Every week the promotion updates its “official” rankings, which according to UFC President Dana White, are “very important” in the matchmaking process. So how does that explain the recently-postponed booking between No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards and No. 15-ranked Khamzat Chimaev?
“Obviously the rankings are very important,” White told Laura Sanko (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.”
Edwards offers an alternate explanation.
Chimaev (9-0) won his UFC debut by submitting the 35 year-old John Phillips, who is a putrid 1-5 inside the Octagon. “Borz” followed that up with quick wins over Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert. The former is 0-2 under the UFC banner while the latter is just 6-6.
No question Chimaev is an exciting prospect with natural talent, I just don’t understand why the promotion is in such a big hurry to rush him to the front of the pack. Is the welterweight division really that stale that we need to hastily jump on the Smesh Express?