Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently tried to explain the removal of lightweight contenders, Nate Diaz and T.J. Grant, from the official UFC ranking in the simplest way he could:
You don't fight, you lose your spot.
While that seems to be a pretty fair and logical reason to remove inactive fighters, Grant's trainer, Scott MacLean, isn't buying it, calling it a "silly move," seeing as how the reasons why Diaz (contract disputes) and Grant (injury) have been inactive are completely different.
McLean explained his stance to Full Contact Fighter:
"I don't think it matters in the long run regardless, but it seems a little silly, a little premature on their part. If he was refusing fights and healthy, well, then that's up to them. But that's not the case, they know the difference."
In a follow up comment, McLean says if inactivity is the sole reason for getting booted from the rankings, then how does it explain Dominick Cruz -- a fighter who hasn't seen the inside of the Octagon in two years due to injury -- still holding a spot?
According to McLean, if you're going to start making new rules, then they have to apply to everyone.
"I would question the UFC's decision again as Dominick Cruz is still ranked at No. 9 and Cat Zingano at No. 1. I am sure there are others. In the long run I doubt it will make much difference, but that's not the point. For me sometimes things are a little bit more about principle. The principle of knocking him off the rankings. It's completely fine if they follow suit in everybody who hasn't fought in eleven months and two weeks, and whatever days, whatever it happens to be, if they're bumped from the rankings, but if not, then you know what's the reasoning behind it? If it's just due to inactivity, cool, then they're going to have to do that for everybody."
Of course, were not sure whether or not Cruz or Zignano will be on the new, revised rankings list after this weekend's (May 10, 2014) UFC Fight Night 40 event.
The removal of Diaz and Grant prompted many to believe that White and Co. were simply looking for a reason to oust Diaz due to their recent public issues. And Grant, unfortunately, was just an innocent victim caught in the crossfire.
After all, you can't remove one for inactivity and not the other.