Title Shots Is What I Want

The UFC is busy cutting their rosters because they have too many people under contract.  I can understand that.  However, what I cannot understand is why the belt are not being defended.  I don’t want to see a guy only defend their belt once a year.  I think title shots being delayed by the cotnender and champ coaching TUF has limited the fights. 

The Heavyweights…                                                                                                                                   Right now, Nogueira has the interim title, and won’t defend it until December.  That means there will be no heavyweight title fights until the end of the year.  I would imagine someone will be in line waiting for the next fight…probably the winner of the Vera vs. Werdum fight.  But that isn;t fair to them.  They will have to sit on the sidelines for 8-10 months until March or so of 2009 to get a shot.  That is crap. 

The Light Heavyweights…                                                                                                                  Rampage is one of the most marketable UFC fighters.  He is a good fighter and it is those things combined which got him the gig as a coach on TUF 7.  However, his last fight and title defense was his win over Dan Henderson in December.  He is slated to fight Forrest Griffin in July.  That is ten months between fights.  That is crap.  He better fight one more time this year.  I want the champs to defend their belts and I want contenders to have their shot.

Middleweights…                                                                                                                                    Anderson Silva is the man.  He is the best pound for pound fighter in the world.  He is a beast who has stomped his competiton and tore throught he UFC middleweight divison.  His last fight was his win over Dan Henderson in March.  The UFC has not announced his next fight, but you figure that since the main event cards are set up through August, the best case scenario is that he fights in September probably against Yushin Okami. I’m guessing October or November though, as I suspect the UFC is trying to find someone else besides Okami, but it is going to have to be Okami.  Anderson would then be done for the year.  That isn’t quite as bad as some other divisons, but isn;t what I’d like to see.

Welterweights…                                                                                                                                        Georges St. Pierre just fought, and we have no idea when his next fight is although it will be Jon Fitch.  Again it will be sometimes in the latter part of the year.  That would make two title defenses in 2008 and would not include his December fight with Hughes.  I want to see the best in the UFC fight more, they used to fight every other card.

Lightweights…                                                                                                                                              B.J. Penn has said he would like to fight a few times a year at best, but he has done fairly well as of late.  He beat Joe Stevenson and will fight Sherk on the 24th.  In August Huerta and Florian will fight to determine who gets the next title shot.  I would suspect that the Penn/Sherk winner would fight the Florian/Huerta winner in December or maybe January.  I still want to see more. 

My Solutions…                                                                                                                                                         

1. Have a rankings system.  An objective ranking system not just for MMA, but for the UFC would make clear who the number one cotnender.  A lot of time is taken waiting to see who will get the next shot and sometimes two guys fight for the next title shot.  Those fights to get the title shot could be spaced out not as far from the last title defense so both guys can be ready sooner and one guy isn’t sitting around waiting for a guy to be fresh.                 

2. Change the Ultimate Fighter format.  Right now each season of TUF is being coached by a title holder and the supposed number one contender.  Those guys will coach opposite each other and then fight for the title following the show.  The problem with that is you sit those guys on the sidelines for a while.  For example right now Frank Mir and Minatauro Nogueira know they are coaching TUF 8.  The season will start taping this summer and will begin to air in September.  The show will air through December while everyone waits.  Both fought early this year and neither fought again so as not to mess up the TUF coaching drama of going for the title.  Rather than having a title shot in the drama of TUF, why not have two great fighters with nothing to do with the title.  They could have used Florian and Huerta and built the drama of the winner getting a title shot.  They could have done Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin.  I’d love to see some of those guys on TUF or a guy like Wanderlei Silva. 

Dana needs to take my adivce on this one.  The fans want to see more than anything the title holders defending their belts and they ought to fight 3 times a year. 



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