Times the real #1 contender is 0-2 or 0-3 vs the champ but beating everyone else in UFC

For a long time we saw it with Benavidez down at FLW when Johnson was champ. Tons of challengers didn’t have to fight Benavidez until after they lost to DJ. It was the only way UFC could call guys the “#1 contender” is if they ignored the fact they skipped over Benavidez while climbing the ranks and got granted a title shot.

For a few years we saw it at FW where Edgar beat everyone but went 0-2 vs Aldo. Korean Zombie, Lamas, Mendes and Conor all got to avoid the Frankie fight and got title shots with Aldo

We are seeing it right now with Max and Volk at FW. Yair just lost to Max and still got a crack at the int. title. UFC could not give Max a crack at the int. title and then do a 4th Volk fight so they have Max headlining a Fight Night.

Saw it with DC and Jones at LHW but DC got to be champ for a while because of all Jones’ L’s he took outside the cage.

Right now besides with Max at FW, we almost see that situation with with Whittaker and Adesanya though Adesanya did drop the title to Pereira he got it back.

See what they did with Pereira…they fast tracked him to the title shot after going 3-0 in the UFC and they let him jump right over Whittaker because they had to really. as they didn’t want a situation where Whittaker wins and has to get a 3rd Adesanya fight after going 0-2.

UFC has had Max beat contenders who then win one fight and get title shots vs Volk. They used to let title challengers avoid the Benavidez fight all the time and then they would fight him after they lost to DJ.

I’m not criticizing the UFC here, they got to run the promotion like that as nobody wants to see a true #1 contender get a 4th title shot vs the champ he is 0-3 vs just because the #1 contender is 5-0 vs the other fighters in the top 10.

If Charles beat Dariush then we got another situation like that if he goes on and loses to Makhachev again.

Often times you see title challengers like 6-4 or 5-5 vs one another with a dominant champ around but its interesting when the champ and then the #1 contender as well are both temporarily clearning out the rest of the division and they got to fast track guys to title shots to avoid the champ defending for a 3rd or 4th time vs the challenger.

Its gonna be interesting what they do with Whittaker next.


Yes but FW and LW are kind of different as you have many great fighters. With MW there aren’t many people left at all. The best bet would be to have a rise in Chimaev and Du Plessis. Also continue to build up Borralho and with Shara getting signed that helps if hes as good as he seems. If Eblen becomes a free agent he’s another guy that can be a fight away from the belt as well (no idea what his contract looks like).

FW you can have people avoid Max and give Volks some fresh blood.

Whittaker isn’t as big of a problem as Max, who has been knocking off ascending contenders. Whittaker’s pretty inactive and they’ve just been giving him people after they lose to Izzy.

Whittaker is excellent against grapplers but not so much against strikers so he probably wouldn’t even dominate the same way Max does.

Well Charles is undefeated in five years at LW besides that Makhachev loss so if he can get past Dariush but loses to Makhachev again, he is a pretty great example of a #1 contender who beat everyone around but just can’t get that 3rd or 4th shot vs the reigning champ.

I’m rooting for Charles to beat Dariush and somehow get it done vs Makhachev as well but thats a tough task.

I get what you are saying though, FW and LW and so filled with talent, there are always interesting challengers cmpared to that MW situation.

I’m with you on being hopeful about what Chimaev and Du Plessis can do in that division. Eblen could be in that Patricio Pitbull situation where it just makes financial sense to stay with Bellator so he chooses to do that. Or he could end up like Chandler and wait until the 4th quarter of his career and then make the jump.

The thing with FW and LW is you have SO many guys. MW has been cleaned out. Im hoping to see Benny get it done


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Yeah I’m with ya, especially on LW.

FW though, Volk has beat the #1 contender 3x and the #3 and #6 ranked fighters in his division so thats pretty impressive. If Volk beats Yair and then Max beats Allen, there is not really an interesting challenger at all for Max at FW.

Adesanya though… man he is now 10-1 vs the top 15 ranked MW’s in the UFC and he just KOed the one that beat him.

He also on top of that beat who people call the GOAT MW, Anderson, beat the 2022 PFL LHW champ in his UFC debut and also beat the next Bellator LHW title challenger Romero.

Adesanya’s least impressive name on his UFC resume is 14-7 UFC fighter Brad Tavares.

