So I saw people on social media talkinh about if Cerrone vs McGregor is deserving of an interim title. This brought me to think over the whole "interim belt".
Before the number one contender was the one who automatically would get a shot at the belt. Easy system, if the champion would not be able to defend his title for a certain amount of time. An interim title would get installed, great example is while Cruz was injured as champion Barao would become the interim belt. Once Cruz would comeback they could unify the belt and make it legitimately "undisputed". While if the champion would stay too long inactive they would promote the interim holder to be the real champion. That makes sense a lot of sense doesn't it?
The number one contender spot like how I described it has lost its position of being what it says it is. As the UFC didn't really stick with it. Now a days it seems to me that what used to be the #1 contender, has now turned into an interim belt holder. Which I think is a bad move for competitive sports, but alright lets move onto the point. If the interim belt now would be a glorified #1 contender slot and they would act like it is, it could work. But its quite evidently shown recently that not even an interim belt holds any guarantee at a titleshot, as they give and take them away without any system. It holds no value whatsoever, it is a marketing stunt to get more PPV buys. They use the interim belts to elevate cards, for profit and to promote the next fight as a belt vs belt unification fight $$$.
So my conclusion is, that there's no value without legitimacy. Which makes the whole "deserved" question irrelevant.
With 254 victories in 319 fights Travis "the Ironman" Fulton. Is one of the most under appreciated legends of the sport!