C.B. Dollaway is the reason why the UFC’s official rankings exist.
Despite being a former Ultimate Fighter finalist, Dollaway is not a big name nor a huge self-promoter. His postfight interview with Dan Hardy on Saturday in Berlin was so dry that UFC president Dana White hilariously called him out for it on Twitter.
But here’s where the rankings come in and why, ultimately, they are a good thing when done correctly. Dollaway has won four of his last five fights and that one loss to Tim Boetsch was a controversial split decision. The former Arizona State wrestler very well could be on a five-fight winning streak and in somewhat relative obscurity if not for the rankings, because Dollaway doesn’t quite scream how good he is from the mountaintops.
Dollaway makes his debut at No. 12 in the UFC middleweight contender rankings (voted on by the media) this week. It’s a well-deserved distinction after he beat ranked fighter Francis Carmont rather dominantly at UFC Fight Night in Germany. Now, there is tangible proof of Dollaway’s recent success, something he can use when negotiating with the UFC and sponsors.
It’s probably more effective than his words, too.
Just kidding. There’s no reason to shame someone for not being Chael Sonnen on the mic.
Dollaway has put himself in position for a top-10 fight next and being at No. 12, you can see a clear path for him to get a title shot. A legitimate, deserving one, too, if he wins a couple of big fights. Carmont was ranked No. 9 coming into their bout.
Before these rankings existed, would anyone consider Dollaway a "contender?" Hard to say. But he is one and now there’s proof.
Inexplicable move of the week: Michael Johnson
You’d be smiling, too, if you moved up two spots in the rankings and didn’t have to do anything.
Michael Johnson doesn’t have to beat Josh Thomson at FOX UFC Saturday on July 26. He’s able to move up the UFC lightweight rankings through inertia, apparently.
Johnson climbed two spots to No. 8 in the UFC’s lightweight contender rankings this week. Poor Gray Maynard, who hasn’t fought since getting knocked out by Nate Diaz in December, fell two places.
Johnson is coming off three straight wins and being ranked 8th is not necessarily am unfair place for him to be. But the guy directly below him at No. 9, Myles Jury, has beaten Johnson — and also has never lost. Ever.
Is Johnson a top-10 lightweight? Absolutely. Should he be ranked over Jury? Absolutely not.
— Gegard Mousasi’s dominant, first-round submission win over Mark Munoz gave him a major boost in the middleweight rankings. The Dutchman moved up four spots to No. 7 and is now back in striking distance of a title shot. Look for him to get a top contender next. Carmont did the opposite, moving down four spots to No. 13 after losing to Dollaway. Munoz dropped two spots to No. 9.
— Benson Henderson hasn’t even fought this week yet — he meets Rustam Khabilov in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday night in Albuquerque (FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m.) — but he moved down one spot in the lightweight rankings, from No. 1 to No. 2. Gilbert Melendez, who meets Anthony Pettis for the title in December, is now ranked ahead of him.
— Dennis Siver is currently serving a suspension for a failed drug test following UFC 168 in December. Yet somehow he moved up one spot in the featherweight rankings, flip-flopping with Clay Guida, who is coming off a win over Tatsuya Kawajiri in April in Abu Dhabi. Makes perfect sense, right?