The intent of this fanpost is to follow-up on Diamette's fanpost about fighters that turn down fights. I felt that he raised some good points, and the intent here is not to bash anyone. I wanted to further the discussion and raise a couple of issues that may not have been brought up yet. As stated in Dia's fanpost, I'm of the position that you have to look at a fighter turning down a fight on a case by case basis. Dia's post was created as a result of the man pictured above, Jose Aldo, turning down a fight with Kenny Florian. Now the angle here may change a little considering the WEC's impending merger with the UFC, but for the sake of argument let's pretend like Aldo didn't know that was coming.
I'm of the opinion that Aldo shouldn't be blasted for not taking this fight. I'm a fan, and I naturally wish that he had taken this fight. We have all witnessed Aldo dominate great fighters in his weight class, and would like to see if he could have similar success in the lightweight division. This does not mean that Aldo should rush into anything. As fan's, we always want to see dominant champs move up in weight. Silva has done, BJ has done it, and we would love to see GSP give it a go.
I think BJ Penn is a great example of what Aldo should not want to do. BJ could have solidified himself as the greatest LW ever. At this point, he probably still is, but he hasn't set the bar as high as say, GSP or Anderson have at their respective weights. In fact, previous to the Edgar fights, BJ looked unbeatable at LW. One of the problems with BJ is, in my opinion, that he never settled into his weight division with the goal of just clearing it out. Whereas GSP and Silva have talked about how they are content in their weight class, BJ has been at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and has always wanted to jump around in weight. I admire his spirit, but now we will always have questions about what could have been had BJ stayed focused on doing nothing but beating the shit out of guys that are the same size as him.
Aldo, at this point, has decided to do what GSP and Silva have done. He is content to dominate his weight class, and defend his belt. He is young, and he has loads of potential even still. Why should we bash him for not rushing into the LW division to fight a guy that Dana White just said is a choker? Sure, Kenny's a legitimate stud, but this isn't super-fight material. This fight wouldn't be for a belt. Unless Aldo were to vacate his belt, his division would be held up as he fought K-Flo, and then I assume he would be going after the LW belt were he to win. Aldo has only defended his belt twice. This isn't a situation like we have with GSP, where he's dominated everyone in the division and we're looking at recycled fights. Give the man time to grow, and take things in progression.
Also, let's not compare Jose Aldo to fighters like Brandon Vera. Vera has long talked about holding the LHW and HW belts. He has stated that he has those aspirations, and that he would do it. The UFC allegedly offered Vera a fight with Lyoto Machida, which he subsequently turned down. There are two key differences here. First, Vera has always talked about winning belts in both weight classes. He had a chance to fight a guy to propel him into the mix of things in the LHW division, and he turned it down. Second, the fight was IN HIS WEIGHT CLASS. You can't compare the two because Aldo was asked to abandon his weight class to fight a guy who was just knocked out of title contention.
Finally, I saw the argument that these guys are fighters, and should fight whoever is put in front of them. I also see people defending promoters for making decisions based on business. The thought process is that these guys are running a business, and should be able to bring in money anyway that they choose. Well then, why does this not apply to the fighters? Are they not in the business to make money as well? If Jose Aldo decides that he believes it's best for his family, and business in the long run, to decline a current matchup with Kenny Florian, what gives us the right to shit on that? Further, why is there the mindset that it's ok for the promotions to make decisions based on business, no matter how crazy it may be(Couture-Toney anyone? Kimbo?), but fighters must fight anyone that is put in front of them. If the promotion can do anything they want to make money, then the fighters should be given the same leeway so long as their decision making falls within the bounds of their contract. It is not fair for us to assume that the fighters will simply live by a code of honor that they will fight anyone that is offered to them. They have responsibilities to take care of too.
I know this is long-winded, and if you made it all the way through, thanks for listening to me ramble. So let's see round 2. Do you think that fighters are only true fighters if they fight whoever they're asked to fight? Or do you think that the fighters should be able to make business decisions as well, and still keep the same amount of respect?