Photo by Esther Lin for SBNation
Rematches are a funny thing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
I remember a match-up from UFC 43 between Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. "The Natural" had dropped down to 205-pounds from heavyweight to take on Liddell when Tito Ortiz, for one reason or another, refused to step inside the Octagon against "The Iceman."
Just about everyone expected Liddell to win the interim title, especially considering he was riding a 10-fight win streak while Couture was coming off back-to-back losses to Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez.
What followed was a shocking dismantling of the champion by "Captain America," who would then go on to unify his interim title with Ortiz's championship.
A little less than two years later, the two men met inside the Octagon for a second time following their coaching stint on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). At UFC 52, the result couldn't have been more different.
After being dominated for nearly three rounds in 2003, Liddell roared back in 2005 with a two minute knockout.
So what do a couple of UFC events from over half a decade ago have to do with tonight's (August 4) UFC on Fox 4 event?
UFC President Dana White has said one of the four light heavyweights on the upper half of tonight's event could be the next contender for 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones.
The only problem is "Bones" has defeated all of them, and quite handily, in fact.
Why would any fan want to see either of them rematch Jones?
UFC 52. Or UFC 59 where Tim Sylvia rematched Andrei Arlovski and knocked him out to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. How about UFC 65 and UFC 83 when Georges St. Pierre exorcised a pair of demons or UFC 100, which saw Brock Lesnar exact revenge on Frank Mir? Then there's UFC... well, you get the idea.
Nothing is absolute in mixed martial arts (MMA). Upsets happen all the time and the ending of one fight does not necessarily mean it will be replicated the second time around.
Yes, Jones has defeated all four men but no, that doesn't mean any interest in a rematch with any of them should be quelled. To do so would be shortsighted and would disregard the sport's rich history of often producing the unexpected.
So if one of the four light heavyweights on tonight's main card once again steps inside the Octagon with Jones, don't write it off as a foregone conclusion the champ will retain.
Because in MMA, anything can happen.