Big Rigged: Diaz Jumping Hendricks in Title Queue Proves UFC More Entertainment Than Sport

By Adam Martin Subscribe to Articles by Adam Martin

Johny Hendricks is fuming.

The rising 170-pound fighter, who is coming off a one-punch KO win of Martin Kampmann in his last outing at UFC 154 which made him the purported #1 contender in the UFC welterweight division, is being passed over by Nick Diaz for a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

The former two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion took to Twitter yesterday to vent his frustration at UFC president Dana White’s decision to have Diaz jump the title queue — a decision made, according to White, because St-Pierre wants that fight instead — in the only way the soft-spoken Texan knows how to.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Hendricks tweeted, before tweeting his intention to sit out if he doesn’t get his shot at the title.

And Hendricks has a right to be mad, because this isn’t right. This is wrong, on so, so many levels.

First off, Diaz is coming off a loss, albeit a close decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. After that fight, he was suspended for one year for having marijuana metabolites in his system, and is currently sitting on the sidelines waiting to get re-licensed by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Regardless of whether Diaz should have beaten Condit (I had Condit winning the fight 48-47), the fact is he lost the fight, and if you look at his record, there’s a big L on it.

Hendricks, on the other hand, hasn’t been losing. In fact, in the time that Diaz has been out suspended, Hendricks has defeated former title challenger Josh Koshcheck as well as Kampmann, who many were touting as a possible title challenger himself. And just five weeks before Diaz’ fight with Condit, Hendricks put himself on the map with that famous one-punch KO of Jon Fitch.

The fact of the matter is, Hendricks has earned his right to fight for the title in the cage, and Diaz hasn’t. The UFC is thus setting a dangerous precedent by allowing Diaz to take the fight with St-Pierre instead of Hendricks – but wait, who am I kidding? This trend started when Chael Sonnen was announced as Jon Jones’ next opponent, which made even less than this, but that still doesn’t make this right.

More and more, the UFC is turning into more entertainment than sport, or as UFC lightweight contender Jim Miller tweeted yesterday, “it’s less of a competition and more of a contest.” And as a die-hard fan of MMA, I don’t like the direction the sport, or more precisely, the UFC, is taking right now, and I don’t know what to make of it.

I understand that there are fans that want to see Diaz vs. St-Pierre and that it will do giant pay-per-view numbers. But there are also lots of fans that want to see Hendricks fight St-Pierre. And really, what’s so bad about letting Hendricks get his shot while Diaz earns his own by firstly getting re-licensed, and secondly actually winning a fight?

I don’t like that Hendricks has been bypassed by Diaz just because the Stockton native talks more trash, but I accept it as a reality. However, I don’t agree with it at all.

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