With Renan Barao's shocking loss to TJ Dillashaw ending his claim to the top of the promotion's pound-for-pound list, there's plenty available for debate in the world of mixed martial arts these days.
Who is the best mixed martial artist presently active in the sport? What division is the toughest to compete in? What's the weakest?
Inspired by the sudden upheaval that came out of UFC 173, what follows is an attempt to rank the UFC's divisions from weakest to strongest in hopes of adding a new wrinkle to the debate.
The metric established for ranking the divisions is as follows:
- Length of current champion's reign, in total fights. One point per defense.
- Number of former UFC champions in the top 15 of the division. Three points per fighter.
- Number of former title challengers in the top 15 of the division. Two points per fighter.
- Number of former champions from major promotions outside the UFC in the top 15 of the division. Qualifying promotions include PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce and Bellator. Two points per fighter.
- Number of fighters in the top 15 of the division to never hold or challenge for a UFC title currently on a win streak (more than one fight). One point per fighter.
Hopefully, if this all works out, we'll have something else to help us as we struggle to understand who the best fighter alive is today and how the divisions stack up in terms of depth and toughness.
However if it doesn't, I'll have done a bunch of arbitrary math for nothing. And I hate math. So let's hope it does.