ANOTHER TRIANGLE HOLD AROUND GSP
There is an obvious challenger to defend his UFC welterweight title against but there is also a grudge match he prefers and that has clouded what should be a crystal clear picture and another storm of controversy and speculation is being whipped up around him. More puzzling is this seems so far from his nature. St. Pierre embodies class, one of the greatest fighters ever and lock for the UFC Hall of Fame. And he’s a genuinely nice guy who did what heroes are required by overcoming major knee surgery, returning to action and successfully defending his belt against the interim champ Carlos Condit.
Even stranger it is difficult to say there is a right and wrong side in this latest three sided mess, cases can be made for all. Though there is a major problem with the way UFC is dolling out championships bouts that is the real eye of this storm. The lack of a true rating system where there would be a clear cut number one contender who had made the progression to get into that deserving spot and therefore would be the champ’s next fight. It doesn’t exist, this simple way of lining up opponents instead becomes totally subjective.
It is just like, brace yourselves MMA fans…boxing! Politics, friendships, then talent is the pecking order too many times.
The champion has his wish, the promoters are gate/PPV focused and contenders as well as pretenders start posturing with tweets to their followers which leads to more cyber buzz which leads to match ups that just don’t add up.
If it weren’t this way St. Pierre’s next title defense would be against Johnny Hendricks and that would be that. The build up is natural Hendricks might have the best punch in the division, certainly a great wrestler who can hit, witness three KO’s Of the Night awards in UFC competition, and maybe the best shot at dethroning the long reign of GSP. Instead it appears, key word appears, GSP wants to fight Nick Diaz.
Diaz is the one side of the Triangle that is consistent. He talked his way to a title fight with GSP before the champ injured his knee and the rightful contender Condit instead fought Diaz winning an interim belt. But it is obvious the trash talking Diaz got under St. Pierre’s usually thick skin. The champ has something to prove to himself more than others that he can beat Diaz.
Left by the wayside is Hendricks, the new Condit in it all. After beating Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann, it is hard the draw any other conclusion than this is the number one contender. And a real ranking system, not just every other website poll, would show it to be this way. Of course with the way things are it is all arbitrary. The UFC will probably appease St. Pierre, after all he is deserving of favortism with all he’s accomplished, and Diaz who had his title chance and lost to Condit, still brings attention with his bad boy image.
Then all of this could be moot if the UFC insists on the super fight that most everyone would rather see anyway—GSP versus Anderson Silva. That is an understandable prerogative. It’s always understandable that a champ, especially one with St. Pierre’s credentials, should have some say. However when there is someone as worthy as Hendricks who has taken on all comers and fulfilled the criteria necessary to get his big moment in the spotlight but is now waiting and wondering, there is a gapping hole in the process that needs to be sealed.
Sure GSP wants to show Diaz he could never take this crown. Sure Diaz would love a title shot, who wouldn’t? Sure Hendricks deserves more than he is at the moment being offered. This Triangle though is a choke hold on the fans who should always demand and deserve the best matches possible. And a real ranking system within the UFC to follow and debate and above all know which fight is truly important in the big scheme of it all.
Because with all the uncertainty spinning around the welterweights right now they might as well being navigating through the perils of Bermuda.
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