No re-match for me, please

NIGEL YALDEN
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2013

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In combat sports, it is rare for a rematch to better the original contest.

There are some exceptions to this rule.

The most notable that sprung to my mind were Sugar Ray Leonard v Roberto Duran II - known as the "No Mas" fight, Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manual Marquez II - the ironically named "Unfinished Business" given that the duo would fight two more times - and Bret "Hitman" Hart v "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13, just four months removed from their outstanding bout at the 1996 edition of Survivor Series.

If you want to draw a slightly longer bow, we could throw in Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier because the peerless "Thriller in Manila" exceeded the "Fight of the Century" though there was a forgettable bout in between those two epics.

But for the most part return bouts at the highest level, even the contrived ones of professional wrestling, come up well short of expectations.

That's due largely to a combination of too much and/or unobtainable hype from overzealous promoters and broadcasters and the fact that the combatants, having actually fought rather than just watched footage of their opponent, have a greater knowledge, understanding and appreciation of what to expect.

Hence it is highly probable that I'm the only Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fan who does not want to see heavyweights Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva fight for a second time.

What those two men produced inside the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last Saturday could not be repeated, matched or exceeded.

It was five rounds of unrequited brutality.

Over the course of those 25 minutes, these two fighters did to each other everything allowable under the rules of a UFC fight and how both men were still standing when the final bell rang is completely beyond this observer's comprehension.

But that is where this in-ring story should end.

Mark Hunt and Antonia Silva gained so much from that bout in terms of enhanced reputations, increased marketability and worldwide exposure after producing a battle some are proclaiming as the Mixed Martial Arts fight of the year.

Their stocks in UFC have never been higher.

However, they would risk losing it all (and then some) should they step back into the Octagon to face each other again.

Rematches are driven by emotion and greed.

The response from the fans who want Hunt/Silva II is an emotive reaction based on the adrenaline rush caused by such a colossal battle and one that is completely understandable.

Thankfully, neither Hunt nor Silva strike me as the greedy type. While you suspect UFC boss Dana White, loyal and shrewd operator that he is, will reward these two fighters with prominent bouts in the not-to-distant future, please Dana, not against each other.

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NIGEL YALDEN IS A WAIKATO BASED SPORTS COMMENTATOR FOR NEWSTALK ZB AND RADIO SPORT

- Waikato Times

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