Since the UFC announced that GSP would challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title, many fighters in the division have been outraged and that anger has pervaded other divisions with Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson voicing his disdain over the decision.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Johnson said Michael Bisping should be fighting the man who has truly earned the number one contender spot. “He should be fighting Yoel Romero,” Johnson said. “Yoel Romero has beaten everybody. He hasn’t fought Yoel Romero. That’s the number one contender.”
Johnson added that he’s not against the notion of a GSP vs. Bisping showdown, but that GSP should need to fight a top ranked opponent at 185 before being granted a title shot. “I think if GSP came back and fought a top-five middleweight and beat that person, and then got a title shot, I think people would be more accepting.”
He also acknowledges what so many fighters and fans are angry about – that this fight was set up by the UFC because management knew it would do very well on PPV and the company that bought UFC wants to recoup its investment. “I think there’s a little bit of sport, there’s a little entertainment” Johnson said. “Obviously, at the end of the day, UFC, WME, and IMG, they’re a business. They’ve gotta make sure they make back that $4.2 billion they purchased the company for.”
Though nothing is official, Dana White said he’s hoping that GSP vs. Bisping will take place some time in July.
Cervantes Analysis: I think GSP is one of the greatest fighters in UFC history and his accomplishments in the Welterweight division are unparalleled. However, he’s been out of competition for several years and fighters in the Middleweight division have spent that time training, fighting, and accumulating impressive records of their own. In my mind, there are already two number one contenders in the division, with Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza both very deserving of title shots. This fight, though intriguing, really holds the division up and takes away the opportunity from fighters who have worked years to get here. I understand that it’s a business but I’ve been very disappointed with how the UFC has really abandoned the use of rankings and merit in deciding who gets title shots.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-In an interview with MMA Fighting, Dominick Cruz’s coach said he’s “in a really good place” after having lost his title to Cody Garbrandt.
-Jose Aldo told MMA Fighting that he’s “done with wars” and plans to KO Max Holloway at UFC 212.
-Speaking with Lance Pugmire of the L.A Times, Conor McGregor said he’s targeting a fight with Floyd Mayweather for September.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/17: Chael Sonnen says if McGregor last a round against Mayweather, it humiliates boxing (w/Cervantes Analysis)
I think there should be two divisions – the rankings division, and the entertainment division – and you shouldn’t be able to enter into the rankings division without starting outside the top 10-16 or so. If you injure, you de-rank, the belt goes up for grabs. The belt should be defended 4 or at least 3 times per year. If you go to the entertainment division, you free the belt and your de-rank. There are so many good fighters that aren’t able to break into the rich closed circuit, but if rankings and league-like regulations were in place the SPORT could be so much better. Weight cutting could be way more realistic, and athletic progression would accelerate faster than it does today.