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2011: The Year of the UFC Title Curse

(Within 24 hours of touching that thing at a UFC Expo, Overeem will punch you in the face.)

Typically, UFC champions fight at least two to three times per year. This year, each strap was defended an average of 1.86 times because of a rash of injuries we chalk up to the UFC title curse.

13 title defenses for seven belts is a problem for any organization, especially one as big as the UFC. It’s tough to garner interest for your promotion’s champions when only a few are defending their titles more than once or twice a year.

(Days after Arianny presented Ali with theOctagon Girl
Championship belt, she was let go by the UFC. Coincidence?)

The question is, should there be a limit to the amount of time a champion can go without defending his or her leather and gold before an interim champ is declared?

Check out the breakdown of the 2011 UFC champion injury plague in order of lightest to heaviest weight class after the jump and judge for yourself if title fights are less interesting as a result of how infrequently they occur.

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Cagepotato Comments

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Yazloz18- December 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm
Thats the reason I like the interim belt. Technically the champ never lost a fight to lose his belt so he is still the champ but to make sure that the title isn't shelved they crown an interim champ who is acting champ until the old champ comes back then they fight to unify said titles. Unless you are out for a huge amount of time(Frank Mir post accident) you should never lose your belt due to an injury unless you did something against your contract
amsterdamheavy- December 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm
If they cannot defend a belt once a calendar year, then strip it and as spooki says, the former champion gets the next available title shot when he returns.
ccman- December 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm
They should be required at least 3 a year and one be against Sonnen.
Me likey- December 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm
i think striped like adidas shoes or candy canes.
CrushCo- December 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm
The last page shows up as blank for me.
Sho Nuff- December 29, 2011 at 11:48 am
I'd be against a hard and fast rule on the subject, it doesn't leave room for special circumstances in a sport where all kinds of crazy things happen. (These things happen sometimes in MMA). I kinda like the system now, give the champs so leeway, if it's going to a long time or injury occurs near a title defense, set up an interim belt, then a uni match later. It's up to the organization, ultimately, how much time they feel they can let it go between title defenses. They have the numbers, they know how much or how little that can affect PPV buys and network dealings.
towelie- December 29, 2011 at 11:48 am
striped like a tiger or zebra tho? tough call.
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sp00ki kabuki- December 29, 2011 at 11:00 am
i think that if you can not defend your title at least once every 12 months, you should be striped. i also think you should get the first crack at the new champion when you return tho. its only fair to everyone