Chuck Liddell announced his return to mixed martial arts recently, almost nine years after he was inducted in the UFC’s hall of fame. At the tender age of forty-eight, the majority of the MMA community do not support Chuck’s decision to return to the sport having not tasted victory in the octagon for over a decade.
The announcement of Chuck’s return got us thinking… who would we like to see don the infamous 4-ounce gloves again?
Notable Victories: Jens Pulver (x2), Dominick Cruz
Achievements: Most succesful WEC champion, with five title defenses. Most wins, finishes and submissions in UFC bantamweight history
There’s no doubt that Urijah Faber has warranted his place in the UFC’s Hall of Fame. The Californian Kid turned thirty-nine recently and is almost eighteen months into retirement, since outpointing fellow legend Brad Pickett in his home state at UFC on FOX 22.
After four unsuccessful attempts to clinch UFC gold, as well as the growing success of his gym Team Alpha Male… it would be hard to find motivation for Urijah to return to the octagon. Faber has shared the cage with some of the best in the sport over his thirteen-year career including Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar and Dominick Cruz to name a few!
Could we see Faber make the walk just one more time? Sign me up!
Potential Matchups: Frankie Saenz & Iuri Alcantara
Notable Victories: Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira & Andrei Arlovski
Achievements: Second most knockouts in UFC history (level with Anderson Silva). Four performance of the night bonuses, only Conor McGregor has more!
One of the scariest men to ever set foot inside the octagon. You can’t doubt the devastating knockout power of Anthony Johnson, with only Daniel Cormier able to defeat “Rumble” at his optimum weight class of 205lbs.
Johnson initially competed at 170lbs, as well as at heavyweight before tearing through the light heavyweight division. The American was to fall short on his two challenges for UFC gold, in almost identical matchups against Daniel Cormier. Being submitted for the second time signalled the end of Johnson’s octagon career, with a shock retirement at the end of the rematch.
It would be a shame not to see Anthony Johnson return to such a shallow division, especially with Cormier due to retire next year. Come back Rumble!
Potential Matchups: Alexander Gustafsson, Ilir Latifi & Volkan Oezdemir
Notable Victories: Holly Holm & Marloes Coenen
Achievements: Strikeforce & UFC bantamweight champion. Women’s MMA pioneer
One of the biggest influencers on the sport, Miesha Tate announced her retirement in November 2016 after sliding to consecutive losses to current champion Amanda Nunes and recent challenger Raquel Pennington.
The current restriction blocking Tate’s return to the octagon is the fact she is about to give birth to a daughter, after settling down with TUF 25 competitor Johnny Nunez. At just thirty-one, you’d think that ‘Cupcake” would still have a lot to offer to a division lacking star name value since the departures of Tate and Rousey.
I never thought I’d say this… but I’d love to hear Katy Perry’s Roar being blared out again! Bring back Miesha!
Potential Matchups: Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm & Sara McMann
Notable Victories: Miesha Tate (x2), Cat Zingano, Sara McMann
Achievements: First Olympic medallist to become a UFC champion. Holds record for second and third fastest finishes in a title fight, behind Conor McGregor’s knockout of Jose Aldo.
Love her or hate her, there’s no doubt that Ronda Rousey is one of the biggest stars to ever grace the sport. She completely tore through every bantamweight put in front of her, with only Miesha Tate making it out of the first round.
That was until Holly Holm pulled off one of the greatest upsets in history, stopping Rousey’s incredible run on an incredible night at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. The devastating loss led to a thirteen-month hiatus from the public eye, before an abrupt return to attempt to regain her bantamweight crown lasted just forty-eight seconds as Amanda Nunes completely mauled her at UFC 207 in Las Vegas.
Whilst there’s doubts about Rousey’s ability, in particular her striking… it would be great to have her back in the sport. She has the star power that the sport lacks in the absence of Conor McGregor and Brock Lesnar!
Potential Matchups: Miesha Tate, Holly Holm & Cat Zingano
Notable Victories: Frank Mir & Randy Couture
Achievements: NCAA All-American on two occasions. Generated over seven million pay-per-view buys in his eight fights.
Speaking of star quality… Brock Lesnar is one of the biggest (quite literally) personalities and draws in mixed martial arts. The only issue is, can Lesnar compete whilst under the USADA testing regime?
His return against Mark Hunt was controversial to say the least, and it leaves the UFC with a duty to ensure that Lesnar completes a minimum of six-months of clean testing before he can be cleared to compete again. Lesnar could be considered to be one of the men who dragged the sport into the limelight, eventually leading to the $4.2 billion sale.
Lesnar’s name, and the fact Stipe Miocic has cleared the majority of the heavyweight contenders leaves the WWE star in title contention if he was to return to the sport. Will we see Lesnar in the octagon again?
Potential Matchups: Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, Alistair Overeem
Who would you like to see return to the octagon?