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See you in 2013, Diaz and Hendricks

(Barring a courtroom miracle, this is probably the last Diaz mean mugging you’ll get to see this year. Pic from Esther Lin’s UFC on FOX 3 gallery)

Last night’s UFC on FOX 3 fights were great … exactly the kind of stuff the UFC needs to serve up on a regular basis to get normies interested in the sport. Which makes it extra disappointing that we may not see two of Saturday’s stars again for several months. Because Nate Diaz and Johnny Hendricks are going to wait for their title shots.

Hendricks, who has to wait for Georges St Pierre to heal and then for Carlos Condit to fight him, summed up his decision to wait succinctly:

“If somebody says, ‘In January, I’ll give you a million dollars. Or, you could fight in four months, and make $35,000,'” Hendricks told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Which one would you take?”

Meanwhile, with the Benson Henderson / Frankie Edgar fight not slated until UFC 150 in August, that’s probably all she wrote for Nate Diaz’s 2012. Which is really too bad because he’s got an obvious challenger to the #1 contender slot in Anthony Pettis. Here’s Pettis on FUEL minutes after the main event ended:

“Let’s do it. Nate Diaz thinks he’s the No. 1 contender, I think I’m the No. 1 contender. Let’s figure out who the real No. 1 contender is. I’ll make sure I’m ready to fight around September. I haven’t had a clear shot to the UFC title until now, so I’m going to take advantage of this. I think I match up great with (Diaz).”

Unfortunately, right now it looks like that won’t happen. All because the UFC has shown itself too eager to promise title shots when trying to build up interest in fights. If you ask me (and I’m assuming you are since you’re on my site, aren’t ya?), the number 1 contender spot should be a hot seat, not a vacation lounge chair. Sure, there’s a balance that needs to be met to make sure you’re building challengers to the title and not knocking them all down, but in this case that balance is all out of whack.

Sitting out lower paydays to wait for a title shot may be good for Hendricks and Diaz, but not for anyone else. Not the fans, who are getting sick of hypothetical fights in the distant future that often lose steam by the time they’ve arrived. Not the UFC, who need great fights with fan favorites now more than ever. And then there’s the other contenders in the division looking at a yearlong stretch stuck in a holding pattern.

The solution is simple: keep the fighters fighting. That’s what they’re there to do.

  • Symbul

    You’re so smart, Ryan.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I dunno about Diaz, Ryan.  He’s been fighting steadily for several years now and is looking forward to a few months to chill.  It’s not his fault they’re doing another rematch.

    And there’s no way I can argue with Hendrick’s logic.  He’s gotta make that money.

  • thingvolds

    seems they really had to build interest in this card, so they promised title shots.  lucky for them the fights turned out to be good also.  if nate is the guy they want in that title fight, then he’s the guy they want in the title fight.  that’s what it comes down to in the ufc right now, not who pettis thinks is the #1 contender.

    as a fan i’d like to see nate fight sooner, but i’d rather see him 100% fight for the title.  and while the #1 contender spot shouldn’t be a lounge chair, neither should the championship spot.  gsp should’ve had to relinquish the belt by now but he still has it.  it’s all just business.

  • fightfan

    Jake Ellenberger’s the 1 gettng screwed the worst here.  He fights on June 1st and will have a 7 fight win streak if he beats Kampmann.  And the way Kampmann gameplans, he will probably get KO’d by Jake in opening minutes.

    Anyhow, if GSP/Condit doesnt happen till Nov or Dec 2012, then Hendricks/GSP-Condit winner wont take place until AT LEAST April or May 2013.  And if Jake continues to win thru then he MIGHT get a title shot by about Sept 2013.  By then he will probably have to have a 10 fight win streak by then. 

    Also, if Nick Diaz gets back before end of summer, he might be thrown into that mix.

  • Mike Winklejohnson

    I didn’t know that it’s official they’re getting title shots? Diaz should fight Maynard first. Hendricks should fight Ellenberger. It’s slightly weak to give title shots off that, especially a razor thin decision win by Hendricks.

    But Joe Silva has done crazier things…

  • Oontyex

    Agree for sure,
    but i think what condit is doing is much worse – they set up an interim to unjam the devision and he gets and decides to ride it out till GSP. What exactly is the point/ value in the belt he’s holding then if he can choose to keep the devision as held up as it would have been without it.

    Also, benson v edgar wasnt a close fight, decision to rematch was rediculous

  • Reverend Clint

    make these fucks fight god damn it!!!!!!!!

  • glassjawsh

    unless i seriously missed something Hendricks wasnt promised shit. he’s just being a retard hillbilly. make him fight Ellenberger in the fall, winner gets gsp/condit winner. if he turns down the Ellenberger fight then give jake the shot instead. problem solved.

  • drunkenjunk

    ^^^

    Dana said before that card that if Hendricks won he’d get the title shot. I wish he’d just fight Condit now.

  • GluteusMaximus

    Twas a very good main card.

    I didn’t see any of the prelims (I dont watch things on facebook or mtv), but the main card was more solid then most of the PPV main cards so far this year.

  • GluteusMaximus

    I say let them sit out if they want.
    Or take a particularly significant fight, if they want to.

    But climbing all the way into the top contender position and then being expected to defend second place on a regular basis for a year just doesn’t seem fair.

    Its not going to bring out the same fire in you and its almost demeaning for you to be doing the job that the champ should be doing but not getting the same recognition or respect for it.

    If things go so awry that right before the contender gets his championship fight the champ sits out for a year, then I think the consolidation prize should be being able to choose to wait if you want to.

    Although everyone should be aware that the problem with that is that bitch ass dana will change his mind and take your shot away if someone like Diaz struts into town with a bunch of 12 year old twitter followers in tow.

    But dana would do that if you were steadily wearing yourself out in top contender position anyway.

    So fuck him too.

  • GluteusMaximus

    Consolidation=Consolation

    Lol.

    I’m an idiot.

  • smelly balls

    diaz bros 209 motherfuckers 4life

  • frickshun

    I want fistfights. Just make a bunch of fistfights & I’ll be happy.

  • Fightlinker

    JUST BLEEEEEEEEED

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    The real thing we need to be talking about is stripping that cunt Condit of his belt.  The only reason for an interim title is so it’ll be defended in the extended absence of the real champion.

    Either strip that bitch or book him in a fight.

  • GluteusMaximus

    Bowling trophy>Interim title

    Here this looks like a belt, and you can put this on your mantlepiece were a belt would go, but its not.

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