I don’t like Adesanya much but his career has been remarkable.


Great example of a situation I’m talking about.

Not a single GSP title challenger had to beat Fitch to get their title shot between 2006 and 2010 when Fitch went 12-1 and only lost to GSP.

Eventually at the end of 2011 Hendricks did have to go through Fitch on his road to the title but nobody else fought Fitch until they had already lost to GSP.

UFC absolutely has so much control over title pictures with the fights they will or will not sign. Not that it is a new revelation but its interesting none the less.

Absolutely. I think the UFC messed up by doing Allen vs Max. There is also Topuria and Movsar right around the corner and who knows if CCC or Aljo move to 45 as well.

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Yeah I guess we see what happens with Topuria and Movsar down the line.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing Henry vs Aljo and what happens with either of them at FW after that.

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Big Nog fits the bill here too as well though we would be talking about PRIDE and he was the champ at first like Whittaker but still, from the middle of 2000 to the fall of 2006 he undefeated besides when he went 0-2-0-1NC vs Fedor.

Even after he lost to Barnett by split decision in 2006, he turned right around and beat him by UD three months later He had also avenged his early 2000 split decision loss to Hendo with a submission win in 2002 and he went on to then beat Herring and Sylvia before time caught up to him at the end of 2008 vs Mir.

For close to a decade there, Big Nog was the man besides that Fedor problem he had to deal with.

None of the fighters who fought Fedor up to the Werdum fight went through Nog to get the Fedor fight, if they did fight Nog before Fedor, they lost and then later got the Fedor fight anyway as with Coleman and Crocop or they lost to Fedor and later fought Big Nog as with Schilt.

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Big Nog is still the man.

Great post

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People on here seem to treat Colby as if he is the Joseph Benavidez or Robert Whittaker of welterweight, but the guy literally hasnt beaten anyone in the current top 15. No idea why he is ranked that high.

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Holloway is now 17-0 at FW since 2014 when not fighting Volkanovski. Incredible.

Take a look at Poirier though…has never dominated the FW or LW divisions the way Max has at FW but he is 2-0 vs Max.

Beat Max at FW in 2012 and beat him at LW in 2019.

Besides Volk though, Max is 5-0 vs fighters who were at one time world champ at LW or FW. Not talking interim titles, talking the official UFC champs.

Three key losses at each weight class in and outside of title fights prevented Dustin from reaching that spot Max is in as a former champ and reigning “real” #1 contender.

Kills me that Max never got another crack at fighting Conor once he came into his own as FW champ

Conor didn’t prove as much as people think at FW.

Didn’t fight Oliveira, Cub or Frankie there.

Didn’t fight prime Max there.

Didn’t give Aldo his rematch.

Conor’s 7-0 FW career was very short and carefully constructed to give him the best opportunity for success.

Look how it goes, declining Conor gets shot Cowboy in his big return for UFC to create hype around it and gets Siver prior to his title shot. Gets an instant rematch with Diaz after being submitted.

Look how they handle Conor vs say declining JDS gets booked vs prime Lewis, Ngannou, Blaydes, Rozenstruik and Gane and then they let him walk.

Conor may have beat Max in Max’s 2nd year in the promotion but prime Max would have beat Conor and has had a way more impressive career.

Max never beat Dennis Siver though

Family Feud Lol GIF by Steve Harvey

Conor dipped right after winning the belt. He’s not a top 3 FW ever

Goes Aldo, Volk, then Max

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So for about seven years there, Benavidez went 13-0 when not fighting Johnson. If you think he beat Pettis when he lost the split decision then he went 17-0 over 10 years when not fighting Johnson.

Oliveira is now 12-0 in the past six years when not fighting Makhachev. It will be interesting to see if he can get out of the Big Nog/Fitch/Benavidez/Max/Whittaker club or if he can upset the guy who took his belt when they rematch in October.

Topuria moved to 14-0 last night, they got Max booked vs Korean Zombie because its all that was really there for him at the moment in that FW division.

Volk vs Yair coming up too and then UFC will most likely have Topuria fight Volk next. Volk has beat everyone else at the top of the division who is not coming off a loss or two.

Guess the Volk and Makhachev rematch could be out there too but if Makhachev does beat Oliveira then the Poirier Gaethje winner could be looking at getting their 3rd LW title shot after they came up short vs Khabib and Oliveira.