Pound-for-pound lists are something to spur debate and have a little fun with, right? Not for UFC president Dana White. The ultra-competitive promoter/president gets fired up when he hears the lists includes fighters from outside the UFC.
He appeared last week on Bill Simmons' podcast and the conversation turned to the mythical rankings. While mentioning fighters like Jon Fitch, (Mauricio) "Rue-ah," Lyoto "Macheddar," Anderson Silva, "Rasheed" Evans and Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko came up. Fedor is No. 3 on the Yahoo! Sports MMA pound-for-pound and the same goes for Sherdog.
"He's not even the best heavyweight in the world," said White. "To put him on the pound-for-pound list. I think some of these guys don't even know what pound-for-pound means. It's just so disrespectful to all the other fighters it's crazy."
Fedor is 32-1 with his only loss coming on a controversial cut due an illegal strike. He doesn't deserve consideration for the pound-for-pound list? White said no and that most MMA sites have an agenda.
"Most of these goofy MMA sites, what you have to understand is, these guys are in it for the money," said White. "They get paid from all the smaller promotions. They get paid a lot of money from the smaller promotions. So they feel like they have to put some of their guys. That's the way it works. It's sick and drives me crazy.
White took issue with both Fedor and Jake Shields on the Sherdog list. The only two non-UFC fighters in the top 10. He also argued with Fitch being on the list.
"It's not a real pound-for-pound list. Either they don't know pound-for-pound is or the obvious is they're being paid."
That seems like a pretty big grenade to lob. Who knows, maybe there is some wrangling behind the scenes but most of the MMA media folks I know cover the sport for almost no monetary gain.
Update: This is no way was meant to rip the Sherdog poll or the Yahoo! Sports' rankings. Simply pointing out that White thinks there are shenanigans with the rankings.