Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mixed martial arts/MMA notability

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Multiple Notability Issues[edit]

It's safe to say that this page has now become very dated. Multiple problems exist within MMA:NOT. This needs a major clean up.


ONE FC and WSOF are undervalued. ONE FC is the most dominant promotion in Asia and has most of the top Asian MMA fighters. WSOF has expanded, has wide coverage via NBC, and has a number of top fighters (Fitch, Shields, Phalares, Moraes, Okami, Aguilar, Branch, Gaethje), and a number of notable names (several Gracies, Matt Hamill, Thiago Silva, Melvin Guillard, Spong, Volkman, Newell, etc.). There is no way WSOF is on the same level of notability as MFC, for example, yet that's where they are listed. MMA:NOT probably needs a 3-tier system. That said, there's a good chance WSOF snuck into the top tier once or twice over the past year, year and a half as rankings are fluid. The next issue becomes which rankings to use (USA Today, Fight Matrix, Sherdog) as there are more and more rankings systems out there.

Titan FC is missing entirely from tier2 yet is essentially a feeder/retirement promotion for the UFC (though they don't like being painted that way). RFA is missing as well. These are two significant smaller MMA promotions in the U.S.

SFL (Super Fight League) is also missing, and should probably sit in the tier2 category.

Women's MMA criteria is a nightmare. According to MMA:NOT the only way for a female bantamweight to be notable is to have fought in the UFC or Invicta a minimum of three times (or to have fought for the title in one of those) since they're the only two top tier promotions that have a female bantamweight division, or to have been "subject of multiple independent articles/documentaries" - which should be at the international level.

This is horribly exclusive since Invicta does not operate outside the U.S., and the UFC only rarely visits Asia and Europe. Rin Nakai, who fought Miesha Tate in her UFC debut, had extensive media coverage, was a champion in both Pancrase and Valkryie (also missing from the tier2 list), yet has had her page repeatedly deleted as being "not notable." Multiple titles and the fact she's the first Japanese female fighter in the UFC should make her notable.

Meanwhile Paige VanZant, with the same number of fights in the UFC, far less experience, and no championships in a tier2 promotion, is deemed notable. I'm not arguing she's not notable, but the guidelines here need work.

In essence the current MMA:NOT has created a bias against fighters outside of North America that is not in line with MMA as a global sport, and has made being a notable female outside North America next to impossible. It also places far too much emphasis on the top tier.

Suggestion: Add a third tier and elevate ONE FC, WSOF, Pancrase, KSW, M-1, to tier2, drop other promotions to third tier. Care should be taken to look at the top promotions throughout the world. Suggestion: Tier2 title holders past and present should qualify as notable, at least in the case of women's MMA, and probably in the case of men's MMA. Suggestion: Five or more fights in a tier2 promotion should then give fighters notability the same way 3 fights in tier1 should. Tier3 fights should not necessarily count towards notability but could be used to support a notability claim (example, fighter has had a large amount of international media coverage, and has a large number of fights at tier3, could still be considered notable) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

My opinion is more tiers more argument. Another idea is to expand the option we have for Jewels which is top tier but notable only for title bouts and tournament winners. Not really that different from the above suggestion but less radical. In either case we would have to come up with criteria. I do think the US bias is not that strong - there is certainly a wide international representation in the UFC for instance.Peter Rehse (talk) 16:09, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I have to strongly support a third tier as suggested by the unsigned poster above, and expand notability claims. To me, More Flexibility = Less Argument. The current arguments are coming from fighters a lot of people consider notable being deleted, so expanding the net a bit to cover a few outliers isn't the worst idea (MMAJunkie, a subsidiary of USA Today, even noted Justin Gaethje's lack of a Wikipedia page in an article about him recently). The fact is, the current MMA landscape is no longer reflected by the notability guidelines, and putting the World Series of Fighting in the same tier as Shark Fights is downright silly. As such, there are some pretty notable fighters who don't meet current criteria who are getting their pages deleted on technicalities, and the world of MMA, like a lot of things on this earth, has more shades of gray than the current guidelines allow for. I don't see the problem in tweaking the guidelines to account for this.
Therefore, here is my Suggestion: Active Tier 2 promotions would be WSoF, OneFC, KSW, M-1, and Vale Tudo Japan (they run shows very infrequently but tend to use high-level talent), with the rest dropping to Tier 3. Pancrase is fine as a former Tier 2 promotion through around 2005 or so, now Tier 3. Deep would be an active Tier 2 for women only (they absorbed Jewels). I would extend the criteria thus that Champions of a Tier 2 promotion, or fighters with at least six fights in a Tier 2 promotion, would qualify for notability. This would cover a few outliers like Justin Gaethje, Marlon Moraes, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and maybe we could have fewer clashes. Beansy (talk) 02:13, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, if the people wanting to cull the fat from MMA pages on Wikipedia want to make a trade-off, honestly Bellator is a lot closer to the proposed revised second-tier than it is to the other top tier organizations. Dropping the male fighters to second tier, or at least second tier prior to their Spike TV deal in 2013, might cut down on fighters who manage to qualify based on having a few untelevised Bellator prelim fights but who aren't actually notable by practical standards. Beansy (talk) 02:16, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I would definitely support most of that. Maybe 5 fights instead of 6 for tier2 plus champions. Either way. I'd also suggest keeping Pancrase at least tier2 for women's MMA. tier3 for mens. It should be noted that the issue with many smaller, regional promotions is that they have just about anyone fighting for them. Occasionally a big name with a largely unknown undercard. WSOF, ONE FC, and even Pancrase however seem to be going for long-term deals with a lot of talent. The Bellator idea (men's division being tier2 prior to 2013) could be doable also. - unsigned

