Many people have questioned the making of the UFC middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. The prevailing sentiment is that number one contender Yoel Romero should be getting the shot at the belt, instead of St-Pierre, who is coming off a three-year absence and has never fought at middleweight before.
One of those who has issues with the newly-made matchup is veteran analyst Joe Rogan. In his recent appearance on ESPN’s 5ive Rounds podcast, Rogan says there should be a “clear hierarchy” within any weight class in the UFC.
“I really want to see Yoel Romero get a shot at the title,” Rogan said (transcription via MMA Fighting). “I know he’s waiting, he’s waiting right now for what I think is an interesting fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. I think that’s an interesting fight. I don’t like it in terms of the hierarchy of the division. I think that, as far as the division goes, it’s not good at all. It sort of hijacks the whole situation.”
“I don’t like it. I’m not concerned because there’s great fighters and you get them together and you make great fights,” he continued. “I’m not concerned at that. But from a purist point of view, and someone who feels like - look, if you’re going to have a champion and you’re gonna have these divisions where one man rules over the division, there should be a very clear hierarchy.
“If you have a champion and you have all these people waiting in line to get a shot at that champion, the person who is perceived to be the best in that division is the one who should be fighting the champion next. The champion should always be fighting the number one available challenger. Right now, that is Yoel Romero.”
In recent years, the making of interim titles left and right has been the progression in the UFC. Rogan also feels the concept of championships has been somewhat devalued by this new trend.
“As a person who deeply respects the position of champion - if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have f**king championships at all?
“Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights,” Rogan said. “And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a great fight. If you’re going to have a title, this is the champion of the world, then the champion should be defending his title against the number one challenger and that right now is Yoel Romero.”
UFC is targeting the Bisping-St-Pierre fight to take place at UFC 213 on July 8th in Las Vegas.