Zuffa Leagues 1 and 2 - could it work?

Okay, so yesterday I was reading a post about UFC 149 ratings. A lot of people are saying that ratings are down because there are too many UFC events which is leading to too much financial demand on fans and the dilution of quality fights on their cards.

For some reason I put 2 and 2 together and came up with a muddied pair of underpants, a melted shoe and the idea that UFC and Strikeforce should be re-organised into a first and second division. On the face of this I am willing to admit that this doesn’t look like a problem solver for the issues raised, but here me out, then rinse me in the comments section.

Note:- all fighters are ranked in relation to fight matrix. I am sure you will not agree with all of them, however please try and look past this issue and see the ranking as a mere tool to demonstrate how the system would operate.

Here are the divisions:-

UFC Heavyweight (Div. 1)

1 Dos Santos

2 Velasquez

3 Overeem

4 Cormier

5 Werdum

6 Mir

7 Silva

8 Nogueira

9 Barnett

10 Carwin

11 Hunt

12 Struve

Strkeforce Heavyweight (Div2)

1 Nelson

2 Browne

3 Kongo

4 Miocic

5 Rothwell

6 Russow

7 Gonzaga

8 Shaub

9 Mitrione

10 Johnson

11 Herman

12 Barry

UFC Light Heavyweight (Div 1)

1 Jones

2 Henderson

3 Evans

4 Rua

5 Machida

6 Bader

7 Jackson

8 Griffin

9 Gustafsson

10 Mousasi

11 Lawal

12 Nogueira

Strikeforce Light Heavyweight (Div. 2)

1 Davis

2 Jimmo

3 Cavalcante

4 Texeira

5 Silva

6 Nedkov

7 Kyle

8 Bonnar

9 Veira

10 Te Huna

11 Pokrajac

12 Cane

UFC Middleweight

1 Silva

2 Sonnen

3 Weidman

4 Rockhold

5 Belfort

6 Boetsh

7 Belcher

8 Lombard

9 Franklin

10 Munoz

11 Stann

12 Bisping

Strikeforce Middleweight

1 Souza

2 Kennedy

3 Gracie

4 Okami

5 Leben

6 Larkin

7 Philippou

8 Palhares

9 Lawler

10 Silva

11 Craig

12 Herman

UFC Welterwieght

1 St. Pierre

2 Kampmann

3 Condit

4 Marquardt

5 Diaz

6 Hendricks

7 Ellenberger

8 Shields

9 Koscheck

10 Maia

11 Penn

12 Bahadurzada

Strikeforce Welterweight

1 Fitch

2 MacDonald

3 Sanchez

4 Pyle

5 Head

6 Ebersole

7 Woodley

8 Mein

9 Pierce

10 Misaki

11 Alves

12 Story

UFC Lightweight

1 Henderson

2 Edgar

3 Melendez

4 Diaz

5 Maynard

6 Chandler

7 Alvarez (he’ll be zuffa soon)

8 Healy

9 Cerrone

10 Guida

11 Pettis

12 Grant

Strikeforce Lightweight

1 Nurmagomedov

2 Miller

3 Thomson

4 Bocek

5 Masvidal

6 Dunham

7 Sass

8 Guillard

9 Wiman

10 Tibau

11 Dos Anjos

12 Lauzon

I won’t bother with the smaller divisions because there’s not really enough depth to make it work. I know I might be wrong on this, but basically I can’t be bothered making any more lists.

So how would this all work?

1. Points are awarded for wins. The number of points awarded depends on the ranking of your opponent. So, in the UFC WW divison, if Penn (ranked 11) were to beat Bahadurzada(ranked 12) then he would be awarded 1 point, whereas if Baharduzada were to beat Penn, he would only get 2 points. Likewise,at the top of the division, if St. Pierre (1)were to beat Kampann (2) then he would get 11 points, nut if Kampmann beat St. Pierre, then he would get 12 points.

2. There are no points for defeat.

3. Winners can only be matched against winners, and losers against losers, unless the loser is ranked above the winner. There can be no rematches in one season.

4. Fighters will be expected to fight 4 times a year.

5. At the end of the season, the bottom 3 will be relegated to strikeforce, and the top 3 strikeforce will be promoted in their place.

6. The bottom 3 strikeforce fighters will be cut, and replaced with 3 prospects/ fighters previously cut who have turned things around.

7. If a fighter is sidelined for a prolongued amount of time, then he is replaced by the top of the lower division fighters, and a prospect is brought into the lower division.

Let's say the first batch of fights are as follows:-

1 beats 2

3 beats 4

5 beats 6

7 beats 8

9 beats 10

11 beats 12

In the following occurs in the 2nd batch of fights

1 beats 3

2 beats 5

4 beats 6

7 beats 9

8 beats 11

10 beats 12

In the 3rd batch of fights

1 beats 7

2 beats 8

3 beats 5

4 beats 10

6 beats 11

9 beats 12

In the 4th and final batch of fights

1 beats 4

2 beats 3

6 beats 9

5 beats 7

10 beats 11

8 beats 12

Using the point system stated above, the final table would look like this:-

1 – 36 pnts

2 – 23 pnts

3 – 17 pnts

5 – 13 pnts

4 – 10 pnts

7 – 9 pnts

6 – 6 pnts

9 – 4 pnts

8 – 3 pnts

10 – 3pnts

11 – 1 pnt

12 – 0 pnts

As you probably predicted,there are certainly anomalies – but the top 3 are in the top 3 positions (ie promotion), and the bottom 3 in the bottom 3 positions (ie. relegation). (No. 8 staying up through having fought higher ranked opponents)

Assuming that demonstration is sufficient for you to continue reading, what are the pros and cons:-


1) UFC cards would be stacked with quality fights

2) Strikeforce cards would be much improved, and fighters would be fighting for a chance in the UFC – I think it would increase the ratings – especially since strikeforce get the hot prospects coming up on their cards

3) 4 title fights a year in each division. No longer shall we, the fans, be left out in the cold.

4) Fighters don’t get to sit out for a year then come back into a huge fight.

5) If title holders are out for year, then their belt is vacated, the top two guys then fight for the belt. When the previously title holder is injury free, then he gets to take a promotion spot from the lower level (the guy who finished 3rd in strikeforce, but if all the fighters know this is the case, then it’s not unfair.)


1) What about injuries? There could be many.

2) Is 4 times a year realistic?

3) Is the system actually fair? Probably not totally, but it’s not bad.

4) Veterans who only get to fight once a year will have zero relevancy, although I guess they can still fight each other in fun fights that are not held as part of the divisions?

5) Would this end up killing a lot of fun fights?

6) Is a year, and 4 fights too long for a fighter to wait for his chance in the big time? Would that stop the like of Alvarez and Lombard coming across? Do we even care if they’re not prepared to be tested against the Strikeforce division first? How many relevant stars are there outside of zuffa who would truly be in the mix immediately if they came across?

Bloodyelbowers, I leave it in your critical, yet capable hands.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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