7 Apr 2009 11:07:45 AM
In the wake of Shinya “The Man In Tights” Aoki’s TKO loss to “Mach” Sakurai at Dream.8, a lot of MMA pollsters are debating what this does to Aoki’s status in the lightweight division and his pound-for-pound ranking. As we’ve said in the past, rankings are mostly useless speculation, but fun nonetheless, so we’ll entertain for the moment the idea that this is worth debating.
When determining how Aoki deserves to fall in the rankings, you have to take a few different factors into consideration:
1) Quality of Opponent
The simple rule is, if you lose to a guy you were expected to lose to, you don’t suffer much from it. It basically means you, like the Chicago Bears, are who we thought you were. But if you lose to a guy you were expected to beat, like a Paulo Thiago, it can hurt you bad. Sakurai is a solid fighter. He’s been around forever, has beaten some good fighters and lost to some great fighters. He consistently hangs around the perimeter of the welterweight top ten, so there’s no shame in dropping a fight to him, at least if you looked like you belonged in there with him. Which leads us to our next variable…