The UFC inches toward becoming the WWE, and disrespects a great champion along the way.

While respectful, respectable fighters are sidelined from the spotlights, Conor McGregor is paraded around the world by the UFC. Sure, he’s a talent – albeit a young and relatively untested one. But there’s more to martial arts than just fighting skills.

There’s discipline. There’s respect.

As the UFC morphs itself in a Vince McMahon-like circus, as it becomes less and less distinguishable from the WWE, I’d like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the champions who don’t find the need to cheapen themselves. Those who see this sport as a profession, not a side-show.

Here’s to Jose Aldo – for maintaining his professional demeanor in the face of a disrespectful and inappropriate hooligan. Here’s to Robbie Lawler for standing up to Aldo, and to other heroes such as Carlos Condit, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and others – who are gentlemen in and (mostly) out of the ring.

GSP – I think I understand why you’ve stepped away.

With respect – a loyal fan of a classier UFC.

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