I agree this notability issue needs to be sorted because I believe EFC Africa is notable so even when an organisation has demonstrated it has high television ratings from independent sources and broadcast on major international networks it's still not deemed worthy yet BRACE, Desert Force Championship are notable? Dwanyewest (talk) 00:23, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Actually, it's not that BRACE is notable--it's that nobody has tested its notability at AfD. WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not a reason for keeping an article. As for the notability discussion, I would say it doesn't matter how many fights you have if you're not fighting the top fighters. The organizations that are considered top tier got there because they had at least three top 10 fighters. Fighters aren't competing at the highest level (a requirement of WP:ATHLETE) if they're not fighting against the top competitors. An analogous argument can be made for MMA organizations that they're not top tier if they're not attracting the top talent. Papaursa (talk) 21:33, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of WP:ATHLETE - its Mixed Martial Arts section is barebones and not a great point of reference. WP:ATHLETE's boxing section, however, could be used as one. Note that MMA does not have a league, it has promotions. How those promotions are viewed is dependent on many factors: rankings (which differ from source to source), TV deals, live attendance, etc. Which fighter is more notable, the one ranked by a website in North America, or one that played to a huge audience of Asian TV? Boxing allows for notability if you have fought for a title in a number of lower-tier sanctioning bodies. MMA:NOT could adopt a similar system that would clear up much of this issue. Allowing second title holders/challengers notability seems like a logical decision and eliminates half the debate. Though it still doesn't speak to the fact that the argument that fighters outside the top tier "aren't competing at the highest level" is simply not true, because of how wide-spread the sport is and the number of promotions. We also need to factor in non-athletic considerations like mainstream press coverage/MMA media coverage for certain fighters (Rin Nakai, super heavyweight Chris Barnett, whose page is at risk of deletion despite the fact that he's the best known super heavyweight active at the moment, though his page does need some work). In short, however, a fighter with 3 fights on the UFC Fight Pass prelims, who loses all three and washes out, still qualifies for a wikipedia page under current MMA:NOT, while a guy could potentially become a ONE FC champion, Pancrase Champion, Shoot Champion etc. and face deletion.
What level a fighter is at in a promotion is just as important as being in the promotion in the first place.
Conversely, if someone _is_ a top talent by objective measures, should they not be considered notable anyway regardless of whether they've fought for a UFC organization? Marlon Moraes is a top ten bantamweight on nearly every major MMA ranking site, but has never fought for a "top tier" organization so under conventional rules should not have a page. Justin Gaethje would be an aggregate Top 20 fighter using the six most prominent ranking sites, and had a recent profile piece on (USA Today affiliate) describing him as "the most famous MMA fighter without a Wikipedia page." Obviously, the Worlds Series of Fighting is not the UFC, but considering they have a national television deal, get regular coverage from the major MMA press outlets, and have held events on NBC, I would hold it self-evident that there should be a separate tier that separates a handful of promotions like the WSoF above the bulk of current Tier-2 organizations like Shark Fights.
Now, looking at the rankings from the most major ranking sites for the top 10-20 fighters (depending on the number of available rankings) across the eight competitive men's divisions and the two highest profile women's divisions, and also taking the the top 5 (active) fighters in the three less-developed competitive women's divisions, the following emerges: the UFC clearly has the lion's share here, with the following other promotions also represented: Bellator, Invicta, World Series of Fighting, OneFC, KSW, M-1, and Shooto, and with the exception of a single flyweight out of DEEP ranked on Sherdog and Tapology, and a single female strawweight ranked only on Tapology, that is every promotion represented across all the major ranking sites (Sherdog, ESPN, FightMatrix, MMAJunkie, Tapology, and MMARocks). Giving some weight to accomplishments in those five promotions (or at least the first three) I believe to be an entirely fair compromise and a concession to the realities of where MMA is at in 2015.
My suggestion is that notability can be established by three fights total in either a Tier-1 promotion, or in a title fight (either defending or challenging) or otherwise headlining fight in a the revised Tier-2 set of promotions. This would merely preserve a low double-digit number of pages, but would take quite a bit of the venom from arguments here over a few controversial omissions. Beansy (talk) 20:17, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I would second beansy's suggestion as it seems the best option out there at this point. This issue popped up again this weekend as KSW heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf lacks a wiki (though he has a entry) while the man he defended the title against at KSW 31, Peter Graham, does. Not knocking Graham but Bedorf is the more notable fighter at this point (at least in MMA - Graham still has kickboxing as well). For second tier add some of the promotions suggested above: Titan FC, RFA, Legacy FC, EFC etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Proposal Modify MMA:NOT guidelines to something like

