ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

Whenever you put two men or women, or two fighters inside a cage even, anything can happen.

You could have a Brazilian black belt looking across the cage at a 350-pound man and if the big guy lands a punch to the face, the black belt won't matter.

So in the world of MMA, just because a fighter dominates one time doesn't mean the same result the second time. Sometimes it's quite the opposite. UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold will defend his title against Michael Bisping, in a rematch fueled by bad blood between the two fighters.

In the first fight, Rockhold dominated, winning by second-round submission. Rockhold went into the fight mad because Bisping had claimed that he rattled Rockhold in a sparring match. Now, Bisping will get a rematch against Rockhold, this time for the championship at UFC 199. Can Bisping win? Of course, he can. But how can he do it? Just do what these guys did. Duh.

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos II

There was a time when Velasquez was groomed to be the Oscar De La Hoya of heavyweights, the Mexican crossover star, in a heavy weight class. Velasquez was set to conquer the world and the mainstream U.S. Hispanic advertising market, when he walked into the UFC on FOX 1 against Dos Santos.

Fresh off a victory over Brock Lesnar, Velasquez was supposed to walk through Dos Santos. Ninety-one seconds later Dos Santos was champion and Velasquez was thinking about what went wrong. But Velasquez didn't pull a Buster Douglas and fade away. He trained, recovered from a knee injury and prepared for the rematch. And boy, was he ready.

Velasquez pounded Dos Santos for five wicked rounds. Velasquez gave him the kind of beating that made even MMA fans uncomfortable, winning a unanimous decision and probably shaving a few years off the career of Dos Santos in the process. (Velasquez would smash Dos Santos even worse in a third fight).

Velasquez guarded against Dos Santos' power and changed the fight from a stand-up battle to a ground game, and the results were much different from the first fight.

Cung Le vs. Scott Smith II

Cung Le was one of MMA's most dangerous kickboxers. A San Shou expert, Le kicks broke bones -- literally, just ask Frank Shamrock. He didn't have the greatest chin, jiu-jitsu, or cardio in the world, and it takes a lot of energy to throw those kicks.

In his first fight with Scott "Hands of Stone" Smith, Le was supposed to walk right through him, on his way to a middleweight title show. He almost did that. Le battered him for three rounds, but in the third Smith proved his moniker was more than myth and delivered a left hand followed by several punches to knock Le out and ruin his undefeated streak.

So, of course, there had to be a rematch.

And this time it would be different. Le continued to batter Smith, but this time didn't let the fight get into the latter rounds. Le decked Smith with a wicked kick to the ribs, and a few blows later, it was over. Revenge was sweet. Le could have knocked anyone out with those kicks. He started his MMA career late, but had he not, he could have been an MMA legend.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Serra 2

Remember that guy Georges St-Pierre, who disappeared faster than MC Hammer in the '90s? Yeah, he was on track to becoming the greatest fighter in the world, until he decided to take his ball and go home, after squeaking out a decision victory over Johny Hendricks.

St-Pierre has been missing since 2013, leaving after winning 12 straight fights. The last fight that St-Pierre lost was to a guy named Matt Serra, who was never supposed to win. GSP should have walked right through him, but it rarely works out that way. Serra hit GSP in the face, and GSP crumbled. But that was just the first fight.

In the rematch GSP remembered he was superman, a Canadian superhero and a man who Ronda Rousey believes is sexy. He knocked him out with a knee to the body in the second round, after dominating the fight. All was good. And GSP, on his treadmill, never looked back.

Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell 2

Going back to the glory days of the UFC here and two of the pioneers of the sport.

Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were the early guys who made watching the UFC at bars destination entertainment. And the first time they scrapped, Couture pulled off the upset of epic proportions.

Liddell, the younger man, was the sport's rising star. An incredible striker, he was supposed to hammer Couture and emerge as an even greater crossover star. But Couture, already an MMA legend, used his skills as a wrestler to take Liddell down and mount him. Liddell's greatest strength was as a striker, so when you are on your back, you're at a disadvantage. Couture got the full mount and nailed him until the ref stopped it.

But lightning doesn't often strike twice in the same place.

In the rematch, Liddell kept his poise, swung his arms and did what he was supposed to do in the first fight ... FIGHT. He turned the fight into a melee and, Stipe Miocic style, knocked Couture out with right hand while going backwards. He turned the tables and showed that luck can win a fight, but it can't sustain itself over time.

Ultimately skill prevails. Liddell would go on to knock Couture out again in a third fight.

Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir

The moral of this story is don't piss off Brock Lesnar. He was a beast, is a beast and will be a beast until he dies. So when he was an MMA novice he stepped inside the cage with Frank Mir in his second professional fight. Guess what happened. Mir tapped Lesnar out with an ankle lock and all the hype around Lesnar sort of fizzled.

Lesnar actually did OK in his first round, but he had a lapse in judgment and found himself submitting in the Octagon. But hell hath no fury like a man with a giant sword on his chest. Mir apparently wasn't very humble in victory and Lesnar promised to rearrange his face in the rematch. And that's what happened.

Lesnar Mir 2 was the equivalent of the first Scream movie. It was horrifying and funny at the same time. Lesnar knocked Mir while splattering his blood all over the Octagon. After the fight he got in his face and jaw-jacked with him, just to remind him who was in charge. Lesnar won the fight and then went on to win the UFC heavyweight championship.


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