This is a topic that has been on my mind for a while, but I've just had trouble coming up with an answer. So I've decided to just share my thoughts and see what everyone else thinks.
'Value' can be defined as something that makes something desirable to someone else. In regards to UFC titles, we can also use the concepts of 'worth' and 'prestige' to better understand my thoughts on the subject.
Is BJ Penn's Lightweight title more prestigious then Machida's Light-Heavyweight title? In case the question I am trying to get at is not clear by now: Which UFC title does it mean more to hold? Is there even an answer? Which title do you value most?
The Heavyweight division is usually always considered the blue-chip division in combat sports. Whether that is due to the size of the fighters, size of personalities, big KO's, or just people's fascination with seeing big men go at it, I just don't know.
The problem is that the UFC Heavyweight title has been stripped, vacated, and relinquished more then any other title in the company's history—five times in fact. I think that enables you to make a case that the title has been de-valued because of this.
At this very point in time, we are once again seeing another Interim-title fight being planned in the division between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. What does that do to the worth of Brock Lesnar's title he currently holds? Another interesting fact is that the Heavyweight title has had the most different Champions (14) since its inception. Does that signal weak Champions or a tough division?
Often referred to as the most competitive and deepest division, the Light-Heavyweight title has had probably the most famous history in the UFC. The long reigns of Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, and Chuck Liddel have certainly given the title prestige and value in my mind.
In more recent times, the title has changed hands in rapid succession, but I don't think this has done the title any harm. It's only highlighted the competitive nature of a deep division and how hard it is to hold the title.
The fact that Forrest Griffin has held the LHW Title at least once will cement his legacy in the sport as more than just one of many TUF winners. On the flip side, does the fact that a reality TV fighter, Forrest Griffin, has held the title devalue it?
The Middleweight title is interesting as it doesn't have the same calibre of names as other divisions on its list of former champions. However, there is a strong case that Anderson Silva has single-handedly made it one of the most valuable titles in the UFC.
The next Middleweight Champion, whoever that may be, will have to follow one of the greatest, if not the greatest, UFC Champions ever, one who has set numerous records in the company and is still setting them with every title defense. Could the Middleweight title really be the most valuable and prestigious belt in the UFC today?
The Welterweight Division Title has a case for the strongest list of former champions in the UFC. With long title runs from Pat Miletich, Matt Hughes, and now GSP, the title continues to be hotly contested by a deep division filled with high-level talent.
The title arguably lost a bit of credibility when Matt Serra shocked the world, but GSP is working hard to rebuild its legacy with every title fight he has. If GSP wins a few more fights, there is strong case that he will have faced the toughest list of challengers ever and consequently given his title great value.
It is harder to value the Lightweight title, as the division has had a checkered past in the UFC, so you can't really compare it with other divisions on an equal playing field. What you can say is that its three champions, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, and BJ Penn have set the bar high in terms of talented champions.
As we all know, BJ Penn is currently on a path of destruction through the Lightweight division. With each passing title defense, he is creating his own history for the title and making it one of the best in the company.
So there you have it. My thoughts on the 'Value' of today's UFC titles. I know I haven't really answered any questions, but hopefully I have raised a few. The point is I want your thoughts on the subject because I am having trouble deciding myself!!