Well, we can add Joe Rogan to the growing list of people (see previously: Souza, R. and Romero, Y.) who have publicly vented their frustrations with the Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre middleweight title fight.
Appearing on ESPN's 5ive Rounds podcast, the UFC colorman was his typically brash self when stating his opinion on the admittedly "interesting" fight between "The Count" and "Rush."
"I don’t like it in terms of the hierarchy of the division. I think that, as far as the division goes, it’s not good at all. It sort of hijacks the whole situation," commented Rogan.
Bisping, of course, has already attempted to quell the growing fires of enraged critics/fighters by claiming that he "deserves" the payday, which clashes somewhat with his previously stated belief that no one "deserves" a title shot. Regardless, Rogan thinks the whole situation is proof that maybe the UFC should drop the idea of championships altogether if "money fights" is all it's interested in.
"As a person who deeply respects the position of champion - if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have f**king championships at all?
“Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights. And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a great fight. If you’re going to have a title, this is the champion of the world, then the champion should be defending his title against the number one challenger and that right now is Yoel Romero."
The short answer, simply, is that titles add prestige to a fight that might not otherwise interest the growing masses of casual fans that the UFC is after. Every division needs a leader to base its marketing around – a face that runs the place, if you will – and championships cement that status. Unfortunately for guys like Romero, we have entered the WME-IMG era of the sport (or "the #McGregor era"), where the emphasis on the "prize" in prize-fighting is more prominent than ever.