Ben Askren had retired for two fucking years before the UFC offered him a worthwhile contract. The guy was checked out before he started competing in the UFC. His run doesn't tell us shit other than it would have been way more interesting had him and Dana come to terms much earlier, because his personality is awesome. You could just as easily use the WEC keeping the UFC afloat for years, Strikeforce fighters dominating the UFC roster, and even a Bellator guy coming over and becoming a champion pretty quickly as a counter to this dumb theory. Same with how successful guys like Rockhold, DC, Woodley, Mousasi, Alvarez, etc are. Or did you forget those guys came from other organizations too? You can't just pick and choose the guys who don't do well to represent the "minor leagues" while ignoring all the ones that have had great success in the UFC.