As usual, I'm here to dish out my two cents on what I think of the most recent update to the SB Nation / USA Today 25 Consensus MMA Rankings. I've worked my way down to Featherweight, enjoy.
- Jose Aldo - UFC
- Chad Mendes - UFC
- Hatsu Hioki - UFC
- Pat Curran - Bellator
- Kenny Florian - UFC
- Marlon Sandro - Bellator
- Mark Hominick - UFC
- Diego Nunes - UFC
- Tyson Griffin - UFC
- Erik Koch - UFC
- Manny Gamburyan - UFC
- Dustin Poirier - UFC
- Joe Warren - Bellator
- Hiroyuki Takaya - Dream
- Tatsuya Kawajiri - Dream
- Patricio Freire - Bellator
- Michihiro Omigawa - UFC
- Rani Yahya - UFC
- Bibiano Fernandes - Dream
- Darren Elkins - UFC
- Robert Peralta - UFC
- Mike Brown - UFC
- Kazuyuki Miyata - Dream
- Masanori Kanehara - Dream
- Takeshi Inoue - Dream
15 of the top 25 are with the UFC. That's a rather low percentage when looking at the rest of the weight classes, but it's bound to change. The UFC is in the business of building their own guys up against one another...So eventually this will shake out and we'll see the usual type of dominance with only a handful of outliers.
Now on to individual criticisms and complaints.
#3 Hatsu Hioki - He just simply should not be this high. The big reasoning behind his jump in the rankings was when he beat Marlon Sandro. Okay fine, but Hioki just fought George Roop, who while under-rated in my opinion, was not a top 25 level opponent. Hioki got by with a split-decision. Could you see current #3 Welterweight Carlos Condit, or any top 3 fighter in any weight class, barely beat a guy who hasn't even made it into the top 25 yet? I don't think so.
#4 Pat Curran - How #4 Florian losing to #1 Aldo allowed #5 Curran to move ahead of him in the rankings blows my mind. Curran didn't do anything to earn the #4 spot. On top of that, he was considered a middle of the pack kind of guy until he beat Sandro. I'm beginning to think that Sandro should have never been as high as he was...because Hioki also made his name/ranking off of Sandro, and Hioki had a very hard time with sub-top 25er George Roop. So how good was Sandro really? He loses to Hioki and Curran, the former did not look all that great against a guy who he really should have handled.
#6 Marlon Sandro - I've already discussed what I think of him...he's not that amazing, not #6 amazing at least.
#9 Tyson Griffin - Recently lost to unranked and fellow 'Drop from 155 to 145' fighter Bart Palaszewski. Tyson had been ranked this high since his win over Gamburyan...and the way Bart tooled him in under 3 minutes will likely launch Bartimus into the rankings.
#14 Hiroyuki Takaya - Okay, I buy him, as the Dream champ, being ranked at #14...but what I take issue with, is that a guy who he just lost to two fights ago, back in April, Robert Peralta...is ranked LOWER then him. Peralta won a split decision, okay, I'm not sure how 'controversial' it was, but a win is a win is a win, right? Peralta won, he should have jumped Takaya in the rankings. But beyond that, not only did Peralta not move above Takaya in the rankings, but he is a full SEVEN places below him! Peralta won and he still trails the guy he beat by seven places in the rankings. Bullsh!t...
I mean, this is just a case of all of those involved in the rankings blindly ignoring the outcome of a fight and refusing to adjust the rankings accordingly. Is there any precedent for that in any weight class? Lauzon was unranked and he upset Guillard, I bet in this month's updates, he'll be put above Guillard...and if he isn't its a f'cking travesty. The rankings should be decided by the most recent results of who beat who...
I've always had a sneaking suspicion that MMA rankers in general give a sort of extra favoring to fighters outside of the UFC/North America...and it seems true. Omigawa was like top 5-10 outside of the UFC, comes in, drops 1 fight to a top contender and gets ripped off with another decision...and now he is #17. Santiago was in the top 10, comes to the UFC, gets smashed by two top 10 opponents, and is now about #17...these guys fighting 'over there' are just not as good as some like to think they are
#15 Tatsuya Kawajiri - At the end of September, just on the heels of Kawajiri's Featherweight debut over an unranked opponent, he was gifted with the #19 ranking. From September to October, he did not take a single fight, but in the new round of rankings updates...he jumped up 4 places for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What the hell is up with that?
#24 Masanori Kanehara - Has lost 3 of his last four fights. HE still remains at #24, yet neither of the last TWO men who have beat him, Yoshiro Maeda and Rasul Mirzaev are in the top 25...How does that make ANY sense. Mirzaev is undefeated at 5-0 and knocked Kanehara out in the first round. I don't care what legal issues he is dealing with...rankings are rankings and wins and losses are wins and losses, correct? Shouldn't they function generally the same way?
And here I thought it paid to be a UFC fighter, but it seems that if you are not, the good MMA ranking community just gifts you with all kinds of cool shit. You get an inflated ranking for beating lesser competition...but once you hit the UFC, your ranking becomes painfully realistic...but if you are out of the UFC and lose, you still keep your ranking no problem. On top of that, just for being in your division and coming off of a win, you will naturally gravitate up the rankings when guys higher then you lose, even though you didn't beat them...just because.
I'm not trying to talk crap about anyone involved in the rankings...with the other weight classes I had very few issues...but in this division, it just seems like the rankings are just so random and done in a sort of 'what the hell? Just throw some names up there' kind of way.
I'm sure some of this is a result of the consensus and multiple people pitching in...but for the averaged rankings to still have these errors, of guys who are ranked, but have lost, still keeping their rank while the guy who beat them doesn't even enter into the top 25 at all...that's just weird. Or fighters randomly jumping up by 4 ranks from one month to another despite not taking a single fight in that time.
It all just feels so whacky and random...I have a hard time taking these batch of consensus rankings seriously at all.