Interim titles have become the norm in the UFC today, as they're usually used to help boost the hype ahead of a major fight between two big fighters.
That's exactly what's happening at UFC 225 on pay-per-view (PPV) next month in Chicago when former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos takes on Colby Covington for the interim welterweight title.
It's odd timing for an interim 170-pound title, as champion Tyron Woodley defended his title less than a year ago.
Usually an interim belt isn't justified without having defended a championship for over a year. In this case, however, the UFC seems to be adding the interim title just to add intrigue to this fight.
Woodley is currently targeting a return fight around July, as he's recovering from shoulder surgery that he received after his successful title defense over Demian Maia last year.
Now, an interim title will be placed on either dos Anjos or Covington, and former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson is not a fan of this decision.
Wonderboy recently did an interview with Bloody Elbow to discuss his upcoming fight against standout prospect Darren Till. He discussed the upcoming interim title fight between RDA and Covington, and explained why he's not a fan.
Thompson believes that interim titles devalue the actual UFC championship, and feels the UFC is simply throwing the interim belt into the mix just to do so (quotes via MMA Mania):
“It almost diminishes the value of the title, because they’re just throwing it out there — it’s like, ‘You can fight for an interim title, sure,’” Thompson told Bloody Elbow.
“I don’t think they should be fighting for an interim title. If [Woodley] says he’ll be back in July or August, then just say, ‘Hey, the winner of this will fight for the title.’
"I don’t know what the UFC is playing at or what their thinking is when it comes to the interim title. But they’re just like, ‘You can fight for it anytime. Anybody can fight for an interim title.’”
What are your thoughts on Thompson's comments regarding the interim welterweight title fight between Covington and RDA? Do you think that this fight should simply be for the No. 1-contender's spot and not the interim welterweight title? And who are you picking between RDA and Covington? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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