Last week the UFC almost made a good decision, while Georges St. Pierre and Cris Cyborg’s returns to the promotion are nothing but headaches. Huh?
Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”.
The world of mixed martial arts (MMA) is no exception, and last week gave fans plenty to “huh?” about. From potential UFC women’s flyweights to Georges St. Pierre’s botched UFC return, we had several stories to keep us entertained as we wait for UFC 211’s loaded card this weekend.
The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.
Despite some of the follies of human evolution (see: Sean Spicer), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here’s a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”.
UFC WOMEN GET THEIR FLY-WAIT NEVERMIND
Last week the UFC finally announced the creation of the women’s flyweight division, building the 125-pound bridge between strawweight and bantamweight that female fighters in the promotion have been waiting, and asking, for. The division would kick-off similarly to the 115-pound weight class a couple of years ago, with a season of The Ultimate Fighter. The new division would set the stage for the 26th season of the show, which would begin filming in July.
Then, they un-announced it. Huh?
UFC officials and promotion President Dana White confirmed that the company is looking into creating the division, but the announcement was released in error. Which sucks. Everyone wants a women’s 125-pound weight class in the UFC, and it’s nice to know that they’re interested too. Following the creation of the women’s featherweight title, White was consistently down on hopes of a flyweight division following anytime soon.
But that was before Bellator announced the signings of six flyweight contenders with which to stock their fledgling division. Featuring former UFC strawweight Valerie Letourneau, the moves are the latest in a string of solid additions by Scott Coker and company.
If reacting to Bellator’s signings and decisions is going to get the UFC a women’s flyweight division, then so be it. However we get it, we should be happy. The initial announcement by the promotion was met with a lot of positivity, and the new division is one that makes a lot more sense than some *cough* featherweight *cough*. Regardless of when it comes, many fighters will be ready and willing to join the flyweight fun in the UFC.
THE UFC CONTINUES TO BOTCH GSP’S RETURN
After announcing that Georges St. Pierre would fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight title in March, the UFC and more let it be known that they were shooting for GSP’s big return to come at UFC 213. Taking place on July 8 during International Fight Week, the event is one of the biggest of the year from the promotion, and its importnace has only grown with the slow start to 2017.
Apparently, GSP has other plans. While clogging up the already loaded 185-pound weight class, the former welterweight champion is taking his time. Not only is UFC 213 not fit into his schedule, neither does UFC 216 in Edmonton in September.
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) May 5, 2017
October? Huh? Initially we were all excited for the return of one of MMA’s greatest competitors. But everytime we find ourselves celebrating GSP’s second stanza, there’s a catch. Whether it’s the fact that he’s competing at middleweight, clogging up a great title-race, or taking his sweet time actually returning to the Octagon, we’re starting to wonder whether or not this whole GSP thing is worth it.
The UFC was, and is, desparate for stars. And there are few fighters with consistently quality PPV buyrates throughout his career. St. Pierre realizes this, and while he likely understands the negativity around his return, he can hardly be blamed for using his leverage as he likes.
Of course, we’ll be happy when the time comes. Whenever that may be. Until then, the St. Pierre Saga needs to start answering questions, rather than creating them.
CYBORG PREPPING FOR UFC 214, FOR SOME REASON
Since the imperfect creation of the women’s featherweight title in the UFC earlier this year, Cris Cyborg has been vocal about impacting the division that was made for her. After a brush with USADA, a therapeutic use exemption, and Cyborg has been clamoring for a fight for months. Last week, she went the extra mile, effectively matchmaking a bout with Megan Anderson as she begins camp for UFC 214.
While not yet official, pairing Cyborg with the heavily rumored light heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier and either Jon Jones or Jimi Manuwa at the same event gives fight fans a lot to look forward to this summer. The problem, as it has been in the past, is finding Cyborg the right opponent.
Current women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie has effectively, and literally, taken her title and gone home. Putting the most logical option in doubt, as it has been most of the year.
Current Invicta FC featherweight champion Anderson has publicly changed her tune, again, and is now ready for the challenge. While a fight that many are behind, Cyborg fighting for anything but the UFC’s featherweight title is a waste of time.
Dana White where you at mate?? Let's set this up! pic.twitter.com/Z2PlxDK5e5
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) May 3, 2017
So, we could have Cyborg fighting yet again in the UFC without the reason for her signing in the first place: the belt. Huh?
Or at least, the real one. The UFC’s recent past with interim titles is well-documented, and adding another to the list doesn’t seem as crazy as it would’ve a few years ago. On the heels of the title being created earlier this year, it wouldn’t be the best look. But, neither is another Cyborg UFC non-title fight.
They could also strip de Randamie of the title. It might be a bit harsh considering she won the thing just a few months ago, but considering the mess the promotion has at featherweight, drastic decisions shouldn’t be avoided if they provide the right solution. As of now, anything that gets Cyborg in the Octagon, with the featherweight title on the line, should be on the table. Unfortunately, Anderson hasn’t heard anything from the UFC.
While we wonder whether we’ll see GSP fight, or a women’s flyweight division, before the year is out, we can add finding Cyborg an opponent to the growing list of concerns for the UFC. Of course, not every concern needs an instant fix. But, under WME-IMG, it seems as though there are more fixes needed everyday.