Dana White has plans to revamp the UFC’s rankings system. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
One of the most controversial aspects of the UFC’s recently announced deal with Reebok is the way fighters will be compensated for adhering to the new outfitting policy.
While exact terms of the contract have not been disclosed, athletes will be paid on a five-tiered system based on the fighter’s ranking at the time of weigh-ins. Champions will earn the most, followed by those ranked Nos. 1-5, 5-10 and 11-15.
That doesn’t account for longevity or drawing power of lower-ranked competitors, but the biggest concern thus far is that UFC rankings are determined by a panel of media members. Many of the most prominent MMA journalists do not participate in the process, and those that do vote have received their fair share of scrutiny -- some of it very well deserved.
UFC President Dana White is well aware of the criticism, and he has a plan to make the promotion’s rankings better.
“I want to cut it down to a few really educated guys who vote on the rankings. Guys who know a lot about the sport, and who I think wouldn’t have any bias toward a fighter one way or another,” White recently told UFC.com. “At the end of the day, we’re human beings and you’re going to have those kinds of feelings, but I want guys that have a lot of integrity.”
As for those media members who have chosen to abstain from participating in the UFC rankings, White plans on trying to persuade some of them to have a change of heart.
“I think they’re looking at it the wrong way,” White said. “I want to have conversations with those guys and tell them our perspective on it, and why they should be involved. It’s not unethical for journalists to vote on it at all if you get guys that are really good, educated about the sport, and have a lot of integrity. That’s what we’re looking for in these guys that are going to vote. And we’re definitely going to fix it.”