With all the talk around Conor McGregor not defending his title since winning the UFC lightweight belt in November 2015, a few simple rules would stop this situation arising again in the future and hopefully would make interim titles a thing of the past also.
Dana White calls it being a ‘McGregor hater’, which is wrong. It’s about being fair to the other contenders in the division. Fighters have a tiny window of opportunity to maximise their earnings, obviously getting a title shot increases those potential gains, and they should not be denied their chance.
Obviously, injuries could change things a little, and other unforeseen or exceptional circumstances, but applying these simple rules, should solve the problem of people holding on to titles and not defending.
1 – A champion must defend his belt twice a year.
2 – One of those defences must be against the number one ranked contender.
You could apply similar conditions for ranked fighters; you must fight at least once a year, wouldn’t argue too much with having to fight twice a year, to maintain your ranking and qualify for a title shot.
It’s about being fair to all and maintaining credibility to the rankings and the titles.