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Old 11-08-2009, 01:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The value of title belts

Alright guys, if I had the time, I'd love to have done a fully articulated post on this topic, but much like the reasons for me not posting here much, I just don't got the time.

But really, what is the value of title belts?

Forget everything you know for a second.

What is the purpose of title belts? Well, thats simple. For fans, it is a crown for the best fighter in that division. For promoters, it is a physical object that can be used as a marketing point and something that can be contested for to prove who is the "best".

Would a fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort be less appealing for you if there was no title belt at stake, but(for the sake of discussion) they were still the number 1 and 2 MWs in the world?

What is my point? Well I have two. I think title belts are overrated in certain cases. I'm not going to say anything crazy like they should be abolished, but in a lot of cases, title belts are pretty meaningless. Fighters should be ranked/judged based on the fighters they have fought and their performances in the octagon. Not title belts.

Haven't the careers of guys like Tim Sylvia, Carlos Newton, heck maybe even Matt Hughes, been enhanced merely by the fact they held a belt?

Discuss.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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ive said it before, i think belts only have meaning when the other fighters consider you the best, like Fedor, Silva, BJ and GSP, whereas champions like Lesnar and Machida (because most fighters ive heard from think he lost to Shogun) it doesnt have asmuch meaning because others feel they are better or comparable. The belt is only a piece of gold unless the other fighers respect and recognize the guy wearing it as the sports best imo
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thought this was gonna be about like, how much money a ufc title belt is worth, thatd be somethign id kinda like to know haha
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It depends on which division.

Obviously belts like WAMMA are a bit of a joke because the competition is so far spread around. However most of the UFC belts are in pretty deserving hands. The LHW belt changes hands like a game of poker and should have done so again last week. The HW belt however is a total joke and will be considered a joke until he defends it a few more times.

It really depends on the division and how the fighter earned it. Because the UFC don't run any sort of formal ranking system it sort of falls to whoever they see as marketable regardless of who they have fought.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The belt doesn't always mean #1 in the division, but it helps to gauge where fighters are at sometimes.

Take Serra, for example. We all know he is and never was the #1 WW in the world, even though he had the belt. However, guys like GSP, Anderson, B.J, they are clearly the #1 guy in their division, as such, they are the title holder.

There are exceptions, such as HW belt for the reason of having not even been defended yet and the LHW belt because it changes so often. If Machida gets through Shogun in the rematch, then he is clearly #1 in that division (I already think he is, but that's a whole different issue).

Fedor's belt means more than people think. Fedor has already defended it twice, against two top 10, one of whom was top 5, fighters, and his next fight could be against Overeem, another top 10. This would not work in other divisions, of course, as all the best fighters except for LW and HW are in the UFC.

So, while the belts don't always say who the #1 guy is in a division, it generally does let you know who deserves to be on top and who the best is, and who the top guys (contenders) in the division are.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Carson View Post
The belt doesn't always mean #1 in the division, but it helps to gauge where fighters are at sometimes.

Take Serra, for example. We all know he is and never was the #1 WW in the world, even though he had the belt. However, guys like GSP, Anderson, B.J, they are clearly the #1 guy in their division, as such, they are the title holder.

There are exceptions, such as HW belt for the reason of having not even been defended yet and the LHW belt because it changes so often. If Machida gets through Shogun in the rematch, then he is clearly #1 in that division (I already think he is, but that's a whole different issue).

Fedor's belt means more than people think. Fedor has already defended it twice, against two top 10, one of whom was top 5, fighters, and his next fight could be against Overeem, another top 10. This would not work in other divisions, of course, as all the best fighters except for LW and HW are in the UFC.

So, while the belts don't always say who the #1 guy is in a division, it generally does let you know who deserves to be on top and who the best is, and who the top guys (contenders) in the division are.
With a few exceptions of course! Brock receiving the silver platter of Herring and Randy for his present. But agree with you it is usually a good gauge.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hm..
I think of the belts more as a prize, for beating possibly the best AT THE MOMENT, who has PROVEN that, by beating another one before. Just becouse you are the champ, doesn't mean you are the best - you haven't beat all of them, have you? Who knows, maybe the next contender will beat you, so yeah - I like to think it more like a prize.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The belts are far more important then most people think and always will be. There has to be a top to every mountain, and whether or not you agree with who stands there and how they got there, that person arguably holds the highest stock in their division.
Furthermore it determines the magnitude of the fight... sure Belfort/Silva would be amazing with or without a belt on the line, but the belt is what makes it a 5 round fight. The fact is, if you're a champion, you headline... that "meaningless" peice of gold, as some call it, is a ticket to the main event everytime you fight. That's what matters to the fighters, the spotlight... and rightfully so.
If the belts were abolished, it would be a very boring sport. It would be like having an entire NFL season without the superbowl, MLB without the world series, NHL without the Stanley Cup... you get my point.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Good topic. For me I think the belt is a good idea. SOmething in your mind tells you to train your ass of for that piece of gold you can call yours.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree that winning a belt massively overrates some fighters that really aren't that good. Newton was an epitome of this, but it also includes IMO Forrest, Serra, Rashad (to some extent), and Overeem. Most of these guys had ridiculously easy paths to their titles and then either fluked a win over a top fighter (forrest over rampage and serra over GSP) or beat an over the hill legend (Rashad with Chuck, Overeem with CroCop sorta).

Overeem especially, I just can't understand why everyone suddenly thinks this guy is hot shit when he's been demolished by every top 5 fighter he's faced in his career. Is looking good against a washed up CroCop, subbing a one-dimensional kickboxer, and beating the likes of James Thomson and Tony Sylvester that impressive? Buentello is his only big win recently, and even he isn't top 20.

But on the flip side, the belt is really important in getting the point across to the usual MMA fan (including the so called knowledgable ones) that jump on bandwagons as soon as a title is won. I remember there were like 10 people on this forum that were bitching about Machida not getting a title shot for so long, while the rest thought he was overrated and boring. One title fight later, everyone hops on to the "Machida era" bandwagon with sigs and avatars to boot. Same with Lesnar ... he went from overrated WWE entertainer to the guy better than Fedor after one fight. Sometimes people will refuse to acknowledge raw talent until they see some gold around that waist.

So yeah bottomline I think they serve a big purpose, but I agree that records are what truly matter. Undeserving champs will only get exposed eventually.
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