It might be an understatement to say the UFC has some questionable rankings. You would expect rankings to be questionable as they are subjective; however, in this column, I will point out rankings that I think are glaring mistakes. I will also analyze significant movement in the rankings that I agree with.
Editorial Commentary by Peter Parsons
With no UFC this past weekend, I thought I would highlight something on the UFC rankings that makes absolutely no sense. I wrote about this in a Rankings Review column in February, but it wasn’t the featured portion of the article. Norma Dumont is still ranked in the UFC women’s bantamweight division despite not having fought at 135 pounds.
Norma Dumont ranked No. 15 at women’s bantamweight
The current No. 15 ranked UFC women’s bantamweight fighter Norma Dumont remarkably has not fought at bantamweight!
After making her UFC debut at featherweight in February of 2020 in a KO loss to Megan Anderson, Dumont attempted to drop down to bantamweight in her next fight against Ashlee Evans-Smith. Dumont missed the weight by 3.5 pounds, making the bout against Evans-Smith a catchweight fight. Dumont has looked impressive in her last two fights with back-to-back wins over former featherweight title challenger Felicia Spencer and the current No. 4 ranked bantamweight Aspen Ladd; however, both of these fights were at featherweight.
Dumont is scheduled to fight at featherweight again in her next fight against Macy Chiasson at UFC 274 on May 7. Chiasson is currently the No. 10 ranked bantamweight. Would a win for Dumont put her further up the bantamweight rankings? Of course it should not, but this illustrates the point that she should not be ranked at bantamweight in the first place.
Who should be ranked at bantamweight instead of Dumont? Women’s bantamweight is one of the UFC’s most shallow divisions. It doesn’t take much of a streak to be ranked at 135 in the women’s division.
After losing to Tracy Cortez in her UFC debut in October of 2020, Stephanie Eggar has won two in a row with two finishes at bantamweight. The Swiss fighter won her first UFC fight over Shanna Young by second round TKO in October of last year. Eggar is coming off a first round armbar submission victory over Jessica-Rose Clark in February. Clark, who probably should have been ranked at the time, had won two in a row herself going into the fight.
Women’s MMA veteran Alexis Davis is another unranked bantamweight coming off an impressive win in February. After a few fights at flyweight, Davis returned to the division where she once challenged Ronda Rousey for the title. Davis defeated Columbian prospect Sabina Mazo by unanimous decision in February of 2021. The Canadian returned at UFC 263 in June and lost a close decision to current No. 12 Pannie Kianzad. Davis put on a solid performance in February defeating former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Julija Stoliarenko by unanimous decision. The 37-year-old veteran is now 7-3 in the UFC women’s bantamweight division.
Another fighter who I think could be ranked and would be ranked at the top of the bantamweight division is Germaine de Randamie. The former undefeated kickboxing world champ last fought in October of 2020 when she defeated current champ Juliana Pena by third round guillotine choke. I agree with a fighter being out of the rankings due to inactivity after 18 months, but the problem is the lack of consistency on the UFC’s part. I’ve written multiple times in this column about how Sergei Pavlovich and Shamil Abdurakhimov have both remained in the rankings after being inactive for more than two years.
I’ve been writing this column for over a year now and have made many arguments when it comes to rankings. In the case of Norma Dumont being ranked at bantamweight, this should not even be debatable. How could a fighter be ranked in a division without having fought in that division? Beating a top bantamweight in Aspen Ladd at featherweight, should not get you ranked at bantamweight when you have never made the bantamweight (136 pound) weight limit.
Upcoming Notable UFC Women’s Bantamwight Fights
April 16 – (12) Pannie Kianzad vs. (11) Lina Lansberg
May 21 – (5) Ketlen Vieira vs. (2) Holly Holm
TBD – (1) Amanda Nunes vs. (C) Juliana Pena
My rankings would look different than any other writer or fan who follows the sport closely. This is to be expected, as rankings are subjective. Rankings should be based primarily on results and not perceived potential or popularity.
Some people think rankings do not matter. Rankings do matter. They matter when it comes to matchmaking. They matter when it comes to contract negotiations.
Let’s keep the rankings conversation going. Do you agree or disagree with the above Ranking Review? Express your thoughts in the comments below.
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Author: Peter Parsons
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