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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
"It is what it is, you know. I guess they have different plans for me. There's nothing I can do about it. Just gotta go out there October 24 and do more work... [Cain Velasquez] was a former champ, I guess. I mean, I'm just not popular enough. That's what it is. Listen, that's not my job. That's Joe Silva's job and Dana White's. They go off popularity and what the fans want. Apparently the fans didn't want to see me fight... Yeah [I had a conversation with Dana]. Yup. I need to get more popular. No I mean, I wasn't popular enough and so it's pretty much, I gotta get popular."
-Stipe Miocic talks to Submission Radio about not getting a title fight off his win over Mark Hunt earlier this year.
Penick's Analysis: There's certainly a "popularity contest" aspect to the way the UFC doles out title fights. It's often a mix of a fighter's popularity with fans and their accomplishments in the cage that brings them into a title fight; sometimes it skews one way or the other along those lines, but it plays a factor, as the UFC wants fans to be interested or invested enough in a challenger to watch them contend. Some divisions are different than others in that regard, and at heavyweight Miocic was in a spot where he lost a fight just last December. It was close, and he had an argument for the decision over Junior dos Santos, but it's still a loss on his record. Add in that he hasn't had the most thrilling "must-see" style during his run, and that's kept him out of top billing. More wins will get him that shot, but it's not surprising the UFC didn't move ahead with him as Fabricio Werdum's next opponent.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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