The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Consensus Wankings

Look at this shit, just look at it. I will mock it with bullet points.

– Look, I hate the WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO/IBU/WWE/TNA/UNICEF as much as the next boxing fan, but at least their rankings has some practical, if ludicrously manipulated, import for the sport in that they determine eliminators, title shots, etc. These rankings? They determine bupkus. It’s a glorified internet poll which is listened to by no one with decision-making power in the sport. With good reason.

– Even if power brokers were listening, what is the point of listing fighters in the same poll who have zero chance of ever facing each other? Aleksander Emelianenko is all but barred from the US reportedly for hepatitis B, Josh Barnett has made himself unemployable by serious promotions in the US after his third steroid test failure, and the majority of other listed fighters are UFC or Strikeforce/DREAM exclusive and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. They can’t even be measured against each other as groups; why rank them together?

– Randy Couture is ranked, despite having moved back down to light heavyweight and fought there. Twice.

– And he’s ranked below Ben Rothwell, Jeff Monson and Tim Fucking Sylvia.

– Notastar Overeem is ranked 9, despite his last 4 opponents being Kazuyuki Fujita, James Thompson, Tony Sylvester and Gary Goodridge. A case can be made that his best heavyweight win is Paul Buentello. Is this a heavyweight ranking, a pound for pound ranking, a mix of the two…?

– And speaking of Overeem, it should be noted that this list is comparing fighters under several different rules systems and two different drug testing regimens. That’s obviously going to have different effects on different fighters, rendering the idea of comparing these guys outside their home environments questionable. Was nothing learned from how badly PRIDE guys translated to UFC overall?

– Ray Mercer is ranked ahead of Gilbert Yvel and Roy Nelson.


– The whole concept of rankings in MMA to me is inherently flawed. It’s not boxing, where everyone is doing essentially the same thing. Yes, in MMA, we’ve seen time and again that in each weight class there’s usually one dude who’s head and shoulders above the rest; but below that level, the degree to which styles make fights is far greater than in boxing and undermines any attempt to give each fighter a numerical rank in relation to each other.

– No defined criteria for the list or the consensus. The reality is that no one knows if these things should be compiled based on who-beats-who, who-BEAT-who, how guys have looked of late or how their skills are perceived, strength of schedule, past accomplishments… it’s hard enough to combine all of those factors (or choose just one) for an individual list, but the consensus-izing process arguably makes it worse by taking a variety of lists, all with their own criteria, and mashing them together as one. It creates weird, irreconcilable artifacts: you get Big Nog still ranked at 5 even though he’s looked like a dead man in the cage and gotten KO’d more often than not of late, and thus has to be that high based on accumulated achievements; but you also get Brett Rogers at 8, which can only be based on perceived skills shown in a loss; Shane Carwin at 6, which can only be for speed of victories; and you get Mercer, who they even admit is raked purely due to one component list of the consensus compiled by a badly programmed computer. It’s not just a mash-up of different opinions- it’s a mash-up of different kinds of opinions.

Anyway, I don’t mean to beat up on Bloody Elbow, whose stated reason for these of looking over the general opinion of the MMA fanbase about where fighters stand in relation to each other is reasonable. I just think MMA fans should learn to move past the numbered list method of conceptualizing those relationships.


March 26, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing, MMA

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