Interim championship titles are all the rage these days, especially in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The promotion recently created an entire pay-per-view (PPV) fight card headlined by not one, but two interim championship title fights, despite the fact that both champions are expected to return to action later this year.
Nothing more than a “sick joke” to keep UFC from paying its fighters any extra money, according to former UFC lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.
“We’re all part of the problem,” Alvarez said at Tuesday’s ONE Championship media day (transcribed by BJPenn.com). “When an interim title is given and the media makes a big fuss of it and a fighter makes a big fuss of it and the fans makes a big fuss of it, an interim title has value. That’s the saddest thing that can happen in the sport.”
UFC 236 is topped by the interim lightweight title fight pitting featherweight champion, Max Holloway, against 155-pound contender, Dustin Poirier. In the April 13 co-main event, scheduled for Atlanta, Georgia, Israel Adesanya battle Kelvin Gastelum for the middleweight division’s substitute strap.
“An interim title is given in replacement for money,” Alvarez continued. ‘We don’t wanna give you money, but we’ll give you an interim title. We don’t wanna give you money, but we’ll give you a main event spot. We don’t wanna give you money, but we’ll give you that opponent you want. We’ll give you everything but what you deserve, and that’s money.”
The 35 year-old Alvarez wanted money of his own and ended up taking a better offer with the folks at ONE Championship in Singapore, a surprise deal that followed championship title reigns in both UFC and Bellator MMA.
“That’s sad,” Alvarez said about the UFC’s interim titles. “When that’s valued, an interim title is valued by fans, by the media, by the promotion and everyone, it’s a sick joke. And it should be laughed at and it should no longer be applauded and it should be booed. And when it is, it’ll be a happy day. Fighters get paid more, fans will be more educated, and promotions will stop the bullshit.”