UFC and Fightmetric team up to compile UFC rankings

February 1, 2013

The UFC and Fightmetric have teamed together to offer UFC fighter rankings.  The rankings will include selected MMA media members voting on the rankings.

Via UFC press release:

“We are thrilled to have UFC recognize our fighter rankings and to have them hosted on UFC.com, as well as incorporated into event broadcasts. FightMetric has worked closely with the UFC for several years as an industry-leader in MMA statistics. Sports fans are accustomed to seeing performance data and rankings on their favorite baseball, football and soccer players, and now we can engage UFC fans on a similar level,” said FightMetric creator Rami Genauer.

“UFC Fighter Rankings are a great tool for new and existing fans alike to learn and better keep up with the fast pace of the UFC,” said UFC President Dana White. “We always look for opportunities to engage fans and media, allowing them to connect and voice their opinions, and this just one more way of doing that.”

Media members will vote for top fighters, currently active in the UFC, by weight class and pound-for-pound. A fighter can only appear in one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champions of each division are set in the first and second positions respectively and are not eligible for voting by media. However, champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings. Media voting is by invitation only and interested media members can apply at UFC.com/Rankings.


Payout Perspective:

Congratulations to Rami Genauer at Fightmetric on the new endeavor.  To learn more about him and his company, we interviewed him back in September 2010.  The fighter rankings creates a closed universe for the UFC as the rankings would include only UFC fighters.  Allowing media members a vote gives the rankings an appearance of impartiality.  Obviously, not all media members will be chosen to vote. In fact, 90 were invited and it appears that others can apply.  This process has been a bone of contention among MMA media.  Everyone loves lists so the rankings may be good for that.  At least, with Fightmetric, we will have some statistical information to go upon.  But, what does this really do for the fights that are made when we know its up to the Zuffa trust?

13 Responses to “UFC and Fightmetric team up to compile UFC rankings”

  1. Weezy02 on February 1st, 2013 12:52 PM

    Is it great? No, not in my opninion. The one benefit I can see is that it mght help casual fans get a feel for a bout’s significance (event if it’s the opinion of a subset of media). Most casuals don’t know who most of these fighters are outside of the biggest names.

  2. Machiel Van on February 1st, 2013 1:29 PM

    Seems like a pretty inherent conflict of interest for media members. Kevin Iole has already declined under this pretense. Also, if the ballots are made public, then managers can and will use member’s votes against them when granting/denying access to their fighters.

  3. Sampson Simpson on February 1st, 2013 3:17 PM

    This is a pretty simple but futile strategy by the UFC.

    They are scared that the MMA media will soon start to rank Bellator fighters and champions as highly as the UFC champs and contenders. This is their attempt to block them from even mentioning the Bellator fighters in the MMA rankings.

    Dana is scared, it’s quite easy to tell. Why else would he react so femininely to Randy Couture signing up for a Spike gig?

  4. Brain Smasher on February 1st, 2013 8:16 PM

    I dont see the big deal. UFC can make any figth they want any way. What does it matter what they say the rankings are? Its not like they have to follow any rankings anyway. All this is is something to get people debating. Everyone knows it is impossible to please anyone with rankings. Everyone has their own. UFC knows this. But its what they want. It keeps you interested. Hell people already complain over who gets title shots now. Even if thye make the right choice. look at how people are torn on who “deserves” to fight Silva next. But those debates are to few and far between. Rankings keeps that going year around and in every division all the way down the list. This gets fans invested in the fighters and the UFC.

    No one is going to be fooled if the UFC puts a number 2 by Chaels name for his Jones fight. They didnt need a #2 to make the fight and it wont matter if they use it down the road. I think its a great idea for the UFC. And honestly like i said on another forum. I hope the UFC does manipulate the rankings. A media ranking is worthless because the UFC doesnt have to and will not and should not follow it. What i would be more interested in is a UFC ranking. Atleast that tells where the UFC feels each fighter sits in the division and who they plan to give title shots to and how close people are. IF we want a meaningless ranking of opinion with no power than we have 100 websites who can provide that.

  5. Caidel on February 1st, 2013 11:41 PM

    Only rankings that I need are at fightmatrix.com – computer generated ones. They are really good for things that human generated cannot deal with correctly. For example measuring of fighters inside UFC and in other organizations, ranking fighters outside 25 biggest names and so on…

    It is a question of perspective. For avid UFC fan, rankings at fightmatrix wouldn’t be that interesting (since for example no. 2 in the division really scarcely get to fight the champion, because getting a titleshot has its own logic), but for me? When I need to know how good guys are in the Bellator tournaments this year? Or when there is a big success, if a fighter from my country even makes it into the rankings in high hunderds and is at least mentioned worldwide? Very unique and imporant info. And quite objective, I would say.

  6. Matt C. on February 2nd, 2013 5:34 AM

    I’m wondering about the geographic breakdown of the journalist that will be voting. How many journalist voters will be from the U.S.? How many from Brazil? How many from Japan? How many from England? Basically you see where I’m going with this.

    Is this a way to hook in journalist from around the world and get them to engage in writing about the UFC? Does this make journalist who vote more likely to write positive stories about the UFC? I’m not suggesting an intentional bias with that but when you feel like you are a part of something you tend to lean towards the positive on certain things until proven otherwise.

    Also it will be interesting to see if the votes are made public and what the voting patterns look like from different journalist from various parts of the world. If the voting patterns show a distinct bias from journalist based on geography then the process might as well be scrapped. For example if a journalist from Mexico is ranking Mexican fighters much higher than they should be then the whole process is broken.

