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Jolldan

These are the 14 people who make the UFC rankings

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When the rankings were created the UFC projected about 90 journalists would take part in the rankings. They never hit 90. Based on my research, the rankings started with about 50 people taking part. That number rose to a high of 70. Then fell back down and plateaued at 19 and subsequently shed one or two a year and is now at just 14 people.

Fourteen self-selected supposed mma media members. Five of whom, by my count, are not even mma media members anymore, if they ever were.

It makes sense, by the way, that credible people would not take part in this. For one, you don't want to be in bed with the UFC and/or directly impacting matchmaking and fighters' opportunities if you're also covering the sport, it's plainly a conflict. But it sucks for the sport. The rankings are important in practice. Rankings impact a lot of these fighters' livelihood. The broadcast constantly uses the rankings to communicate the fighters' position to the audience. The UFC weighs the rankings heavily and sorts fighters accordingly. The commissions reportedly consider the UFC rankings in deciding whether matches are fair. Fighters are constantly calling out opponents based on the rankings ("I want someone above me in the rankings!" "I want someone in the top 10 next!" or whatever).

And yet, they’re terrible. Even graded purely against the yardstick placed by the UFC itself in creating the rankings, they fail. The system is broken. The solution is simple: abolish the rankings.

But that does not appear to be happening. Therefore, these 14 self-selected-supposed-mma-media-members hold immense power. Who are they?

Well you can go to the rankings and see a list of the panelists by clicking the dropdown menu at the top of the page. You used to be able to see the publication these individuals were purportedly associated with, but that was taken out since the UFC.com redesign. You should be able to click their names and see their individual rankings too, but I can no longer do so; no matter what name I click I just get the same, overall, rankings with a different name at the top of the page. That issue might just be on my end.

Looking at them one by one, in my opinion, 5 of the 14 cannot be considered to be in MMA media at all at this junction. I tried to use the broadest possible definition and still over a third of the people ranking the fighters are not, in 2019, in mma media. When you pair that with the fact that their impact is already out of whack of what the UFC suggested it would be (each is one of 14 rather than one of 90), this is just insanity.

One by one, in no particular order, here are the people who make the rankings:

  • Romain Cadot - Not in MMA media.

Romain Cadot, per LinkedIn, is apparently the editor-in-chief of vladusport.fr.

Here's the thing: Vladusport.fr doesn’t exist. If you go there, it’s just some online shopping thing squatting in the space.

According to their Facebook page, they haven't existed in over 4 years. The newest post there is from April 2015 which asks for a bit of patience before the return of the site. They similarly have a YouTube channel that hasn’t released a video since the 2015 teaser of the site's return. The website’s twitter hasn’t tweeted since 2013 and the tweets that are there link to articles that are no longer on the web.

Again, 14 people yield this power of fighters' careers. This is one of them. The website hasn't existed in almost 5 years.

  • Brian Hemminger - In MMA media

Brian Hemminger is an active MMA media member. He is an editor for MMA Oddsbreaker and shares his opinions on his own Twitter account. He also has had a podcast or two but they have seem to have succumbed to podfade.

Like everyone on this list, he shouldn't be 1 of just 14. But otherwise meets the criteria.

  • Bruno Massami - In MMA media

A Japan-based media member, MMA/Combat Sports Fighting News Editor of gazetaesportiva and mmaplus. Follows the sport and be currently associated with a purportedly journalistic enterprise that covers it.

  • Jeff Cain - In MMA media

A US-based journalist "Lead Staff Writer, Associate Editor, and photographer at http://MMAWeekly.com" He is active. His work can be found here.

  • David Brown - Not in MMA media

Because I never heard of this person and his name is so common, this was the hardest person to track down. According to the way UFC.com used to be, David Brown was associated to the "Cherokee Scout".

The publication's online home is here. There is a sports section reserved for local sports. According to my searches, there has never been an MMA or UFC related article in the publication. I cannot find any MMA related media by David Brown.

He is in media and maybe he's an mma fan, but he certainly isn't in mma media based on all the information I could find.

