The UFC - Losing Legitimacy?
The UFC has come under fire lately for a string of title shots handed out, arguably, to undeserving contenders. In this blog post I will share my two cents on the issue, and I welcome your comments for an intelligent discussion.
I know this topic has been covered ad nauseum recently, but I thought this would be a great post for my debut.
The issue at hand is whether or not the UFC is losing credibility with their fly by the seat of their pants policy when it comes to the title picture within the company. I chose this terminology because they have regulations and routines in almost every other aspect of the business, but when it comes to contention for company gold, the picture is murky and ever changing. Pundits and self proclaimed 'hardcore' fans everywhere seem to cringe in unison whenever Dana announces an exciting fight they feel is unwarranted. This is a direct contrast from the casual fans who breath a collective sigh of relief when Dana 'saves' them from a 'boring' match containing the rightful contender.
When a person has a conversation on this topic, one of the main comparisons thrown around is that the UFC is becoming more and more like the WWE. Taking a look at this analogy, we quickly realize that for a few reasons, it is a very reasonable thought, and for just as many reasons, it is not a reasonable thought. I will attempt to break these reasons down.
The number one most common reason given, in my experience, is that championship matches are given on a 'biggest draw' basis, just as is in the WWE. While it definitely feels this way, and a case can easily be made to support this theory, it is different in a key way. The simple fact of the matter is that WWE belts are worthless props to help a wrestler get more 'over' with the crowd, all the while following a script from a not so creative creative department. Whereas the UFC belts are fought for by guys who bring their all each and every time they set foot in the octagon, in an unscripted fashion.
Another reason that we hear often is that the UFC is a business and puts money ahead of integrity, just like the WWE. This is the reason which has most recently become a lot of people's go to remark about the UFC. While it is true that they make some fights based on what makes them the most money, they also make fights based on who has the best chance of defeating the champion.
At the end of the day, the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that the UFC will never become the WWE. The UFC will always be real fights, and the WWE will always be scripted, high octane action. Two different products, for two different crowds. The only similarity is that they are both businesses, which both have bottom lines.