UFC President Dana White announced back in June that future non-title UFC main event fights would be 5 rounds rather than 3. Since bout agreements were already signed for UFC 133 and UFC on Versus 5 it was expected that the first five round non-title main event would be UFC Fight Night 25's Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger. That didn't happen so fans will have to wait until UFC 138 in November to see middleweights Chris Leben and Mark Munoz go five rounds in a non-title affair.
It's a winner for fans who've been left frustrated by fights like UFC 110's Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael Bisping and UFC 102's Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira that were great while they lasted but ended too soon and without a definitive outcome.
But how about the fighters? What's in it for them? We'll hit that after the jump.
Chris Leben's not enthused. He told Inside MMA, "Five rounds, you want to know how I feel about it, sucks. I'll be honest with you, I'm not stoked on the idea. But this is what we do, this is my job and this is what allows me to move up so I'm going to do what I gotta do."
Preparing for a five round fight means a lot more stamina training, longer sparring sessions, and in general a much more intense training camp. I've heard nothing said about the UFC upping the fighter pay or bonuses to compensate either.
Looks to me like this is one of those deals that's good for the fans, not so good for the fighters. Oh well, sorry guys.