I am one of those MMA fans who hates even the mere mention of the WWE. Nothing irks me more than the comparison of true fighters with what are essentially juiced up 'athletic' actors, who, whilst do suffer bad injuries and are a great specimen to watch, are not, and will never be considered as legitimate sports stars. They act out scripted set of actions and moves that results in a pre-determined outcome. Suffering brutal knock outs or limb shattering submissions is not a likely outcome for these guys.
When I hear the UFC coming out saying they are doing all they can to make MMA a legitimate sport it's great... In theory.
The idea of a sporting governing body overseeing all things MMA, having legitimate leagues and rankings, on paper, all seems like a truly massive step forward in the MMA world, which for years was shunned as nothing more than human cockfighting. (god I'm so sick of hearing that phrase)
In reality though, hmm, it really doesn't seem to be working out quite as we'd all hoped. Now the introduction of a ranking system just doesn't seem to have any merit for one, and for 2, if things carry on as they have been, then it looks very much like the UFC are just going to totally disregard it anyway.
I suppose it really became obvious that the UFC likes the idea of MMA being a true sport but can't pass up the opportunity to try and make as much money as possible whilst disregarding any official (or unofficial) rankings. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but you cant have your cake and eat it.
There are a string of recent and upcoming fights that illustrate this. Think Chael vs Anderson II, Diaz vs GSP, Aldo vs Pettis, Cain vs JDS II, and the list goes on, and on. This is fine, creating 'bigger' fights makes for bigger money etc etc, but you cant make these fights whilst also at the same time trying to convince everyone that this is a legitimate sport. To use a football analogy, You wouldnt see Spain be forced to play Botswana in the world cup final just because the Botswana goalkeeper talked some shit.
Take GSP vs Diaz as an example. No doubt that fight is gonna make a load more money and excite a lot more fans than a possible matchup with Jonny Hendricks (the rightful No 2 contender in many peoples eyes) would have, but in no sport does a guy coming off a loss, after serving a year long weed ban get an immediate title shot.
That being said, Personally, Im all for the great fights over who 'deserves' the shot. Exciting match ups more often than not make for exciting fights and ultimately sell PPVs but dont try and tell me this is a sport, because it isn't. It is 'sports entertainment', where fundamentaly rankings mean very little, and who fights for belts is more often than not decided on based off of who will sell the most PPVs. I love great fights and exciting events, I love watching The UFC and I love when there is a great build up for events because some guy is running his mouth.
This isn't a sport, this is Sports entertainment performed by highly skilled, highly trained Athletes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!