Chael Sonnen: The new rankings are made by guys who don’t really know about MMA

Last night, Chael P. Sonnen, never one to mince words or hold back his true feelings, appeared on Fuel TV’s “UFC Tonight” to blast the new official ranking system of the UFC. Voted on by 90 members of the sports media, Sonnen thinks that the rankings are made up by many who don’t really even know what’s going on. He made his view on the subject known with the following:

“I never understood what the fascination is with putting a number next to someone’s name. I did this my entire tenure of college with girls I dated and I can assure you it never ended well. First and foremost, when people judge (other) people it’s never fair. You got a bunch a media guys who really don’t know a ton about the sport and every time you say that they take it as a huge insult but the reality is they don’t.”

“They go into a press conference with one thing, they hear the boss Dana White say something, they change their rankings on the spot so they can get into that big steak dinner the UFC hands out with the press conference. Let’s make sure we understand how they came to be.”

Some strong words from a man who, despite losing to Anderson Silva in his last bout for the Middleweight title, finds himself in the coveted spot of facing Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight crown this April. Sonnen did step up as the only man who would face Jones as a replacement for Dan Henderson at last September’s UFC 151, and that most likely had something to do with the booking.

Interestingly enough, Sonnen was seemingly left off of both the Middleweight and Light Heavy rankings lists, something that is surprising considering he will be the latest challenger to both titles (at least until Anderson Silva finds himself a new opponent at 185). This may have something to do with his rant. What are your thoughts on Chael’s words?


  1. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    The ending was comical in more than 1 way.

  2. Profile photo of Bryan Fontez

    Bryan Fontez

    February 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I've been saying this about these stupid rankings since they were released but no one seems to agree. These rankings are horrible, they don't make ANY sense.

    But at least Chael, Kenny and Ariel agree with me. But the majority of you don't seem to see any issue with the rankings which is crazy. I don't get it.

    • Profile photo of grapplure


      February 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm


      These rankings are pure raw data. sorry but i will trust an algorithm anyday over any biased opinion.

      • Profile photo of Evan Holober

        Evan Holober

        February 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Alot of writers had input with these (90 to be exact). So there is a possibility of bias.

        However, for the most part I believe they are spot on with a few minor differences.

      • Profile photo of KeithFarrell


        February 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        Your saying it's raw data for the case that they are ranking over records etc. rather than their personal opinions, that you call "biased".

        Who has a huge hand in making the fighter's records? Judge who happen to decide with their "bis" opinions

      • Profile photo of Bryan Fontez

        Bryan Fontez

        February 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        Biased? My opinion is based on the same thing that Kenny's, Chael's and Ariel's are… FACTS.

        Frankie Edgar should be the #2 guy at Lightweight and Featherweight. They all said that themselves, as did I.

        Gilbert Melendez should NOT be in the top 5. I cannot stress that point enough. The best fighters fight the best fighters. Gilbert has fought next to nobody worth mentioning.

        But having this conversation is like speaking to a wall, because no one seems to have any common sense. As much as people wanna think most of these rankings are subjective… Their really NOT. All you have to do is watch the fights and pay attention to know who the best fighters are, who's winning and who's losing.

        • Profile photo of Evan Holober

          Evan Holober

          February 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          Bryan- I know you were responding to OMR, but I'll just address a few things (outside of the melendez stuff because that would be pointless).

          The UFC said when they did this that a fighter could only be ranked in one weight class. So Edgar being in two, although it would be valid, isn't an option.

          Alot of people with an incredible load of experience voted on these. For the most part they are mirrored to what many had at SHerdog, Weekly, BE, and other sites alike (just without any Bellator guys in there). Mendes has been #2 at FW for a while, and a lot of guys probably didn't think Frankie being 0-1 at the weight class was good enough to trump that or KZ or Lamas(which I would completely disagree with).

