It’s no secret that the UFC’s ranking system is kind of a mess. What was originally advertised as an unbiased method for providing divisional clarity to top contenders among a massive sea of talent, has become more of a consistent punchline – when it’s not being used as a negotiating tool by fighters and promotion alike.
With many notable media members backing away from potential participation in the rankings due to possible conflict of interest – and the UFC often removing fighter eligibility when it suits their needs at the bargaining table – the whole thing has a tendency to come off as a hodgepodge of semi-invested idealists. People who, be it out of desire, or a sense of duty, try to bring some order out of chaos. Each using their own systems and biases to create their idea of order, or maybe just ranking whoever they happen to recognize out of the names available.
It’s no surprise then, that many fighters have seen it fit just to ignore rankings altogether; leave them as the stuff of advertisements and fight promotion.
For those that choose not to do so, however, they can be a source of continuous consternation. That’s a place where Angela Hill finds herself, having been bumped from her #15 slot in the strawweight division and replaced by recently victorious newcomer Mackenzie Dern.
Well this is a big fat slap in the face. I’ve fought top competition, beat #14 and the rankings finally grace me with #15 ranking, just to get bumped by a fucking Flyweight. pic.twitter.com/ZYlP5Ogs6w
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 17, 2018
Dern failed to make weight for her bout against Amanda Cooper at UFC 224 – just her second fight in the Octagon – by a whopping 7 lbs. She then proceeded to club-n-sub Cooper for the quick win in round 1. That, it seems was enough to ensure she got a number next to her name, at Hill’s expense.
A former Invicta champion, Hill’s UFC runs haven’t been as dominant as her work outside the promotion. But, sporting an 8-4 record (3-4 in the UFC), it’s hard to argue against the idea that, at the very least, her level of competition has been consistently higher. ‘Overkill’ was joined by fellow 115er Felice Herrig, herself ranked at #8, in her criticisms of these latest rankings and of Dern along with them. She took the system to task in a lengthy post on Instagram.
I’m going to weigh in on the @ufc #strawweight rankings with at least 7.5lbs of factual perspective:
1- For the most part 1-5 are pretty accurate across all weight divisions, but after that the rankings are a crap shoot.
2- These days hype trains seem to be gifted rankings over actually having to fight to the top.
3- #McenzieDern misses weight by 7.5 pounds, which makes her closer to a #Flyweight than strawweight. She beats an unranked fighter and takes @angieoverkillwell earned #15 spot when her only actual win in the ufc as a #straweight was to #Ashleyyoder. McEnzie won by a very close split decision, while Angela won unanimously. So why does Angela get bumped??
4- Justine Kish isn’t even in the top 15, although she beat #14#NinaAnsaroff unanimously and #11#RandaMarkos. Justine did move up to Flyweight but so did #calderwood. So why is Calderwood even in the rankings anymore?
5- If #waterson is #7 & I’m #8 then 9, 10 & 11 are all out of order…
6- I beat #Grasso unanimous decision , I beat #casey split. Waterson beats casey split decision. Casey finishes Markos, while Grasso takes her to split. So the rankings should actually be: #7 Waterson#8 Herrig#9 Casey #10 Grasso #11 Markos Even if Dern made weigh there is no factual reasoning as to why or how she could take Angela’s spot other than a massive glitch in the matrix.
The UFC has claimed in the past that they were working to make their ranking system better. Perhaps something that would be less open to obvious criticism and potentially present fewer concerns over conflict of interest. But, if that project is still in the works, there haven’t been any signs of it. And until the system does change, those fighters that pay attention to UFC rankings are likely going to find themselves unhappy with what they see as often as not.