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The Trouble with Titles

UFC title shots are at best inconsistent and at worst insulting to the intelligence of fans. Without an official ranking system, title fights are arranged based on their potential to attract an audience. Dana White defends this approach as preventing any obligation to put on boring fights. But there’s no denying it removes some credibility from being champion.

The current populist approach lends itself to title fights that seem undeserved. It also takes away from the whole idea of a champ being the best fighter in his weight class. A reputation for boring fights results in demotion to the undercards. However, a well-known grudge with the champ increases the chances of a title shot exponentially. All things being equal, fighting the champ has more to do with popularity than skill.

The UFC makes no illusions; they are in the business of making entertainment, not upholding moral standards for martial arts. Nevertheless, making fights based only on fan interest is not flawless; combining two popular fighters does not necessarily make a popular fight. That’s where the system can backfire. Champions should only face the best possible opponents. Impulsively arranging easy title defenses irritates fans and erodes meaning from the belts.

Current contenders Demian Maia, Dan Hardy, and Frankie Edgar all lack a definitive reason for getting their title shots. But while Maia and Edgar can be chocked up to timing and luck, the most puzzling is Dan Hardy. Originally, the number one welterweight contender fight was between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann at UFC 103. Swick pulled out, so Paul Daley stepped in and knocked Kampmann silly. Then Swick lost by decision to Hardy at UFC 105 and suddenly Dan Hardy is fighting Georges St. Pierre. Coming off a split decision win over Marcus Davis before the Swick fight, Hardy has never proved himself to fans, and that bogs down any hype for his fight against GSP.

The situation is difficult because a real ranking system could produce equally undeserved title shots. Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz serves as an excellent example of the pitfalls of trying to rank fighters. Maynard has the win over Diaz on his record, and a 7-0-1 record in the UFC– technically he should be the number one contender. But his performance against Diaz was far from outstanding, and showed fans that he is not ready to fight lightweight champ BJ Penn. Quality of a win is a difficult thing to factor into rankings, but it will make all the difference for the business side of MMA.

A healthy compromise would be the inclusion of occasional tournaments to establish contenders in a weight class. Similar to Pride’s Grand Prix, they could be spaced out over several weeks but longer, about 8 weeks rather than four to allow time for fighters to recover. Sixteen top fighters from a weight class compete, with top level names mixed in with some unknowns from the undercards, three wins lead to the final (PPV) matchup.

The Ultimate Fighter has long-since outlasted its usefulness; fighters can get into the UFC much more easily by getting their start in smaller promotions. Furthermore, the fights have been getting less exciting, with last years “Heavyweights” starring Kimbo Slice being a near-complete dud. A tournament show would be far more interesting because truly established fighters would be competing instead of newcomers. Not only would the quality of the matchups increase dramatically, but imagine how much more credibility Hardy would have if he had beaten Paul Daley, Paulo Thiago, Jon Fitch, and/or Josh Koscheck to get his title shot.

A tournament win does not need to mean a guaranteed title shot. If the final bout is unimpressive, matchmaker Joe Silva can just go back to his old method of feeling around for big PPV buys. But at least it would provide a clearer picture of where the top-tier fighters rank in terms of skill.

UFC titles will never be purely about who’s the best. Being a UFC champion does not make you the best fighter in the world or even in a weight class. That’s fine. Figuring out who is actually number one is not the most important thing in MMA. If the greatest fighter in the world is a man who jumps all weight classes, and can go 100-0 by way of a secret ancient Chinese leg-hugging technique that forces opponents to tap from exhaustion, then I’m happy to see him denied the fame and glory of a UFC title.

Including tournaments would give fighters a way to demonstrate their skills and prove they have a shot at beating the champ, without awarding a title-shot based on something like a DQ win. They could do more to help legitimize title shots, and hype MMA than ten more season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

30 COMMENTS
  • AlphaOmega says:

    At least the UFC is making the titleholders actually defend the belt though.

  • crane_style says:

    You make some excellent points in this article. I would love to see the UFC run some kind of knockout tourney. THAT is how to come up with an interim champ!

    At the same time, if title shots were always about fighting the number one contender, the same guys would be fighting each other all the time.

    No one with eyes will argue that the UFC is run like a business, but name one sport that isn’t? You can argue that there maybe be some demographics that UFC fight-makers pander to when setting matches. You could also call it playing to your strenghs.

