There are certain problems that arise when evaluating fighters based on a purely objective system. One problem that occurs is when one fighter “breaks” the system: I discussed it a little bit in my preview of Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt. For the most part, my Victory Score statistic rates fighters fairly accurately; however, there are going to be cases in which subjective facts illustrate that an objective rating should be taken with a grain of salt.
Looking at the fight history of Ronny Markes reveals something very mediocre (by UFC standards). He may be 11-1, but that includes, for example, wins against 0-2 Enrico Vaccaro, 1-6 Junior Fofinho, 2-2 Roque Oliver, 0-0 Wanderlan Vila Cruzeiro, 0-0 Fernando Almeida, and 1-0 Diogo Osama. Markes has a loss to a merely decent Paulo Henrique Garcia Rodrigues, who was not considered a UFC-quality opponent by Victory Score.
Then there’s Markes’s most recent opponent – none other than Paulo Filho, the former PRIDE standout and former WEC middleweight champion. In my opinion, Filho is the best fighter of all time to never get much respect. Filho only began his career 16-0 against consistently solid opposition. However, that’s not the Filho that Markes fought. Filho is now 22-4-1 after a decline that began with a loss to Chael Sonnen, in which it genuinely appeared that Filho may have been somewhat insane. After badly missing weight, Filho fought a bizarre fight against Sonnen, in which he was seen looking off to the side and talking to himself on occasion.
It’s clear to me that Paulo Filho is a much different (and worse) fighter than the man who dominated the PRIDE welterweight (83 kg) division, but because he was still 22-3-1 entering his fight against Markes, Markes was rewarded with a very high Victory Score of 78.36 for his efforts. To put that in context, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson earned a Victory Score of 78.85 for knocking out Chuck Liddell at UFC 71. There’s no way beating Filho in 2011 should be considered similar to beating Liddell in 2007.
Unfortunately, the result in my objective system is that Ronny Markes gets a higher Fight Level than he should. If the Filho fight was thrown out (or at least downgraded), would the resume of Markes still be enough to be the pick to beat Karlos Vemola? It’s a good question; Vemola boasts an extremely thin resume on which the only victories even worth mentioning are against Stav Economou and Seth Petruzelli. Now, Vemola did look pretty darn impressive against Petruzelli, but that’s Petruzelli we’re talking about. The difference is that Vemola hasn’t lost to a mediocre opponent (Jon Madsen, Vemola’s only loss, is better than that), and Markes has.
SILVA PREDICTION: RONNY MARKES (29.73) OVER KARLOS VEMOLA (26.20)
So I’m going to do something unprecedented, and go against SILVA TWICE on one fight card. I already went against SILVA’s prediction for the Figueroa-Reinhardt fight, picking Figueroa, and now, I’m going to pick Karlos Vemola to beat Ronny Markes, based on Markes having a broken Fight Level for beating a shot Paulo Filho.