|ESPN.com: MMA||[Print without images]|
Addressing media prior to Saturday's UFC 102 event, UFC president Dana White warned fans that five-round nontitle fights -- officially an option for events held in Nevada -- won't be part of his promotion's curriculum.
"I was saying [last week] I wish this was a five-round fight, Nogueira and Couture, and there's been other fights, too, that I've wished were five rounds," MMA Junkie quoted White as saying. "But I'm a purist, man. Title fights are five rounds. When you fight for the title, it's five rounds."
The mess that would be created by random five-round bouts without a title on the line would be unholy: If Nogueira-Couture went five rounds, but October's Cain Velasquez/Ben Rothwell fight goes only three, that gives the former pair additional time to work and possibly alter the outcome. Since all four men are in pursuit of a heavyweight belt, why change the rules for two?
MMA has avoided suffering from a lack of uniformity. No reason to start now.