With the news today of Fedor’s signing with the new M-1 promotion, there is a buzz online among hardcore fans of where Fedor now falls in the heavyweight rankings and the overall pound for pound rankings. As a note, I don’t put much weight behind rankings, no matter where they come from, because all they really do is create controversy and talking points. MMA rankings lack real substance, but people do them anyways.
Has there ever been a fighter whose ranking has been so dependent on what promotion he signs with? If Fedor ended up signing with the UFC, he would have still been the clear cut #1 on both the heavyweight and pound for pound lists. A dream fight with Randy Couture would occur, and if he beat Randy, he would solidify his ranking as #1.
However, by signing with M-1, the question is no longer where he will fight. The question is now who will he fight? Outside of the UFC, there is not much heavyweight talent for Fedor to fight. There’s Josh Barnett, Mark Hunt, and scrubs. That’s really it.
The only way Fedor doesn’t fall from his #1 ranking on both lists is if he fights Josh Barnett. Even if he were to beat Barnett, he could still fall to #2 because of a lack of competition. For him to still be seen as the best fighter in the world, he has to fight the best fighters. Those fighters are not in M-1.
At this point, there are a lot of unknowns about the new M-1 and what their roster will look like. They said they’d like to be running a show by January or February, so an opponent should be named sometime soon. If it’s not Josh Barnett, then Fedor definitely drops to #2 on both lists in my book.