Friday, October 19, 2012
How much weight does a UFC title belt really hold?
In the sporting world of Mixed Martial Arts the most coveted title in any weight class is a UFC championship. Yet, considering there appears to be no rhyme or reason these days as to who gets a title shot, how much weight does a UFC title belt really hold anyway?
This past week it was announced that UFC light-heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, a former middleweight (185 lbs.) title contender, would be the coaches for the next season of 'The Ultimate Fighter'. At the end of that season, Sonnen, who is coming off a TKO loss in his last fight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, would then fight Jones for his title.
Does this sound logical to anyone other than Dana White, President and promoter of the Ultimate Fighting Championship? Sure, it will sell tickets because that's what Sonnen does; which is why he was pegged for the TV show because he'll help get ratings. However, as far as validating the coveted UFC title seems like all you have to do is talk a good game these days and you'll get a shot.
Just last weekend, though it wasn't for a championship, journeyman light-heavyweight Stephen Bonnar was given a Rocky Balboa type shot at middleweight champ Silva, the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, in a fight contested @ 205. UFC brass says it was a decision made to help save a UFC 153 card in Brazil that was in danger of losing its main event draw Silva. I'm sorry, but why wasn't middleweight contender Chris Weidman, who's undefeated, has a five fight winning streak in the UFC and has been clamoring for a fight with Silva, not given the chance?
Just this week I read an article that said, UFC welterweight Nick Diaz, currently serving a suspension for marijuana usage, would have to win just one contender fight upon coming off suspension before he would be considered for a title shot; This was according to Dana White himself, although he was actually quoted as saying, "He'll probably fight one of the top guys at 170, then we'll see what happens."
Regardless, of whether White said the former or the latter, why is Diaz even in the conversation? He's coming off a suspension and on top of that, he's coming off a loss to Carlos Condit for an interim title. This by the way just adds to my argument today, because Condit's interim championship has served no purpose other than to reserve him a shot at welterweight (170 lbs.) champion Georges St. Pierre. That's a whole other issue I addressed in my blog dated September 2, 2012, which you can read here:
Two months ago, four light-heavyweights headlined a UFC on FOX card, which I thought was to determine, who the number one contender would ultimately be; at least, that's what we were led to believe. Well at this point neither of the two winners is in line for a shot at Jones. Lyoto Machida is being talked about as one of the next coaches for the next season of 'TUF Brazil'; and Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua is scheduled to face contender Alexander Gustaffson in December.
Meanwhile, Gustaffson who is riding a five-fight winning streak and has won 6 out 7 fights in the UFC is still forced to fight for a chance at the belt. Even former champ Rashad Evans, who lost his last fight to Jones back in April, said recently he was told he would have to at least win one fight before he could be considered for another crack at Jones. If that is truly the case, which is more than fair, then how do you justify Sonnen?
He's much smaller than Jones and while he's a talented fighter, he's lost twice to Silva and its safe to say that Jones appears to be a Silva type clone, which is bigger, longer and with better wrestling skills. In my opinion, if the sole purpose of making nonsensical title fights is just to sell tickets, then you are demeaning the value of what a UFC title means; and if that's the case, then how much weight does a UFC title belt really hold?
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