    I like the UFC philosophy about rewarding guys who bring it, even if it’s not as consistent as it should be.

    Look at the mess boxing has become, and how other MMA organizations are run. I think you have to give credit to the UFC, where credit is due.

  • Good article but it leaves for alot of flaws. First of all Paulo Thiago shouldn’t have been mentioned in this article. 2-1 should not have you in the top three talk. Granted he has been very impressive but if you’re gonna praise HIM for beting Swick give Hardy his due too. Semtex is the same for me, he beat Martin Kapmann who was by no means anymore deserving than Swick or Hardy for that matter and Dustin Hazelett who is far and away one of my favorites but not a top contender.
    Frankie Edgar has just as much claim as anyone in the lightweight pack just as Hardy does and so does Demian Maia, the true problem is that the champions of their divisions are simply head and shoulders above everyone else. BJ is untouchable at LW GSP at WW and Silva at MW period. So the only thing left to due is put someone exciting against them and pray. Frankie Edgar in my eyes matches up better against BJ than Gray. Gray beat Edgar by holding him down for three rounds and I’d love to see him try that with BJ.
    Hardy is better suited to beat GSP than Fitch, Thiago or Kos. Main reason being two of them have been beaten by GSP and while Fitch is one of my favorites, neither one of them has improved or changed much. Hardy is at least hard to take down and has KO power.

    Demian Maia has a better chance to beat A silva than anyone period. Anderson is the BEST striker out there and no one can even look good against him on their feet, his ground game is great but Demian is on a level most never even see. Provided Maia can get him down, this becomes more interesting than nate the great getting beat up on his feet or Chael Gettin submitted as soon as he takes the spider down and tries to hump him to a victory. An entertaining read but sounds more like you just thought of an interesting argument to put on paper for us than a really true article.

  • lalo_g80 says:

    You all don’t think so but Hardy has the best chance of winning than Maia or Edgar. I think Edgar is tough and will go the distance and earn tons of respect, but its gonna be the kind of respect that Fitch got for getting beat up by GSP. Maia’s ground game is phenomenal, but to say its way better than Spider’s is hogwash. Silva is a blackbelt in BJJ just like Maia. Hardy has just enough power and enough patience to stun GSP. Now I love GSP but i think he is due to either lose or have a bad performance ala SIlva in ’09. It happens to the best of them and I think Hardy is the right guy to pull it off.

    As far as a tourney goes, I’m all for it but not 16 people. Thats overkill. You could do like a super 6 with the top 2 earning a bye or at the most 8 people.

    Another thing we forget that gets in the way is friend vs friend matches. None of these guys wanna do it. So it makes it hard to build up a koscheck or fitch etc if they dont wanna fight each other.

  • lalo_g80 says:

    And by the way I cant stand Fitch being #2 on any list. The guy can’t finish ANYBODY! Plus he likes to snack on a bunch of nobodies to back door his way into title shots. Ala Chris Wilson….

  • Kuch says:

    Strange article. You mention UFC titles aren’t about who is the best, yet you failed to mention who is better to wear those titles than the men who currently wear them. Who is better than Penn, GSP, Silva, Machida, and Lesnar?

    Like you, I’m also not sold on Hardy being a legitimate threat to GSP, but who else is there? Your method would have GSP fighting Alves, Fitch, and Koscheck again and again until someone eventually got lucky. After the #1 fighter in the weight class beats #2, #3, and #4, you have to be willing to give #5 and #6 a shot, especially when #2, #3, and #4 haven’t been very impressive since their shot.

    The reference to The Ultimate Fighter is out of place in this article unless you are just pointing out the things you dislike about the UFC. A tournament show won’t replace The Ultimate Fighter and even mentioning it is disingenuous. Any tournament would be a PPV event for certain. To claim The Ultimate Fighter has outlasted its usefulness indicates misunderstanding of what the show is about. The Ultimate Fighter is a means to showcase fighters hoping to get into the UFC that otherwise wouldn’t get much exposure on TV. It also caters to a niche viewing audience that likes the reality TV element. Primarily though, it is a means to advertise the UFC product.

  • Rece Rock says:

    IMO- it seems indirectly the author is suggesting that champs like BJ Penn, GSP, Brock are lacking credibility due to match making…? That theory doesn’t sound too thought out.

