Dennis Siver is 2 – 1 – 1 (no contest) since moving down to the UFC’s featherweight division in April of 2012. Grabbing two victories in the weight class to start him off, the former lightweight took a round three KO loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 161 last July (2013), stifling his climb up the division rankings. Not to be deterred, the 35-year-old German fighter got back on the horse five months later in December, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Manny Gamburyan at UFC 168. However, post-fight, Siver tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and his Las Vegas win was ruled a ‘no contest’ by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Since the ruling (April 24, 2014), Siver has been sitting on the sidelines serving out a nine month suspension and licking his wounds from a $19,800 NSAC fine. With his penalty now served and the fine paid, Siver is once again set to head back into the Octagon. This coming October 4 on Fight Pass, the No. 10 ranked fighter will take on Scotland’s own Robert Whiteford (1 – 1 UFC) at Ultimate Fight Night (UFN) 53: TBA vs. TBA from Stockholm, Sweden.
Regarding the class’s rankings, Siver, as the floor of the top ten and the ceiling to those trying to breach it, is confused by the current sort. Specifically, Siver is “shaking (his) head” at Frankie Edgar being ranked No. 3 and Conor McGregor being ranked No. 9. By Siver’s assessment, neither of them are deserving of their current status, certainly not based on their last opponents – BJ Penn and Diego Brandao, respectively.
As Siver told GroundAndPound.de, he does not want to “judge” how the senior circuit determines the rankings, but he is, nonetheless, surprised by it all.
“As long as you are in the top 10 you can get big fights anytime. Some popular guy only needs to get injured and there you are. I need to concentrate on defending my spot now, first and foremost. Some guys I don’t agree with have made it to the top 10 lately; Conor McGregor for example. He ranks one spot above me now, even though (he) and his last opponent didn’t even have a spot in the top 10 before. It’s not my job to judge on those things, the UFC decides and they decide based on your performance. His last fight was okay. What also surprises me is that Frankie Edgar ranks number three right now. He beat BJ Penn, who has been out for two years. That was no competition. BJ has been a great fighter once, but when I saw that fight I couldn’t help but shaking my head.”
Of course, the fact of the matter is that the rankings are the consensus opinion of the voting media and not a unilateral assignment by the UFC. As such, Siver’s surprise in the promotion’s calculation of them is misguided. Setting aside the rankings source of origin, most fans would probably argue that Edgar and McGregor have earned their spots and regardless of whatever Siver might think of Penn and Brandao as fighters. Further, some of them might wonder how Siver and his 2 – 1 – 1 (NC) featherweight record, inclusive of its performance enhancing drug (PED) infraction, and no stoppage victories, manages to be ranked at No. 10 in the class. Finally, all fans would tell Siver that he can always do something about his surprise in the rankings by not getting suspended for PEDs’, staying active, and finishing and winning fights. And in that, there is no surprise.
Photo courtesy of Dennis Siver