Five MMA rematches that happened too late

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Danny Howard

July 30th, 2021

In MMA, rematches often happen timely and at a point where it means something in the grand scheme.

But there are instances, much like the long-overdue Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler rematch, where too much time between bouts diminished what could have been.

Let's look at five MMA rematches that happened too late.

Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman II

When Hall and Weidman first met, in 2010, Weidman handed the undefeated Hall his first loss and took his Ring of Combat middleweight title.

Weidman went on to a decorated career in the UFC and even defeated Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, but Hall was always was a step or two behind.

The two finally fought again, 11 years later, at UFC 261, which featured a gruesome and anti-climactic ending, when Weidman broke his tibia before Hall even had a chance to throw a punch.

Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort II

Couture and Belfort faced off for the first time at UFC 15, all the way back in 1997, and Couture scored the improbable upset.

The two continued to build their legacies, but it took seven years for them to meet again. It was hardly worth the wait.

A loose seam from Belfort’s glove opened a pulsating gash over Couture’s eye, which caused the doctors to award Belfort the win just 49 seconds in.

Their third bout came immediately afterward, and Couture came out on top again.

BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes III

The Penn-Hughes trilogy helped grow the UFC into the monster it is today.

The two split their welterweight title fights in 2004 and 2006. They were the promotion’s best fighters, but by the time their third fight happened, in 2010, they were shells of their former selves.

It was evident Penn had more left in the tank, as he knocked out Hughes in 21 seconds, but Penn fought for nine more years and never won again.

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson II

Bisping’s incredible middleweight title win stands as the crowning achievement of his career, but there’s no doubt that his biggest night came when he defended his title against a former conqueror.

Henderson blasted Bisping seven years prior, and many expected Henderson to do it again, even past his prime.

But Bisping would not be denied. In a vicious brawl that went the distance, Bisping outlasted Henderson to even the score.

Timing is everything in combat sports, and while Bisping’s win was deserved, it was clearly the only time he could have defeated Henderson.

Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva IV

While Jackson and Silva engaged in one of the greatest, most violent trilogies of the modern MMA era, their fourth fight was a sad sight to see.

With their best days behind them, it was clear the faded pair needed each other to make a quick buck, 11 years removed from their last bout.

In a special Bellator event, Jackson effortlessly stopped his old foe to even their series, 2-2, in a fight that probably shouldn’t have happened.

MMA fans should take a page out of the Indiana Jones movies — remember the trilogy and forget the fourth ever happened.