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UFC Rankings Review: Daniel Rodriguez Takes Li Jingliangs Welterweight Ranking After Defeating Jingliang in a 180 Pound Catchweight Fight

It may be an understatement to state the UFC has some questionable rankings. You’ll expect rankings to be questionable because they are subjective; however, in this column, I’ll explain rankings that I believe are glaring mistakes. I’ll also analyze significant movement in the rankings that I trust.

Editorial Commentary by Peter Parsons

With the unprecedented last-minute shuffling of the very best three fights on the UFC 279 card this last weekend, Li Jingliang decided to fight Daniel Rodriguez at a catchweight of 180 pounds. This is even though Jingliang already weighed in at 170.5 pounds for his scheduled welterweight fight with Tony Ferguson. Meanwhile, Rodriguez had weighed in at 179 pounds for his scheduled catchweight fight with Kevin Holland. Rodriguez defeated Jingliang by way of a controversial split decision and continued to take the Chinese fighters UFC welterweight ranking.

Li Jingliang unranked at welterweight; Daniel Rodriguez ranked No. 14 at welterweight

There is absolutely no way, for me, that Daniel Rodriguez ought to be ranked before Li Jingliang after D-Rod outweighed The Leech? by 8.5 pounds in a 180-pound catchweight bout. Jingliang weighed in at 170.5 pounds looking to fight his biggest name up to now in Tony Ferguson in a welterweight bout. In a shocking chain of events, Jingliang accepted the last-minute fight when his original opponent Tony Ferguson moved around the primary event to fight Nate Diaz after Diaz original opponent Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds.

Even though Rodriguez defeated Jingliang in dominant fashion on Saturday night, I still wouldn’t normally trust him taking Jingliangs No. 14 welterweight ranking because the fight was at 180 pounds. There exists a reason why we’ve weight divisions in MMA and nearly ten pounds is really a big difference. From the sporting and rankings standpoint, it really is plain unfair to rank Rodriguez before Jingliang at welterweight when he didnt defeat him in a welterweight fight. Any fighter will let you know that cutting those extra few pounds in comparison to not cutting them makes an impact.

Lets back up and appearance at both fighters recent UFC resumes. Jingliang had won nine out of his last twelve fights in the UFC welterweight division. The Leech was on the brink of a ranking after his notable third round stoppage victory over Elizeau Zaleski dos Santos in August of 2019. After dropping his next fight to perennial contender Neil Magny, Jingliang returned with a first-round knockout of former top 10 welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio who was simply on a seven-fight winning streak. After losing to Chimaev in October of 2021, Jingliang returned in July with another round TKO over Muslim Salikhov, stopping the formerly ranked Russians five fight winning streak in the UFC welterweight division.

Rodriguez was on the cusp of a welterweight ranking having won 6 out of his 7 UFC fights. After losing to Nicholas Dalby in November of 2020, D-Rod won three straight including notable victories over Mike Perry and Kevin Lee. Perry had not been a ranked welterweight and Lee once was a ranked lightweight.

Rodriquez biggest victories on his resume over Mike Perry and Kevin Lee aren’t as impressive as Jingliangs biggest victories over Santiago Ponzinibbio and Muslim Salikhov. Also, Jingliang had two finishes in those two fights whereas Roderiguez had two decision victories over lesser opposition.

For me, Jingliang should be ranked No. 14 and Rodriguez ought to be behind current No. 15 Michel Pereira who has notable victories in his last four fights over Khaos Williams, Nico Price, Andre Fialho and Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Personally i think a fighter shouldn’t be ranked in a specific division predicated on a victory beyond that division. Regarding Daniel Rodriguez, he won a controversial split decision over Li Jingliang who weighed set for a welterweight fight. Some individuals think your choice was a robbery. I dont think your choice was a robbery, but I really do think Li Jingliang losing his ranking is really a robbery.

Upcoming Notable UFC Welterweight Fights

Oct 1 Francisco Trinaldo vs. Randy Brown

Oct 22 (8) Sean Brady vs. (5) Belal Muhammad

Oct 29 Tim Means vs. Max Griffin

Nov 19 Andre Fialho vs. Muslim Salikhov

Dec 10 Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

My rankings would look unique of any writer or fan who follows the activity closely. That is to be likely, as rankings are subjective. Rankings ought to be based primarily on results rather than perceived potential or popularity.

Some individuals think rankings usually do not matter. Rankings do matter. They matter with regards to matchmaking. They matter with regards to contract negotiations.

Lets keep carefully the rankings conversation going. Can you agree or disagree with the aforementioned Ranking Review? Express your ideas in the comments below.

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