Before UFC 100: I Have Always Been Here

At this moment I am torn.

Rarely has my rightful place been in question.

Soon, very soon a fight will commence to finally put to rest the question of where I truly belong.

I was first fought for on February 12, 1997.

I was claimed by an undefeated fighter.

I have been contested 26 times.

Only a select few have tasted my glory.

Eight men have fought hard to win the chance and failed to gain my prestige never to try again.

12 men have won the honor to bare my weight.

Many of those men the most notorious names in the sport.

I have been the catalyst for war, the object of desire for battle hungry men, men who would do anything to feel the pride of my presence around their waist.

I have traveled the world.

I have watched an empire be built around my existence.

I have seen champions forged, born, tried, tested, and destroyed all in my name.

I glimmer like the sun over the ocean horizon.

I hold true to my owners waist like an anaconda to its prey yet I am always on the hunt .

I am offered as a trophy representing skill, power, force, honor, and discipline.

I have been offered in battle and stolen in defeat.

I have been demanded by challengers only to elude their expectations.

Only a select few have earned my weight more than once.

I have witnessed a sport born, suffer, evolve, explode, and earn its place in the world.

I have watched a fan base transform from spectators to connoisseurs of the sport I represent.

I have been worn by the Natural, the Pit Bull, a Giant, a legendary Jiu Jitsu Master, The Hammer and many more.

I am the pinnacle of the sport, there is no higher honor in the world of mixed martial arts.

I am divided today, split between a man who once owned but never lost me to another vs a newcomer and quite possibly the foreseeable future of my existence.

I was there in the beginning, I will be here long after the champions of today have gone.

I have touched the greatness of this sport, I have known the elite, their possession of me a representation of their glory.

While many men have tasted my glory, my true master offers me to only the best, and he does not offer me lightly.

My road has weaved a complicated path across the division for over a decade.  Another change is on my horizon. 

My next move is not quite a turn so much as a fork in the road.  I am held today by two men. Soon I will not be divided any longer. 

Soon my path will be set without question one way or the other. 

During the biggest event in the history of the sport my current ownership will be sorted out.  I will have a new master, one master.  But for how long?

I am the UFC Heavyweight Belt.