Brendan Allen is not in agreement with Khamzat Chimaev being ranked in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division. This discontentment comes on the heels of Chimaev’s recent ranking in the UFC middleweight division, following his win at UFC 294. His opponent was short-notice replacement Kamaru Usman, who also made his debut at 185 pounds. Despite being a majority favorite according to some sportsbooks, Chimaev just managed to pull off a majority decision.
Even though his recent fight was believed to be a middleweight title eliminator, Chimaev didn’t feature as a prospective opponent when booking Sean Strickland’s upcoming defense against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 on Jan. 20. However, just after the UFC 294, Chimaev found himself at No. 8 in the UFC middleweight rankings. This rapid rise to the top 10 in the division wasn’t received well by fellow fighters, especially Brendan Allen who is currently ranked at no. 10.
Allen criticized the UFC ranking system for placing Chimaev in the top 10, considering he hasn’t fought an established middleweight, let alone a ranked one. He expressed his disappointment and disbelief during UFC Fight Night 232 media day prior to his main event meeting with Paul Craig. He was quoted saying: “It wasn’t a middleweight fight. They weighed in at ‘85, but they’re both 170s. I don’t know how you rank — I don’t know if anyone here’s on the panel, but if you do, I don’t like you. This guy hasn’t beat an ‘85er. He beat the No. 1 170 guy. Cool. Congratulations. keep him at ‘70 and rank him No. 1, do that. This is a different thing.”
Allen accuses the UFC rankings system of bias not entirely based on fighting skill. He argues that based on performance and activity, there are several fighters who don’t merit their places in the top 15. He stated, “The rankings are absolutely political bullsh*t. It’s people going off of what? It’s politics because it’s not off of skill. If we’re going off pure skill there’s tons of guys that shouldn’t be in. How do we have guys that haven’t fought in two years in the rankings? Three years. How is that a thing? It shouldn’t even be close. There should be guidelines. You have to fight at least this many times — at least once a year. If you don’t, you get pulled.”