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Are Title Rematches Good or Bad for MMA?

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UFC-162:-Silva-vs-Weidman
(Chris Weidman celebrates victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 162)

It’s hard to watch any title contender give everything in their power in the big dance and leave the arena robbed by a decision. Especially when it comes to the importance of the title, nobody likes to leave with the feeling of unfairness at the outcome. This is just one of the reasons that fans feel compelled to call for an immediate rematch to give the fight another chance to what they feel is a fair conclusion. However, with so many other high ranked contenders in the division waiting in the wings, are immediate title rematches good or bad for MMA?

(Photo via UFC.com / Getty Images)
(Photo via UFC.com / Getty Images)
Good

From a matchmaking perspective, an immediate title rematch capitalizes on the controversy. If there is a strong split in opinion on the previous title fight, the second go around on the fight meets a strong viewer demand. Waiting for the contender to prove himself in one or two fights takes time. While the champion faces other contenders, there’s a chance that he can lose the top spot in the mean time. To put the original contender and champion together for the rematch after defeating other competitors doesn’t immediately meet that strong demand for justice. While they face other opponents, there’s a chance either could lose top contender or champion status as well.

Bad

Immediate title rematches favor the loser of the title fight heavily. Whether challenger or champion loses, giving them a second shot greatly takes away from the contenders that could have been next in line. An immediate title rematch also brings into question the quality of the winner’s performance and/or the capability of the judging staff. If a winner has already proven to be victorious, it can be viewed as an insult to make them have to prove themselves a second time. If the judges’ decision doesn’t reflect the true outcome of the fight, a resulting rematch can look bad on the promotion and staff.

Fairness
(Renan Barao pulled out of UFC title fight due to weight cut complications, photo:Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
(Renan Barao pulled out of UFC title fight due to weight cut complications, photo:Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Much of title rematch argument comes down to whether you want to be fair to the title shot loser or the contenders. You don’t want to see a losing title fighter get robbed by a decision, so do you give them a second chance for vindication? What do you tell the rest of the division when you give the loser a second go?

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Kurt Tellez
Kurt Tellez is a Southern California-based writer and musician. He first developed a passion for writing and literature in high school that carried through to the completion of a B.A. in English from Cal State Fullerton in 2013. Inspired by Joseph Conrad, Emily Dickinson, Alan Moore and Hunter S. Thompson, he has pursued a career in writing through contributions to online magazine publications, blogging, and social media management. His musical studies began at thirteen, and has since played in garage bands, concert bands and jazz bands everywhere from Honolulu to The Matthew Street Beatles Festival in Liverpool. Kurt has followed MMA since becoming an avid listener of the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Inspired by Eddie Bravo's appearances on the show, he became a member of Tenth Planet Jiu-Jitsu in 2014.