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).
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.