The official UFC rankings - Why so serious?


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

The official UFC rankings are a common topic of discussion for fans and media alike. But why are they taken so seriously?

I think you know me by now - I'm Tim Burke, member of the official UFC rankings panel. I usually pop in here every couple of weeks to rip other panelists for their lack of judgement, or I rail on about some insignificant ranking that grinds my gears. Today, I'm not going to do any of that. Instead, I'm going to tell you why I don't give a damn about Nate Diaz or any other fighter being dropped from the rankings. The reasoning is simple - while I care about performing a task to the best of my ability, the overall mechanisms behind the system aren't worth getting in a huff about in my eyes.

The UFC rankings were created for one innocent purpose according to the UFC - to give casual fans more of a rooting interest in a lot of fighters. When they're flipping through channels and they see # 3 vs. # 4, it looks important. Much more important than just two names they may know in passing, or not at all. So maybe they stick around Fox Sports 1 for more than a fleeting second and check it out. Seems pretty simple, right?

Obviously there were other real reasons for the creation of the rankings though. One, as my esteemed colleague John Nash pointed out to me, is the effect of devaluing the credibility of fighters in other promotions if the fans are just focused on official UFC rankings. Another is the "help" it could potentially give to the matchmakers. And the final reason is perhaps the most important - it can be used for political purposes. Putting guys in the dog house, perhaps. Or for contract negotiations and such. Like it is here.

The final reason has been apparent for a long time now and didn't just kick off with Nate Diaz being bounced from the rankings because he wants a new contract. Many fighters have been removed from the rankings over the past few months - Martin Kampmann, Alan Belcher, T.J. Grant, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are just some of the names. They ostensibly did this for transparent reasons - fighters going into semi-retirement, or being out for a long time due to injuries. But one was removed from the rankings a few days after he fought, basically because he had the audacity to say he needed some time off - Georges St-Pierre. That was strictly political, despite what the powers that be might tell you.

So where am I going with this? Well, biggest thing that people like to focus on is that the rankings are ultimately controlled by the UFC itself, which is seen as a conflict of interest. It's why a certain batch of media members won't participate in it. That's their prerogative. It's also why a lot of fans don't like the rankings - they think they're a joke.

Well guess what, folks - you shouldn't have taken them that seriously in the first place!

That probably sounds stupid and hypocritical coming from me considering how much I write about them. But I generally write from the perspective that if you signed up for them, at least try to do your damn job correctly. That's just how I am. In the overall picture though, I know and understand that it's overseen by the promotion and they ultimately make the rules. I'm not conveniently ignoring that. I know I'm participating in a tool that Zuffa can use for whatever purposes they see fit. And I'm okay with that, and will continue to be a panelist as long as they'll have me. You know why?

Because it's not that important to me in the grand scheme of things.

I don't get paid to do it. I don't get free tickets, or face time with fighters, or Pride shirts. I don't get anything out of doing it other than entertainment value. I do it because I enjoy it. That's it. If you feel like I'm damaging my credibility by admitting all of this, that's up to you. If you think I'm being a Zuffa shill by not wanting to burn them at the stake for playing politics with something, that's your right. But I'm just trying to be honest.

If you didn't understand how the system worked before, for better or worse, you should get it now. So if you want to spend your time shouting down the UFC in support of a Diaz brother, have at it. I won't be out on the picket line with you though, because I ultimately can't find the energy to care about something so irrelevant.

It's just politics.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 44 views

In addition, Jeremy Stephens climbs one spot in the 145-pound rankings, despite his defeat. The official UFC rankings have been updated following the carnage at UFC Fight Night 43, as well as UFC Fight Night 44, the mixed martial arts (MMA) doubleheader that took place last Saturday (June 28, 2014) in New Zealand and San Antonio, respectively. Full results and wrap up from both events here and here. Cub Swanson was the big winner of the night, taking down Jeremy Stephens in San Antonio (watch it more

  • 20 days ago
  • 49 views

In addition, Ronda Rousey trumps Johny Hendricks on the pound-for-pound list. The official UFC rankings have been updated following the carnage at UFC 175, as well as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, the two mixed martial arts (MMA) events that took place on consecutive nights last Saturday (July 5, 2014) and Sunday (July 6, 2014) from The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Full results and wrap up from both events here and here. Among the big winners over the weekend include Ronda Rousey - more

  • 15 days ago
  • 42 views

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is No. 9 in the UFC's official pound-for-pound rankings, but apparently that isn't good enough for her head coach, Edmond Tarverdyan. Speaking as a guest on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour last week (h/t MMA Fighting), Tarverdyan made the bold proclamation that the "Rowdy" one has proved she deserves to be ranked in elite territory with any male counterpart: "Top three, for sure. Top three, yes," he said when asked where Rousey ranks among active fight more

  • 7 days ago
  • 75 views

As is Brad Pickett, despite losing to Ian McCall in Dublin, Ireland. The official Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rankings have been updated following the carnage at UFC Fight Night 45, as well as UFC Fight Night 46, the two mixed martial arts (MMA) events that took place last week in two very different parts of the globe. "Cerrone vs. Miller" featured a pair of top-10 ranked lightweights trying to climb the 155-pound ladder, but only "Cowboy" will advance after their FOX Sports 1 headliner more

  • 6 days ago
  • 142 views

UFC media panelists were impressed enough by Conor McGregor's showing last Saturday to give him a spot in the top 10 in the featherweight division. The latest UFC rankings came out yesterday, and the biggest notable change coming out of the UFC Fight Night Dublin show was Conor McGregor making the top 10 of featherweight for the first time. It's a bit surprising that McGregor, who hasn't beaten a single ranked opponent en route to this spot, was rewarded as such, but I guess style points plays a more

  • 33 minutes ago
  • 0 views

"King" and "The Menace" slip into the Top 10 of the Lightweight and Featherweight divisions, respectively, after picking up huge wins at UFC on FOX 12. Anthony Johnson, meanwhile, stayed put at No. 5 despite knocking out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the first round. The official Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rankings have been updated following UFC on FOX 12 event (results) last Saturday night (July 26, 2014), which took place inside SAP Center in San Jose, California. As far as Robbie Law more

  • 28 days ago
  • 41 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has released a letter explaining his recent support for a friend – one who’s also a drug kingpin currently awaiting trial for trafficking and other crimes.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 52 views

John S. Nash tries to answer the question with Paul Gift, a Pepperdine Professor of Economics, and David Dudley, a former FTC antitrust lawyer. Is the UFC a monopoly? This is a question I had been hoping to answer in an article for some time. Since its also a subject I am by no means an expert in I have spent a great deal of time researching it, reading AntiTrust Law Developments and Monopsony in Law and Economics and picking the brains of Dr. James B. Dworkin of Purdue University North Central, more

  • 28 days ago
  • 62 views

Former longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is now regretting writing a letter supporting Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy Cournoyer as he awaits sentencing on serious drug trafficking charges in U.S. federal court in New York. "Rush" tweeted a letter to his fans last night stating that the support he voiced to Cournoyer, which first ran in The Montreal Gazette, was "a mistake." First of all, the letter I signed was a mistake - my mistake. I will not go into details as to how and why more