The future of the welterweight division in the UFC took some shape with the next title fight being booked in a match up against Darren Till and Tyron Woodley at UFC 228.
The promotion has also decided to strip the interim champ Colby “Chaos” Covington of his title the moment Till and Woodley step foot inside the Octagon on UFC 228.
While speculations about this fight were on from the past week, the decision to strip a six weeks old interim champ wasn’t received all that well by the MMA community.
Former UFC TUF cast member and MMA veteran Gerald Harris slammed Till for getting a title shot even after missing weight in his last fight against Wonderboy.
If Till gets this Title fight then my “missing weight” prediction will come true. If anyone thinks it’s just a few pounds, then you’ve never cut weight. Not making weight proves the rewards being much greater than the risk. In all there should be harsher punishments not gifts.
— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) July 24, 2018
Renowned MMA journalist and the host of The MMA Hour mocked the organisation for stripping Covington in search for a main event at UFC 228.
September 8 needed a 2nd title fight.
Heavy and light heavy won't work
185 won't work
155 won't work
145 won't work
135 unlikely given UFC 227
Ditto for 125
Women's 145 won't work (with Nunes).
Ditto for 135
170 can, but only if newly-crowned interim champ stripped.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) July 24, 2018
UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou mocked Till for missing weight and in a hilarious way praised Woodley for attempting to become a two division champ.
— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) July 24, 2018
Retired Australian MMA legend Elvis Sinosic too gave a sarcastic response to the stripping of the interim champ.
I'm sure the UFC will clarify the situation. But my understanding is interim titles expire if they're not renewed. Colby didn't get his paperwork done in time. So his title expires and it's to the back of the line for him. Rules are rules. *This is sarcasm for the humour impaired https://t.co/XmDNjgJXhL
— ElⓋis 🙂 Sinosi© (@ElvisSinosic) July 25, 2018
Platinum Mike Perry picked his side for the matchup and made it very clear who he thought was going to come on top.
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) July 25, 2018
Veteran MMA journalist Damon Martin sympathised with Covington losing his belt.
You don't have to like Colby Covington to get frustrated over an interim title being introduced 6 weeks ago only to strip him of the belt because there was no plan in place for a main event at UFC 228 in September. It's ridiculous.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 24, 2018
While different groups and individuals may have their own opinion about how legitimate or not the stripping of just a month old interim champ is, it has made one thing very clear in the UFC – interim belts are expandable assets for the UFC, created and destroyed just as quickly for the sake of spicing up events and bringing in the much needed “championshi” factor in a PPV.