Lets take emotion and sport purity out of it. This is an entertainment business, the UFC does not treat this like the NFL, NBA etc. where you win and your progress in your bracket, if you are the best at your position(weight division for UFC) you get paid accordingly. So monetarily it does not make sense to (see DJ) to pad your record beating up a bunch of no-names. The risk however are HUGE (see Anderson Silva) if you get beaten by a no-name (weidman at the time and still not a draw). The mentality of grind away defend your belt reminds me of the mentality of an old school union worker, grind away, shut your mouth and the company takes care of you. That worked for people like my grandpa who worked on the railroad for 40 years and retired with great benefits, but that's not the case in 2017. Today the average person has 10-15 jobs and is on their job well under 5 years. Why? Because they typically leave for a higher paying job. Why would Conor defend his belt against a guy who a guy like Ferguson, who has a good chance of beating him, and make 1/10th the money? Would you? I know I wouldn't. Don't blame Conor blame the UFC.