Monday, January 25, 2021

The UFC needs to stop Champion vs Champion fights

In the past two and a half years, we have seen four different champion vs champion matchups in the UFC… compared to 0 in the 23 years prior. Before Conor McGregor became a two division champion at the end of 2016, only two other fighters had ever held a UFC belt in more than one division, and no fighter had held two belts at once.

As of writing this article in February 2019, there are now a total of six UFC fighters to have held a belt in more than one division, and we have had three different ‘Champ Champs’.

That number would have been higher, had TJ Dillashaw not failed in his attempt to dethrone Henry Cejudo.

It seems like every fighter in the UFC simply sees winning a first championship as a stepping stone to a second title. Gone is the notion of actually defending your belt, or taking on contenders in your division. It’s an awful trend that was started by Conor McGregor, and the current farce regarding a rematch between TJ and Cejudo is just the pinnacle.

The champion vs champion fight was supposed to be a monumental occasion, a must see event, something that even the most casual UFC fan would feel like they could not miss. That’s exactly how McGregor vs Alvarez felt, millions of people around the world tuned in to see if Conor McGregor could become the UFC’s first simultaneous two weight champion.

That’s also how the Miocic/Cormier fight felt, to a slightly lesser degree. This was less one for the casuals and one for the more regular MMA fan. It still felt, to me personally, like a must see fight. In the end it created an amazing moment, something that a lot of fans will always remember.

UFC Champion v champion

While it didn’t quite reach the heights of the McGregor bout, it certainly still made the main event… which cannot be said for Nunes vs Cyborg.

This bout was so underhyped that I actually forgot that it was on the Jones vs Gustaffson 2 card. The fact that a superfight was a co-main event just detracts from the value of that fight. In the end, by the time the fight was ready to start, I wasn’t even excited for it, it was a complete lack of promotion on the part of the UFC.

That just goes to show that the fights were becoming too frequent. Not to mention that the most recent Champ vs Champ fight was on a Fight Night… normally somewhere that champions are only ever made to fight when they are deemed not important enough to headline a Pay Per View.

We need a break.

The UFC needs to realise that they’re losing the interest of the casual fan, and a lot of more relaxed UFC fans with the over abundance of these superfights.

Being a double champ is supposed to be the pinnacle of a fighters career, something that you work to earn by cleaning out your division… not something you do to try and get a few extra PPV buys.

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