Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kerr-Gracie Tops the List of 10 Fights That Could Have Been

Originally posted on Sherdog.com

1. Royce Gracie vs. Mark Kerr

During MMA’s early years, the sport served as a vehicle to find the most effective martial art. In the 1990s, many of the most popular bouts were strict style-versus-style matchups. A debate that continues today revolves around whether Brazilian jiu-jitsu or amateur wrestling serves as the most effective base for MMA.

Two fighters who could have ended the debate 10 years ago were Kerr and Gracie. The latter was the star of the Gracie jiu-jitsu infomercials that were the first UFC events and caused BJJ schools to mushroom in the United States. While Gracie, at 6-foot, 175 pounds, did beat a strong wrestler in Dan Severn at UFC 4, he had never faced a physical specimen like Kerr during his first five UFC events. As a result, fight fans demanded that he fight the “Smashing Machine.” Pride, which was responsible for promoting the most memorable super fights at the time, heard the fans’ pleas and tried to make the match happen. To everyone’s surprise, the fight almost came to fruition; event posters with Gracie and Kerr on them were even printed. Then on Christmas Eve 1997, a little over three weeks before the show was supposed to take place, Gracie pulled out with a bulging disc in his back. That deprived fight fans around the world from perhaps the most important fight in the history of the sport, one that could have ended the tiresome wrestling-versus-BJJ debate once and for all.

Click here to read the entire article at Sherdog.com



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