There was a lot of talk about the UFC producing their official set of rankings. How would it affect matchmaking? Could it make a way for mandatory matchups? The answer to those questions is, well, nothing really changed. As with all rankings, there’s some subjectivity on the issue but, more or less, they’re accepted.
Following UFC On FX 8 at the weekend, there was an update. Although no Brits were in action, we thought we’d take a look at how UK fighters fare amongst the world’s elite.
There isn’t an abundance of Brits in there by any means, just two in fact. Seasoned competitors Brad Pickett and Michael Bisping are holding up the fort and leading the way.
Pickett was last seen in a split decision win over Mike Easton in April, bagging his fourth Zuffa ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. That’s why he’s a fan favourite, but he’s highly ranked because of his success at the same time.
Easton stands at #9, and former opponents also feature highly. Interim champion Renan Barao is the number one contender, Eddie Wineland is number four, Scott Jorgensen number seven and Ivan Menjivar ten.
You can’t say that Pickett doesn’t deserve this spot when he’s been in there with the elite competition, and it will be interesting to see how he’s matched up next. He’s been on the cusp of a title shot before, but a shot at Faber would definitely propel him in the right direction. It could possibly stop Faber from attaining another shot too seeing as though he has lost in his last four attempts, although ‘The California Kid’ has rightly staked his claim with consistent great wins.
Bisping is another UK fighter that has been on the cusp of a title shot before, but just fallen at the last hurdle. He’s the most recognised Brit in the UFC, the most consistent, and the best fighter the UK has produced to date.
He stands at number four currently, behind champion Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami.
WIth Weidman facing Silva next and Belfort stopping him in January, Yushin Okami looks an obvious next stop. Both men are coming in off wins and are perennial nearly men in the division. That could be the bout to determine whether they’ll ever get to a championship fight (again, in the case of Okami) in the remainder of their careers.
Bisping recently took a good victory over Alan Belcher, and has faced the #2 and #9 in the rankings (as well as the #3 and #6 light-heavyweights).
The middleweight division just got a little bit more interesting at the weekend as fresh challenges could come from recent additions such as ‘Jacare’ Souza and Luke Rockhold, but he’ll no doubt want to be challenging those above him.
What this means?
Two top five fighters throughout all of the divisions doesn’t look overhwhelming, but in a rapidly developing MMA nation you can expect to see more soon. Rosi Sexton could be in with a shout as she enters the women’s bantamweight division, and one more win would put Phil Harris up there, albeit in the shallowest men’s division.
Given the size of the talent pool, we can be happy to be represented. We’ll see what matchups are in the pipeline for the other UFC Brits and update you soon.
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