Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UFC On Fox 3: Why Fight When You Can Vacation?

After the first two fight cards on Fox left fans wanting more, Dana White needed a strong performance out of his guys in New Jersey Saturday night. The four fights did that and more.

Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson put on a show in the opening bout and Alan Belcher put himself in the middleweight title picture with his eye-opening performance versus Rousimar Palhares.

The two headliners delivered as well.  Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks had a back and forth battle that went the distance resulting in a split decision victory for Hendricks.  Nate Diaz capped off the main event with an exclamation mark by being the first person to finish Jim Miller, almost taking out his tongue in the process.

At first glance there really is not much to be upset about. Has the production improved? Yes. Were the fights great? Yes. Did Nate Diaz save the UFC from a big FCCfine? Yes.

The problem I have is what came out at the press conference afterwards and is a troubling trend in the mixed martial arts world right now. Diaz and Hendricks both earned title shots with their victories. While I do not think either one in an unquestioned #1 contender I do not have a problem with either one receiving this status.

Unfortunately, their respective title shots are not happening any time soon. The champions in their division each have one more fight. In the lightweight division the unnecessary anticipated Henderson-Edgar rematch is not taking place until August. I have two problems with this.

The first is the delay for the rematch is on Edgar, not the champion Henderson. I respect Edgar for all he has done in the division but you can not hold up the belt for the challenger in my opinion. This sport is growing and needs its stars to fight. Since they are waiting so long with Edgar, this means as of now, we will not see Diaz until December.

Hendricks’ layoff will be much longer. Carlos Condit after earning the interim title in early February against Nick Diaz has decided to wait as well to face Georges St. Pierre. Not only does this make an interim title pointless but GSP is not likely going to be ready until November. Hendricks should not have the ability to wait on the sidelines until 2013 because he is afraid of losing his title shot.

The remedy for this long layoff dilemma is simple. The UFC needs to match up Nate Diaz against Anthony Pettis, a guy who has been promised two title shots previously, in the summer and have a clear number one contender at lightweight. Pettis is the only man in the organization to have defeated the champ, in case you somehow forgot this kick. And a matchup between him and Diaz would be guaranteed fireworks.

Johny Hendricks has multiple options.  I would not mind seeing a rematch with Koscheck.  I personally scored the fight 29-28 for Kos and would not mind seeing them face off again. Other match ups in the welterweight division include the Ellenberger-Kampmann winner or if Nick Diaz wins his battle against the NSAC and is released from his suspension.
The UFC needs to take care of this situation fast. The new deal with Fox has them putting on over 30 shows a year. They need to keep their guys active and not on the sidelines playing the waiting game. Dana White can give the contenders this message to convince them to fight...

Credit:  http://dontbescaredhomie.com  

What do you guys think?  Vote on the poll on the right or leave a comment below.

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