Criteria supporting notability

Subject of multiple independent articles/documentaries--articles should be from national or international media, not just local coverage or press releases from organizations

Fought for the highest title of a top tier MMA or second tier organization

Fought at least three (3) fights for top tier MMA organizations — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

What is considered a top-tier organization?[edit]

I hope I'm not sounding like a broken record, but may I ask what makes an MMA organization top-tier? Anytime you hear someone talking about MMA, it's either UFC, Bellator MMA, or WSOF. Why is it that WSOF is not considered top-tier? I don't see any reason why it is not. If it's the number of events (over 20), WSOF dwarfs Invicta (less than 16). The level of talent is right up there with Bellator MMA. Many former fighters from the UFC and Bellator MMA compete in WSOF today. A WSOF fighter, Nick Newell, has an article not because he's had several fights including a title shot, but because he's had articles written about him because of his disability. Totally ridiculous in my opinion. WSOF along with UFC and Bellator MMA are the organizations that are televised on major TV channels. Ex. Spike TV (Bellator), Fox Sports 1 (UFC), and NBCSN (WSOF). I strongly believe that there needs to be some reconsideration as to whether or not WSOF should be considered a top-tier organization. If not, please explain to me why. Thanks. WWE Batman131 (talk) 23:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

The last time this was discussed was Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mixed martial arts/MMA notability/Archive 9. I think the explanations and issues are well outlined. It is based on current fighter rankings (not on the way up or down) and not on number of events. I think WSOF was close a number of times, might have even been there for short periods but not consistently.Peter Rehse (talk) 08:11, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Rankings show that at least 3 fighters from the WSOF are in the top 10. Ex. Jake Shields, David Branch, and Marlon Moraes. Two of them are champions and one of them is the Welterweight number 1 contender. What is currently restricting the WSOF from becoming an organization that has top-tier status? WWE Batman131 (talk) 11:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I was looking at the Sherdog rankings for April 19th and I see both Shields and Moraes at 8 and Branch not in the top 10 (Middleweight contender). Please correct me if I'm wrong. Any hold-up will have to do with a transient nature and a date from when will have to be decided. The last time this went around is one of the fighters was at 10th place and expected to drop which they did. UFC and Bellator have consistently had at least 3 top 10 fighters - WSOF has been close a few time but that's it. I think WSOF is the best second tier organization out there but that's only my opinion and if they did have the numbers (consistently) I would have no issues with promotion.Peter Rehse (talk) 13:20, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The prerequisites have been met. Jake Shields, Rousimar Palhares, and Marlon Moraes are in the rankings. WWE Batman131 (talk) 17:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I think PRehse has it right--having the numbers consistently. I think the condition can't just be met for a fleeting moment. One problem I see with the WSOF is that both Shields and Palhares are barely in the top 10 and are scheduled to fight each other in their next bout, meaning that one is likely to drop out of the top 10. Notability is not temporary--we don't move organizations in and out of the top tier based on short term results. A truly top tier organization should stay that way for awhile. Papaursa (talk) 17:46, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
How long is awhile? WWE Batman131 (talk) 04:42, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I would say one year. If they can keep at least 3 fighters in the top 10 for a full year, I'd say they belong in the top tier. That means they can't drop down to 2 ranked fighters and go back up to 3. They must maintain a minimum of 3 continuously for a year. That's my opinion. I do think they're currently the best of the second tier organizations.Mdtemp (talk) 18:57, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Listen, all male fighters in Sherdog's rankings are from either UFC, Bellator, or WSOF. There are no ranked fighters from any other organization in any Sherdog top 10. Why is that not enough? WWE Batman131 (talk) 20:53, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Because we have an objective criteria that was arrived at through consensus and has been used for years. I think changing them requires more than "I don't like it" or "I think organization X should be top tier". If an organization can't show it's top tier for just one year, it probably