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7 UFC Dream Matches That Never Happened

Tank Abb
Tank Abbott and Ken Shamrock never clashed inside the Octagon
Paul Benson
Modified 04 Aug 2018, 17:12 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

There have been many marquee fantasy matches that have taken place inside the Octagon such as Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock vs Royce Gracie and Wanderlei Silva vs Chuck Liddell, but there have been many more that never have. This list runs down the 7 most anticipated matches that never took place.

#7 Ken Shamrock vs Tank Abbott

Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott were two of the most popular and enduring stars of the early era of the UFC in the mid-1990s and its later resurgence in the early 2000s when MMA was finally embraced into the mainstream.

However, somewhat surprisingly, Shamrock and Abbott never crossed paths with each other.

Why didn't it happen?

There were windows for this to happen, most notably in 1996 and 2003. However, it never did. Shamrock was Superfight Champion while Abbott was competing in UFC tournaments. Abbott never won and therefore never earned a shot at Shamrock.

There were rumours of a bout between the pair as recently as 2009, albeit outside the UFC which likely would have materialised had Shamrock not tested positive for steroids following his victory over Ross Clifton. 

Who would have won?

Whatever the era, Shamrock would have won this fight. It would be at its least competitive in 1996, when Shamrock's knees were still healthy enough for him to take Abbott down to the mat. This match would have played out similarly to Shamrock's victory over Kimo at UFC 8, with Shamrock the winner by submission.

#6 Jon Jones vs Brock Lesnar

Jon Jones vs Brock Lesnar: Could the dream bout finally occur in 2019?

One of the few matches on this list that could still conceivably happen, even if the window is small.

Lesnar and Jones have been rumoured to clash for years, and both are well-rounded strikers and wrestlers that would unquestionably match up very well in the Octagon.

Much like Lesnar, Jones is currently serving a suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. This bout could occur in 2019, maybe with the UFC Heavyweight Championship at stake.

Why didn't it happen?

Jones debuted in the UFC, just prior to Lesnar winning the Heavyweight Championship and built his reputation whilst Lesnar was out of action injured. When Lesnar returned, Jones was Light-Heavyweight Champion. Soon after Lesnar re-joined WWE.

Who would have won?

We may find out in 2019, but had this bout occurred in 2009, then Lesnar's greater UFC experience would likely have been the deciding factor. Had the bout occurred in 2011, then a more experienced Jones would likely have been able to take Lesnar down to the mat with his strikes and found a way to finish the fight.

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Published 03 Aug 2018, 18:33 IST
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