There’s more than just the Featherweight Championship at stake when two of UFC’s fiercest competitors clash in Canada
UFC 240 – Holloway v Edgar, Sunday 28 July, 3am, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
Unbeaten streaks are hard to come by in UFC. It’s difficult enough trying to stop just one opponent from making your face look like a Picasso. But those that manage to do so are lauded as among the hardiest of tough cookies.
Max Holloway’s impressive run of 13 consecutive victories (only Anderson Silva has more with 16) came to a dramatic end in April when he fell short against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236. But the American can make amends this weekend when he defends his Featherweight Championship against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240, live on BT Sport.
For Holloway, this upcoming fight is about retaining his belt and restoring his reputation as one of the toughest fighters in the business. For former lightweight champion Edgar, it’s a great opportunity to become only the seventh multi-division champion in UFC history.
Is Holloway about to rediscover the taste of victory, or is this the beginning of the end for one of UFC’s biggest stars? Find out more about some of sport’s most incredible unbeaten streaks below – and what happened after they ended…
Arsène Wenger built some imperious teams while in charge of the Gunners (and some pretty shocking ones too) but none of them had the swagger or steel of his Invincibles. A monumental 38-game unbeaten run in the Premier League saw them stroll to the 2003/04 title, but their strong start to the next campaign (nine wins, one draw) came undone when they were beaten 2-0 by rivals Manchester United.
What happened next? Arsenal lost four more matches during the 2004/05 season and finished second behind José Mourinho’s Chelsea. They’ve not won the Premier League since 2003/04.
United States Men’s National Basketball Team
Death. Taxes. America dominating men’s basketball at the Olympics. Some things in life are just inevitable. The USA won an incredible 63 games in a row between 1936 and 1972 – a run that also yielded seven gold medals. Their superiority came to a screeching halt in a controversial 1972 final, however, when they lost 51-50 to the Soviet Union.
What happened next? Despite a hugely bitter fallout from their 1972 defeat, the Americans dusted themselves off to win their next 21 Olympic matches. Who was it that ended their second impressive unbeaten run? The Soviets. Again.
De La Salle Spartans
Between 1992 and 2004, Californian high school De La Salle won 151 consecutive American football games. Let’s go over that again: between 1992 and 2004 Californian high school De La Salle won 151 consecutive American football games. A national record, this frankly ridiculous streak came to an end when the team, who were coached by the legendary Bob Ladouceur, lost to Bellevue. Pigs were reportedly seen flying over the stadium after the final whistle.
What happened next? The Spartans struggled to recover from such a seismic defeat. They failed to win their next two matches before getting back on track with a victory over Archbishop Mitty High School. In 2014, their 151-game unbeaten run was made into the movie When The Game Stands Tall, starring Jim Caviezel and Laura Dern.
An undisputed tennis great, Navratilova won 74 singles matches on the bounce in 1984. The Czech-born American collected three Grand Slam singles titles over the course of a staggering 12 months on the court, before eventually losing in the Australian Open semi-finals. What’s just as amazing is the fact that she also won all four Grand Slam doubles titles with partner Pam Shriver in the same year.
What happened next? The following year was almost as remarkable for Navratilova, with two Grand Slam singles titles and two doubles titles among her haul in 1985. She continued to pick up major titles throughout the rest of the 1980s, ending her amazing career with 59 Grand Slam titles.
Cyprus men’s rugby union team
When you think of international rugby powerhouses, Cyprus probably don’t instantly spring to mind. However, they hold the record for most consecutive wins on the world stage with 24 notched up between 2008 and 2014. The run was ended by a 39-20 defeat to Latvia. Sure, most of those victories came against the likes of Slovakia, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, but you try winning 24 rugby matches on the spin.
What happened next? It all went wrong. Very wrong indeed. Cyprus have played 18 matches since their defeat to Latvia, of which they have lost 12. Easy come, easy go, eh?
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