I'm going to keep this one short and direct. I've been growing increasingly frustrated over the last 6 months or so with the increase in fighter insults I've seen on BE in fan posts and comments. Not sure if it's happening on other sites because I don't read them. And I'm seriously considering ignoring BE comments going forward because I just don't have the patience to deal with any more of this nonsense.
But that's my problem and it's not yours to solve. Here's your potential problem, BE readers: If you insist on continuing to denigrate fighters to the extent that I've seen done to Condit, Guida, Fedor, GSP, and now Sonnen, you need to prepare for the day when future-day fans won't really be interested in giving a fuck about Anderson, Aldo, or anyone else close to your present-day heart. Because you and your fellow keyboard compatriots will have accomplished exactly what you set out to do: trash everyone you don't like because it feels good. The less-obvious consequence of that kind of action is that it cheapens the accomplishments of those fighters you do support. Honestly, how impressive is Anderson's reign if every fighter he's beaten was a cheater (Sonnen, Hendo), embarrasingly out-classed (Forrest, Cote, Maia, Lutter) or was over-rated by the UFC hype machine (Franklin, Okami, Leben)? If his strength of schedule is that weak, what has he truly done? I wouldn't be impressed if the next BCS champion pinned their season on beating the shit out of DIII trade schools, so why should a 14-0 record against cans impress me in any way?
So I humbly submit this simple formula for your consideration:
If x = fighter you like and y(1), y(2) = fighters you think suck that fighter x has beaten, then......
x + y..... = everyone sucks.
It doesn't matter about the time they fought or "intangibles" or anything else. Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Frank Shamrock, Fedor and Matt Hughes were absolutely dominant champions during their runs. Who gives a fuck about that today, though? They're all walking punch lines because the common perception is that they all benefited from beating less-than-stellar competition and as such as pretty meaningless as far as legacies go. And as I said earlier, that's the exact same argument that's being made right now about the men who are building the legacies of Aldo, Jones, and Silva. If their competition is mediocre, then they are too. That's the way it works.
So if minimalizing the accomplishments of today's champions is your goal, keep right on doing it. Jones haters, don't change a thing. But you need to realize that the brakes need to be pumped at some point before every fighter gets lumped in the "Meh, he sucks" category, even the ones who you are convinced would never end up there. The last 5 years of fan opinion has proved that assumption 100% false.