Excessive or Unearned Title Shots
“What do you say, Tonya? Best two out of three?”
There are some rematches that aren’t just a good idea, they’re a moral imperative. And there are some battles so compelling that you’ve got to set them up whether the W’s & L’s line up or not. But there are some fighters who seem to be granted title shots, lots of them, based more on popularity or reputation than recent results. We can accept a great fight at face value and realize that injuries and timing play a big role in match-ups, but when a single fighter consistently benefits from those circumstances, it’s rather hard to ignore.
Urijah Faber dropped his fourth consecutive title fight last year in a rematch against Dominick Cruz. A lone victory at UFC 139 was enough to propel him into a rubbermatch with the champ. This marks the third time that a single victory has been enough to validate another bite at the championship apple for the “California Kid”.
Similarly, 2011 saw Kenny Florian drop down to Featherweight in search of that elusive UFC gold. Although he was coming off a loss to Gray Maynard, a lone win in a new division was enough to secure a fight with champion Jose Aldo. That bout marked Florian’s third unsuccessful bid for a title.
In a perfect world, a challenger would walk into a title fight with three or more straight wins under his belt. We’re not made of stone, so we’ll allow for an exception here or there, but there’s no reason a fighter should find himself in that position more than once, so he’d better make the most of it.
Of course, that’s assuming that there’s a champion ready to fight you…