Unlike sports where participants have to dress up like a group of friends in matching Halloween costumes, mixed martial arts strips competitors down to the bare bones. As primal as MMA may be, the clarity of pecking order—true discovery of a place amongst the pack—becomes a troublesome terrain to traverse.
A saturated and fragmented market with no true definition of seasons prevents a system that allows the cream of the crop to bubble to the surface. Losses are the end of the world, a push that sends prizefighters back to square-one; whereas, wins are necessary but don’t necessarily whisk anyone to a well-defined destination. This convoluted colander used to sift the sport’s superstars was clarified, sort of, by Adam ‘Captain Chaos’ Antolin (13-3) following his recent victory over Casey Kenney on Episode 8 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS).
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Up 18 spots to number 39 in the #fightmatrix Flyweight WORLD Rankings. Above me sits a man i submitted in competition who is now in the @ufc . Below me is my tuf24 cast mate who is also in the @ufc . Guess who is NOT currently in the @ufc? 🙋🏽♂️ #strangeworld #torture #theupsidedown
Before offering Antolin praise for skyrocketing—eighteen spots—in the Fight Matrix (link here) rankings, he’d prefer an explanation as to why, especially in the wake of a fantastic display of talent on The Ultimate Fighter 24 and successful appearance on DWTNCS, a UFC contract hasn’t yet emerged from American Kickboxing Academy’s fax machine.
According to the Fight Matrix’s list of acclaimed flyweights, there aren’t enough master chefs inside the UFC’s 125-pound kitchen, as Antolin is sandwiched between peers whom currently contract their services with MMA’s leading promotion: Alex Perez, the runner-up to ‘Captain Chaos’ for the Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Title, and Eric Shelton, a housemate on TUF 24.
When MMA math doesn’t add up, it’s difficult, nearly impossible, for finely-tuned athletes, such as Antolin, to calculate the next phase of their short-lived career.