A World without Champions (Long-ish Read)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Foolish, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Foolish

    Foolish Green Belt

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    Hello Sherdog, I hope your evening is going well. I am making this thread because of a discussion between a friend of mine that led to a long and drawn-out conversation. But the speculation that took place was so thought-provoking as to cause me to want to hear some opinions from a place such as a public forum, to determine not only what the general consensus to this question is, but also to hear exactly what people think about this question that I have asked.

    In order to ask the question that provoked our argument, I feel I must first provide some context. In recent years there have been weight divisions that have been utterly dominated by a particular champion. Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and Jose Aldo have all been stacking up title defenses like they're going out of style. You could even include Mighty Mouse, who has five title defenses to his name. Now we are in a scenario where two of those names have lost their belts.

    But examining this scenario provokes two interesting observations. While Chris Weidman seems poised to pick up where Anderson left off, being the man to beat (watch Vitor make that comment irrelevant) we have had two new champions in two welterweight title tilts. Which led me to an interesting thought. While often times the champions in certain divisions have had long and dominant reigns, almost no contender has managed to stay unbeaten outside of title fights (with the possible exception of team Alpha Male).

    Here is where the speculation begins: It is undeniable that the title reigns we have been able to bear witness to are nothing short of extraordinary...isn't it? Is it possible that in a world where none of these fighters existed, no Jones, no Silva, no Aldo, that the #2 guy would step into his role and put together a reign just as impressive? Or are all of the fighters in the divisions so far removed from the champions that the feats they have accomplished are unrepeatable? Without Anderson, would Rich Franklin be undefeated or would we have a string of champions, the belt changing hands every other title defense? Now of course there is not a definitive answer, and we cannot claim to know what would exist in this crazy alternate reality I am proposing.... But then the question I have is more an examination of the accomplishments of these most celebrated of champions. Is the undefeatable #1 guy a phenomena that requires a #1 guy, or will there always be a vacuum that eliminates all but the strongest contender, who will build an impressive reign by default?

    If you want to know my opinion, I do feel that the dominance of these men is a phenomenon based on their talent. I do not feel that Jon Fitch could have done what GSP did, or any other welterweight for that matter. Rich Franklin is not Anderson Silva But then isn't that where the beauty of MMA is? I may be proven wrong immediately.

    So then my question is to you, assuming that you want to provide an answer (I will gladly take speculation):

    In a world without champions, no Aldo, GSP, Jones, or Anderson- Would the divisions have someone step in as the new #1, or would it be a case like the Lightweight Division, no champion being able to put together more than three defenses? And if you feel that a new #1 would be there, does that make the title reigns distinct, or is the long title reign simply a result of the best fighter being chosen by natural selection, something that will always occur until a new #1 appears?
     
  2. Reach4theSky

    Reach4theSky Playin' a riddim

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    I totally think someone else would step in and be a dominant champion. Maybe not in all cases but in the majority. Example, if there was no Aldo, I feel Edgar or Mendes would be 'that guy'. Same for JDS.
     
  3. FallonFoxGOAT

    FallonFoxGOAT Banned Banned

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    If it wasn't for Cain, JDS would be the first HW champion to defend the title 3x in a row.
     
  4. RockyLockridge

    RockyLockridge Silver Belt

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    The LHW division is good evidence that jones is special, and without jones specifically the Championship would be a "Hot Potato". but eventually someone (maybe Gus or maybe DC) would come in and be dominant.

    If George, Anderson, Aldo, and Jones never happened I think someone else would just fill their shoes. Do i think that someone else could achieve what those men did? probably not, We'll never know.
     
  5. Reach4theSky

    Reach4theSky Playin' a riddim

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    Yes! JDS is sad about this.
     
  6. Kingfarthur

    Kingfarthur Purple Belt

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    Good question.

    No, not in most cases. Was there ever a guy that opposed any of these dominant champions? Not really, a lot of those guys never fought the same guy they already beat once.

    Rich Franklin-he probably would've won some more fights, but lost some as well and wouldn't have been nearly as spectacular as Anderson.

    Matt Serra or Koscheck or Fitch-no way, they'd have beaten eachother up

    Gus or DC-possibly, although I see these guys as pretty close to equal at LHW, and the same thing as Rumble.

    I feel dominant champion are just that for a reason, and unless there is a guy right there that is their equal or very close, they wouldn't be able to step in and replicate what the dominant champion did.
     
  7. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    Vice versa is just as true.
     
  8. FallonFoxGOAT

    FallonFoxGOAT Banned Banned

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    Yeah, I was just about to post that.

    Although, Cain is far more injury prone than JDS so I still give the edge to JDS as far as defending the title 3x in a row (had the other not existed) :icon_evil
     
  9. Air Lats

    Air Lats Gentlemen, this is democracy manifest!

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    I'm with you. I go for the 'more hot-potato-y-ish' tendency rather than the 'Vacuum requires dominance' theory. Vacuum obviously does not require dominance as it's easy to cite classes that were very hot-potato-y for long stretches of time. I think if Jones hadn't come along, we'd have had at least three different LHW champs since his reign began - just like LHW has been for a long time before JBJ.
     
  10. mademan081

    mademan081 Banned Banned

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    There are in fact a few title contenders who would have had likely had fairly long reigns if not for the existence of the champs you mentioned. However most of them wouldn't have, because the champs you mentioned are a special, rare breed of fighter.

    Most people don't realize how big of a factor motivation plays in fighting at this level. When you are on a title run or defending a title, motivation is very high so you perform much better. Once a guy loses a title shot, it is very difficult to train and fight with that type of motivation for "regular" fights.
     
  11. Foolish

    Foolish Green Belt

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    The main problem I have with heavyweight is the susceptibility to knockouts due to the amoun of power being thrown. It is hard for anyone to dominate a class where a single punch can end the night. As for light heavyweight, that division is unique in just how deep it was pre-jones. It reminds me of lightweight today, with every fighter having so many strengths that any contender could potentially beat the champion. And even despite being the second most hot potato division in the UFC so far, you still have had stretches where fighters did dominate, shamrock Liddell and Ortiz mainly. Which makes me wonder whether there is a type of natural selection taking place, where a dominant champion will eventually be chosen no matter what.
     
  12. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. FallonFoxGOAT

    FallonFoxGOAT Banned Banned

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    I did not peg you as a Metallica fan.

    I was thinking more along the lines of Tchaikovsky
     
  14. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    They have been around for a long time. I listened to them when I was a relative youth.

    I do try to listen to the great classics, but truth is I am not smart enough to really appreciate most classical music. It frustrates the hell of of my old man.
     
  15. FallonFoxGOAT

    FallonFoxGOAT Banned Banned

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    Confirmed Inga is taken.

    Worst day of my life.
     
  16. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    You're missing all this

    You're missing all this



    [​IMG]
     
  17. FallonFoxGOAT

    FallonFoxGOAT Banned Banned

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    I don't say this lightly, but...

    ...would.
     

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