The UFC rankings have left a lot of fighters refusing to take fights. This type of scenario has rubbed Chael Sonnen the wrong way, and he has simply had enough of the fighters making excuses.
For the vast majority of the time that Sonnen spent in the UFC, there were no official rankings from the promotion. This did not come into effect until the UFC signed a broadcast partnership with Fox, a landmark deal at the time. Fox wanted to have UFC rankings that were voted on by members of the media, and since then fighters have been quoting their place in the rankings for reasons why they should or should not take fights.
Chael Sonnen Is Fed Up With Rankings Talk
It would seem that Chael Sonnen is not happy with fighters using their rankings to avoid taking a fight. Speaking on his YouTube recently, he went off on the mindset that rankings matter. He explained the origins of the rankings, before going on a rant, dismantling the arguments that people make on the significance of rankings.
“You have to understand how insignificant the rankings are, and every fighter who does not like his ranking, which represents every fighter in the world who isn’t number one, will come out and tell you that rankings don’t matter when it fits their narrative,” Sonnen explained. “The second they are asked to do a hard fight, they will attempt their spot with somebody within the rankings.
“I’m seeing this happen right in front of our eyes with (Khamzat) Chimaev,” Sonnen went on. “Now, Chimaev is not the only stud out there without a number next to his name. (Anthony) Johnson does not have a number next to his name. Georges St. Pierre has no number next to his name. Guys, fight whoever you want and duck whoever you want. Do not think that there is ever a time in this sport that you can get out of a fight by stating a number next to it. Whether the dollar amount that you’re willing to do it for, or the date that you’re willing to do it on, or the amount of rounds that it needs to be, or what the guy is ranked. There is no number you can put in front of anything. The answer was yes or the answer was no. You stepped up or you chickened out.”
“There’s no wrong answer in this, but playground rules still apply,” Chael Sonnen continued. “If there is a job that you are not willing to do for whatever reason, no problem and we will move the other way. Make no mistake, this guy just won. As though I haven’t proven this by Georges St. Pierre, with absolutely no ranking, could walk into a title fight and nobody complains. As though Rumble Johnson has absolutely no ranking, and is no longer than a three if they did put a number next to him. I feel I proved my point.
“Sometimes you guys live so close to the trees, you miss the forest,” Sonnen said. “I follow the sport for a living, I love the sport through a passion. I haven’t got a godd–n idea what anyone of you are ranked and I don’t care. And whoever writes the rankings, do you want to know why he doesn’t write his name next to his article? Because he doesn’t get paid to do it, because no one cares. It’s not a real thing. It’s a talking point that came out for a television show that used to be on a network that doesn’t even call the sport anymore.
“Quit talking about your ranking!” Sonnen concluded. “You’re ranked whatever I say you’re ranked. From now on, you’re the champion or you don’t matter. Chael’s rankings.”
What are your thoughts on these comments from Chael Sonnen?