By: Joe LaSala
The UFC has recently announced a proposed Middleweight title fight between the current champ, Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre. This matchup should infuriate anyone involved in the UFC and any true MMA fan to no end. I am not unreasonable and I know that, like all professional sports, the UFC is a business as much as it is athletic competition. Still, there has never been a matchup that was so blatantly based on making money in the history of the UFC. And it is no coincidence that it comes shortly after the sale of the UFC for an astounding 4 billion dollars to WME-IMG.
Georges St. Pierre is arguably the best fighter in UFC history. He left the sport on a 12 fight win streak, has an astounding 25-2 record and has avenged his only 2 career losses. Still, he has as much a claim at the middleweight title as I do. There are occasions where fighters have been thrust into a title shot out of their weight class due to injury. For example, when Jon Jones was scheduled to defend his Light Heavyweight title against Dan Henderson it was canceled due to injury. When Lyoto Machida turned down the fight, Vitor Belfort, normally a middleweight, jumped in. This would be a completely acceptable scenario. No one would complain to Georges jumping in for say a Yoel Romero or Jacare Souza, two fighters that are ridiculously more deserving of the title shot, because they got hurt a few weeks prior to a fight with Bisping.
To give St. Pierre this fight is complete bullsh*t and is, in my mind, unacceptable. They are basically saying that rankings and number 1 contenders don’t mean anything. Why do we even have rankings if the UFC is going to simply give whoever will make the most money the next title shot. Yoel Romero is 8-0 in the UFC including 6 KO’s. And, at 39 years old, he is simply being robbed of his shot. Granted, his loss to Jacare Souza (7-1 UFC record) was very questionable. And that is fine, if people think he is more deserving then give the shot to Jacare, he has as much a claim to a shot as Romero. Sam Alvey has more of a claim to the a shot at the Middleweight title than St. Pierre. Nothing against Sam Alvey, he is a solid fighter. I am only pointing out that he is a top 15 MIDDLEWEIGHT, and ranked middleweights deserve title shots, not retired welterweights.
If the UFC was to give St. Pierre an immediate shot at the welterweight title, no one would complain. He left as the champion and deserves a chance to win back a title that he never lost. But, to step over fighters such as Jacare, Romero, and even the guy Bisping beat for the title, Luke Rockhold is absurd, shameful and, above all, extremely unfair.
I think even the upcoming heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos is extremely motivated by money. Dos Santos is only getting the shot because he has beaten Miocic and he is, at the moment, a more lucrative fight than Fabricio Werdum. Werdum absolutely lost favor after his bizarre fight with Travis Browne that included Werdum push kicking Browne’s coach in a confrontation after the fight was over. Werdum, Cain Velasquez, and Alistair Overeem are all more deserving of a title shot in my opinion. Although Overeem only recently became so with a KO of Mark Hunt and Velasquez is still dealing with injuries, so my main case remains with Werdum getting the shot over Dos Santos.
For me, and all of the dedicated MMA fans that share my opinion (in my limited search I am yet to find one that doesn’t) I want to call out the UFC and their bullsh*t. As I stated before, I realize that this is also a business and they need to make money. The fact remains that the UFC is headed down the wrong path and will lose many of the hardcore fans that made them what they are today if they continue to do so.