So, the other day, I took a look at one match that would be a crowd pleaser: Tom DeBlass vs Dean Lister.
Going through the process of looking at why that match would be such an amazing opportunity for the grappling community got me thinking about other potential dream-match-ups. Many of these will never come to fruition, but they would still be amazing opportunities for any promoter with enough cash to put the match-up together.
Here’s my top 10 list of superfight match-ups:
Gordon Ryan vs Roger Gracie
If anyone can topple Gordon Ryan it’s the guy who hasn’t been submitted since he was a blue belt. Roger Gracie is undeniably one of the greatest competitors the sport of jiu-jitsu has ever seen, and it would be a delight to watch him compete against the current king of no-gi submission only.
Teddy Riner vs Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida
If you don’t know who Teddy Riner is, that’s because you don’t follow judo. Look the guy up. Teddy is a 6’8, 300-pound monster who has demolished just about everyone that the judo community has served up to him.
Buchecha is, well, Buchecha.
They should do a match in the gi.
Mackenzie Dern vs Ronda Rousey
I like match-ups like this because both of these women are phenomenal athletes who put on a show every single time they compete. Mackenzie’s game is downright flawless and it would be a great match-up especially given Rousey’s penchant for the armbar.
Tom DeBlass or Dean Lister vs Josh Barnett
After DeBlass competes against Dean Lister, I think the winner should get a match against Josh Barnett. Barnett has proven himself twice on the sub-only scene, and DeBlass competed against him at the No-Gi World’s a few years back, losing by three points. It would be a great match. Lister put up a good fight against Barnett before getting submitted in the final 10 seconds of the match, a real crowd-pleaser.
DJ Jackson vs Garry Tonon
If you follow the rampant trash talking on their Facebook pages, you know that Jackson has no love for the Danaher Death Squad. Gordon Ryan would be a decent option for this match too, but given his wins over Rustam Chsiev, who eliminated Jackson from EBI and Keenan Cornelius, Tonon may be a better matchup. Besides, there’s a substantial size difference that doesn’t exist between Jackson and Tonon.
John Danaher vs Lloyd Irvin
This match is probably the least likely on this list given Danaher’s disinterest in competition due to injuries, but it would be an absolute delight to see two masterminds compete in a no gi submission only match.
Bruno Malfacine vs Rafa Mendes
Bruno’s performance against Jeff Glover at EBI was one of the coolest displays in jiu-jitsu history. Both men were so fluid, dynamic and creative in that contest. Speaking of fluidity, dynamism and creativity… Rafa Mendes. This match could be gi or no-gi.
Kayla Harrison vs Dominyka Obelenyte
Dominyka Obelenyte is, for all intents and purposes, the current queen of jiu-jitsu. A match between her and the current judo queen would be an absolutely amazing display.
As another justification for this match: Harrison submitted her opponent with an armbar in the Olympic finals.
This match would be incredible.
Leandro Lo vs Marcelo Garcia
Like the Danaher/Irvin match. this one is unlikely due to Garcia’s injuries.
However, this would be a barn burner. Gi, no-gi, or whatever, this match would be one of the best matches in jiu-jitsu history, given the dynamism and aggression of both of these men.
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs Rodolfo Vieira
This match would be amazing for a few reasons. For starters, Rafael Lovato Jr. is on a tear right now. He’s been winning matches left and right. Rodolfo Vieira has won more of their matches than Lovato has.
These two murderous freaks need to do a sub-only superfight.
Well that’s my top 10 list of dream match-ups.
What are yours?