Posted by fullerene
Looking closer at that event (UFC 12) it looks like they decided to do two things:
1) Add weight classes
2) Change the "superfights" to championship matches and the tournaments into #1 contender matches
Belfort still got the short end of the stick since he won the superfight against Tank at the next UFC but the title wasn't on the line then and then, after Mo Smith beat Coleman, it was Abbot instead of Belfort who got the title shot. WTF--typical UFC making divisions and champs to suit them. Just seems kind of wrong that some of the dominant HWs of that UFC era--Kerr, Belfort and Frye--are not considered official "champions" while guys like Smith and Rutten won the belts with 0 and 1 previous UFC fights, respectively.
These were times where they werent exactly making much money... I dont think they were crowning the champions that they wanted, I think that financially they were finally in a place to step up the presentation a little, adding belts and titles, whereas before they were concentrating on shocking the world with the product... Just my opinion, of course, and I agree that there were better guys that missed out on gold that deserved it, but I dont think they were "working" the title scene...