[adinserter name=”366 left”]The fast track to receiving a UFC light heavyweight championship is now clear. The less you fight in the division, the better chance you have of being named number one contender.
2012 was a game changing year in the UFC. It was the first year that the UFC made it perfectly clear that they more interested in business than sport. How else would you explain a sport where the champion is defending his title against two guys that haven’t won fights in his division in years, and set to fight another that has never fought a fight in his entire career at light heavyweight?
Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier has signed his UFC contract and after fulfilling his last obligation to Strikeforce, will step inside the UFC octagon. This is a move that was widely expected for months. What wasn’t expected is that Cormier could be coming to the UFC outside of his division. Even more unexpected is how the heavyweight champion will be greeted by Dana White.
“[Cormier] is going to bring a lot of excitement to the heavyweight or light heavyweight division,” White said. “And he could be next in line to fight (Jon) Jones.”
Back that up! The UFC president is handing a fighter a title shot in a division that he has never even fought in? Has the UFC suddenly turned into DREAM? If Cormier does debut as a challenger to the light heavyweight champion that would make three challengers in a row that haven’t won a fight in the division in years or ever. Say what you will about Chael and Vitor but hey, at least they fought at light heavyweight at one point in their careers!
I don’t think it is a bad thing to make an exception for someone every once in awhile. For example if Jon Jones decided one day that he wants to fight at heavyweight, I wouldn’t have a huge issue at giving him a title shot in his debut. If Georges St-Pierre wanted to move to middleweight, sign me up for a title shot immediately. But Daniel Cormier?
It makes no sense. So Cormier who is a Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion gets an immediate title shot and the actual Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and the last light heavyweight champion have to win fights to get title shots? The idea that Cormier would get a title shot over Dan Henderson who was the actual light heavyweight champion, came to UFC as champion, and has actually defeated top ranked fighters has to take a backseat to Cormier is about as absurd as it gets.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]In the long run I think this kind of entertainment over sport booking is going to catch up with the UFC. Say Jon Jones defeats Cormier. You have a guy in Jones that has an impressive streak of wins but no credibility as champion. How do you market that? What about the fans like me that enjoyed the investment of watching someone rise through the ranks and earn their title shot? Those title fights are a heck of a lot more intriguing to me than the one-sided fights against undeserving challengers with bigger names.
For what was once the most intriguing division in the UFC has now turned into an absolute joke!
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