That’s the good part. The bad part is that this may be the start of a trend — one that sees mid to mid-late career high profile fighters leave the UFC for a smooth descent to their careers.
Many will likely see this as a positive, mostly because UFC is a bit of a monopoly as it pertains to the upper echelon of the sport. However, monopolies can be good in a sport where matchmaking on the lesser levels of the sport is mediocre at best.
This type of lackluster matchmaking is truly on display in Alvarez’s and Johnson’s next fights, neither of which are coming back from major injury or inactivity.
Last 4 Opponents + OneFC Scheduled Bouts
|Eddie Alvarez (#4 LW)||Demetrious Johnson (#2 FLY)|
|McGregor (#6 WW)||Elliott (#9 FLY)|
|Poirier (#16 LW)||Reis (#7 FLY)|
|Gaethje (#9 LW)||Borg (#4 FLY)|
|Poirier (#5 LW)||Cejudo (#2 FLY)|
|Nastyukhin (#196 WW)||Wakamatsu (#354 BW)|
Historical ranks used are from the Generated Historical Rankings set previous to the bout.
Now, I don’t know about you… but it feels like something is wrong with this picture.
Not only is OneFC headquartered on the opposite side of the globe and not only are they responsible for their wonky divisional structure that nobody really 100% understands (at least not the last time I looked) but the opposition quality that Alvarez & Johnson are facing is extremely lacking. This isn’t the type of crappy matchmaking that plagues the lower levels of MMA — it is far worse. I seriously doubt that a commission would sanction this match anywhere in the US, outside of say.. one located on a Native American reservation in Montana.
Boxing catches grief, because giant favorites are a common theme, especially on undercards. MMA is not boxing and upsets happen much more frequently. I have intimate knowledge of the rating system and database over at BoxRec, as well as the ones used here, obviously, and I estimate that upsets on the relevant level happen about 2.5 times as much in MMA, than they do in boxing. Having said that, what happens if Alvarez or Johnson lose? After all, shit happens. What happens if they win? Who cares?
I hope the money is worth it.