  • lalo_g80: And by the way I cant stand Fitch being #2 on any list. The guy can’t finish ANYBODY! Plus he likes to snack on a bunch of nobodies to back door his way into title shots. Ala Chris Wilson….  (Quote)

    Or That one 19-1 fighter…oh what was his name…Diego Sanchez? Or ummm….Paulo Thiago who got DOMINATED all fight. No he didnt almost submit Fitch, he wasted two minutes on guillotines that weren’t working. Or Thiago Alves(by KO)…..wow dude, your case is not only disrepectful to the number 2 ww in the world…its total Nonsense.
    GSP has only finished 2 of his last four opponents and BJ’s corner threw in the towel, whereas BJ would’ve fought if his corner just would’ve pointed him in the right direction. Noone is whining about him not finishing Alves or Fitch.
    And YES Maia is that much better on the ground than Silva, its like Rogan said,”There’s black belts and there’s WORLD CLASS black belts.
    Maia submitted a man who outweighs him by almost 100 pounds in BJJ (Gonzaga).

    He is that good on the ground.

  • TheRog says:

    I agree with lalo_g80. As far as a tourney goes, 16 is definitely overkill but 8 is just right. Take the 8 best guys and pit them against one another with eight weeks in between each bracket of the tournament. I’m not a fighter and as such I don’t know all the “rigors” they go through besides what I read in articles. But eight weeks seems long enough to me to recover from minor injuries as well as to gameplan and train for your next opponent. Of course the question of who is the best in the division will come up, but using common sense it’s pretty easy to tell who has the most wins and who has wins over quality opposition. Name recognition of course should play a role in the tournaments as well but to just throw in say Belfort in the middleweight tournament based on his name alone and leave out someone like Okami who has several wins over quality opposition, while Belfort doesn’t even have a win at 185 would make no sense to me.

  • Davey D says:

    Christopher…I think your article highlights a very interesting topic (Title shots). It is very well written and you deatail the current state of the UFC’s WW and LW divison’s nicely. The only thing I would say is there are some things that the promoters can not control that need to be taken into account. The biggest of which are…injuries, fighter’s not making weight and contract hold-up’s.

    The injury that Mike Swick suffered in September was very unfortunate. Kampman vs. Swick was set to determine GSP’s next challenger while he was dealing with his own injury. Well, Kampman got blasted by Daley and Swick choked against Hardy. Thus setting up this month’s WW Title fight. Koscheck on the other hand was set to rematch Paulo Thiago and also got injured. In steps Mike Swick who got absolutley worked by Thiago. Dana and the boys can’t control everything, you see? With Fitch and Alves set for 3/27 as well, I think the UFC’s WW divison will start to sort itself out throughout the rest of this year.

    Lightweight is a little tougher. At the top BJ “The Man aka Mutha Effn” Penn and then everyone else down the line. IMHO…no one will defeat BJ at 155, not this year or in 2011 at least (just my opinion). That said, he still has to compete. I like seeing Frankie up next. He has been the more “entertaining” fighter since losing to Gray and Mr. Maynard, in all fairness, stunk up the joint against Nathan Diaz. He showed me he is not mentaly ready to fight BJ Penn. Yes, he is 7-0-1 so far and did defeat Frankie via UD. But…the UFC has chosen Frankie and I’m cool with it because Gray’s shot is coimng. He may have to accept another fight to prove it or Joe Silva could call him on Monday morning on 4/12 and say get yourself ready to fight the LW Champ. Time will tell.

    Tournaments…now that the days of a one night tournament are gone and the fact that the UFC does not hold real, actual tournaments anymore. This option is real a pipe dream. Another problem is that nowadays, these things would span a total of 8 to 10 months. That is a little long if you ask me. One thing they could do is hold a tournament in one or two weight classes every year or wheneve the brass at Zuffa sees fit but that probably isn’t going to happen. I will say I miss the Pride FC tournaments because they were fun to see but the “real” Absolute Champ didn’t always win those either.

    At the end of the day. Everyone knows where “The Leauge” is and that is the UFC. They are as real as it gets. Maybe they don’t have every single top fighter in every single weight class but they pretty darn close to it. Add in the WEC, who have been getting a tighter grip on the lighter weight classes since dropping the LHW, MM and WW classes and boom…every fighter’s goal is to get to The Leauge. Some fighter’s are good enough to stand on their own like Fedor, Dan Henderson, Alistar Overeem, Jake Sheilds but sooner or later people will demand they fight the UFC Champion. Isn’t that where we are today, pretty much???

