In boxing, if there is a match to determine the No. 1 contender for a title, it is 12 rounds, just like a title fight. MMA should be the same.
When a fight is as important as the main event was last night, the athletes should have time to work their game, and three rounds is just not enough.
If you lose the first round in a three round fight, you are already in a massive deficit. And, when the first two rounds are close, and one fighter completely takes control in the third round, it is frustrating to see that fighter lose a decision.
Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn are two of the best fighters in the world, and likely of all-time, yet they are fighting the same amount of rounds as any undercard fighter making his UFC debut. It is unfair to them to not be awarded as much time to finish a fight as the champions are.
We even saw it a bit in the Dennis Siver vs. George Sotiropoulos fight. Siver came out strong, but Sotiropoulos began to get in his rhythm in the second round. In the third, Sotiropoulos was forced to ditch that rhythm, knowing that the fight was going to be over in a matter of minutes.
Sotiropoulos was likely one fight away from fighting for the championship and he should be awarded more time to work and show his craft. It should not be who can get their work done the quickest.
And, we saw it when former champs Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida met last year. The first two rounds were close and Machida completely dominated the third round. Still, Jackson got the decision. It was not enough time to find out who was better.
This is why the UFC should develop an official ranking system. Then when say top five fighters fight each other, it will be for five rounds.
Penn and Fitch should have been a five round main event. Think of how decisive it would have been if they were given more time.