Talk to MMA fighters, and you'll quickly realize that just like fans, they have many different views of world rankings. Some will gladly spend time debating them, others put no stock in them whatsoever, and others use them for motivation.
But when it comes to Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, well, let's just say that he has an entirely different and practical use for the rankings.
"People ask me this all the time. The rankings are more a way for my manager to negotiate with [Bellator CEO] Bjorn Rebney to make me more money," he said when asked where he belongs among the world's 155-pounders. "That's all the rankings mean."
Alvarez, who on Thursday night defeated former UFC star Josh Neer via technical submission in a 160-pound catch weight fight, is ranked among the top 10 lightweights by virtually every MMA site and publication, and most have him right around the top 5.
Improving to 20-2 with the win, and in the midst of a five-fight win streak, Alvarez will now sit back and wait to face the winner of the Bellator lightweight tournament in his next match.
Toby Imada or Pat Curran will be the next man to test him. The fight is not likely to be viewed by most as a major test for Alvarez, as neither Imada or Curran are big names in the sport, but both have had their moments. Imada had last year's submission of the year with an inverted triangle win over Jorge Masvidal, though he later lost to Alvarez in the finals. And Curran was little known until upsetting Roger Huerta in a close decision last night.
Still, Alvarez is smart enough to know that despite their lack of big reputations, the fight will be dangerous. After all, it all comes down to rankings, right?
"Everyone's seen the last couple weeks," he said. "BJ [Penn] got knocked off by a guy ranked No. 7, [Shinya] Aoki got knocked off by a No. 5. It happens. Any day, any one of us can beat any other on any given night.
"I'm not going to say where I'm ranked," he continued. "I feel like I can beat anyone in the world right now at this time in my career. Wherever I'm ranked, hopefully whenever I get out of my contract I'm ranked really high and I can renegotiate for a high price. Right now the ranking means nothing."
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.