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Monday, 03/25/2013, 09:41 am

Championship Consistency: Good or Bad for the Sport of MMA? | MMA NEWS

Mixed martial arts fans have been accustomed to seeing remarkably repetitive contests over the past several years, particularly in the UFC it seems. The “major leagues of MMA” are where all up-and-coming fighters aspire to compete one day, where their dreams of reaching a national audience, seeing bigger paydays and attaining championship gold can all come true.

That is, if they can make it past the stalwarts of their respective divisions.

Since beginning his ascent to UFC gold with a demolition over seasoned veteran Chris Leben in 2006, Anderson Silva has looked all but unstoppable in not one, but two divisions. Though at times he’ll make a cameo at 205 pounds, and dominate those who at first glance look like they could physically bully “The Spider”, Silva has been remarkable in his reign as the UFC’s Middleweight Champion.

Dethroning Rich Franklin in 2006 was merely a preview of what was to come for Silva, as he steamrolled opponents such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Travis Lutter and Olympic wrestler and former two-time Pride champion Dan Henderson. It wasn’t until 2010 when he first faced Chael Sonnen that Silva’s reign at the top was truly challenged; yet despite a rib injury heading into the bout he still managed to pull off a triumphant fifth-round submission victory by triangle choke.

Since Georges St. Pierre reclaimed the UFC Welterweight title from Matt Serra in his home country back in 2008, the man they call “Rush” has been in anything but one to relinquish his stranglehold on the 170-pound division. Despite facing strong opposition from the likes of Thiago Alves, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit and most recently Nick Diaz, no one has yet to solve the GSP puzzle.

While many of St. Pierre’s critics (which include his opponents) say that he can’t finish fights anymore, or has no punching power, the fact remains that St. Pierre is one of, if not the most well-rounded fighter in mixed martial arts today. With no amateur wrestling background, St. Pierre has become one of the sport’s most dangerous wrestlers while polishing his boxing game alongside famed trainer Freddie Roach. As a black belt in both karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu compliment his wrestling skills, St. Pierre’s arsenal is deep. The question is, who (if anyone) can stop him?

As Silva and St. Pierre continue their reigns on what should be the tail-end of both of their careers, young champions Ben Henderson and Cain Velasquez have shown that they may indeed be next-in-line for extended title reigns at lightweight and heavyweight, respectively. Jon “Bones” Jones has already been given what many see as “Superman” status at light heavyweight in knocking out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and choking out both Lyoto Machida and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Henderson, Jones and Velasquez, much like Silva and St. Pierre are all extremely well-rounded fighters, which is why they have risen to prominence in the UFC. But the dominance of such fighters prompts a question: is it good or bad for the sport?

While all of the aforementioned athletes have proven they can handle themselves both on their feet and on the ground, with some being more exciting than others, the fact remains that having a “king” of a division could potentially dissolve interest in watching their fights. Despite match-ups that may seem enticing, the general consensus among many seems to be, “It’s going to be just like any other [insert name] fight; he’s going to win.” Of course, this is not always the case, but if history has told us anything, it’s that when a special fighter wins a title, they keep it.

Even Ronda Rousey, the UFC’s first women’s bantamweight champion, who has risen to massive popularity since her first title bout in Strikeforce, could potentially dominate her division for years to come. Though it seems unlikely that fans will tire of seeing her metaphorically take home the arms of her opponents, it is possible.

This is where you come in, Penn Nation: What do you think? Is the future of MMA already mapped-out with champions like Jones and Henderson? Are we ever going to see anyone dethrone Anderson Silva, perhaps the greatest mixed martial artist of all time? Does GSP’s dominance of the welterweight division make for less interesting fights despite his immense popularity?

Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!


0 Responses to “Championship Consistency: Good or Bad for the Sport of MMA? | MMA NEWS”

  1. richard says:

    so the opponents say he has no punching power ? when was the last time you saw a gsp fight and his opponent has a fresh unmarked face ? they get beat and its a typical last resort at a comeback to try and save face as for the topic I think its good for the sport if you have a guy at the top who people feel is indestructible then it makes future opponents try and train harder to become that much better in the quest to take the gold in theory creating better fights

  2. GRT 3000 says:

    GSP has no punching power b/c he doesn’t throw punches. He throws superman jabs and never follows through or follows up. It keeps him safely on the outside while scoring points on his opponent…yawn. I get sleepy just thinking abt it.

  3. Dddddddd says:

    I guess it depends on your attention span and what keeps you riveted. Personally,I have enjoyed the run of the Spider
    the statements he makes with actions. He makes a mockery of his critics in the most entertaining way he can. I feel like he has given himself too his legacy and style. Goerges on the other hand to me is like watching Giligans Island,no ones getting off the island and there’s a certain security that gos along with that but I don’t need. I have great respect for both but I watch one to see how he is gonna win and I watch the other to see if someone can break up his already known and obvious game plan. It must be good on both sides because I don’t miss any.

  4. VINLO says:

    “knocking out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua”

    for the record, he never KO’d Rua… he NEVER KO’d anyone. Get your shit together author.

  5. Tumrec says:

    Nope he did not KO Shogun.

  6. Ronda Shite says:

    all fights from ufc 1 to 158 also including fuel tv,fx ultimate fighter, spike tv, etc.. they all suck!

  7. UFC 84 Forever says:

    A bit way through the article I gave up on reading it.

    Based on the comments I can only guess what was said, but at the end of the day I’ll draw my “Championship conclusion” as such.

    155 lbs is arguably the most stacked division, followed by 170 lbs, followed by 205 lbs.

    After those weight classes there is a bit of a sharp decline in the over all quality of the divisions (though no division in modern day MMA is truly a joke anymore)…

    I do have an issue with Middleweight and maintain that it is one of the worst divisions in MMA (ironically with arguably the greatest combat sports competitor of all time at the top of it…), especially as it’s constantly losing some of it’s top guys to 170 (and some times 205).

  8. Gargoyle Wrestling says:

    Couldn’t have said it better!! you da’man

  9. Me says says:

    It is good to have consistency.. that’s how you gauge greatness, how one gets the championship belt and hold on to it.. Compare that to WWE, where it seems they are giving all their employees the chance to be called champion at one time or another and most are not even deserving.. At least you could respect a champion named Anderson Silva, GSP, JBJ and even their past champions compared to so called “champions” like CM Punk and most of the WWE employees including Vince McMahon and his dysfunctional family members..

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