After UFC 293, Dana said during the press conference that the rematch was the most logical step. A few days later, during the Contender Series press conference, he didn't quite walk it back, but left the door open to other avenues.
One of Dana's major blindspots, beyond how he treats the fighters financially, is his insistence for immediate rematches or near immediate rematches. Remember a decade ago when he wanted to do Lesnar-Mir 3 and there was a major public outcry? So much so that he openly said, yeah that wasn't something they'd be going forward with because of how hte fans reacted.
I’ll give him some credit for doing what boxing often failed to do, which is giving fans the fights they want to see…..and like your example here, he’ll bend to fan pressure so long as it’s easy on his pocketbook.
I'm open to immediate rematches under 4 conditions:
1- A long reigning champion loses his belt to a new challenger. The champion should have the opportunity to avenge that loss immediately.
2- A fight that is stopped prematurely, such as an early eye poke rendering one of the fighters incapable of continuing. (See Austin Lane - Junior Tafa)
3- A massive robbery with the judges or a complete referee fuck-up.
4- A fucking badass fight and the result was close. I could watch Gaethje / Poirier / Chandler / Prime Ferguson fight each other over & over and I don't think I'd ever get tired of it.
pretty much agree to the letter. I’m sure if we tried we could find some outliers to these 4, where it still made sense to make the rematch…..but overall I think that’s a pretty ideal framework to go off.
But the reality is, according to court documents, the UFC doesn't see the belts as something that determines who the best in the world is, they see belts as a "prize" to give out at the end of the night. Israel signed a contract that made him the highest paid fighter in the UFC, there's no chance they're going to have him fight in three round fights before the main event. They want him to headline because they're paying him as one of their main headliners.
I’ve completely dipped on MMA news etc in recent years, and just watch the bigger fights when streams can be found…..so hadn’t heard about this revelation in court documents.
It’s both unsurprising on some level (mimics WWE verbiage) but is also so brazenly gross that it kinda makes my stomach churn.
as Mindz has mentioned before, it’s already hard enough to watch this sport or NFL, knowing the long term ramifications for these guys, how they’re being financially exploited etc……but to also remove on top of that the idea it’s a real competition & sport to discover who is #1…..really lays bare that it’s just gladiators in the colosseum fighting to the ‘death’ for our frivolous entertainment.
…but at its best, I still fucking love it.