  • Rob DeMello - In MMA media

Rob DeMello is a journalist who covers sports as the KHONnews Sports Director, KHON is a Hawaii TV channel. He does cover MMA, but his work is exclusively interested in Hawaiian fighters. For instance, this month, he didn't cover anything about 242 but did cover the news about BJ Penn.

He doesn't cover everything or even most things. But he does cover MMA. For our purposes, he is in mma media.

  • Ken Pishna - In MMA media

Ken Pishna is an "MMAWeekly Editor, Writer". He is active on the website and regularly releasing coverage of mma.

He is clearly in mma media. Of note, this makes MMAWeekly the only publication with multiple people partaking in the rankings. Via two of its contributors, MMAWeekly controls 15% of the UFC Rankings.

I have no reason to believe they use that information to leverage UFC fighters to give them interviews/access or that they use their 15% control of the UFC rankings to curry favour with fighters they want access to, but you immediately see one way that partaking in the rankings creates (the appearance of) a conflict of interest.

  • Steve Jeffery - In MMA media

Steve Jeffery is a co-host on an MMA podcast/radio show called The Hammer MMA. The show plays on the radio on in Hamilton Ontario (Canada's third oldest campus/community radio station!). I can’t immediately tell whether he does anything else for them. In any event, the show is about MMA and they release episodes regularly and have for many years.

  • Steve Juon - In MMA media

Steve Juon is a "Journalist working for http://MMAMania.com. I also cover sports entertainment for http://AngryMarks.com and write for a few other sites" He appears to be more focused on WWE than MMA, but he still covers MMA regularly, especially Bellator.

  • Ariel Shnerer - In MMA media (but not coverage)

You know that Canadian dude that covers MMA? Ariel Something? That’s right! Ariel Shnerer!

It seems Ariel Shnerer used to cover MMA but doesn't anymore, but he still works in MMA media.

He wrote two articles on the topic for the Canadian newspaper, The National Post, in 2010 and then did some writing for The Fight Network up to at least the middle of this decade.

Per LinkedIn, he is now "Senior Director, Programming & Communications at Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. & IMPACT Wrestling". Anthem Media Group owns FightNetwork. In the absolute broadest sense of the word, does that mean he is in MMA media? I guess.

  • Grant Gordon - Not in MMA media (but in sports media and an MMA fan)

Grant Gordon is a fan of MMA, but no longer an MMA media member so far as I can tell. His twitter bio reads: "Works at http://NFL.com. Former sports editor for Times Community News. #MMA".

Back when the UFC listed media members to their associated platforms, Gordon was connected to the Burbank Leader (a twice-weekly newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times in Burbank, California). He left the publication in 2018, with this heartfelt goodbye that mentioned covering MMA.

His recent work, about the NFL and for the NFL.com, can be seen here.

  • Christoffer Esping - Not in MMA media

Back when the UFC disclosed what publications these supposed media members were associated with, Esping was listed as connected to bursprak.se, a Swedish sports site.

Here's the thing: That website doesn’t exist anymore.

In 2016, Esping did some writing for MMAnytt.se. In 2017, that site clarified that Esping, in regards to ranking fighters at least, is not speaking for that site.

MMAnytt.se continues to exist and cover MMA but there's no indication that Esping is associated with them anymore. There is equally no indication that Esping is involved in mma media at all anymore, or at any time in recent years.

  • Eddie Pappani - Not in MMA media (but in media and an MMA fan)

Eddie Pappani is a drive time radio host in San Diego. He promises on Twitter that "You can listen to [him] tell awesome fart jokes every morning from 6-10am on Rock 1053 in San Diego"

He does seem to follow mma but posts about it sparingly. This month, in advance of 242, he tweeted his prediction that "TheNotoriousMMA does a run in and hits them both with a steel chair!" And, ok, a little comedy never hurt no one, you gotta farm those 7 likes, after all. But that's about all he does in terms of MMA.

The most substantive mma statement I can find from him was in April 2019, when he proposed a 4-man LW tournament. That said, Twitter’s search kind of sucks, so I could be missing stuff.

