The Depth of MMA

I wanted to give a visual unbiased representation of the depth of each division in the UFC and Bellator for comparison.

The system uses the ELO method to determine “level of competition”. This is a pure statistical analysis, here’s an example:

Fighter A has a five fight win streak on his resume and all of his opponents have a record of 0-0 (1500 ELO), his final ELO ranking is 1690 after beating all 5 beginners.

Fighter B has a five fight win streak on his resume and all of his opponents have a record of 1-0 (1550 ELO, all of their opponents were 0-0 in their first fight), his final ELO ranking is 1716 after beating all 5 fighters.

So you can see how the rankings take the level of competition you have on your resume and provide you with an appropriate ELO ranking. This is a purely statistical analysis that doesn’t take into account injuries, lay offs, age etc.

This method also adjusts for upsets and favorites fighting cans. For example lets say an elite fighter with a 2000 ELO is fighting a beginner (1500 ELO). If the elite fighter wins, his ELO only increases to 2005. However, if he loses he now has a 1905 ELO. So you can see how it can adjust for a sandbagger who wants to pad their record.

I used FightMatrix to pick the top 10 Bellator fighters. As expected the top 10 can include fighters ranked 50+ in the world. Since Bellator does not have official rankings, this was the 2nd best option.

For reference George St Pierre has the highest ELO score, 2416.

This chart won’t have to be updated weekly or even monthly unlike other ranking systems. The reason is because it is a snapshot of the level of competition in each division. The fighters can move up and down as they lose or win, but the threshold of each division will not change drastically from month to month.

The divisions are numbered simply to highlight which division has the fighter with the highest ELO score. It does not mean that that division is the division with the most depth. The Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight division are the divisions that seem to have the most depth according to ELO rankings.

Tweet me with any questions @Izi_Garcia

Other sources used for rankings UFC.com, FightMatrix.com as of 9/16/2016

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