    The best thing about MMA is anything can happen on any given day. Fighter’s need to bring their “A game” every single time. Make one mistaken and you’ll pay dearly. The best fighter doesn’t always win but the one who works the hardest does.

    Cheers!!!

  • inkythewinky says:

    i disagree

  • lalo_g80 says:

    superdavenorcal:
    Or That one 19-1 fighter…oh what was his name…Diego Sanchez? Or ummm….Paulo Thiago who got DOMINATED all fight. No he didnt almost submit Fitch, he wasted two minutes on guillotines that weren’t working. Or Thiago Alves(by KO)…..wow dude, your case is not only disrepectful to the number 2 ww in the world…its total Nonsense.
    GSP has only finished 2 of his last four opponents and BJ’s corner threw in the towel, whereas BJ would’ve fought if his corner just would’ve pointed him in the right direction. Noone is whining about him not finishing Alves or Fitch.
    And YES Maia is that much better on the ground than Silva, its like Rogan said,”There’s black belts and there’s WORLD CLASS black belts.Maia submitted a man who outweighs him by almost 100 pounds in BJJ (Gonzaga).He is that good on the ground.  

    LOL As we saw in December Diego Sanchez ISN’T the fighter we thought he would blossom into when he one TUF. Case in point when Fitch beat him he wasn’t a top 10 fighter. Alves again back in ’06 wasn’t a top 10 fighter that he is now. Paulo Thiago? Seriously he dominated? Thats funny… all I saw was a wrestler who didn’t wanna get knocked out take Thiago down and lay on him for 3 rounds. I guess thats your idea of dominating. You must like Couture/Vera snooze fests.

    There is a difference in going the distance in the way Fitch does and then going the distance with GSP. Penn, Fitch, and Alves all got beat up the entire fight. Thiago lost the fight pissed off cuz all Fitch did to get the win was lay on him and dry hump him for 3 rounds. At least Thiago ATTEMPTED to submit him.

    What makes Maia so world class? When did he fight Gonzaga in a UFC match? Do we count sparring matches in their own gym now? Was it one of those strictly submission type tourneys? This is the funny thing about some MMA fans. I guarantee you Gonzaga would beat the living crap out of Maia in a MMA match. You can compare black belts and when your talking Maia/Dan Miller but to say Maia’s is world class compared to Silva’s is moronic.

  • Makington says:

    I like your points lalo, but the way you’re trying to get them across isn’t doing you any help. There are respectful ways to say it, and there are the ways that make you seem like blind hatred. The thing that bugs me about Fitch isn’t that he just can’t finish guys, it’s just that before every fight he says how much his boxing has improved and how much he is looking to knock the guy out this time for the fans, but then he goes back to his smothering wrestling. True, GSP gives similar results, but he does it in an exciting as hell way. He doesn’t lay on you, he is working all the time to turn your face into ground beef. And although he didn’t finish Fitch or Alves, it’s not so simple as that. Fitch clearly showed some sort of zombie-like resilience that kept him in, and GSP suffered a pretty tough injury half way through against Alves.

    Of course Fitch deserves the number 2 spot, since he beats everyone but GSP. At the same time he can’t complain when he beats all these guys and comes no closer to a title shot because his fights are boring as hell.

  • lalo_g80 says:

    Makington: I like your points lalo, but the way you’re trying to get them across isn’t doing you any help. There are respectful ways to say it, and there are the ways that make you seem like blind hatred. The thing that bugs me about Fitch isn’t that he just can’t finish guys, it’s just that before every fight he says how much his boxing has improved and how much he is looking to knock the guy out this time for the fans, but then he goes back to his smothering wrestling. True, GSP gives similar results, but he does it in an exciting as hell way. He doesn’t lay on you, he is working all the time to turn your face into ground beef. And although he didn’t finish Fitch or Alves, it’s not so simple as that. Fitch clearly showed some sort of zombie-like resilience that kept him in, and GSP suffered a pretty tough injury half way through against Alves.
    Of course Fitch deserves the number 2 spot, since he beats everyone but GSP. At the same time he can’t complain when he beats all these guys and comes no closer to a title shot because his fights are boring as hell.  

