Wineland secured his shot at Renan Barao by beating two opponents, the latter of whom he barely got by. Even worse, Wineland had lost back-to-back bouts prior to his mini-streak. While he’s got skill, in no way, shape, or form does Wineland deserve an opportunity at Barao and anything other than utter defeat at the Brazilian’s hands would be a shock in the books of most.
Far too often the UFC books title-bouts based on a string of semi-impressive showings, a competitor’s marketability, or simply desperation on the part of the promoters. For every “paper champion” there are a few “paper contenders” as well. For example, consider the number of opportunities Chael Sonnen received despite having lost convincingly in numerous clashes. Simply put, while they may all be talented fighters they aren’t necessarily legitimate threats when it comes to dethroning divisional kings. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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