On his radio station’s website, he does have a feed of sorts where he posts random stuff that seems to interest him. There is a lot of Avengers and just one 2019 post about mma.

No offense to the dude, but should he be 1 of 14 voices that ranks fighters in a hierarchy that plays a huge role in deciding their futures and how they are presented to the world?

  • Andreas Hale - In MMA media

Andreas Hale is the Senior Editor of Combat Sports @sportingnews (@DAZN_USA Group). You can see some of his work here. He’s not exclusively covering mma by any stretch, in fact he seems to cover boxing most, but he is covering mma regularly.

 

 

Included the tweet to link to the original page but it was loading with some weird background colour distorting the text. 

 

Edited by Jolldan
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Just now, cashfl0w said:

So what you're saying is that my opinion essentially means as much as most of these clowns? 

Sounds about right.

Im debating creating an official forum rankings these will be supersede whatever new chit they bring out every week.

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19 minutes ago, Jolldan said:

Im debating creating an official forum rankings these will be supersede whatever new chit they bring out every week.

As long as I get a vote and Wickles doesn't, I'm fine with this.

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if these idiots rankings were to ever be taken in any serious form, then GSP would be #1 in every division, and nobody in the mens flyweight and every womens ufc division would have a rank

On 9/11/2019 at 7:37 AM, Dark_Horse said:

There's 15 actually. Just 1 is not actually a human; it's idyb's robot.


i bet rando over here watches more MMA than half of these pie eating jabroni's

Edited by -idyb-

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Have said for years that having subjective rankings is a joke.  If they're going to bother with having rank positions as a key criteria for match-up they need specific reasons ranking exist.  The easiest way to do this is win/loss record while in the UFC and having 'seasons' like all other major sports.  Unfortunately if this was the method then all the lay and pray bum's would fill the ranks.  

 

The real way to sort this out is to have major, tennis level tournaments either once or twice a year, and reversing the loss brackets so all fighters stay active.  

 

It's the only 1v1 sport that has as many competitors and it seems to work,  although performance doesn't dictate position which is the only real tricky part.  

 

I don't watch enough boxing to know if they do a ranking system?  They seem to manage having 400 belts and finding suitable ways for people to fight harder and harder match ups leading to a title shot,  why not take a page from their book?  

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27 minutes ago, OzStraya said:

Have said for years that having subjective rankings is a joke.  If they're going to bother with having rank positions as a key criteria for match-up they need specific reasons ranking exist.  The easiest way to do this is win/loss record while in the UFC and having 'seasons' like all other major sports.  Unfortunately if this was the method then all the lay and pray bum's would fill the ranks.  

 

The real way to sort this out is to have major, tennis level tournaments either once or twice a year, and reversing the loss brackets so all fighters stay active.  

 

It's the only 1v1 sport that has as many competitors and it seems to work,  although performance doesn't dictate position which is the only real tricky part.  

 

I don't watch enough boxing to know if they do a ranking system?  They seem to manage having 400 belts and finding suitable ways for people to fight harder and harder match ups leading to a title shot,  why not take a page from their book?  

Oh my god, that's the last thing we ****ing need. lol

Boxing is stupid. Nobody ever has any idea who is the WBO or WBC (or whatever the other 60 organizations call themselves) champion. You just call them the champion. It muddies the water and makes their achievements less significant because all it takes to get a belt is to fight the weakest "champion", and nobody has any idea how many "champions" there even are in that stupid weight class. It's ridiculous. 

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Just now, cashfl0w said:

Oh my god, that's the last thing we ****ing need. lol

Boxing is stupid. Nobody ever has any idea who is the WBO or WBC (or whatever the other 60 organizations call themselves) champion. You just call them the champion. It muddies the water and makes their achievements less significant because all it takes to get a belt is to fight the weakest "champion", and nobody has any idea how many "champions" there even are in that stupid weight class. It's ridiculous. 

Shut up you love tennis m8 lol 

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34 minutes ago, cashfl0w said:

Nobody calls themselves a champion in tennis. They are former champions, son.

Good ranking system tho right? 

Edited by OzStraya

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