When you think of overrated champions, Matt Hughes doesn't usually come to mind. After all, many people consider him the greatest welterweight of all time, or, at the very least, the second best behind Georges St-Pierre. Some go so far as to place him among the five best fighters of all time. And that, of course, is the problem.
One of the best ever?
Not even close.
When you look closely at Hughes' record, you'll find a string of opponents who don't quite pass muster as true contenders. There are the also-rans like Joe Riggs, Gil Castillo and Frank Trigg.
And then there are the lightweights. Matt Serra, BJ Penn, Hayato Sakurai, Sean Sherk—Hughes' resume is chock full of smaller men whom he had tons of size on. That hurts historically.
Another overrated champion is former WEC standard-bearer Urijah Faber.
No one can deny Faber's role in popularizing the lighter weight classes. He dragged the featherweight and bantamweight classes into the UFC with the force of his popularity alone.
But his resume just doesn't warrant consideration as an all-time great. Jeff Curran, Joe Pearson, Chance Farrar—these aren't names pulled from the latest issue of Random Fighter Quarterly. These are the guys Faber defended his belt against. Not exactly a murderer's row.
And when the competition went up a notch, against Mike Brown, Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo? His winning percentage went down. Urijah Faber is a great guy and an exciting fighter. But in my opinion at least, he's overrated significantly by fans who haven't studied up on who he beat for the belt and who he successfully defended it against. A title belt only means as much as the men competing for it.
Those are my calls as the most overrated champions of all time. Share your thoughts in the comments.