring to the merits of that particular article. As someone said on the MMAWeekly Forum, if I want Xbox game reviews, I’m not going to ask Microsoft. It was the larger point that I was referring to, not any single article.

  15. Zach Arnold says:

    Chuck Liddell talks to the Calgary Sun about his upcoming fight with Babalu and the potential fight against Silva.

    I thought it was interesting how he was trying his best to put over Babalu, but yet seem almost dismissive about Silva. Here’s the quote I point to re: on this point:

    For the always-cool Liddell, he maintains it’s just another day at the office and, if he has his way, not a very long one.

    “I don’t think Wanderlei will make it out of the first round,” he says.


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