It’s weird that my first sports post would be about the UFC but here we are. I haven’t been an MMA fan for that long. I happened to come across an episode of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike some time in 2008 and by July of 2009, UFC 100 was the first PPV I ever purchased.
My fandom has decreased over time. I’ll still get a PPV if it is really good on paper and I still watch the Ultimate Fighter series, but over the last few years there has been such an increase in events that a lot of the cards have been watered down.
But to complain about how many UFC events there are per year is not what this is about. My recent problem with the sport is champions no longer wanting to defend their belts. Take Tyron Woodley and Cody Garbrandt for example, both guys have not yet successfully defended their belts once (Woodley had the majority draw in his first defense but I would hardly call that a successful title defense) and they are already calling for super fights outside their division. I get the monetary motivation for it. You get paid for a super fight at a catchweight or outside your division and if you lose you still go back to your division as champion. It’s a nice cushion to have but super fights should be between long reigning champions, dominant fighters or heck, even a fighter people want to see. If Woodley goes up in weight to fight Nick Diaz or down in weight to fight Conor McGregor or Cody Garbrandt goes up to fight Jose Aldo it would be an insult to the term “super fight.” Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo deserve super fights because they have established themselves. Nobody is clamoring to watch a Tyron Woodley fight let alone a super fight and Cody Garbrandt is an exciting fighter and all but he’s only six fights in to his UFC career.