Last nite, as I was awaiting the results of the Rampage-Forrest Light Heavyweight Championship bout, I realized I had no horse in the race. Both fighters are charismatic, likable, and respectful to the point that I would’ve enjoyed seeing either one of them taking home the belt. If I had access to PPV (fucking ancient residence), I would’ve sat back with a few beers and enjoyed two decent guys attempt to reach the pinnacle of their profession. But after the controversial decision in favor of Forrest, my opinion and I suspect those of many others, has been altered concerning my lack of allegiances, Dana White, and the whole UFC. My prefight complacency has been replaced by unfortunate cynicism.
Though I would have loved to see Griffin earn himself the Light Heavyweight belt that he was been working for since he and Bonnar put the UFC on the map, the way in which he was crowned is brutal and embarrassing. To have such an important fight, maybe even the most prestigious UFC matchup of 2008, decided unfavorably just puts another cloud over the UFC and Dana White.
This move, and by move I mean Dana White greasing the wheels of a Griffin-decision, combines the manipulative arrogance of David Stern and the idiotic pettiness of JP Riccardi. Seriously, a Griffin victory is clearly in the best interest of White. Having an Ultimate Fighter alum finally receive a UFC belt would legitimize the whole process*, and create opposition to the belief that it’s just a personality pageant. And removing Rampage’s title would give credence to the superiority of UFC nurtured fighters**. White has got to address these concerns.
If I was running the UFC, I would schedule a rematch immediately. It would be unfair to both Rampage and Griffin for them not to resolve this controversy as soon as possible. Plus, a rematch is much more appealing than the alternatives, which would see Rampage facing off against Pride rivals and Griffin mauling the corpse of Chuck Lidell. While it’s clear White is gunning for another July 4th showdown, which has grown to be the premier date on the UFC calendar, this has to be resolved this year. Griffin has worked too hard to have his reputation tarnished by a questionable decision and Rampage deserves another shot, whether it be because he got fucking fleeced last nite or the fact that he is still the most appealing challenger. If not for the principle, do it for the cash.
Give em the rematch, Griffin wins, it’s done, Rampage wins, July 4th next year. Make it happen, Dana.
*Matt Serra doesn’t count
**What went down with the whole Pride championship last nite? Was Rampage carrying two belts to the ring or just one?