Pro MMA Fighters that Don't Fight - What's Up With That?
Should a fighter be able to shelf himself?
The question of Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva
having a re-match was raised after this weekend's UFC 117. Silva's performance has been called
unimpressive and Sonnen gained a lot of supporters for his overall aggressive
approach and capability to take a beating, while winning the cards. Personally, I think this last bout
brought into question whether skill or conditioning is more important in the
game today. I called it a fair and square fight that ended with a clear
finish. But that is for another
Silva's name has been thrown around with several others who seem to be waiting to fight him; for example, Vitor Belfort. Dana White addressed the question of Sonnen getting a rematch by raising that it was Vitor's turn to fight Silva next and he had been waiting a year for his chance (his first chance was derailed due an injury). White admitted that he hopes for a Vitor Belfort vs Anderson Silva bout for this November.
So is it right that Belfort has shelved himself since beating Rich Franklin by TKO in UFC 103 last September. Belfort has said he is saving himself for Silva. He may not get the chance yet however, with Silva nursing injured ribs, he might have to dust off for a fight against Sonnen unless Rich Franklin takes his place. My guess is if Silva does not heal up quick for a end of year UFC card, Franklin will gladly jump in - having never turned down any match up and Franklin prefers to keep fighting regularly and doesn't save himself for specific fighters.
Another fighter that has shelved himself is Rashad Evans. Evans is waiting for a title shot. He believes that he is the number one contender and does not want to risk injury until he gets a shot a fighting Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.
So what do you think? Shouldn't fighters just fight when they can, so they can get paid?