"We are quickly approaching the *exact* same issues that have destroyed boxing as a sport. Fighters are not in it for the same reasons that the pioneers of the sport were."
I'd say this is the UFC's biggest problem right now, although maybe not in exactly the same way you meant it.
The UFC's problem is they aren't even trying to be a meritocracy anymore. The best fighters don't fight the best fighters, the belts mean less and less with every passing fight, they are turning into the WWE.
When an organization, in the space of 10 days or so, offers a shot at the LHW belt to a MW on a losing streak, and offers a shot at the featherweight title to a LW on a 2 fight losing streak, you can stop watching MMA, because it is officially a joke.
If I want to watch the WWE, I will, and thats where the UFC is headed, fast.
I never liked the WWE, and I never liked boxing with it's absurdly padded records, and MMA is getting more like both of them all the time.