    He doesnt deserve #2 until he fights Koscheck and Swick. Until then these guys are banking on an Alves victory of 4 years ago and a bunch of Mike Pearce/Chris Wilson nobodies.

    Again Diego Sanchez is not the Nightmare the UFC portrayed him as. And Paulo Thiago didnt have an answer for his wrestling abilities. I think in a rematch Thiago can and will take him.

  • edub says:

    Interesting article man.

    You make some interesting points, but in the end it comes across as a rant from a anti-zuffa fight fan. It looks almost like an elaborate post that belongs on Fight opinion or Mma weekly.

    The points I would contend you on are already covered above by Super Dave, Davey D, Crane Style, and the posts by Rece Rock, and Alpha Omega cover my gut reaction to the article.

  • KTru says:

    I applaud the other 5 oz readers for making sl many valid points and telling the author his “idea” is so flawed.

    I have nothing to give to this article except just reading this makes me cringe. Sure the UFC doesn’t have a perfect plan for titles, but tell me who does? Why put all the champions on the shelf, so ONE contender emerges?

    this article baffles me

  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    It requires to much thought to even consider reading the rest of this article.

    THE UFC DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR IDEAS!!!!

    THEY WANT TO MAKE MONEY!!!

  • Vogairian says:

    I don’t see how you can write an article over title shots and manage to completely overlook Strikeforce. You spend a ridiculous amount of words hating on the UFC and fail to mention the worst title situation in MMA.

    Right now the best LW, MW, WW in the world hold the titles in the UFC, while five of the top six LHW in the world (using 5oz rankings) have held the LHW title or fought for it. The only situation I’m not a fan of is the HW situation, but that only exists due to an injury to the champ.

    When it comes to the WW situation, Dan Hardy is the guy who makes the most sense to me.
    The only other guys in the equation would be Daley and Fitch. Fitch had his chance and hasn’t done anything that really shows he deserves another one, while Daley has had one fight at the weight, let him get another win or two and he’ll be knocking on the door.

    So yes, fights are made to try and be exciting, but in most cases the guy who’s deserving gets the title shot and in most cases the UFC Champion is in fact, the best in the world.

  • Makington says:

    lalo_g80:
    He doesnt deserve #2 until he fights Koscheck and Swick.Until then these guys are banking on an Alves victory of 4 years ago and a bunch of Mike Pearce/Chris Wilson nobodies.Again Diego Sanchez is not the Nightmare the UFC portrayed him as.And Paulo Thiago didnt have an answer for his wrestling abilities.I think in a rematch Thiago can and will take him.  

    Perhaps you know who should be number 2 then? Fitch has beaten everyone BUT Koscheck and Swick, and he doesn’t need them to take a number 2 spot. Right now Swick would be lucky to even be considered top 10 so fighting him would be even more so pointless for Fitch. After that, it’s Kos who still recently saw the losing end of a fight to Alves, and Thiago. Fitch has already beaten one guy who KO’d his teammate, and has a very viable change to beat the other guy who demolished Kos. It’s baffling to me that Fitch would be anything BUT second place. Of course his fight with Alves will be the true determiner for second place but when you say how Fitch should be ranked 15th or something it just makes it seem like you blindly hate the guy because he doesn’t finish people and doesn’t want to fight his friend.

    For the record, I think the AKA guys should fight each other, but it doesn’t make me blind to the fact that Fitch has beaten everyone but GSP.

  • Those labeling this column as “UFC-bashing” are completely off-mark.

    Everyone knows that Strikeforce’s title scene is barren. There’s nothing to be done about that beyond signing more fighters. That’s doesn’t make for an interesting column week in and week out.

    The UFC title scene, however, can be written about and dissected any number of ways. While I don’t agree with using TUF as a way to establish title shots (removing 8-16 of your top draws in a weight class for months at a time is insanity), I do feel like SOME type of ranking system would be beneficial.

    You can hope something can improve without having to hate on it.

