Member Since: 5/11/08
Let me remind you who your #1 contenders in the following divisions are:
HW - Fabricio Werdum - debut 2002
MW - Vitor Belfort - debut 1996 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WW - Robbie Lawler - debut 2001
LW - Gilbert Melendez - debut 2002
FW - Cub Swanson - debut 2004
BW - Dominic Cruz and Urijah Faber - debut 2005 and 2003 respectively
Not only have these fighters competed at the elite level for 5 years, some have done it for over 10 years!!! This not including guys like Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem who are also vets in the top 10 but not number contenders at the moment.
Also please take note that in order for old guys like Vitor and Fabrizio to climb back to #1 contender status, they had to destroy the so called "new generation" of young fighters like Luke Rockhold, Rory Macdonald, and Travis Browne (debut 2009). These are the fighters who I was told a decade ago were going to make the old fighters obsolete because they train soley mma.
As Fabrizio proved, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. And Vitor proved if you give an old dog young "juice" to "even the playing field" the old lion stomps the young cub.
P.S. Thank you BJ Penn for the great fights and for raising the threshold for what a REAL FIGHTER can accomplish.