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Fallout: Derek Brunson’s Gaff, Conor McGregor Stripped Of Featherweight Title

So for any of you paying attention this weekend, there’s been a major shake up in the featherweight division. The UFC has decided to strip Conor McGregor of the featherweight title and upgrade the interim champion Jose Aldo to full fledged undisputed champ. It wasn’t that the move by the UFC was the wrong one, but the way it was done certainly left people scratching their heads. But that’s not all that happened this weekend.

So before we get into the main topic of the article, there’s no way I can simply gloss over the UFC Fight Night 100 main event clash between Robert Whitaker and Derek Brunson. It was a battle between two highly touted prospects who have a bright future ahead of them at middleweight, but as of now only one man is moving forward while the other has to return to the drawing board. The latter in this equation is mister Brunson who had a peculiar performance to say the least.

Brunson has been on a high as of late, finishing many of his opponents by knock out in the first round. He tried to continue that trend against a more polished counter striker in Whitaker who remained patient, survived a barrage of punches, then clipped Brunson with a well timed left hook. There’s no way to excuse it. Brunson was sloppy. His head was far forward past his front knee, a big no no in high level striking, and eventually was reaching for Whitaker with every punch. Brunson’s display of sloppy striking makes you wonder how he was able to get this far in the rankings. Brunson certainly has the skills to go far in the UFC, but at this level of the game you have to be patient and controlled with a game plan in order to reap success.

Switching gears, the UFC stripping Conor McGregor unceremoniously on a Fight Night card was pretty peculiar. Sure, the event may have had a good number of eyes on it, but it just seems so strange to randomly say “hey, by the way, Conor McGregor is no longer the champion at featherweight, Jose Aldo is now” will only have the effect of throwing people off. Yes, UFC 206 needed a big fight to replace Daniel Cormier versus Anthony Johnson. Yes, upping the stakes with a championship level match does make things more enticing. But even a small press conference or press release would have been more professional.

Now, we can argue whether or not McGregor should have been stripped of the 145 lbs belt, but at this point it’s fair to say that the masses expect a certain level of professionalism from the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world. It’s shoddy work to say the least and we expect more.

Do you think the UFC handled the Conor McGregor situation well?

Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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