Tate, Florian criticize UFC’s proliferation of interim titles

Posted: 21/02/2017 in MMA, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

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With a bundle of title fights on their resumes, Miesha Tate and Kenny Florian are uniquely qualified to talk about the worth of a championship.

The mixed martial artists turned broadcasters spoke about the recent surge of gold on Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” and neither were impressed with the UFC’s eagerness to create interim belts in divisions that already have a clear-cut ruler.

Tate – a former champion at 135 pounds – believes title inflation devalues the supposedly meaningful achievement.

“Yes, it does and here’s why – it’s like giving out two gold medals at the Olympics,” Tate said, according to Damon Martin of FOX Sports. “I think there should be one champion per division, period.

“Otherwise, you’re really just crowning a No. 1 contender.”

Currently, the UFC has an interim featherweight champion (Max Holloway), and plans to crown an interim lightweight champion March 4 when Khabib Nurmagomedov fights Tony Ferguson. Former undisputed light heavyweight king Jon Jones won an interim title last April, only to have it stripped when he failed a drug test.

While Florian never managed to scale the mountaintop, he earned title shots at both lightweight and featherweight, so he knows all about how difficult it is to get a belt wrapped around his waist. He questions why the substitute titles are even necessary given that the undisputed champions in question aren’t expected to miss extended time.

“There should only be one reason for an interim title, that’s if the champion’s going to be out for a period about a year or longer,” Florian said. “Other than that, I think people are seeing right through it.

“It’s kind of just a marketing gimmick if you ask me.”

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