Rankings can be created using:
- an automated system based on mathematical formulas
- the opinions of journalists and experts
- public polls
- the personal preferences of promotions or individuals
These are all legitimate ways to establish rankings, but most people would prefer rankings to be generated by an automated system that uses calculations based on quantifiable facts.
Having factual computer generated rankings, without bias and subjective human intervention, eliminates arguments like "I know this fighter is much better than" or "he is more popular" or simply "I like him a lot".
We admit that there might be potential subjectivity hidden in the ways formulas are constructed, and extra effort must be made in avoiding and verifying the objectivity and realism of those formulas.
Once the formulas are set in place, the whole system works autonomously to generate scores and ranking lists. The same set of formulas should be used for each fighter and time period.
The system should be able to score all fighters in the same way by being impartial to what division fighters are in, what organization(s) they fight for, which era they were fighting in, and be neutral to the current popularity of the fighter.
There are numerous factors that should be taken into consideration when determining the rankings of fighters.
Some of those factors are very important while some have lesser significance.
A respectable rating system should bring together as many useful factors as possible and then apply a proper weight to each factor.
The real challenge is in creating straightforward formulas and defining how prominent each of the factors should be.
The system should use formulas to generate a single score for each fighter, and that score would determine the individual's ranking.
Having a meaningful individual score allows us to directly compare any two fighters. This even includes a comparison between weight categories and across different time periods.