Editorial: Are Immediate Rematches Passé?

Watching an exciting title fight decided by a split decision that could go either way is nothing but spectacular for sure but then putting every other contender on hold for a rematch is getting tiresome. The weight classes these days in modern MMA are deeper then past years with up to 6 or more deserving candidates that are qualified to challenge for the belt.

An example of this would be Robbie Lawler’s close decision over Carlos Condit this past weekend. 70 percent of the fans thought Condit pulled out the win but I don’t believe an immediate rematch should be granted. There are about 6 guys in that division waiting in the wings for a shot and would not be fair to hold up any of them. Condit looked incredible and no one forgets the performance he put on especially UFC president Dana White. He had Condit winning on his score card.

Let’s not forget the chance that a third fight is necessary. These “trilogies”can take over a year to complete especially with injuries becoming a factor. I believe that is absolutely unfair to the next guy up who has trained his whole life for a shot at the title.

The rankings can change drastically within that time period with deserving guys taking unnecessary fights to get a pay check then dropping a fight and a chance at a high profile bout or even an injury can delay it. There have been many fighters who have fell victim to this situation.

In today’s high profile organizations such as the UFC, what is fair is not necessarily the most important factor. You don’t have to look back far for an example of this. Holly Holm shocked the world with a KO victory over Rhonda Rousey. Rousey suffered a head injury where she was given 180 days or a 6 month suspension. She was cleared on Dec 10 to train but still no contact was granted.

Despite this, Dana White has verbally said Holm and Rousey will have a rematch at UFC 200 on July 9th. Many in the MMA world wonder if Rousey will even be ready physically for a fight by that date and if she is, will she be fully prepared. On the other hand, Holmes is ready to go wanting to defend her title much sooner. The new champion wants to be active and not wait that long.

Meanwhile Miesha Tate who has worked her way back into contention with 3 straight wins must wait. Is this fair and if so who is it fair to ? A classic example of the “rematch” controversy these days.

On the other hand Jose Aldo is not being granted his rematch, though I agree with that situation. Aldo’s situation was rare due to the 13 seconds he was defeated in and his limited ability to promote a fight plus the fact that he backed out of UFC 189 due to injury causing a fiasco for a very heavily promoted card.

Another situation is the Werdum vs Cain rematch taking place next month. I agree Cain was a great champion and lost a competitive fight but is an immediate rematch really necessary ? There are a few heavyweights that deserve a shot now rather than waiting til this whole thing ends. I truly feel Cain will correct his mistakes and win the title back so does that mean we gotta wait again for a new face to challenge for the heavyweight strap ? I believe that Cain should have to win at least one more to get a shot. Werdum should be given the opportunity to focus and defend the belt as part of the reward of the win. He did finish it in the third right ? There was no close decision or controversy.

Let’s pose this question to all of you readers and fans out there. Stipe Miocic looked phenomenal in his fight last weekend knocking out Arlovski in the first round. He made a strong case for the next shot at the winner of Werdum/Cain but what if Cain wins ? Does the UFC put him on the shelf and wait or pair him up against Overeem thus cheating at least one of a shot at the current champion some 8 months from now.

How bout Luke Rockhold and his win over Chris Weidman ? Does Rockhold move on to defend his belt and Weidman regroup and focus on a new opponent ? Or do we match them up again and tie up the whole middleweight division for at least 6 months ? My opinion is they move on and circle back eventually.

These are questions that need to be answered. The catch is that no matter the direction the UFC goes, it should stay with that protocol.
Otherwise it looks as if “favors” for certain fighters and camps are given but not others. It looks too random presently.

In closing it’s safe to say either way is not going to make everyone happy. This is why I feel “immediate rematches” should be over and done with. With so many options, why do the same match up immediately. Let it build again.

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