THE MIXED MARSHALL ARTS RANKINGS are here (click on the link).
MMA Rankings are a fun speculation. And that’s about all that can be said for them, despite what amount of work and thought one can say they put into them. Even the rankings released by Sherdog and the “consensus” (of whom?) rankings from SB Nation & USA Today have some placements that could be considered ill-advised.
As such, I don’t take any of them seriously. I think they’re a fun conversation starter, but beyond that, don’t think they should be taken seriously. The very nature of MMA is that it’s a multi-dimensional combat sport with so many variables that it’s hard, if not impossible, to measure how certain fighters would fair against others near or at the same level of the pecking order for their division.
For instance, everyone says Nick Diaz is an amazing Welterweight, but against wrestlers in the UFC he fell apart and he hasn’t faced anybody with a comparable ground game since. And yes, Shinya Aoki has some amazing submissions, but can you really rank him above guys who would fight him with a significant size, reach, and grappling advantage?
I tried to keep all of this in mind when doing my rankings. Other disclaimers after the jump…
RANKINGS MEAN AS OF WRITING, NOT ALL TIME. This is why I have Fedor ranked as a #5 Heavyweight. Realistically, the last guy he beat of any merit was Tim Sylvia, and Tim is…well, Tim. God knows where his head was at when they fought. Also,I honestly don’t think that Tim Sylvia would be able to put away the current incarnations of Lesnar, Carwin, or Velasquez. He beat the best of the best of the early ’00s, but that does not speak anything to what he might be able to do to the Top 10 now. Fedor could prove me wrong in his next couple performances, but I’m skeptical.
IT’S JUST FOR FUN. This is not me saying it’s definitive, or that you should take it seriously. I think it’d be fun to discuss it in the comments, but you really shouldn’t take it personally, unless maybe if you’re a fighter. In which case, awesome, you read my blog!
NO BANTAMWEIGHT OR FEATHERWEIGHT RANKINGS, LET ALONE FLYWEIGHT. I love watching these weight classes and am a big proponent of them getting more play on television. That being said, I don’t have nearly the familiarity I would like to have with these fighters, and as such don’t even want to attempt a ranking. I have enough trouble coming up with five contenders at Bantamweight and Featherweight, let alone knowing where to place them.
NO POUND FOR POUND LIST. Hey, who’s a better pound for pound fighter, BJ Penn or Fedor Emelianenko? I don’t know. Who smells prettier, a unicorn or a fairy? How the Hell can you ever know that? It’s ridiculous. Even basing it on what one perceives to be superior technique is misleading, since smaller guys are always going toappear to have better technique because their bodies allow them to move quicker and with more fluidity. I’ll be the first to admit I could be way off the mark with some of my rankings, but I can at least justify them reasonably.
MOST JAPANESE FIGHTERS ARE HIDEOUSLY OVERRATED. That goes for all fighters in Japan and all weight classes. The reason they don’t fare well here? Simple: no wrestling, the training hasn’t evolved with the sport in the last decade, and they don’t cut weight. That last one is the biggie, and why I won’t put Marius Zaromskis anywhere near the Welterweight Top Ten. That guy should be cutting to fight at 155 instead of 170, and the fight with Nick Diaz showed why: he’s not going to reach anyone on his feet and anyone with a ground game is going to overpower him.