isn't. Notability is not temporary.Mdtemp (talk) 15:54, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes I think the point about objective criteria reached by consensus over a period of time is key. However WWE Batman131 has raised a good question. I don't think a period of time has ever been discussed and to be clear if a period was decided on and it was accomplished than the date for being Tier 1 could be backdated. My personal feeling is that 1 year with 3 or more top tier fighters is more than enough and I could accept 6 months. If we take the number of weight devisions multiplied by 10 than the number of fighters contributing to the Top Tier discussion is quite large. In fact I think 3 is a very generous number and if this would be argued again I would be going for double that - but of course I will stay with 3.Peter Rehse (talk) 16:26, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe 6 months is fair. Can we establish a consensus @Peter Rehse? WWE Batman131 (talk) 19:51, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd like to clarify a couple of things that were mentioned in the above posts. First, the idea that a promotion needs to qualify and remain top tier for a length of time has been discussed, and generally agreed to, but no specific time length was ever set. I think a year seems reasonable. Second, besides being discussed on MMA pages, several administrators have been asked previously about notability being retroactive and everyone seemingly has agreed that fights before an organization officially becomes "top tier" do not count towards fighter notability--which makes sense and seems reasonable to me. Third, I agree that 3 is a ridiculously low number of ranked fighters. That number was set at a time when there were more MMA organizations roughly on the same level and slightly fewer weight divisions. It was an attempt to have an objective standard and yet still be inclusive. Papaursa (talk) 18:59, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Proposal I would like to propose that for an MMA organization to be considered top tier, it must have at least 3 fighters ranked in the top 10 for one continuous year. If there's a time during that year when it doesn't have 3 top 10 fighters, the clock is automatically reset to zero. Note that this doesn't change the requirement for the number of ranked fighters, it merely sets a minimum time length to qualify. Papaursa (talk) 18:59, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
In the spirit of compromise, I am willing to slightly modify this proposal for the WSOF. In order to simplify things, I would say the WSOF can be considered top tier if it continuously has three top ten fighters for the rest of 2015. That would allow us to add the WSOF to the top tier starting at the beginning of 2016. Papaursa (talk) 18:59, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the modified proposal. Sounds very fair in respect to WSOF and the time of year. Let's establish a consensus and get this going. WWE Batman131 (talk) 19:12, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Well that makes 8 months consistently with 3 of 10. OK I am on board but with the understanding if it drops below we return to 0.Peter Rehse (talk) 22:16, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I vote in favor of the proposal and the one time exception for the WSOF. I also agree with Peter's understanding of the proposal. I'd like to discuss raising the 3 fighter minimum in the future.Mdtemp (talk) 19:41, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems like we have agreement. If the WSOF drops below 3 top 10 fighters in 2015, the clock resets to zero and they will have to meet the one year condition described in the proposal. Due to changes in the MMA environment since these guidelines were first created, I am willing to discuss raising the 3 fighter minimum. Given the increase in size of the UFC, I would also be willing to consider increasing the 3 top tier fight minimum for fighter notability (or perhaps a 2 win minimum might make more sense). Papaursa (talk) 17:16, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Has anyone considered expanding this notability requirement to top 15/20? Rankings are very subjective and using Sherdog, while they're the best source of MMA records, gives you a bit of a western bias in the end. This is a big problem with MMA:NOT in general. As opposed to 3 fighters in the top ten, why not allow for 5 of the top 20? Fight Matrix should also be considered. FM is database driven and not based on human selection criteria meaning there's less bias to be found. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps because top 10 is a fairly common sports criteria. For example, it's used for both the boxing and kickboxing notability criteria. It seems a reasonable place to draw the line to say who the top fighters are. Beating the 20th best doesn't have the same cachet. Papaursa (talk) 02:15, 28 May 2015 (UTC)