The UFC middleweight division is basically in shambles. Michael Bisping shocked the world when he captured the title. His next two ranked contenders are Yoel Romero and former champ Luke Rockhold, so Dana White and UFC recently announced that the next person to challenge for the belt will be … returning superstar Georges St-Pierre, who has been retired since 2013.
Let me just scroll down the UFC middleweight rankings and see where GSP is listed.
[50 ranked fighters later]
It’s clear that UFC cares about star power, and they have for some time. In their defense, it’s a smart way to run your business. In their not-defense, it’s a great way to piss off your actual ranked fighters who have been killing themselves to try to earn title fights.
UFC on FOX hosts Tyron Woodley and Kenny Florian asked Rockhold for his take on the middleweight division on Wednesday, and it’s clear the fighter isn’t happy. He took what could be perceived as a swipe at WWE while voicing his displeasure with the current situation.
“It’s chaos, isn’t it? I mean, I think they’re running down a slippery slope. I think things could easily get out of hand. You never know what these guys are going to do. Georges isn’t going to fight anybody in the top of our division if he wins this fight. Bisping could potentially be in the same boat.
“I’m bummed they took this route; it’s kind of taken away from the sport, the heart of the sport. It’s about the top guys fighting each other. This isn’t WWE, this is fighting. This is what it’s all about. So when they make moves like this, it makes you question a lot of things about what you’re doing, and how you’re approaching it.”
DID SOMEONE SAY TOP GUYS?
If anyone has been following both WWE and UFC lately, there’s been significantly less drama and turmoil over in the pro wrestling world. It’s also been a lot more compelling (maybe because it’s WrestleMania season), and there are way fewer events you have to keep up with.
Hey, you’re right, Luke! This ISN’T WWE. Thanks for reminding me I need to watch more WWE. Good lookin’ out.
For real, though, Luke should be pissed off, and so should a lot of other fighters. I want to see that GSP vs. Bisping fight as much as the next person, but holy moly at least make the guy earn it. UFC is trending closer and closer to sports entertainment all the time, and Dana has never been shy about stealing from Vince McMahon’s bag of tricks. GSP/Bisping will bring in the casual fans, but UFC thrives on the diehard MMA fan who wants integrity and real competition in the sport. You piss that group off, and things are going to get bad in a hurry.