Dana White has never been shy about the subject of rankings. According to the UFC president, MMA divisional rankings are some of the hardest things to do, but that has not stopped him from contracting Fight Metrics to create an official set for the UFC. At the pre-fight press conference for UFC 156, White announced that Fight Metrics is set to send out rankings polls to over 90 members of the MMA media community after this Saturday’s event. Those polls will then be returned to Fight Metrics, who will come up with a set of UFC top-ten rankings.
Some people may ask why the UFC has finally decided to come up with rankings. Well, the answer is simple: just like anything else the UFC does, it is about expansion and the fans. As the UFC continues its expansion into other countries, divisions will be easier to follow if there is a listing of who is within a fight or two of a title shot. Plus, the casual fan likes to number, according to White. In football, basketball, and other sports you have the number-one team facing off against the number-five team. While that does not translate into MMA due to wins not being as black and white as in other sports, the casual fan will be able to understand a division better.
If you think this change in procedure will allow the “consensus” number one contender to automatically fight for the title, well, you would be wrong. White is still content in making the fights that fans want to see. In his eyes, fights like Jon Jones against Anderson Silva or Frankie Edgar taking on Jose Aldo really do not make sense, but those are the fights that fans want to see, and those will be the fights that White is still willing to make – regardless of his own rankings.