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Should we be taking WAMMA seriously?

My article over the weekend comparing Bloody Elbow and WAMMA rankings has resulted in a response article from Kid Nate at BE. Nate basically says that while we ‘get’ that WAMMA is a joke, we don’t ‘get’ the danger they represent:

Both Fightlinker and CagePotato admit up front that WAMMA are self-dealing and manipulate their rankings to further their own sleazy agenda. But then they say it doesn’t matter because WAMMA uses a bunch of celebrity judges and BloodyElbow uses a bunch of obscure jerks and losers (neglecting to mention that we use the rankings of every WAMMA judge who makes their rankings public).

The biggest advantage the USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings have over WAMMA is this: our process is transparent and impossible to manipulate; theirs is closed and they manipulate it to benefit their business agenda.

The point is, WAMMA is a cancer on the sport. Right now they’re a tiny tiny speck in the prostate, but the ESPN deal is the first indication that they are beginning to spread throughout the body of MMA.

If WAMMA wins, we can look forward to the atomization of MMA by the corrupt just like what happened to boxing.

While I’m still not sold on the idea of WAMMA as a potential threat to the future of MMA (they’ll blow their foot off sooner rather than later, I’m sure), I will say that Nate’s description of WAMMA’s system as secretive and occasionally manipulated is true. You don’t have to go further than what they did to justify Shinya Aoki as worthy of the WAMMA title in December: they simply took BJ Penn off the lightweight list.

WAMMA’s big reason for being is to try and make money off of sanctioning undisputed title fights. Because of this, they’re willing to fuck with what the members of their ranking committee give them. That makes them generally untrustworthy, so I will have to re-rank them in my rankings of ranking systems:

2. Bloody Elbow
1. Rankings are dumb

Still, if rankings do matter a bit to you or you’re thinking of featuring rankings on your site / tv show, you might want to think twice about using WAMMA’s system. Because who knows what kind of stupidity they might pull trying to justify slapping another ‘undisputed’ belt on some unworthy individual.