UFC #6 ranked bantamweight contender Pedro Munhoz’s last fight was a unanimous decision defeat to Aljamain Sterling.
However, that was all the way back in June. Naturally, he wanted to come back as soon as possible and return to the win column. But the Brazilian is finding it hard to come by a suitable opponent.
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All the names he wanted such as Frankie Edgar, Cory Sandhagen, and Petr Yan are booked. And it wouldn’t make sense for him to fight someone low in the rankings or even an unranked fighter because there is more risk than reward.
And in that, is the fundamental flaw in the ranking system — because fighters don’t want to lose their rankings, they turn down fights with lower-ranked or unranked opponents.
Munhoz acknowledges this and wants to get rid of the system entirely.
“I want a big fight,” Munhoz told James Lynch of theScore in a recent interview. “I want to fight someone in the top five. I don’t want to fight someone who is too far ahead [below] in the rankings just because they have a ranking. Because I’m the type of guy that’ll fight anybody.
“But the ranking system, they put us in a position — how come the guy #5 or #6 is fighting a guy that’s not even in the rankings? Because of the ranking system, it’s kind of like a limit which I don’t agree with. I would prefer if there’s no rankings and I’m literally fighting anyone. But because of that, I don’t want to take a fight against someone not in the rankings and for that reason now, I’m just waiting to see who my next opponent is going to be.”
Abolishing the ranking system would certainly be interesting. It would encourage more fighters to accept fights and would ideally put more of an emphasis on winning streaks.
But for now, it looks like the flawed ranking system is here to stay. In the meantime, Munhoz will have to wait for a suitable opponent.
However, if he does end up landing a top-five opponent, Munhoz — who has won seven of his last nine fights — plans on making a statement.
“If I finish the fight, I will probably tap forward to the goal which is fighting for the title and becoming champion,” he added.