          However, that's just one of only a few minor things that people are going to disagree on for these rankings. With 80 fighters ranked, and only about 3-4 discrepancies I'd say for the most part they're very good.

    • Profile photo of KeithFarrell


      February 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      @Bryan they seem to know what they're talking about, they are experts ont he sport and have Frankie high up while so the rest have averaged him down to 9th P$P and 4th at FW… crazy

  3. Profile photo of Evan Holober

    Evan Holober

    February 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm


    This is character Chael. Not to be taken seriously. He knows that not being on the list is a slight shot at his brand, so he goes the character route.

    He knows about rankings, and has talked extensively with Intermat in the past about college rankings headed towards the NCAA tournament.

    Again, not to be taken seriously.

  4. Profile photo of enjoylife321


    February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    There is only one ranking that people care about and thats the No 1 guy to face the title holder….Noone cares less whether a guy is ranked 6, 7, 8th in a division…All eyes are on the champion and the challenger…..

  5. Profile photo of griffin


    February 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    do people hate forrest that much. there is no way mousasi is ranked higher than him. i can agree griffin looks old but he still gets the job done and FIGHTS unlike rashad palming jabs for 3 rounds

  6. Profile photo of Pride4Ever


    February 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    chael is an avg fighter but damn he is witty lol

  7. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    February 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I wonder what his comments would have been if he'd been ranked #1 on any one of the lists?

    I'm in favor of the lists, but only as a guideline. As a Weidman and Belfort fan, for example, it's nice to see them actually ranked 1 & 2, because there's seems to have been some debate there, fore a while.

    One thing for sure, given the frequency of injuries and their impact on scheduled bouts, beyond the title holder, the lists (really) mean nothing. A fighter can be scheduled for his shot, injure himself, have the next-one-or-two-guys-in-line turn it down for various reasons and next thing you know, it's a guy with "some guy" whose not on anyone's list anywhere, who has a 5 & 3 record, with a 41% finish rate fighting for not just one title, but back-to-back titles, in two separate divisions, while coming off of a loss.

    At the end-of-the-day, lists are great for conjecture, fights-on-paper and giving a fighter (whose earned a spot on a list) something to crow about. Other than that, lists aren't worth much other than to stroke the egos of those who get to vote on and create the lists. With that said, the free steak dinner sure does sound great and I'd be more than happy to have my ego stroked to get one. :-)

  8. Profile photo of falcon4917


    February 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Gee I wonder if Chael would make a sound if he was in line for a title shot and then someone from another division coming off a loss gets his shot? Chael argues for Chael. I don't think the list is perfect but it is realistic in perspective. Chael cried over so many so called unfair issues with Anderson for a while and now his mouth is closed when he gets an advantage. Bit of a joke. Hes trying to pull off the good guy on tuff but you just have to wait long enough and Chael comes back.

  9. Profile photo of ripstic5021


    February 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Sonnen, you did roids, you cheated, you have no place to comment on rankings. You are lucky enough to still be in UFC let alone getting another title shot. Money or not you should of been banned from the sport long ago.

  10. Profile photo of ripstic5021


    February 8, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Repylying with my emotions? Rational Logic? Logic tells me that if a fighter fails a drug test for illegal steroids before a title fight they they should be banned. What are you a fucking retard? Do you have barry bonds and lance armstrong posters on your wall? Do you cheat in competetive sports? Do you not realize cheating makes an unfair advantage? UFC needs to put an end to this but there is way to much dirty money flowing in.

    • Profile photo of Entity


      February 8, 2013 at 3:16 am

      Tell Dana he's a retard. You're going off like he's the only guy to ever get caught with elevated levels of TRT, I'm just stating the rules from the UFC and the athletic commission., there you go with the emotions again, it'll be ok R.I.P. 8))

  11. Profile photo of ripstic5021


    February 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I'm just fine brother thanks for the concern, You weren't just stating rules you told me I wasn't thinking logically. We all know how logic can change when MONEY comes into play.

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