Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

Is One FC About to Secretly Sign the World’s Best Featherweight?

I couldn’t help but take notice when Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reported that PRIDE and UFC veteran Akihiro Gono and prospect Fransino Tirta attended the very first One FC event in Singapore, and have been in talks with their CEO, presumably about fighting in the promotion. Now, Akihiro Gono has had a very long, nice career… it’s not anything that will be worthy of anybody’s hall of fame, but he’s done pretty well for himself.

The name I really noticed is Fransino Tirta. The reason is this piece by “Pyrgz Krum” in a FanPost on Bloody Elbow, in which he uses Glicko-2, a variant of ELO, to rate every MMA fighter in Sherdog’s database. Keeping in mind that this was generated on December 27th of last year, here were the top five ratings:

  1. Georges St. Pierre – 2335
  2. Fedor Emelianenko – 2307
  3. Lyoto Machida – 2298
  4. Fransino Tirta – 2295
  5. Cain Velasquez – 2287

Georges St. Pierre… cool, makes sense. Fedor… again, this was last December, before the losses to Dan Henderson and Antonio Silva, so it’s all good. Lyoto Machida… I can see that. Fransino Tirta… great fighter for sure. Cain Velasquez… yeah, that makes sense too.

Wait…

Fransino Tirta?

I think it’s safe to say that this is the only list anywhere that will name Tirta alongside Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, Lyoto Machida, and Cain Velasquez. This means that, according to Mr. Krum’s system (which he called “f$%!ing crazy” to be fair), Tirta is one of the very best fighters in the world, and THE best featherweight. For consensus #1 ranked Jose Aldo, you have to go to #35 on the list, and for Chad Mendes, SILVA’s highest rated featherweight, you have to go all the way to #57.

So I saw the list, thought to myself “that’s pretty interesting,” and went on my way. But I remembered Tirta’s name, and now that I see that he’s in discussions with an up and coming MMA promotion, my curiosity got the better of me, and I processed his SILVA score.

Tirta started his MMA career 7-0. His MMA debut was against an 8-1 opponent who had wins against decent opponents himself: Linson Simanjuntak, who yielded a Victory Score of 72.28. We’re off and running on the way to topping Chad Mendes.

Unfortunately, Simanjuntak still represents Tirta’s toughest rated opponent yet. However, after a 7-0 career start, Tirta already had three “UFC-quality” wins, and a resulting “elite” SILVA score of 46.68. That’s definitely within range of the 52.33 SILVA score of Mendes.

However, in his last four fights (which happen to be Tirta’s only fights since 2004), Tirta has one draw and three wins against low-level competition. As a result, his SILVA score has sunk out of the elite tier.

  • rAP: 40.79
  • Fight Level: 18.89
  • SILVA: 28.89

There’s nothing bad about a SILVA score of 28.89. At featherweight, that would put Tirta between Michihiro Omigawa and Johnny Eduardo, two quality fighters. However, Tirta hasn’t competed against quality opposition frequently enough (especially recently) to deserve distinction as one of the best featherweights in the world. With that said, his rAP of 40.79 is still quite high, and close to the 43.00 mark that would make him an “elite” fighter again. So, while Tirta is not the world’s best featherweight according to SILVA, he’s still a very good prospect and a guy to watch out for in the future.

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