Stop the Insanity! No More Immediate Rematches!

Friday, April 6th, 2012 by Tony Reid

I don’t know how or even when or where this all started but it has gotten way out of hand. What has gotten out of hand, you ask? The automatic rematch, kids. This epidemic crosses all weight classes and all organizations but the worst of the worst is the automatic rematch for the title. A current example is the Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar rematch that is coming up this summer. I watched the first fight and Frankie Edgar might have won 2 minutes of the entire fight, if that. It wasn’t even close. The only way he could have won the fight is if it was a leg catching contest. Bendo beat him from pillar to post for, basically, the entire 25 minutes of the fight. So why are we having an automatic rematch? Well here’s the new trend in MMA, if you can manufacture enough controversy, real or otherwise and shout it from the highest rooftop good old Joe Silva and Uncle Dana will grant you that immediate rematch. Because well, you deserve it, right? My question is… why? So now if Frankie Edgar beats Bendo will Bendo get an automatic, immediate rematch? And if so if Bendo wins that rematch does Frankie get another crack at it? This may be an exaggeration but it follows the thought process that is being used by the UFC Brass as we speak.

I understand that most, if not all fighters on the losing end of a decision feel that they won or were robbed in some way and want to redeem themselves but in many of these cases there is no need for a rematch. What about all of the top contenders waiting in line for their shot? With rematch after rematch the #2 guy might wait up to a year or more for his shot that he should have had in just a few months. We have seen rematches of rematches for God’s Sake.

Frankie Edgar seems to be in a number of these, if you think back to his scraps and scraps and more scraps with BJ Penn at UFC 112 and UFC 118 and then the bully himself, Gray Maynard at Ultimate Fight Night 13, UFC 125 and UFC 136. But Frankie isn’t alone. Oh no, no, not by any stretch of the imagination. Look no further than the current season of TUF and Mr. Cruz and Mr. Faber. This will be their third fight and second in the UFC, hence the event being called UFC 148: Cruz vs. Faber 3. Honestly, I’m not overly interested. Even after the amazing and groundbreaking first Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fight, the second one didn’t measure up. That is my strongest case, if Griffin and Bonnar can’t make it happen a second time what in the hell makes you think some of these other less exciting cats can? This cancer has reached even the middle of the road with non title fights and B-List fighters meeting again and again and again. That’s when you know it’s bad! Does anyone outside of the Ortiz and Griffin residences want to see Tito and Forrest go at it again?

I understand the fact that we all get a little antsy when any fight goes to the scorecards, with the, ahem, rich history of judging in MMA but this has gone way too far. Now we are questioning every decision, even the most obvious ones. Its has gotten to the point of so many fights and matchups being recycled over and over while guys that are as deserving or even more deserving sit on the sidelines, idling. From Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez and Nathan Diaz at Lightweight all the way up to Mark Hunt at Heavyweight and every weight class in between. We need to have a definitive ranking system at each weight class so we are all on the same page with this. We all need to know the pecking order, not just one or two guys at Zuffa but that is another blog for another day. The MMA rematch is like a movie sequel in that it rarely lives up to the original. All this craziness needs to stop before we see Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock Part 7…That would be worse than any cheesy horror movie franchise. Oh, did you happen to see the next great fight in Strikeforce? Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson…Part 3.