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Joe Rogan Voices His Concerns Over The Direction The UFC Is Heading

Joe Rogan Voices His Concerns Over The Direction The UFC Is Heading
By Mikey Traynor
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The announcement that Georges St-Pierre would return to MMA with an immediate title shot against current UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping was a curious one to say the least.

The Canadian legend is moving up to the middleweight division having been a three-time champ at welterweight, and he has jumped right to the head of the queue ahead of the likes of Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza, both of whom believed they were in line to get a crack at Bisping who so far has defended his belt against Dan Henderson in another move that didn't really make sense in terms of the official rankings.

And that is something that has bothered many. It's not just in the middleweight division, but it seems as though the UFC have taken a clear decision to choose matchups for a fights based on factors other than the rankings, such as PPV draw and mainstream interest, and while they are fully entitled to do so and it makes sense from a business point of view, they are upsetting some of the more traditional MMA fans out there.

Joe Rogan is one of those fans as, while describing himself as a 'purist', he pointed out a number of issues he has with the way the UFC is heading with their matchmaking.


Speaking on the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the UFC commentator outlined how he wishes for a clear order for who gets the title shot in a particular division.

I don’t like it. I’m not concerned because there’s great fighters and you get them together and you make great fights. I’m not concerned at that. But from a purist point of view, and someone who feels like - look, if you’re going to have a champion and you’re gonna have these divisions where one man rules over the division, there should be a very clear hierarchy...

If you have a champion and you have all these people waiting in line to get a shot at that champion, the person who is perceived to be the best in that division is the one who should be fighting the champion next. The champion should always be fighting the number one available challenger. Right now, that is Yoel Romero.

Rogan continued to suggest that if this new style of matchmaking is where the organisation wants to go, then the idea of champions and title holders should be scrapped, before reiterating his belief that Yoel Romero is being hard done by.

As a person who deeply respects the position of champion - if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have fucking championships at all?

Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights. And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a great fight. If you’re going to have a title, this is the champion of the world, then the champion should be defending his title against the number one challenger and that right now is Yoel Romero.

There's no question that the increased amount of interim titles being created devalues the actual belt itself, and you can tell as much in the reaction of the fighters themselves as nobody cares about being an interim champ, it's merely a guarantee that a unification fight will come.

Rogan's suggestion is hard to envision with the old system engrained into combat sports, but really if number one contenders are going to continue to be overlooked for 'sexier' headline fights, then there comes a point where the rankings will be devalued entirely.

You can watch the latest episode of Rogan's podcast in full below:



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