Joe Silva has the best job on the planet. This man spends his days planning fights. He creates a path for a contender to rise to the championship. He gives the newcomer interesting challenges. He gets to claim that he set up the legendary fights that no one will forget. The man lives and breathes fighting.
He also has the worst job. Fights fall through all the time. Fighters get injured, they fail drug tests, and sometimes shit just happens for the weirdest of reasons. And then he has to scramble to find a replacement, all the while bearing the disappointment of the fight that didn't happen. But perhaps worst of all, everyone else thinks they could do his job better than he can. And far more often than decrying a fight that is planned, we complain about the fights that don't happen.
More after the break.
As fans, the greatest fights are often the ones that didn't happen. As we know, the idea of a fight is often very different from what actually happens. Fights that look fantastic on paper don't always deliver, and we're often pleasantly surprised by fights that weren't very appealing. With that in mind, we as fans don't anticipate a stinker. Every (imaginary) fight is FOTY, even if we know they aren't going to happen. We love to pine for the fights that should've happened. Perhaps the moment has passed and two greats never met, like Randy/Fedor. Maybe there's still a chance, like GSP/Diaz. Or maybe there's a matchup in your head that you know will never happen, but it should, damnit!
My own personal favorite was Condit/Penn. When it was announced, I was merely excited. Then our own NickTheFace did his magic, and I went from excited, to drooling, to BRRRAAWA. I spent weeks anticipating, watching tape, trying the figure out how it would play out. Words do not describe how excited I was. I was fucking pumped.
Of course, everyone knows what happened. Nick Diaz decided he didn't like "all those fucking conferences, you know, fuck. Man ...fuck" OK, so I made up that quote. But still, when his fight with GSP was cancelled and Condit given the shot, it broke up Condit/Penn, and I was left with a superb hype video and a broken heart.
So this begs the question, what is the greatest fight that never happened? Of course there's no single answer, but maybe there shouldn't be. After all, everyone one of us looks for something a little different in a fight. Condit/Penn is the fight that makes my heart rate go up. It gives me shivers. Hopefully there's one that does that for you.