UFC: Why Making Any Superfight Happen Would Be a Mistake
It seems that as soon as a fighter has any type of success, the calls ring out for a superfight. Even if the fighter(s) in question have not truly run through their weight division, who cares? Fans want a superfight.
And while superfights sound great on paper, do they really make sense for anyone but the fans?
Everyone seems to be clamouring for a fight between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The only person that doesn’t seem all that interested in this fight is St-Pierre, who has said many times over that it would require a reorientation of his entire career, which is something the fans don’t seem all that interested in hearing about.
In fact, all of the proposed superfights would require one fighter to switch weight divisions—something that many fans see in very simple terms as, well, he walks around much heavier than the weight he fights at, so it should be easy to move up a weight division, or in the case of Frankie Edgar, move down a weight division.
The only fighter that has tried to talk sense on the subject has been St-Pierre, who said if he made the move he would do so correctly, adding muscle mass to his frame and essentially ending his chances of ever going back to welterweight.
For his honest assessment of the situation, St-Pierre has been viewed at worst as afraid to fight Silva, and at best as setting conditions to make the fight happen. Seeing how someone as widely respected as St-Pierre was taken to task, it’s no wonder most other fighters that hear their names circulated in the superfight scenario choose to keep quiet.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say all of a sudden everyone wakes up and decides, "You know what? It’s time to make these superfights happen—but they all have to be title fights."
Why would they have to be title fights, you ask? Simple. Why would a fighter who is already an established champion in one weight division take months to add mass to his body for a one-off fight that means nothing but a big pay check?
I’m sure money is not a huge concern for most of the UFC champions, so they would want to fight for the gold, for the glory and to be remembered as a UFC champion in two weight divisions.
Then what? Of those moves, the only one (if they all made the move correctly, by adding muscle mass to their frames) who could return to his original weight division without stress to his body would be Edgar.
So, where does that leave the UFC? They’ll now have two dominant fighters in some weight divisions and in others they may be left with none.
Some will say that scenario is fine, but is it? Do fans want to see two fighters possibly running roughshod over an entire division while other divisions are exchanging titles between fighters every few events?
Fight promotions love dominant champions, and most fans do as well. In the long run, to increase the talent pool in one weight division by reducing the talent in another just does not make sense.
So, while the term superfight sounds great on paper and the matchups make the fans salivate, they just don’t make much sense other than for a short-term gain.
Superfights would be like a sugar rush; great for a short while, but after the buzz wears off, then what?
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