UFC Rankings Review: Andrei Arlovski Not Ranked After Winning 4 Fights in a Row and 6 of Last 7

It might be an understatement to say the UFC has some questionable rankings.  You would expect rankings to be questionable as they are subjective; however, in this column, I will point out rankings that I think are glaring mistakes.  I will also analyze significant movement in the rankings that I agree with.

Editorial Commentary by Peter Parsons

Last Saturday night, Andrei Arlovski won a split decision over Jake Collier to win his fourth fight in a row and sixth out of his last seven.  Arlovski is still not ranked in the UFC heavyweight division, a division which needs an overhaul at the bottom of it’s rankings.

Andrei Arlovski unranked at heavyweight

Yes, I know it was a controversial split decision victory for Arlovski over Jake Collier on Saturday night.  I personally had Collier winning the first and third rounds en route to a 29-28 decision victory.  However, the former champ Arlovski won the fight and has now won four in a row, something that is not easy to do in any UFC weight division.

Arlovski has won 6 of his last 7 fights with his only loss during that stretch coming against current No. 6 Tom Aspinall.  Arlovski has not beat a ranked fighter during this stretch; however, he has defeated top prospects in Tanner Boser and Carlos Filipe who were on the verge of a ranking themselves.

While some heavyweights near the bottom of the rankings have been holding ranking spots while being inactive, the 43-year-old Arlovski has been very active.  The “Pitbull” fought twice in 2020, three times in 2021 and already twice in 2022.

It’s been nearly two years since the No. 15 ranked Blagoy Ivanov last fought in May of 2020.  Ivanov is coming off two straight losses.  The Bulgarian Ivanov is returning to action this Saturday at UFC 274 against Marcos Rogerio de Lima.

No. 14 ranked Augusto Sakai’s last victory was a split decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov in May of 2020.  Sakai is coming off three straight defeats.

No. 12 ranked Shamil Abdurakhimov last won a fight in April of 2019.  He went two years without fighting and somehow remained in the top 10.  Since returning last September, Abdurakimov has lost two in a row.

No. 11 ranked Sergei Pavlovich somehow remained in the rankings after going over 28 months without having fought.  He returned in March with a victory over his countryman Abdurakhimov, who as I mentioned, was ranked higher than he should have been.  If Abdurakhimov and Pavlovich were out of the rankings due to inactivity like they should have been, neither one of them would be ranked right now.  Pavlovich is scheduled to fight No. 5 ranked Derrick Lewis on July 30.

While some of the heavyweights at the bottom of the rankings have been inactive, we see heavyweights like Andrei Arlovski, Serghei Spivac and Alexander Romanov putting it on the line as they fight regularly.  I think the UFC voting panelists should reward these fighters and not reward fighters who are inactive and sitting on their ranking spot.

Khamzat Chimaev taunts Conor McGregor, Colby Covington, and Nate Diaz on Twitter

Alexander Romanov ranked No. 13 at heavyweight

Alexander Romanov (16-0) defeated Chase Sherman on Saturday night and has now won five straight in the UFC’s heavyweight division.  The Moldovan has finished four out of his five UFC opponents.  He has notable victories over Marcos Rogerio de Lima and TUF 28 winner Joan Espino.  

With not having defeated a ranked opponent, I wasn’t sure if we would see Romanov in the rankings this week.  I think Romanov should be ranked No. 11 ahead of Sergei Pavlovich and Shamil Abdurakhimov.

Serghei Spivac unranked at heavyweight

With the entry of his countryman Romanov in the rankings, Serghei Spivac finds himself on the outside looking in at the UFC heavyweight top 15.  Spivac is another active heavyweight and has won four out of his last five fights with his only loss during that stretch coming against current No. 6 heavyweight Tom Aspinall.  Spivac has notable victories over Carlos Felipe and Aleksei Oleinik during that stretch.  He also has a second-round submission victory over current No. 3 ranked heavyweight Tai Tuivasa which came in October of 2019.  I believe Spivac should be ranked ahead of Pavlovich, Abdurakhimov, Sakai and Ivanov.

Here are the records of the above-mentioned heavyweights since January 1, 2020.

(11) Sergei Pavlovich – 1-0

(12) Shamil Abdurakhimov – 0-2

(13) Alexander Romanov – 5-0

(14) Augusto Sakai – 1-3

(15) Blagoy Ivanov – 0-1

Serghei Spivac – 4-2

Anrei Arlovski – 6-1

I know that records don’t mean everything and the quality of opposition matters.  At the same time, you shouldn’t have to beat a ranked opponent in order to be ranked when you stay active and put together significant wins in the UFC.  I’ve written recently in this column how Romanov and Arlovski should be ranked.  After this past Saturday, I believe Romanov should be ranked higher and Arlovski should definitely be ranked.

Upcoming Notable UFC Heavyweight Fights

May 7 –  Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. (15) Blagoy Ivanov

June 4 – (8) Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. (7) Alexander Volkov

July 23 – (6) Tom Aspinall vs. (4) Curtis Blaydes

July 30 – (11) Sergei Pavlovich vs. (5) Derrick Lewis

Sep 3 – (3) Tai Tuivasa vs. (1) Cyril Gane

My rankings would look different than any other writer or fan who follows the sport closely.  This is to be expected, as rankings are subjective.  Rankings should be based primarily on results and not perceived potential or popularity.

Some people think rankings do not matter.  Rankings do matter.  They matter when it comes to matchmaking.  They matter when it comes to contract negotiations.

Let’s keep the rankings conversation going.  Do you agree or disagree with the above Ranking Review? Express your thoughts in the comments below.