These days it’s tough to align oneself in a position to challenge a champion for his title. The general idea that a contender rises through the chaos with multiple significant victories to rightfully earn his shot at gold has been exposed as little more than a comfortable idea.
Simply tearing through a division and eliminating the high-caliber talent just isn’t enough these days. Regardless of how impressive your feats as a fighter are, if you’re the owner of an everyman personality, you’re not likely to be filling that main event slot.
Need a perfect example? One need look no further than Jon Fitch. Not only was the man recently exiled from the promotion—shockingly—he’s been blackballed by the UFC for years.
Ironically, the main complaint surrounding the man and his performances is his inability to finish. Remember that current champion Georges St-Pierre hasn’t finished a fight in well over four years. In fact, he’s finished just one opponent in his last eight bouts.
Double standards, anyone?
What makes St-Pierre such an embraced champion has actually become somewhat puzzling. I’ve always been a fan of the man’s work, as I think he’s brilliant inside the cage, but truth be told, his personality is the antithesis to what is touted and sold by the organization today as “marketable.”
GSP is nice, friendly, approachable…all the things the UFC isn’t looking for these days. The champion is in effect just like Fitch. Well, Fitch prior to becoming so disgruntled.
With the UFC’s inconsistent divisional practices it’s all but impossible to say any one thing ensures a title fight. However, here are a few things a fighter can do to guarantee he travels one step closer to that belt.