UFC President Dana White says the promotion’s controversial official rankings are very important to its matchmaking strategy.
The UFC rankings have been the subject of controversy at many points since they were introduced. Most notably, it was revealed in 2019 that many of the media members that vote on the UFC rankings do not even regularly cover the sport.
Despite the many controversies associated with the UFC rankings, White says they are crucial to the promotion’s matchmaking strategy.
“Obviously the rankings are very important,” White told Laura Sanko during a Q&A with ESPN+ subscribers recently (via MMA Junkie). “We always try to stay with the rankings, and it’s always awesome when you have the champion vs. the No. 1, or No. 1 vs. No. 2. But you’ve seen many times when there’s a fight people want to see, we’ll make it.”
White also revealed that the promotion uses other metrics in its matchmaking efforts, which track fan interest in the hundreds of fighters on the UFC roster.
According to the UFC boss, those metrics are particularly useful when handling the careers of fighters that join the promotion’s roster through Contender Series.
“We know every number and every little detail that goes into making a fight like that,” White explained. “All the kids that came off the Contender Series, I know how many people watched their fights on the Contender Series, and it keeps updating because it stays in the system.”
The UFC rankings were introduced in 2013. The rankings are updated in the days after each UFC fight card, and generally feature some notable changes each time they’re updated. You can see the latest UFC rankings right here.
What do you think of these comments from Dana White? Do you think the UFC rankings need an overhaul? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.