Posted 03/19/2014 by McKinley Noble in MMA Buzz

UFC Rankings Rant (Sorry, Idiots: Woodley Clearly Beat Condit)

Few things in MMA are more frustrating than the official UFC rankings.

Whether it’s terrible pound-for-pound voting, fighters listed in the wrong division, or wins and losses being outright ignored, the collective MMA media has failed to provide a very simple service to the sport’s fans.

‘Need an example?

Look no further than Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley at UFC 171.

Despite what actually happened in the fight—a TKO victory for Woodley—the welterweight rankings have Condit (#3) positioned one spot over Woodley (#4).

Why? Because Condit injured his leg on a takedown, an injury that Woodley later attacked with a solid, vicious kick behind the knee. Hence, the media considers it a “fluke” win for Woodley.

It also doesn’t help that prior to the fight, nearly every MMA writer, gambler, and/or journalist was picking Condit to win.

How very, very wrong we were.

But whatever the case, poor Woodley is now in the extremely unfortunate position of having a win over arguably the second-best welterweight in the division, yet getting absolutely no credit for it.

Unfortunately, we’ve already seen this insanity with current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and his pair of wins over future Hall of Famer Anderson Silva.

Just for kicks, let’s recap that particular timeline:

  • UFC 162: Silva dances around like an idiot.
  • Weidman wins by KO.
  • Silva loses the UFC Middleweight Championship.
  • Weidman is ranked under Silva.
  • MMA fans and media say it doesn’t count.
  • UFC 168: Silva gets serious; breaks his leg.
  • Weidman wins by TKO.
  • Everyone vomits during the instant replay.
  • MMA fans and media say it doesn’t count.
  • Weidman is ranked under Silva.

And rather than Weidman getting the proper credit for winning a fight he was already kind of dominating, MMA media once again called it a “fluke” victory, continuing to treat Silva as if he was still the champion.

This has got to stop.

As a reminder, Weidman actually “checked” Silva’s kick, raising his knee to block the attack. It wasn’t a fluke. Neither was Woodley’s kick to Condit’s weakened knee.

Sure, both results were completely unexpected, but they still happened.



Regardless of whether or not a fighter wins by KO, TKO, submission, controversial decision, disqualification, injury, or an act of God, a win is still a win.

It doesn’t matter which fighter you like best.

It doesn’t matter which fighter had the better resume.

It doesn’t matter if the judges gave a “gift” or “robbery” decision.

At the end of the day, the person who actually wins the fight should be ranked above the person that he (or she) just defeated. It’s really as simple as that. And yet, the MMA media continues to rewrite history as they see fit.

What’s worse is that for the most part, the people submitting the UFC rankings aren’t held accountable.

Many of them barely pay any attention to the sport at all. Others have no idea how to use the voting system. There’s simply far too little quality control, and at some point, that becomes a major problem when these rankings are shown on national television.

Everyone on the UFC rankings board needs to wake up.

A win is a win.

Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva.

Tyron Woodley beat Carlos Condit.

If you’re really trying to convince yourself otherwise, you probably shouldn’t be doing MMA rankings at all.


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. His work has appeared in NVisionBleacher Report, PC World, Macworld, GamePro, 1UP, MMA Mania and The L.A. Times. Follow him at @KenTheGreat1 on Twitter.

McKinley Noble