    Dana White say his job is to put on fights the fans want to see. So make the rankings fan voted or make a separate fan voted ranking system. Will it be a popularity contest… heck ya… but it will engage fans to vote for the fighters they want to see fight. It would be an interesting comparison to see how fans vote rankings compared to how journalist vote rankings. Which rankings would make for the better fight match-ups? How often would we like to see the #1 vs. #2 match-up based on the journalist rankings compared to how often would we like to see the #1 vs. #2 match-up from fan rankings? Which would make the better drawing PPV?

  7. Caidel on February 2nd, 2013 7:23 AM

    Thing is – I would understand, if UFC created its own rankings – and if for example Joe Silva or someone similar did it. Ranking then would mean how far is someone from the title shot.

    UFC ranking made by journalists is basically nonsense and it is exaclty the same, as if you take rankings of every bigger newssite (sherdog, mmajunkie, bloodyelbow and such) and just use them instead (with throwing away non-UFC fighters :). UFC ranking created by journalists is more prone to conflict of interests.

    I don’t really think, that UFC ranking will become a widespread useful tool which will everyone talk about and use.

  8. BrainSmasher on February 2nd, 2013 10:29 AM

    I do believe it will be widely used. Because the UFC will use those rankings on their events.

    Matt C.

    Dana puts on fights people want to see but not every fight. Only when there is reason for it or there is a huge demand for a fight that just can’t be ignored. To let fans vote would be silly. You would see the same fighter ranked at the top every after they lose many times.

    Also there is always the possibility of bias in rankings. It’s not just a possibility but it is actually there and you can’t avoid it. If yOu get people from around the world to vote like you said they could favor their country fighters or less in the loop about what goes on in the UFC if they are in a country that the UFC isn’t big in. This is why no ranking should be taken Serious.

    I have watched this sport for a very long time and I am very good as assessing fighters. So when it comes to rankings there is on two opinons I would even trust. My own rankings and then the UFC. In that order. No one is ever going to agree on rankings because everyone has their own idea and ranking in mind unless you are a noob and in that case you will believe any rankings out in fromlnt of you anyways.

    So these rankings should be looked at as just a way to add excitement and passion into the fights.

  9. Caidel on February 3rd, 2013 4:07 AM

    BrainSmasher: “Used by UFC on their events” – by my means, that’s basically same as not used at all. Of course there will be some talk about their rankings in the broadcasts and maybe on their web and their preshows… but: Do you really think, that journalists will use UFC ranking as the most important one and will stop creating their own ones and will use UFC rankings when creating articles about event? I don’t really think so.

    Widely used would mean used widely – ie not just in UFC. And I don’t think that will happen.

    Well, it’s not big deal even if it happens, but I just always presumed, that if UFC will do its own rankings, it will create them internally – with Joe Silva, Dana and others having majority of voices.

    Not that they create rankings basically same way as BE consensus ranking works…

  10. BrainSmasher on February 3rd, 2013 9:31 AM

    Yeah sites with rankings will use their own. But all the news sites that do t have them, newspapers, and sports channels will use the UFC rankings of their own fighters in articles. Also if the UFC uses them on their events the. They are seen by more fans than who will see Sherdog rankings.

    What will be best about this for the UFC is now on the fight card there will be a ranking by guys names. This will show everyone how important the fight is at a glance. For the casual fan they might no know a guy by name but when they see #7 vs #9 as the first fight on the main card they know it is a meaningful fight in the division and both are contenders. This is a huge plus for the UFC and will add a lot of enjoyment for fans also regardless how the rankings are determined.

  11. Diego on February 4th, 2013 10:29 AM

    For what it’s worth, each of the different boxing organizations has it’s own rankings as well. They are all crap of course, but at least it lets people see how future fights might shake out by outlining who the top contenders are, and who the new guys are who might climb to the top.

    I think it’s interesting that the UFC will use a ranking system (however flawed it may be) because it at least lets fighters know where they stand. Dana still has the final say over who fights and who gets a title shot and I don’t expect that to change.

  12. codemaster on February 4th, 2013 10:32 PM

    Just a note for the unwary–FightMetric evaluations are not computer generated–they are created by people.

    Several people each fight count the number of ‘significant’ and ‘non-significant’ strikes to different parts of the body of each fighter.

    What is the difference between a significant strike and a non-significant strike?

    Human judgement–averaged over the number of humans counting strikes, takedowns etc.

    Are all ‘significant’ strikes created equal? Could one ‘significant’ strike be worth more than 5 ‘significant’ strikes of an opponent?

    For example, could one ‘significant’ leg kick by Jose Aldo be worth more than one ‘significant’ leg kick by Clay Guida?

    These are just a few questions which illustrate the fallacies inherent in the CompuStrike and FightMetric approaches to evaluating fights.

    While such fight measurement systems have some usefullness in quantifying some aspects of a fight–they also can be very deceptive to the uncritical fan who treats their so-called ‘computer generated’ results as gospel.

    If a fight does not end with a KO or submission–it must be evaluated upon a number of criteria–most of which rely upon human judgement.

  13. Caidel on February 7th, 2013 9:27 AM

    codemaster: Just for the record (I’m not sure if you addressed your post towards me): I talked about fightmatrix.com, not fightmetric – Fightmatrix.com is computer generated MMA ranking which compute value of your wins.

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