I think in fighting sports like mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling, etc it's easy to spark intense rivalries. It's the only sport where your honor and glory is on the line every single time you compete. It's the closest thing we have today to modern day gladiators.
Think about it. It's on you if you get knocked out. You can't really blame anyone but yourself. Not to mention the fact that everyone wants to be the best. So, if you feel threatened by a competitor, that could easily manifest itself into a rivalry - or a beef.
So here they are seven of the best fighting beefs of recent memory:
1. Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm
The beef: In the "kick heard around the world," Holly Holm cemented one of the most intense beefs in all of sports today. Also, almost certainly the female fighting beef with the most visibility that we've ever seen.
Who has the edge: Holly Holm. She knocked her out. But we'll see if that rematch ever happens and who will win that. For now, though, we have to give the edge to Holly.
2. Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson
The beef: We haven't had the level of name recognition for heavyweight fighters like this since the late '90s when they were ahead of the game. Tyson and Holyfield were household names, and at the highest level - heavyweights. Of course, the legendary aspect to Tyson biting Holyfield's ear off in their fight in Las Vegas in 1997 plays into the beef now. Recently, though, they've made amends and become good friends.
Who's got the edge: While Tyson may have lost the battle in '97, he won the proverbial war. Appearing in multiple movies, having an animated series, and just being more of a legend, Tyson probably won out in the beef with Holyfield. However, the two are buds now and all is well (even though, y'know, the ear thing).
It's okay, they're friends!
3. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao
The beef: Sure, this beef ended on a relatively boring note, with no knockout and Floyd Mayweather boxing in a very defensive and elusive manner. But the lead-up to this bout was unbelievably heated. There was lots of uncertainty as to whether this fight would ever happen and years of getting it set up. There was also a racial and geographical element to the beef that made it even more intense.
Who has the edge: Floyd Mayweather won, plain and simple. And while Pacquiao might be a great fighter, he proved to be outclassed in the ring. Floyd is likely to retire undefeated and Pacquiao with a couple losses under his belt.
4. The Rock and Triple H
The beef: This hilarious encounter between the two pretty much explains their beef. Sure, it's wrestling, but this beef is iconic regardless.
Who has the edge: The edge here has to go to The Rock... or should I say Dwayne Johnson? Triple H is a beast, but The Rock has much more going on with a bustling A-list acting career to hold onto to help him sleep at night.
5. Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell
The beef: They used to be training partners. You could say the beef was one of mutual respect, but Chuck would get the better of him all the time. Tito was the long standing champ at LHW and was avoiding Chuck because he didn't want to lose his belt. As you saw above, it didn't end so well for Tito.
Who has the edge: Gotta give the edge to Chuck, especially since he's one of the most well-known UFC fighters of all time.
6. Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor
The beef: McGregor is maybe one of the best shit-talkers ever but we're still about a month away from the time that we get to see Aldo and McGregor fight. However, this...
They're fighting December 12th so we'll see...
Who has the edge: TBD
7. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon
The beef: Regardless of when it ended, when it was in its prime (started in 1998), the beef between Chairman Vince McMahon and arguably the most iconic wrestler, Stone Cold, was one of the most popular feuds of the day, and arguably one of the greatest feuds of all time. Some believe it was this feud alone that kept WWF alive during the Monday Night Wars. The "bottom line," though, is that this feud was good for wrestling. Why? Because "Stone Cold said so."
Who has the edge: Once again, this comes down to the fact that more people know who Stone Cold Steve Austin is compared to Vince McMahon. Stone Cold wins every time.
There are clearly many more, but these ones stood out the most, in my opinion. Add your own below in the comments and let's spark a debate over which of these beefs was the best!