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Posted 9/18/07 5:33:00PM
Posted 6/1/08 3:18:00PM
Actually, interim titles are NOT pointless. They are very much the opposite of pointless. Frank Mir won his HW title and was completely unable to defend that title after his motorcycle crash. They created an interim title match-up between Arlovski and Sylvia which Arlovski won. Arlovski went on to defend that title TWO more times before they made him the official champ because Mir was unable to rehab. It took nine months before he was promoted to Undisputed champ. Mir won the title June 19th, 2004 and an interim title wasn't created until February 5th, 2005. Roughly 7 months. Arlovksi wasn't made full champ for an additional 9 months. That's 16 months. You want them to go a year and half without a HW title fight? Talk about stagnating a division.
Rua won the LHW championship in May and won't be back until March of 2011 (now Dana is saying Summer 2011). That means everyone will have to sit around and wait for over a year God forbid there be any setbacks with knee surgery, lord knows that's never happened before. If there are any setbacks he'll be out even longer. That means a stalled division for over a year in the deepest division in MMA.
Additionally, let's just say there is a minor set back. I don't think anyone here would want a less-than-one-hundred-percent Rua taking a title fight just because he doesn't want to be stripped of his title. By creating an interim title, you keep things moving along without forcing an athlete back to the sport before his body and mind are ready to compete at the highest level. It actually helps the injured champ. I don't know if you've ever had knee surgery before, but any athlete will tell you that it's one of the worst things, mentally, to come back from. You have to prepare yourself to get hit in the legs. Ask any QB who's had their ACL/MCL shredded because a lineman hit them in the legs as they stepped into a throw. Ask them how long it took them before they felt comfortable standing in that pocket and delivering a ball with DB/LB's closing in for the kill.
Interim titles are far from pointless. Rua just hit his stride. He was looking amazing and this is coming from a Machida nuthugger. I don't want Rua to rush back before he is ready, but I also don't want to stagnate a division in case something happens. I could go on, but I think you can clearly see why they aren't pointless and mean much more than nothing.
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