  • twyg says:

    You make a point in the beginning of your piece that without an offical ranking system the titles and title holders are less credible. Which UFC champs do you see as not credible? Machida maybe because of what happened, but that issue will be resolved in short order. The three contenders mentioned; who else should get those shots? GSP has all but cleared out WM same goes for Spider at MW. After BJ beats Frankie and The Bully he will have done the same. Look at Strikeforce, The Juice is fighting Brett Rogers? They have the best HW and he is not getting a title shot at a guy who hasn’t defended his title in two and a half years. They also had there MW champ “retire” and drop the strap without one title defense; only to come back and lose to Scott Smith. If your intent is to hold the UFC to a higher standard because they are head and shoulders above every other org. I get that. They are far from perfect, but they are the best of the bunch.

  • twyg says:

    Yes Brock was undeserving of his title shot against Randy. If I may play devils advocate for a second; who else gets that shot? Mir and Nog were coaching TUF and had a fight coming up against one another. There was no Carwin, Dos Santos, or Cain waiting. No one wanted to see Big Tim and Herring had just lost to Brock. Brock got it because he can sell tickets and PPV buys and there was no one else at the time. What should he have turned it down? No just like Rogers shouldn’t and won’t turn down a fight against The Juice.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Everyone seems to have a prob with this article but I on the other hand think he is correct in most instances. Overeem does not deserve his title, Randy Couture has had many title shots based on popularity, Lesnar had his at 1-1 and Maia, Hardy and Edgar are not really the 2nd best in their divisions by any stretch of the imagination. Grudges and hype a forced and faked for alterior motives, usally being to hype a fight or trying to get a fight they want. Fighters are ecouraged or told to fight in an “exciting” way to further their career or earn title shots. Dana White and other promoters are constantly trying to spin things the way they want often to the point of insulting fighters and cutting fighters who are a threat or “step out of line”. Toney gets into the biggest MMA org in the world when he has never fought MMA. Carwin is a top 10 fighter when he has only faced 1 guy within the top 50 HWs in the world. MMA is far from perfect and it is getting worse. Title shots and top 10 spots are becoming a farce and based on popularity as much as talent.
    I love MMA and the MMA we have now is the only 1 we have but to ignore the problems we have in the sport is a mistake.
    And finally to Vogarian
    “in most cases the UFC Champion is in fact, the best in the world.”
    How do you know if they only fight who the UFC wants within the UFC?. I would argue that Randy Couture has not been the best in the world in any division for at least 10 years and yet he has earned the title 3 or 4 times in that period. Matt Serra, Forrest Griffin, Shaun Sherk and Tim Sylvia have all had titles in the UFC recently and I would argue that none of them were or are the best in the world.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Really????
    If the UFC has so wrong then what format should they be following Mr Taylor???
    Cause yours sucks

  • Vogairian says:

    And finally to Vogarian
    “in most cases the UFC Champion is in fact, the best in the world.”
    How do you know if they only fight who the UFC wants within the UFC?. I would argue that Randy Couture has not been the best in the world in any division for at least 10 years and yet he has earned the title 3 or 4 times in that period. Matt Serra, Forrest Griffin, Shaun Sherk and Tim Sylvia have all had titles in the UFC recently and I would argue that none of them were or are the best in the world.

    Honestly, I hate people that do that. You read half a sentence and then go out of your way to cherry pick the few exceptions. Obviously there are instances where the guy who has the belt isn’t #1 in the world. Matt Sera had a fluke victory over the best WW in the world and lost the title back to him in his next fight. Forrest actually was ranked the #1 on this very site after he beat Rampage. As for Sherk and Sylvia they are the exceptions, since they were the champs 2-3 years ago when both divisions were down and to be fair Sherk was 32-2 with his only two losses to GSP and Matt Hughes. There’s no arguing right now that the best fighter in the LW, WW, MW, LHW divisions fight in the UFC and are either the number one contender or champion. The only division that the top fighter isn’t fighting in the UFC as a number one contender or champion is HW and the #2 through #6 are fighting there.

    No idea why I’m feeding the troll, but I can’t help myself.

  • doctormma says:

    Clearly this was a Dana bash pro Pride inspired rant.

    Chris has no memory of boxing and the one million ranking systems, that lead to anything but the best fighters fighting. Only prime fighters in each organization would get ranked.

    Clearly Pride always fed the champ the number one contender that is why Fedor towards the end was fighting guys like Hung Man Choi, and Mark Hunt instead of Barnett, and Crocop after the tourney win.

    Twyg said it best, Strikeforce is the shining example… lol or Elite XC… for that matter. The UFC is doing the best in MMA in recent history.

