Don't forget, Nick Diaz got his title shot after a controversial win against Mike Aina!
Good point, thanks for reminding me!
I think the only example you gave that actually compares is that of Matt Serra. Every other example, Penn, Silva, and Randy, "earned" their shot because of their career as a whole. It isn't completely fair, but it's better for an A level fighter to beat a decent opponent and get a shot, than a B level fighter, that has done very little in MMA, getting a shot after beating another B level fighter.
I get what you're saying, but I personally feel that more than one win in a division is warranted before a title shot, regardless of what you did in other organizations.
BJ was coming off two straights losses at welterweight, he beats Pulver at LW and all of a sudden he's ahead of Tyson Griffin in the title race? Tyson's not a B fighter, and at the time he had beaten two top LW competitors in Guida and Tavares.
I love BJ Penn, but he really should have earned his shot. Chuck Liddell has to earn his title shot despite his accomplishments in the UFC, so why does BJ get a free pass?
Marquardt should have gotten a title shot before Silva, because he was on a four fight winstreak. Why should Silva's accomplishments in Japan mean more than Marquardt's inside the UFC?
How did Randy earn a title shot through his career as a whole anyway? At HW Randy isn't that accomplished.