The backstory and come up of Jorge Masvidal is something that most MMA fans are familiar with, but for those of you who aren’t it is a pretty interesting story. It also shines a pretty bright light on two things. One is the ranking system means literally nothing in the UFC. Another is that if you fight as if you are in a street brawl, Dana White and the UFC will reward that. Whether it’s deserving or not.
Jorge Masvidal is a more successful version of Kimbo Slice (RIP). He first became “famous” as a street brawler in a similar fashion as Kimbo did. He literally fought in the streets for money. Street fighting is what got him into MMA which in all accounts he has been pretty successful in. So successful in fact that he is likely in line to fight Robbie Lawler for the interim Welterweight Championship fight. So now that we know a little about Masvidal’s background, let us put into perspective the fact that he is probably the most overrated fighter on the UFC roster and take this opportunity to bash the UFC’s BS ranking system.
A fighter can’t always be judged by his record. If you continuously fight the top of the division then you will likely have more losses than fighters that fight less dangerous competition. There are plenty of examples of this with Shogun, Dan Henderson, and Chris Weidman of late falling into this category. Because of that, I can’t just point to Masvidal’s 32-12 record and say that he is a middle of the road fighter. What I can point to though are some of his losses and the fact that he doesn’t have any signature wins.
So what got Jorge Masvidal the interim title shot and the 4th ranking? Throwing down like he’s in the streets, that’s what’s gotten him here. Two years should be enough of a timeline to analyze how someone gets the 4th ranking in their division. Let’s go back to the end of 2015 and take a look. Masvidal has fought 6 times since then. He is 3-3 in these fights with losses to Benson Henderson, Lorenz Larkin, and Demian Maia. 2 of these 3 losses aren’t great losses, but we can accept them. I mean he must have some pretty big wins if those are his losses and he is still ranked 4th right? Wrong! He beat Donald Cerrone, Ross Pearson, and Jake Ellenberger. Cerrone is a good win, but those other two? They got him the 4th spot!
What we learn from the case of Masvidal is the UFC doesn’t give a shit about it’s ranking system and it doesn’t have any matter of fact method to determine on what fights to make next. The only thing that the UFC cares about is putting fans in the seats. This is not how professional sports work, this is how sports entertainment works. I hate this logic, I want to see the champion fight the best and most deserving fighters every single time. I don’t want the big mouths or street fighters rewarded because of their style. It doesn’t make sense.
The moral of the story here though is this. If you want to climb the rankings and earn a title shot just bite down on your mouthguard and throw down. If you win 50% of those fights you are likely going to be rewarded with an undeserving title shot. Jorge Masvidal is a prime example of this.