by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

With the recent rash of injuries in the UFC, many intriguing match-ups have arisen only to disappear. Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) the current light heavy weight champion of the world was offered his title shot because of an injury. When Rashad Evans (17-2-1 MMA, 15-2-1 UFC) was unable to compete against Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua (21-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) because of an injury, Jones accepted the title shot and went on to dominate Rua becoming the promotions youngest UFC champion in history. Since then other opportunities have been offered, some accepted, some refused, but none were as successful as Jones.

Recently with injuries to both Georges St Pierre (22-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) and Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and as in the past, the UFC decided to implement ‘Interim’ champions. Currently both Carlos Condit (28-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC), and Renan Berao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) hold these titles in the welterweight and bantamweight division respectively. Both fighters are obligated to unify their titles once St. Pierre and Cruz are healthy enough to compete again.

The past month has been especially rough with both title contenders and title holders being injured. After Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 8-2 UFC) injured his knee and was unable to fight Jon Jones several people had the opportunity to rise to the occasion, only no one did. Fighters only have a small window of time before these injuries take their toll. The cliche ‘better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all.” seems to be apropos.

As the UFC roster expands more contenders will surely emerge. Hungry young fighters that would relish the opportunity to reach the limelight are moving up the ranks. Fighters such as Chris Weidman, (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) Glover Texiera (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Steven ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (6-1 MMA , 1-1 UFC), and Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) are certainly going to be looking for the opportunities that Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) willing let go. Now that Machida is set to face Henderson, it seems obvious that title shots disappear quicker and easier than they are offered.

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