Marking a sharp departure from modern match-making policies the UFC has announced a return to its roots in which dethroned champions are forced to earn another shot at their belt instead of being offered a direct rematch in their next bout. With the practice long having drawn the ire of segments of the fanbase who find the practice lazy and one the UFC trots out in unmerited situations after a bout left no uncertainty, the promoter has decided to act.
“At this time, we simply don’t think it’s appropriate to continue the practice,” the organization said in a press release Monday morning. “When a challenger wins a fight we should respect that, instead of demanding they double-stamp it to prove its merit. We feel it is best that any defeated champion shows their tenacity with three or four wins against top-five prospects before having another chance at the title.”
The new policy is being rolled out on a trial basis, the UFC said, with current application applying to all fights in the men’s divisions below middleweight where a title changed hands in the last four months. The organization is said to be considering situational expansion of the policy based on results.