If unbeaten heavyweight Daniel Cormier gets by Dion Staring next month at Strikeforce‘s final show, and teammate Cain Velasquez stumbles this weekend at UFC 155 in a title-fight with champion Junior dos Santos, there’s a distinct possibility Cormier could receive a crack at winning UFC gold in his next bout without a single previous appearance under the promotion’s banner. If such comes to pass, as similar situations have, Cormier would leapfrog a few peers who may not have his perfect record but at least own a few victories inside the Octagon.
The possibility is indicative of a problem many fans see with the way the UFC’s hands out title-shots, occasionally awarding them on merit unrelated to performance in the company’s infamous eight-sided cage. Cormier recently addressed the issue as someone with a vested interest in the matter, saying there’s a fine line between the role entertainment and athletic accomplishment play in combat sports.
“Sometimes the fans will speak up on a fight, they will bombard the guys with the Nick Diaz fight or the Chael Sonnen situation. Then right after the fight is announced you get almost the same amount of people talking bad about the fight,” explained Cormier in an interview with BJPenn.com, adding a nugget for thought, “I would much rather there be some consistency and see the most deserving guy gets the title fight, but what is deserving based on? Is deserving based on ticket sales? If so then Sonnen and Diaz deserve their title fights. It’s based on what’s important in the grand scheme of things.”
“There should be a little bit more of a structure to giving out title shots, but that’s how it is in combat sports a lot of times, even boxing,” Cormier concluded.
Cormier also pointed to fellow Oklahoma State alum Johny Hendricks as being the most notable victim of the UFC’s lack of structure where contendership is concerned.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE