(‘Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to get to the bar so we can show this to some drunk sorority girls and try to explain what the WEC is.’ Photo courtesy of SI.com)
There’s nothing worse than when a dramatic upset victory in a title fight is followed by an injury to the new champion that keeps both him and the belt sidelined for an extended period of time. Well, actually I guess getting AIDS would be worse than that. Or when you’re walking around your house in the middle of the night and you stub your toe. Or losing your wallet, that really sucks. Okay, so there are lots of things worse than having the new champ out with an injury, but it’s still a bummer.
According to the list of medical suspensions following WEC 42, new bantamweight champ Brian Bowles — who didn’t exactly get rich with Sunday’s win — broke his left hand and could be out until February of 2010. There’s a chance that he could get it cleared by a doctor before then and render that suspension meaningless, but that’s not terribly likely unless he has special mutant bones that heal much faster than a normal human’s, possibly due to that time he was struck by lightning while holding some nuclear waste during a solar eclipse.
If Bowles is out until early 2010 or longer, you have to imagine that the WEC is going to be tempted to go with an interim title. The WEC just doesn’t have enough draws without one of their main titles up for grabs, and they aren’t going to make a successful move to pay-per-view purely on the basis of the featherweight strap.
But interim titles always feel like a fraud. Everyone knows it’s not the real thing, and yet we have to smile and be polite anyway. It’s like sitting through dinner with the married couple who clearly hates each other but is doing everything they can to put up a decent front for two hours.
Allow us to offer an alternative: the interim title belt buckle. It’s not a big, flashy gold belt. It’s just a modest accessory, perhaps made of silver, with the words “Interim Champ” clearly emblazoned on it. Maybe there could also be a picture of an eagle or a grizzly bear. Not only would it be an award more suitable for the accomplishment, but it could also be pretty damn functional. Who couldn’t use a nice belt buckle to remind them of the time they were sort of/not really the champion?
Think about it, WEC.