Now that the dust is starting to clear on Stipe Miocic versus Daniel Cormier three; we can judge where it rates in the pantheon of trilogy greatness. One can only truly judge by going back into the deep history books of MMA.
We've been blessed to see so many wonderful wars either in the ring or the cage. And we have sadly not been blessed to see others that if all things were equal, should have happened.
While Stipe - DC may not be anywhere near people's most memorable or favorite trilogies, it will be for the two of them for obviously different reasons. Thinking of some that would have been amazing to see, you can lead off with Michael Chandler versus Eddie Alvarez. And had "The Underground King" signed with Bellator as a free agent, Scott Coker absolutely would have looked to book that fight.
One of the best and deadliest ever, Mirko Cro Cop is on both ends of the ledger here. His 3-time dance with Josh Barnett was incredible to watch. But at the same time, one of his greatest times ever was against Wanderlei Silva at Pride Final Conflict Absolute. That 1st round destruction of the Brazilian was payback for the 2002 draw. And it's a shame they never locked horns again.
We were lucky to see "The Axe Murderer" and Quinton Jackson slug it out a trilogy plus one. And it happened across 3 different organizations. Two quick finishes in PRIDE for Silva was followed by losses in the UFC and Bellator. But at that point, both had slowed significantly.
Three others we were lucky to see were absolute classics. Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar, and Fedor Emelianenko against "Minotauro" Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira himself.
A hat trick we missed out on include: Alistair Overeem against Mauricio Rua, and two that still may someday happen in Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes, and Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz. The four of them are such competitors, it's hard to imagine by careers end they don't.
Now every fight takes something out of a fighter, some more than others. Yet the gold standard for in cage wars is Rory MacDonald and Robby Lawler 2. For eternity people will point to that fight and say "WOW, just WOW". The fact a 3rd fight couldn't happen brings a tear to many people's eyes.
At the same time, the majority of trilogy wars are in the mid to bigger weight classes. But one of the best wars which spilled over to outside hatred is the three Dominick Cruz versus Urijah Faber battles. And yes after the careers wrapped up (at least for Dom, the hatchet was buried).
Two of the other hands-down best trilogies ever are Randy Couture against Chuck Liddell where so much was on the line besides just bragging rights. And the other is Matt Hughes versus Georges St-Pierre. And because of the two decisive wins by GSP, if you call Hughes the best welterweight ever, he will correct you and say it was Georges.
And two that would have, could have, and should have happened were Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo. Especially since "Mighty Mouse" took the 1st one relatively easy and Henry was coming into his own in the rematch. The other might be the granddaddy of them all. Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier. At either light heavy or heavyweight. Those two are by far the most linked MMA fighters ever. They bring out such bad blood with each other it's hard not to watch.
That's why that Batman and Joker, that yin and yang, is the best trilogy that never happened, which is a loss for the masses.Published 20 Aug 2020, 03:35 IST