Making The Rounds: Title Holders Defending Their Belts
Everyone loves seeing the challenger take on the Champ in the hopes of taking his belt. It doesn't matter what division it is: The speed and technicality of of the lightweights versus the power and size of the heavyweights. However, i seems as though the frequency of Championship bouts are diminishing. With the depth of talent in the UFC, one would think that the champions would have fights lined up quickly. It does depend a lot on how the top contenders do in their fights, but the champ needs to constantly be defending his title.
Coming up August 9th, Georges St. Pierre attempts to defend his title Jon Fitch in which may prove to be one of the most exciting fights of the year. Following this title bout, Anderson Silva is set to face Patrick Cote on October 25th. After that, its all up in the air for Title Fights.
The only champion constantly seen in the cage is Anderson Silva. He is fighting constantly in the middleweight division and just broke into the light heavyweights, destroying James Irivin 61 seconds into the bout. The rest of the UFC champions, however, have not seen the same consistency that Silva has.
Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn has only fought twice this year and three times in this past year. After winning the Interim belt by defeating Joe Stevenson, Penn had to wait four months before successfully defending his title against former champion Sean Sherk. That was back in May. Word now is that he may be challenging St. Pierre in a rematch at welterweight for the welterweight belt. However, St. Pierre has to defend against Jon Fitch before this can occur. The Roger Huerta/Kenny Florian fight this weekend will most likely determine who gets the next crack at Penn, but that may not occur within this year.
Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has had more consistancy, but has not appeared too much. He is currently fighting roughly once every four months. and will defend his title this weekend.
Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is appearing more frequently than other champions, fighting ever three months. His next title defense against Patrick Cote will take place just over three months from his fight with James Irvin.
Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin has yet to defend his title after defeating Rampage Jackson in early July following their coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter. This belt is changing hands more than any other belt and is difficult, for this division, to find a top contender. After the Griffin/Jackson fight, Jackson sought an immediate rematch, which he may have gotten. After his trouble with the law, this fight may have to be put on hold for a while.
Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Tim Sylvia for the Interm belt back in February and yet to defend. He will be fighting top contender Frank Mir following the conclusion of their coaching duties on The Ultimate Fighter, which will not occur until sometime in December.
To bring it all together, Joe Silva does an excellent job of picking exciting fights. Fans can recognize the difficulty of putting together championship fights and determining the next challenger to the throne. However, is it necessary to not hold a title fight in a division in nearly nine months due to the fact that they have to coach a reality tv show? In the case of Jackson/Griffin, fighters tend to get a little ring rust due to inactivity. Fighters should have to defend their titles more frequently, else end up under scrutiny for their position as Fedor Emelianenko.
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