    I agree with most about not locking up a whole weight class to get a challenger for a title… although if they set it up to bring in not the number one ranked but the next one after (number 2 rank) in line then it would work out.. because as the episode was filming they could film the finale at the same time as the champ fought the number one ranked so then they would most likely bar serious injury be ready for a fight at the end of the showing of the tourney, which would work out perfectly.

    Injuries of course could ruin any careful plan as we have seen over the last half year, so it would probably never work out perfectly.

    But the part that I thought was funny is that you Chris poo poo on TUF and declare the master plan to be a tournament format. Earth to Christopher… TUF is a knockout tournament… lol

    For us MMA fans that don’t care about the organization and more about the best quality fights the UFC is IT at the moment… although I always tune in WEC (amazing fights every card guaranteed), and commend Strikeforce on a great April card.. and loved Pride more than UFC during it’s heyday.. in the end all I care about is the best fights.

    Hardy deserves the next shot, winner of Alves/Fitch next, Edgar is number 1 because he has the best chance now to beat Penn, Chael bar injury would’ve had the shot, Rua is the number one after the last expose and deservedly got a second straight match. In the HW’s with his return from illness no one can complain that the winner of Carwin/Mir gets the next shot, and Cain the next. So I am not sure where you were going.

    Sometimes Joe Silva IMO throws too many young up and coming lions in with each other on the way up especially if they are Brazilian. I hate that.

    I don’t want to see all the challengers knock each other out, that is what clears these weight categories so quickly.

  • thesraid says:

    Isn’t the tournament style you are suggestion exactly what Bellator are doing?

  • KRS 27 says:

    doctor mma said it best, this is a UFC bashing pro Pride article.

    and why was other orgs left out?

    HOw about when Jay Hieron gets passed for a title shot, or when Miller gets a title shot cause he has a hit MTV show? Thats ok.

    Frankly if someone keeps winning they will get a shot, but the way the UFC does it is fine with me, they set up good fights mostly and there champs are the best.

    LW BJ, WW GSP, MW Spider, LHW Machida and Brock is number 2, I’d say if your the UFC champ your basically the best in the world.

    And title fights and number one contender fights are tournaments, if Machida/Shogun and Rampage/Rashad fight and the winners fight each other, isnt that a tournament?

    UFC is the top org for a reason, they have the best fighters, make big fights, market right, they are the top dogs.

    This was just a troll article blasting UFC and shit, when other orgs do the same thing, but when SF or Dream give out title shots its cool, but I guess since Dream does tournaments they are great.

    Tell me, how is Hellboy getting a FW title shot when he is dropping down from LW and hasnt had a fight at FW yet? They are passing up Dream FW to give Hellboy a title shot, but thats ok I guess. I guess its not a fight that has a big name in Japan like Hellboy in it so it can sell the card, I guess he really deserves the fight over guys who have fought at FW.

    By the way, i’m fine with Hellboy getting the title shot vs Bibiano, I think its a great fight I’m looking forward to, but its just funny the article is all about the UFC doing it, and not other orgs.

  • dstager says:

    KTru: I applaud the other 5 oz readers for making sl many valid points and telling the author his “idea” is so flawed.I have nothing to give to this article except just reading this makes me cringe. Sure the UFC doesn’t have a perfect plan for titles, but tell me who does? Why put all the champions on the shelf, so ONEcontender emerges?this article baffles me  

    All journalists face pressure to produce articles when there’s not much news to report, but this site takes it to a new level.

    Once MMA reaches the popularity of more mainstream sports, we won’t have to get our news from amateurs like these whose only qualification is that they are the only game in town.

    P.S. Some of you FiveOuncesofPain guys need to take a fucking writing course because it pisses me off to think that you get paid to write run-on sentences filled with shitty analogies.

  • Niv says:

    This article is nowhere near as bad as everyone here is trying to state.

    I actually agree with a good portion of it and what the author is trying to convey. A ranking system is very much needed so the average person can follow who fits in where.

    This is all about perceptions and the perception is legitimate that you can clearly see title defenses that take place that make you wonder.

    I know I’m going to get ripped for this but I’ve stated all along I like what WAMMA is trying to do. We don’t need 20 ranking systems but having one that everyone acknowledges is a start to ironing out who’s who.

    Anyhow I didn’t take this article to be as anti-UFC as most have here, it’s just that the UFC is the biggest and easiest to give many examples.

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