Is the UFC becoming the WWE?

As many will have seen this past weekend Daniel Cormier seized his opportunity and become only the second athlete ever to hold two UFC titles simultaneously after an impressive first-round knockout of Stipe MiocicNow, I don’t want to take away from the performance or monumental point in Cormiers career, however, I have to admit that he lost me when he got on the microphone and called out Brock Lesnar. This should have come as no surprise as in press conferences before the super-fight Cormier made several references to having two fights left in his career. One final fight with Jon Jones and one with Lesnar. It wasn’t the callout itself that I find problematic, I’m a firm believer in if you win the fight then you get a free call out. Go for it, shoot your shot. What I dislike however is Lesnar coming into the Octagon and in what is a very WWE-esque move shoves Cormier firmly.

 

I couldn’t help but feel like this whole section was part of some poorly written script, this probably isn’t helped by the fact that everyone in the Octagon at that moment was grinning ear to ear which kind of takes away from any illusion of hostility that they were trying to create. Furthermore, when Lesnar got on the mic and disrespected both Francis Ngannou and former champion Miocic it felt forced and a little absurd as both of those men would be more than a handful for the 5-3 Lesnar in the octagon.

My last gripe with the whole thing is one that has been muttered over and over again by the MMA “purists”. What it boils down to is the lack of respect for the ranking system and the apparent need to manufacture super-fights or money fights rather than giving the top contenders an opportunity to fight for the belt. There is no clearer example of this than with Lesnar, a fighter who in his last outing was suspended for a year after a drug policy violation

In many ways it makes a mockery of the fighters who are clean and have worked their way up the rankings and for what purpose? Drawing in casual fans for slightly inflated PPV numbers for a single event at the cost of stagnating the whole heavyweight division? It is one of the only sports in which this type of lunacy occurs, It would be absurd to let Michael Phelps swim in the Olympic finals at age 40 if he had not made it through any qualifying races or passed any drugs tests just because it would bring in more spectators.

Thinking about it now, the worst possible outcome would be if in some sort of lucky punch upset Lesnar was to defeat Cormier. What happens then?I have no idea, but i can’t imagine it would be good. In my mind it would make far more sense for a title shot to be given to Curtis Blaydes who is on an impressive streak at the moment, or to put in place an interim belt fight between Blaydes and Miocic if Cormier decides to defend the light heavyweight title in his next outing. If Lesnar must return to the octagon it would make more sense to me to see him against Ngannou, it would be a battle of the freaks with two of the biggest (albeit not the most skilled) heavyweights of all time and makes far more sense in terms of a spectacle fight rather than giving him the opportunity to fight for the belt.

At the end of the day these are just my thoughts on the matter but I would hate to see the sport I enjoy so much to turn into some sort of media circus where the best fighters aren’t the ones being rewarded with the opportunities that they deserve. Maybe I will just have to accept that soon enough they will hang the title from the roof and throw a set of ladders in there and the first one to climb up and reach it wins because that is about how valuable the title of champion will be.  

 

Connor Zahariev
mynameisconnorzahariev@gmail.com

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