…is a fight that should be booked immediately.* Here are five reasons why.
(1) UFC 105 is in desperate need of a main event. The rumored fight between Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping ain’t happening. Instead, the face of British MMA is facing off against Denis Kang. The options for a main event at this point are about as limited as my sexual repertoire. Anyone with any name value whatsoever is booked for a fight or otherwise unavailable.
Henderson vs. Marquardt is a fight that the fans want to see, it’s a fight between two guys who have a lot of buzz right now, and it’s a fight that has significant title implications. At the same time, neither Hendo or Marquardt have the name value of Brock Lesnar or Chuck Liddell, meaning you won’t be giving away a potential million buy pay-per-view for free.
Got all that? Basically, this one is tailor made to headline a big show on Spike TV.
(2) The fight will determine the true top contender for the belt. This one is so obvious that it’s nauseating. Hendo and Marquardt have both done enough to earn a title shot. Both have strong arguments in their favor. I don’t know how we could solve this. Oh wait. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it before: cage fight.
In this sport, we can literally decide problems with a cage fight. Just imagine if that option was available to solve problems in other sports. Kobe and Shaq would have met in the Octagon. Same goes for Jeter and A-Rod. Not to mention Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. Let’s also not forget Magic Johnson and AIDS. I could go on all night.
(3) Both men have already lost to Anderson Silva. Generally, it’s tough to sell a fight where the challenger has already been beaten decisively by the champion. Putting either guy in a title fight and saving the other for a potential shot down the road could theoretically create two rematches for Silva in a row. While that isn’t an ideal situation for most fans, it’ll be even more depressing for Silva since he’s constantly talking about how he wants to be challenged and all that nonsense.
(4) Putting this fight on free TV will exponentially increase the interest in Anderson Silva’s next title defense. Both Marquardt and Henderson looked very impressive in their previous outings. Despite that, Silva would still be the heavy favorite against either man in a rematch right now. Having the two face off gives the winner more credibility heading into a title fight which will in turn make the fight appear closer which will in turn create more buzz. And buzz equals buys.
(5) Anderson Silva wants time off. The man is not only the pound-for-pound king but he’s also the most dominant champion in the history of the sport. He’s got more UFC records than he knows what to do with. If he wants to take a bit of time off, I would say he’s earned that right.
Having him go back up to 205 right now doesn’t make any sense. Machida needs a couple defenses before a superfight between the two makes sense (and that’s if they agreed to fight). If Shogun wins, same deal. Any other bout at 205 worth seeing would involve Silva knocking off a contender or someone who isn’t even champion taking out the pound-for-pound king.
As much as I want to see Silva fight, having him sit out until Marquardt and Henderson figure this shit out is better for everyone.
* To quote the legendary Farva, “I got you good, you fucker.”