Despite UFC 167, UFC Ranks Rory MacDonald Above Robbie Lawler

December 4, 2013 10:31 am by Christopher Murphy

UFC 167 saw a sizeable upset when Robbie Lawler (left) defeated Rory MacDonald (right).  Coming into the fight, Lawler was ranked 9th in the welterweight contenders and MacDonald 3rd.  Weeks after the fight, you’d expect Lawler to have assumed MacDonald’s spot amongst the top three welterweight contenders, but the UFC rankings have MacDonald 3rd and Lawler 4th.


By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA

There’s really not much to say about the UFC’s divisional rankings.  Following each event, the UFC’s panel of media, writers, etc. submit their ranking for each weight class and one for the pound-for-pound rankings – and the UFC weighs the results to formulate their own rankings.  For the most part, the system has been fair and reasonable.  But as Bloody Elbow pointed out on Monday, a change has been made that underscores how feeble these official scores may actually be.

Robbie Lawler defeated Rory MacDonald at UFC 167.  Though it was a split decision, it was a pretty obvious victory for Lawler.  Logically, Lawler sits ahead of MacDonald in any ranking system of the UFC’s welterweight division(see BJPENN.COM’S HERE).

Except the UFC’s ranking.

This week, following The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, the UFC updated its divisional rankings; and Rory MacDonald has climbed up to number 3 while Robbie Lawler has dropped to number 4.

Of course, the UFC does not assign these rankings.  As their website explicitly states, “Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound…  Rankings will be updated approximately 36 hours after each event.

Whether this will be rectified in any way has yet to be stated.  At the very least, this points out some flaws in the UFC’s ranking system: because they are updated after every event, divisions are liable to change without a fight occurring in that weight class.

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