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The current contender system is ruining the legitimacy of MMA


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The gift title shot to Dan Hardy, the gift title shots to Vitor Belfort, the randomly fluctuating top contenders in each division, the various instant title fight rematches, and now a gift title shot for Chael Sonnen... Where has the legitimacy of MMA gone?


While many of these big name fighters have excellent skills and are worthy of fighting for a title, the current top contender selection system has little relevance to the competitive landscape of each division. The top contenders that are selected often do not have a solid win streak or have not fought other legitimate title contenders/top competition within their respective divisions. This top contender selection process is additionally flawed in that it robs many fighters who are deserving of a title shot (based on win streak and fighting legitimate competition) of the exposure and the potential for economic growth. Furthermore, this top contender selection process robs the fans of the most competitive fights. Predictable blow out fights are becoming more and more common as the top contenders no longer have to work there way through the competition to earn a title shot.


So what is the solution to all of these problems?...

Bring back tournament format.


Tournament format would solve all these problems as it would give every fighter an equal opportunity to fight for the top prize and would allow more fighters to gain exposure and consequently help the UFC market a wider array of fighters. Tournament format would also benefit the fans as each fight would have significance towards a title leading to more competitive fights and to the elimination of drama queens that get title fights by running their mouths (e.g. Chael Sonnen). Tournament format would also eliminate all these senseless instant rematches as turnover of the title would be common due to the no-room-for-error nature of the tournament format.

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Whatever system is out there, people will find flaws with it.


Straight off the bat, I would say the issue with tournaments is things like injuries and the Overeem situation in SF. There will always be the question-mark on that tourney of if Overeem had not been pulled from the Big Foot fight, most of us probably would still not even know who Daniel Cormier is!!!


In a way, the thought of a LHW tourney right now gets me excited...


Shogun vs Gus

Machida vs Hendo

Griffin vs Evans

Rampage vs Teixiera


BUT, the problem is that it would take all of a year for the tournament to play out, without even considering injury issues. Plus on the subject of injury issues, with the recent plague of injuries, how legit would the tourney be viewed if say two of the semi-finalists pulled out from injury and got replaced by alterns?



The best idea out there is still the need for a legit rankings system. In the event of the rank two guy being injured, the rank three guy is turned to.


Once again though, there will still be fans moaning about this system as they will not all agree on where UFC rank fighters so... :rolleyes:

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