I know, I know, we already agreed to stop letting this man do our thinking for us, but check this out.
During the Fight Night 35 post-fight media scrum, the topic of discussion quickly shifted from the event itself and to the recently booked bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber. Specifically, Dana White was asked what would be next for both fighters should Barao come out victorious (again). White’s response:
If Barao goes out and stops Faber, he’s probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Well that was fast.
Barao, who is currently ranked #6 pound-for-pound on the UFC’s much-maligned rankings system, will catapult himself past the likes of Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, and Cain Velasquez should he defeat a guy he’s already beaten before. In what will officially be considered his first title win at 135 lbs. That’s the takeaway here.
Look, I’m not going to get upset here, because it’s just one man’s opinion, and White has every right to say it. You could make the case for Barao as the top pound-for-pound fighter given his near ten-year unbeaten streak, I guess, but there’s also this guy named Jon Jones who has actually defended his belt some 6 times (see also: Silva, A. and St. Pierre, G.). Call me crazy, but me thinks this is a classic case of White attempting to oversell a fight that didn’t have that much hype surrounding it the first time around. Which again, swing away, Merrill.
Honestly, this is why pound-for-pound discussions are among the worst things about being an MMA fan. For starters, we all know that that title belongs to Fedor Emelianenko (*dodges brick*), and secondly, the P4P ranking system is one based on hypotheticals, therefore making it little more than a useless marketing tool. Is Barao a better fighter than Weidman, or Jones for that matter? Who the hell knows. They’re never going to face off in the cage and settle it, that’s for sure, so discussing pound-for-pound rankings is ultimately as pointless as debating who would win a fight between Batman and Superman…
…what’s that now? God damn it.