Sunday, September 2, 2012
Interim world champion is just a TITLE
Carlos Condit, interim world champion; figuratively speaking, seven months later it is now quite evident that was his title all along. After winning that belt on February 5th in a lackluster performance against Nate Diaz, Condit (pictured @ left), will finally put that title on the line against, the actual world champion; how convenient?
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (22-2, 8 KO's 5 subs), due to a serious knee injury, has not fought since his last title defense against Jake Shields. That fight was on April 30, 2011, 16 months ago; during that same time span Carlos Condit (26-5, 13, KO's, 13 subs) without injury only fought twice, which included the interim title fight with Diaz. St. Pierre tore ligaments in his knee while preparing for his next title defense.
With St. Pierre suffering an injury that would clearly keep him on the shelf for a long time, the UFC decided it was best to create an interim world champion. This was so the title in a stacked welterweight division, where there are numerous contenders, would not lay dormant. Logically this makes sense and in theory, it's not a bad idea; however, in practice it was a waste.
In reality it turns out, that interim championship fight between Condit and Diaz was nothing more than a glorified number one contender match. That is because Condit will end up fighting St. Pierre in his first fight back from injury on November 17, 2012. More than nine months between winning the interim championship and fighting the actual champ, Condit did not compete. Therefore, I ask the question, what purpose did it serve in giving him the interim title?
As I previously stated above, I was under the impression it was so that the welterweight championship could remain active while St. Pierre, the actual champion, recovered from injury. Apparently I was wrong because Condit conveniently held onto that title without ever defending it, even though there were a bevy of contenders he could have fought. On a weekend, where a pay-per-view event had to be canceled because a UFC champion refused to fight a replacement opponent, this doesn't sound so good.
Since winning the interim belt in February, top contenders such as Martin Kampmann, Jake Ellenberger, Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks were forced to beat up on each other because Carlos Condit figured it was in his best interest to wait and fight the champion. That's great for Condit, but not so great for the UFC who have suddenly developed a stable of champions who pick and choose when and who they want to fight.
Some, including UFC President Dana White, may not see it that way, but all I know is that this weekend there was no UFC 151 event and there has not been a welterweight title defense in 16 months. Therefore, if you seem to be having an issue with world champions refusing to defend their titles in a timely manner, why increase the problem by creating interim champions who are seemingly doing the same? Because when you get right down to it, interim world champion is just a TITLE.
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