Hello there, BE Community. As a fan, I was really excited when the UFC announced their intentions to offer an independent ranking system for their stable of fighters. What I found even more satisfying was when I learned that 5 Bloody Elbow staff would be involved in the ranking. In many ways, I view them as my representatives in the ranking process. Of course, that also means that I'm counting on them to "get it right."
With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to analyze their rankings individually and as a group. Specifically, I will compare their rankings to each other as well as to the overall UFC averages. I will also lay out supporting data regarding wins and losses for each of the top 10 fighters. Basically, it's the type of analysis I would do if I were selected to be one of the few who get to determine the official UFC rankings.
Today, I'll be covering the Flyweights. If this goes well and if enough readers seem to enjoy it, I'll pick a few other interesting weight classes and run through a similar analysis.
The Averages Compared to UFC Overall Rankings:
Overall BE Rankings
|2.8||Ian McCall||3||Ian McCall|
|4||John Moraga||4||John Moraga|
|5||Jussier Formiga||5||Jussier Formiga|
|6.4||John Lineker||6||Louis Gaudinot|
|6.6||Louis Gaudinot||7||John Lineker|
|8.2||Chris Cariaso||8||Chris Cariaso|
|9||Darren Uyenoyama||9||Darren Uyenoyama|
|9.6||Timothy Elliott||10||Timothy Elliott|
As you can see above, the one difference that stands out is the BE staff has ranked John Lineker above Louis Gaudinot. This is a bit surprising because in a head to head match up Gaudinot proved to be the better fighter. I could see a few factors playing into this opinion, however. One is that Gaudinot has not been as active and is coming off of injury. Two, Lineker is the much more experienced fighter with 21 wins to Gaudinot's 6.
||Top 10 wins||
||Other Notable Wins|
|Joseph Benavidez||18-3||McCall, Uyenonyama||10-3
|John Dodson||14-6||Formiga, Elliott, Moraga||3-1
||draw with Mighty Mouse, Dustin Ortiz, Montague|
||Yamaguchi, Kojima, Jose Maria Tome|
||Phil Harris, Yamamoto|
If go based off of the information above:
- Benavidez and Dodson make sense at 1 and 2 based on their success in the UFC so far.
- Ian McCAll makes sense at 3 due to his decorated past and his competitive fights with the current champ
- John Moraga and Formiga should probably be flip flopped. Moraga has only one win in the top 10 against Cariaso who is a fighter that Formiga also defeated. In addition, Formiga has an impressive pre-UFC resume
- The head to head match up between Gaudinot and Lineker seems to be the best way to settle things between them in the rankings
- Cariaso makes sense at 8 due to his competitive fights against tough competition and partially because of his success at 135
- Uyenoyama has some good wins in the UFC, but has struggled against guys ranked above him. 9 seems like a good place for him.
- Elliott makes sense at 10 because of his UFC win at 125 and his competitive fight with Dodson.
Ranking the Rankers:
I'll start by saying that the spirit of this post is not to call anyone out, but rather to provide all the available information to analyze the methodology behind the rankings. We all just want to "get it right" so I hope this process will assist in that goal.
Fraser gets the award for most justifiable rankings as he was spot on with my above analysis. Similarly, Tim's only variation was between Moraga and Formiga. I suspect that had something to do with Moraga earning a title shot and it was a decision that most others in the group agreed with. In addition, I can see the argument that on the biggest stage Moraga has delivered with two finishes against tough opponents, while Formiga faltered his first time out. To that argument I would say that his loss was to John Dodson who is ranked ahead of him and it doesn't take away from his past accomplishments.
The most inconsistent with the above analysis was Steph. My biggest complaints would be Moraga ahead of Dodson and Lineker over Gaudinot as each of them faced off head to head and lost. Also notable is Formiga's ranking at number 6 below Moraga and Lineker. As was pointed out above, Moraga just doesn't have the resume that Formiga does outside of the UFC and Lineker has no top 10 wins and has lost head to head against Gaudinot. Clearly, Lineker's win over Urushitani was a key factor in his ranking, and to be fair Urushitani was in most people's top 10 prior to that fight. In addition, I pointed out above that Lineker is the far more experienced fighter with 21 wins. The last notable difference is Ian McCall being ranked 2nd over Dodson. The argument could be made that Ian came the closest to beating Mighty Mouse and that his status as the #1 Flyweight in the world heading into the tournament shouldn't be tainted by losing to two fighters now ranked above him. However, I'd personally like to see Uncle Creepy get a win in the UFC at 125 before I'm comfortable ranking him in the top 2 again. For that reason, I agree with the rest of the group ranking McCall at #3.
Overall, the group balanced out to be remarkably similar to the UFC averages. My call to action would be for the group to recognize Formiga's stellar past and push him ahead of Moraga. But, that's just my opinion.
I look forward to the ranker's comments and justifications below.