While pretty much everyone is picking their jaws up off the floor from Fedor’s intense routing of Tim Sylvia, you’ve still got a lot of people looking at the velcro monstrosity known as the WAMMA heavyweight title belt with disdain. Here’s Dave Meltzer’s thoughts:
It was billed as for the first undisputed world heavyweight title, although clearly “undisputed” is the wrong word to describe the first title created by an outside sanctioning body as opposed to a champion declared by a promotional company.
The industry already has two UFC heavyweight champions, in Randy Couture, the last champion who never lost, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who the company is recognizing as interim champion due to Couture’s resignation from the organization. There will be an Elite XC champion after a match with Antonio Silva vs. Justin Eilers on Saturday night in Stockton, Calif. Strikeforce also has a heavyweight champion in Alistair Overeem and IFL has one in Roy Nelson.
While it’s certainly worth pointing out that the title isn’t as ‘undisputed’ as the name would have you believe, rattling off the weak collection of fighters holding belts in organizations outside the UFC doesn’t do much to bolster that argument. And because of Fedor’s specific history with the UFC’s current (interim) champion (for you newbs, he’s beat Big Nog twice), even the UFC’s title is looking a little less impressive this morning than it was last week.
Josh Gross seems to agree: his latest is entitled “Fedor’s aura-building victory over Sylvia gives cred to WAMMA crown”. And while you’ve still got a lot of people arguing over who holds the #1 pound for pound title, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone (anyone reasonable) who will try to deny Fedor his due as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
But it will be interesting to see now what Fedor and his gang do with that designation, and the WAMMA belt. The last time Fedor was sitting on top of the rankings with the Pride belt over his shoulder, he took a three year hiatus from fighting anyone under 7 feet tall / under 300 pounds / under 40 years old. While that kind of shit might fly out in Japan, he’s not going to get away with fighting anyone but the best over here in North America. If Fedor’s management continues to be difficult to deal with and picky with their opponents, you’ll see everyone’s opinions of him shift very quickly.
WAMMA is lucky and unlucky at the same time. While they managed to get a belt around the waist of the one guy outside the UFC who could sell it’s claim of being undisputed, they now have to rely on him to defend the belt like a champion should: by taking on all comers. The moment Fedor takes an extended break or turns down a fight against Josh Barnett to fight Misaki in Japan, people are going to flip the fuck out.