Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Antonio Carlos Junior (10-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) isn’t happy with the UFC’s latest official rankings, which have seen Paulo Costa (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) shoot by him on the list. Now “Cara de Sapato” wants Costa to prove he’s worthy of such an honor.
“I watched the recent fight between Paulo Costa and Uriah Hall,” Carlos Junior told MMAjunkie. “It was a great fight! Both men stood toe-to-toe, and Paulo came off with another win by knockout. Awesome. Congrats to him. And now Paulo is being touted as the next big thing. Maybe he will confirm that. I have simply nothing against this young man. He is just doing his job. But how could it be that he is ranked, above me, for example?
“I was the ‘TUF: Brazil 3’ heavyweight champ. I am now 9-2 in the UFC, with five wins by submission, and I have fought very tough customers along the way! Like I said, nothing whatsoever against ‘Borrachinha,’ but something is way out of line here. This young man has fought only four times. I have more submission wins then he has fights in the UFC.”
Costa picked up a TKO win over Hall earlier this month at UFC 226. It was the Brazilian slugger’s fourth TKO win in as many trips to the UFC.
Meanwhile, Carlos Junior was in action most recently in April, scoring a submission win over Tim Boetsch at UFC on FOX 29. Carlos Junior now owns a five-fight winning streak and believes the body of his accomplishments should rank him ahead of Costa.
In the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, Carlos Junior is an honorable mention, while Costa sits at No. 12. In the latest official UFC rankings, Costa is No. 8, while Carlos Junior is No. 11.
“I am a competitor,” Carlos Junior said. “Before I ever stepped into an MMA cage, I was already a Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion. In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, there are no rankings – you’re either first, second or third, depending on your results. You have to win. It doesn’t matter how good you look, how shredded your body is – the only thing that brings you a world championship is winning.
“I think that this way of measuring fighters is lopsided. Who are the people creating these rankings? What do they really understand about fighting? How many times do we see fighters go up and down the rankings without even fighting? Rankings need to be based on merit, not on spectators’ momentary excitement.”
While rankings are always an inexact science, Carlos Junior says the importance of what they represent to UFC athletes simple cannot be ignored.
“At the end of the day, these rankings influence many things in my life: Who I fight, how much I make, how high up on the card my fight is,” Carlos explained. “It’s simply not fair. Even worse, it’s bizarre. MMA is now a mainstream sport. It’s not pro wrestling. It’s real fighting. As Dana White used to say: As real as it gets.
“So I wonder why, if it is as real as it gets, how we could find ourselves with a measuring stick, a ranking system, that’s about as phony as Spider-Man?”
With his frustration on the rise, Carlos Junior has a simple solution in mind. The UFC returns to Brazil, home country of both Carlos Junior and Costa, on Sept. 22 for UFC Fight Night 137 in Sao Paulo. Where better place, Carlos Junior believes, for the two to face off in a five-round main event?
“This is hurting me, and my brothers in arms,” Carlos Junior said. “If ‘Borrachinha’ is to be ranked above me, he should beat me.
“I heard Dana responding to a journalist that he might consider Paulo Costa for the main event in Sao Paulo? I think I deserve that spot, so let me fight Paulo Costa in that main event. Justice will be served. If he can beat me, then – and only then – can he be ranked above me.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Antonio Carlos Junior upset at rankings, wants Paulo Costa for UFC Fight Night 137 headliner