Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 | 8:30 p.m.
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In an effort to appeal to more sports fans than ever before, the UFC will release an official set of rankings starting next week.
UFC President Dana White announced the plans at a press conference to promote UFC 156 Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. White compared what's dubbed as "UFC rankings" to the AP college football or basketball polls.
“Mainstream people understand numbers,” White said. “Like Alabama plays Notre Dame. No. 1 vs. No. 2. We think it would be a lot easier for casual fans getting into the UFC to understand the sport a little better.”
White said 90 media members would vote to form a top-10 poll for all eight weight classes as well as a pound-for-pound list. The UFC invited an initial 75 voters Thursday evening.
Polling will commence and remain open for approximately 26 hours, until midnight Monday, after every UFC event beginning with Saturday’s annual Super Bowl weekend card. The rankings will come out the following Monday afternoon.
The rankings could have an effect on matchmaking, White said, but nothing definite.
“No matter what the rankings are, I’m going to put on the fights everyone wants to see,” White said.
Fighters can only qualify for one weight class in the poll. Champions and interim champions are automatically set in first and second, respectively, and are not allowed to be voted lower.
The UFC will show the rankings on their broadcasts. FightMetric, the UFC’s official stats provider, will do the polling and provide the rankings.
The Sun’s Case Keefer is among the voters.