It might be an understatement to say that the UFC has some questionable rankings. You would expect rankings to be questionable as they are subjective. In this column, however, I will point out rankings that I believe are glaring flaws. I will also analyze significant moves in the rankings that I agree with.
Editorial comment by Peter Parsons
Alexander Robanov (15: 0) defeated Jared Vanderaa last Saturday by TKO in the second round. “King Kong” is now 4-0 in the UFC with three placements.
Alexander Romanov without rank in heavyweight
Alexander Romanov joins Chris Daukaus and Tom Aspinall as current UFC heavyweights who started 4-0 at the Octagon. Romanov has not quite risen to the level of the competition like No. 7 in 7th place in the Daukaus or No. 11 in Aspinall place; However, he has faced stiff competition himself and has done more than enough to warrant a UFC ranking.
Romanov made his UFC debut in September 2020, defeating his UFC debutant Roque Martinez with the second round arm triangle choke.
The Moldovan heavyweight returned last November, defeating Marcos Rogerio de Lima on the first round forearm choke. The Brazilian de Lima has been fighting in the UFC since 2014 and was 6-4 in the Octagon. Since his loss to Romanov, de Lima defeated former ranking heavyweight Maurice Greene.
Romanov’s biggest win so far came in April against TUF 28 heavyweight winner Juan Espino. Both fighters were 2-0 in the UFC with two submission wins. In a tight back-and-forth battle, Romanov won by technical split decision when he was unable to continue after a low blow at the start of the third round.
The 30-year-old Romanov reached his third finish in four bouts when he defeated Jared Vanderaa in the second round TKO last Saturday. After losing his UFC debut to current No. 14 ranked Sergei Spivac, Vanderaa won a unanimous decision against Justin Tafa in a fight of the night last May.
I believe the Daukaus and Aspinall placements are justified; In fact, I would argue that Aspinall should be ranked higher. Daukaus and Aspinall both came into the ranking after a 3-0 win. At that point it was Aspinall’s notable win over Andre Arlovski and Daukaus’ most notable win was over Aleksei Oleinik. I think Romanov’s résumé is on par with Aspinall and Daukaus after the first three fights. Aspinall recently won against Sergei Spivac and Daukaus recently won against Shamil Abdurakhimov. It should also be noted that the undefeated Romanov has the better resume outside of the UFC.
I think the comparisons made by Apinall and Daukaus are remarkable; However, my main point of contention is how can Romanov be placed in 15th place behind Sergei Pavlovich?
For regular readers of this column, I hope that you never tire of reading about Pavlovich’s ranking. Pavlovich is now only two weeks away from not having fought in two years. In almost half the time Pavlovich has been inactive, Romanov has won his four UFC bouts, which date to September 2020.
Even if we take inactivity out of the equation and just look at Pavlovich’s UFC record, it’s not as good as Romanov’s. Pavlovich made a tough UFC debut against Alistair Overeem. In his second appearance in the octagon, Pavlovich defeated Marcelo Golm, who was 1-2 in the UFC at the time. Golm was removed from the UFC after this loss.
In his last UFC fight in October 2019, Pavlovich defeated Maurice Greene, who was then ranked 13th. The win put Pavlovich in the rankings, and he’s been with it ever since. After fighting Pavlovich, Greene lost three of his last four and has since been dropped from the UFC. It’s worth noting that Greene lost to two of Romanov’s previous opponents. He lost to Juan Espino during TUF 28 and his most recent UFC fight to Marcos Rogerio de Lima.
Pavlovich’s two UFC wins came against fighters who are no longer in the UFC. It shows that a lot can happen in two years. While Pavlovich hasn’t fought, we see fighters like Daukaus, Aspinall and Romanov 4-0 and Tai Tuivasa wins three straight UFC heavyweight games.
In the UFC heavyweight division, there was a minor change in the rankings over the past week, which I agreed to. Romanov’s Moldovan compatriot Sergei Spivac moved from 15th to 14th place with Sergei Pavlovich.
Sergei Pavlovich will have a chance to consolidate his rankings in December when he battles top Canadian heavyweight Tanner Boser.
As for Romanov, he deserves a ranked opponent in his next fight. Before that, however, I think the voting panelists should get it right and remove Pavlovich from the ranking and replace him with Romanov.
Jon Jones asked not to return to Jackson Wink’s gym after the last arrest
Upcoming Notable UFC Heavyweight Fights
October 16 – Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe
October 30 – (5) Alexander Volkov vs. (9) Marcin Tybura
November 13 – Ben Rothwell vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
November 20 – Tai Tuivasa vs. (10) Augusto Sakai
December 4th – Tanner Boser vs. (15) Sergei Pavlovich
December 18 – (3) Derrick Lewis vs. (7) Chris Daukaus
January 22nd – Greg Hardy vs. Aleksei Oleinik
January 22 – (IC) Cyril Gane vs. (C) Francis Ngannou
My ranking would look different than any other writer or fan who closely follows the sport. This is to be expected because rankings are subjective. Rankings should be based primarily on results, and not on perceived potential or popularity.
Some people think that rankings don’t matter. Rankings are important. They are important when it comes to matchmaking. They are important when it comes to contract negotiations.
Let’s continue the ranking conversation. Do you agree or disagree with the above evaluation of the ranking? Share your thoughts in the comments below.