Turning of the Tide?: New Fighters Take Over UFC

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Turning of the Tide?: New Fighters Take Over UFC

What do the retirement of Randy Couture, the two losses apiece for Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin, and the lack of respect for Matt Hughes as a coach have in common?


Sitting back in my chair, I started to ponder these issues. First I was looking at them as individual events with no connection at all. Then it hit me like a Liddell right hook:


Could they all be a result of the same thing?


Is it just a new generation of fighters emerging to replace the old guard?


I've stated before that a competitive fighter has a shelf life of X number of years. Could it be that it's just time for a change?


For years, there were a few completely dominant fighters—Rich Franklin, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, and Matt Hughes. None of these guys currently hold a title (although Couture just retired as the champ). 


Is the disappointing performance of "Team Hughes" on The Ultimate Fighter due to a lack of respect for a fighter who's directly responsible for the sport's popularity? 


Are the new fighters really that much better?


I don't think so. Matt Hughes will put my theory to the test when he gets a title shot with fellow coach Matt Serra. 


I may sound like an old man longing for the "good old days," but I'm still going to say it:


If these older fighters can return to their earlier training, they'll rise back to the top.


I like having a dominant champ—fans in general like having a recognizable and likable person as a spokesman for their sport. But can this really happen? 


Matt Hughes may give us an idea of the answer in UFC 79.


Until then, I hope this article stimulates some interesting discussion among the loyal MMA fans out there.


Remember, keep your hands up and your chin down!

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