There are many variables to consider when deciding how to rank a fighter. Wins and losses make for easy ways to determine how a fighter should be ranked in their division, but what about the margin of victory and ranking of the opponent? Different combat sports organizations have differing means of ranking opponents and determining which fighter deserves to be in line for a title shot. While the UFC currently utilizes a matchmaker to create fight cards, can the promotion improve with point-based rankings for matchmaking?
According to UFC rankings:
“Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound. A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC. A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class. However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings…”
No, keep match-made fights.
On one hand, members of the media that closely monitor fighters’ progress and performance seem qualified to vote for determining rank. One important note is that rankings for fighters in their weight class are not contingent upon their ability to contend for a title. Most recently, #4 heavyweight Mark Hunt was chosen as an interim title competitor. Nick Diaz was matched against middleweight Anderson Silva despite being an unranked, inactive fighter in the UFC. Because rankings do not determine which fighter has earned a shot at the title, the UFC is able to make matches that they believe make for the best entertainment.
Yes, create point-based matchups.
Without a hard and fast rating system, it’s somewhat arbitrary why fighters are ranked in the first place. Determining a point value based on wins, losses, and the manner in which they took place (KO, submission, decision etc.) seems like a more merit-based way to create matchups. While it may not allow for the creation of the same high demand fights, determining cards by point-based ranking seems significantly more fair to a fighter’s efforts and accomplishments.
Would a points-based ranking system improve the quality of UFC fights? What other ways could merit-based matches be determined?