Chael Sonnen believes he should be ranked at light heavyweight, despite not competing there since 2006. But this brings up a larger question - how are other fighters going to feel about being unranked when they have a fight booked in a new division?
Chael Sonnen hasn't competed the in UFC light heavyweight division since 2006, but he's still getting a title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 159 after a TUF 17 coaching gig against the champ. Sonnen, who is coming off a second loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, got a look at the first version of the official UFC light heavyweight rankings, as we all did. And apparently he's not impressed with being left off the list:
LHW- you might as well write the LHW rankings backwards because that's about as much sense as it makes without me on top of them.— chael sonnen (@sonnench) February 5, 2013
Obviously this is typical Sonnen bluster, and he has no right to be anywhere near these rankings. But due to the different rules instituted by Fight Metric, the man that most recently challenged for the UFC middleweight title can't be ranked in that division. Nor can Brian Stann, who is facing Wanderlei Silva at UFC on Fuel 8 at light heavyweight. It also means that Anthony Pettis will have to be dropped from the lightweight rankings now that he's booked against Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title in August.
Should people continue to be ranked in the division they most recently fought in until they actually fight in another? Or can a guy be ranked in a division he's never fought in based on the merits of work he's done in another weight class? Is this the most streamlined way to do rankings? I'm not sure, since rankings are all subjective anyway. But if they're going to be "official", there might be more than a few fighters that aren't happy with being unranked.