Four years ago, the UFC’s welterweight division was in a bit of flux, with an injured Georges St-Pierre on the sidelines while Carlos Condit captured the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship in a win over Nick Diaz. Then, as it remains today, there were some different ways in which the UFC could have gone for the top end of the field, and our own Rich Hansen took a unique look at how he felt things should have played out, telling the story of another time in UFC history as only he can. Flash back to February 8, 2012 in that article below, with some parallels to what the UFC has in front of them at 170 lbs. in 2016.
Article originally published on Feb. 8, 2012
By: Rich Hansen, MMATorch Columnist
Not that anyone asked, but here’s how I would handle the top of the UFC welterweight division.
As it stands right now, Carlos Condit is the Interim UFC Welterweight Champion, and Georges St-Pierre is the full-fledged UFC Welterweight Champion. I know, I know. Breaking news; you’re welcome.
It’s very obvious that Dana White, Georges St-Pierre, and Nick Diaz all want to see St-Pierre vs. Diaz for the title. Of course, Carlos Condit went and mucked up that plan by going out there and, you know, winning. So as a result of that ever-so-unpleasant happenstance, we’re looking at Condit vs. St-Pierre (yawn) or Condit versus Ellenberger (yawn) or Sanchez (yawn) or Koscheck (which might eventually lead to Koscheck versus GSP III (yawn)) or Hendricks (who? I mean, yawn).
So what’s a promoter looking to make his first dollar to do? Let me tell you a story. A true story. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And… the guilty.
In 2007, there was a guy named… let’s call him Tall Guy, who always wore this really tacky Shiny Gold Belt every time he went out in public, and it totally didn’t go with any of his shoes. But Tall Guy didn’t let that stop him from wearing his twenty pounds of gold out to dinner, contract signings, and the such.
Tall Guy was given this Shiny Gold Belt by Rich Bald Guy, but Rich Bald Guy didn’t expect to see Tall Guy wearing the damn thing with him 24 hours a day, ya dig? Unfortunately, even though Rich Bald Guy technically owned the Shiny Gold Belt, he couldn’t just up and take it back, because then the lawyers would get involved, and Stan Marsh would yell shenanigans, and then there would be drama, and attention and the such. Rich Bald Guy needed a mercenary.
Enter Old Guy. Old Guy used to work for Rich Bald Guy, but he put himself out to pasture a year prior. Old Guy decided he could beat Tall Guy, so Rich Bald Guy was all about that. Old Guy beat up Tall Guy and Rich Bald Guy gave Old Guy the Shiny Gold Belt, and all was well with life, the universe, and everything. Hairy Back Guy tried to steal the Shiny Gold Belt, but failed miserably, and all was extremely well with life, the universe, and everything.
Unfortunately for Rich Bald Guy, and for life, the universe, and everything, Old Guy was in fact a mercenary. And being a mercenary, one day he told Rich Bald Guy “so long, and thanks for all the fish,” and out the door he went. With the Shiny Gold Belt, no less. Horror of horrors!
Rich Bald Guy wanted nothing more than to get back his Shiny Gold Belt, and if he was able to stick it to the mercenary Old Guy, all the better. So he commissioned a goldsmith to make Shiny Gold Belt 2.0, and eventually he gave Shiny Gold Belt 2.0 to Brazilian Scar Dude. Rich Bald Guy then went out and told the world that Shiny Gold Belt 2.0 was better than that other Shiny Gold Belt, and Old Guy can stick it.
(Irrelevant side note… Adrien Brody would look a hundred times better if he took that Gilette Fusion Glider that he’s endorsing and shaved the hell out of his sideburns, chin, and upper lip as well. Just sayin’. Back to the story.)
Old Guy knew his Shiny Gold Belt was the best Shiny Gold Belt, and he wanted to get his hands on both Shiny Gold Belts. Apparently he’d then be able to meld the two Shiny Gold Belts into some form of Super Belt with magic powers or some such nonsense. I don’t know, whatever, I’m just telling you what I heard. So Old Guy says to Rich Bald Guy, “I’ll fight Brazilian Scar Dude, and the winner gets to wear both belts. Deal?”
So Rich Bald Guy thought about that offer for about 30 seconds, and remembering that his secondary goal was to ‘stick it’ to Old Guy, he had a message for Old Guy. Rich Bald Guy went up to Old Guy and said, “Sorry Old Guy. I think you can beat Brazilian Scar Dude, and then what have you learned from all this? Nothing. So, I told Brazilian Scar Dude to show his Shiny Gold Belt to Cocky Dude in December. And, you know, even though I’m Rich Bald Guy, it’s not like I can just change things with at the snap of my fingers (at which point they say Rich Bald guy busted out laughing for like ten minutes straight). So how about you hang out with Scandinavian Donkey Kong Man in November, and maybe, just maybe, he won’t rip the Shiny Gold Belt from your cold dead hands?”
Feeling he had no choice, Old Guy walked into a room with Scandinavian Donkey Kong Man and gave the original Shiny Gold Belt to Scandinavian Donkey Kong Man. Eventually, Scandinavian Donkey Kong Man and Cocky Dude went through with that whole melding of the Shiny Gold Belts thing, and Shiny Gold Belt 2.0 seems to have disappeared.
So, what’s the point? How does this tie in to the current UFC welterweight mess? Simple. Let Condit, or anyone who might beat Condit, defend the Interim Title as many times as he needs to until GSP is ready to return. Make sure that GSP returns at a time when Condit (or whomever is the Interim Champion at that time) is already booked. Then just book the fight you want to book, GSP vs. Diaz for the real title, winner faces the Interim Champion. Is it really that complicated?
You can follow Irreverent Smart Ass Guy on Twitter, @JustRichHansen
[Carlos Condit art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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