Tuesday, July 3, 2007

No Unification at UFC 75

Well, I don’t have a dog for you to kick, but this is just as bad.

UFC president Dana White said last week during a conference call that the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson-Dan Henderson fight at UFC 75 will not unify the Pride and UFC light-heavyweight belts, The Orange County Register’s Carlos Arias has reported.

“No. What we’re doing with that thing is we’re respecting both (the UFC and Pide) titles. The UFC title is the UFC champion and we’re respecting Dan as the Pride champion. Quinton will walk out with his belt if Dan wins and vice versa,” White said.

Wait, wait, wait, wait. So will the fight only be three rounds? Will the belts ever be unified or will we have multiple champions? Will there be top contenders for each light-heavyweight belt? Will henderson ever be given the chance to unify middleweight belts, as well? What is this?!?!?

I can understand Dana’s logic for “respecting” the two belts. Jackson and Henderson each scored big-time knockouts to capture light-heavyweight gold, and they deserve their due respect. But will the fans really respect a belt worn by a champion who was just beaten?

Overall, I think this situation works out better for Henderson than it does for Jackson and the UFC. If Henderson were to lose his belt to Jackson, he’d still hold the Pride middleweight belt. Not too shabby.

Jackson, on the other hand, just beat the immensely popular, long-time LHW champ Charles David Liddell, so losing the belt after his first title defense to a glorified middleweight could be tough pill to swallow for the UFC light-heavyweight division. Plus, plenty of UFC fans have virtually no idea who Dan Henderson even is and may find themselves baffled if the virtually unknown Henderson were to hold three belts at once.

All I know is that if Dana White plans on having more non-title fights with champions, someone better tell Takanori Gomi it’s safe to come over to the UFC.

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