Every middleweight title contender is upset over the surprising matchup between UFC champion Michael Bisping (pictured) and Georges St-Pierre.
Former champs Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman, Gegard Mousasi, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Yoel Romero (to a lesser extent) have all expressed their displeasure in the UFC’s decision to slide St-Pierre into an immediate middleweight title fight despite having never competed in the division, and oh yeah, the former welterweight king hasn’t fought in over three years.
So their frustration is warranted. But are they surprised the UFC made such a move? The UFC’s new owners, who dropped a whopping $4 billion in July to purchase the MMA powerhouse, wants to make, wait for it … MONEY!
They have to try and recoup that $4B somehow, and what faster way to do that than to arrange “money fights,” even if they don’t make the most sense. Is it unfair to some? Sure. Do the UFC’s new owners care? Nope.
These top contenders should have realized after the UFC gifted Bisping a rematch against an ancient Dan Henderson in his first title defense that the UFC is going to do whatever they want.
If Rockhold, Weidman, Mousasi, Souza and Romero don’t like it, they can quit. The UFC existed before them and they will easily carry on without them. Every fighter not named Conor McGregor is replaceable. The UFC knows this, and unfortunately, so does each fighter.
The irony of all of this is, regardless of what they might say publicly, they’re upset over how this move personally affects them. So why are they mad that the UFC, Bisping and St-Pierre are doing something that benefits themselves?
The UFC’s reasons for giving St-Pierre, their former pay-per-view king, this spot are obvious. They tore up his old contract to give him a fatter one for his return, so they want to make sure they’re getting bang for their buck every time GSP takes center stage. Furthermore, if St-Pierre were to lose a warmup bout, where do they go from there?
For St-Pierre, his status as the game’s most decorated welterweight is already etched in stone. It’s all about adding to his legacy, while getting paid properly in these next four fights, at this stage in his illustrious career. Considering what he’s done for not just the UFC, but the entire sport, he’s earned it.
As for the other players “involved,” in a sport where only a handful of fighters make anything more than peanuts, these top contenders are salty because Bisping, after an extended 13-year MMA career, will finally score a million-dollar payday by accepting a bout with St-Pierre?
If the roles were reversed, none of them would turn down the biggest paycheck of their lives because they honestly believe the UFC rankings, who everyone knows is a meaningless sham, should dictate who gets next crack at their crown.
If these guys are fortunate enough, one day they’ll be sitting atop the throne and have their chance to turn down a life-changing payday in order to make less money to face the #1 contender instead…