as the months go on and the struggle for P4P supremacy continues, one can only realize the general pattern behind who the MMA public thinks is deserving of the title best P4P fighter. to understand what i am going to talk about in this thread you must first understand certain terms that i will use. first, a heuristic
is a way that humans solve problems using short cuts that find an answer faster but are more error prone. for example, to solve a problem that states , "rearrange these letters to form an English word: GSPYYOLOHC" a heuristic for solving the problem would be applying words that you know that fit the criteria and using the rules of the English language instead of using an algorithm and trying the thousands of possibilities that these letters can be arranged until you find an answer, which is PSYCHOLOGY. we solve most of our problems using heuristics and it is the reason we solve problems the way that we do. now, there are certain types of heuristics that humans use. the one i will be talking about in this thread are availability heuristics
. an availability heuristic is when you judge the probability of an event occurring based on how readily available it is in your memory. for example, if you were a victim of theft, you would think it was more likely to occur than someone who has not been a victim of theft. So now that i went over the background of what i am going to say, i will continue with my observation.
OK, so now lets go over the P4P rankings. I have noticed that after a certain fighter has recently fought, and won, their P4P increases. there is nothing abnormal about that, but it is who they increase over that i find interesting. for example, when Anderson Silva had just come off of his second victory over Rich Franklin, everyone held him to be the number one P4P fighter in the world. for weeks and months it was all about how Silva can beat anyone in the division, how there was absolutely no chink in his armor. no one could defeat this machine. there were countless topics of how he will continue to dominate the competition and whether he should move up or not. however, as the months passed by, he became less and less unstoppable and now Dan Henderson has a great chance to beat him. but even still, he was still considered the number one P4P fighter. now, with all of this Silva championing, along comes GSP and his fight with Matt Hughes. after two straight months of everyone proclaiming Silva to be the undisputed P4P fighter, GSP comes out and wipes the floor with Matt Hughes. after that fight, the public turned from saying Silva is the best, to saying that GSP is now unbeatable, how no one in any division can stop him, how he can move up to MW and beat the once unbeatable Silva. what the MMA public was using was an availability heuristic.
Right after Silva dismantled Franklin, it was readily available in all of our minds how utterly destructive Silva is. however, once a few months passed by and GSP then destroyed Matt Hughes, it was GSP's prowess that was readily available. this has been going on for a while, when Rampage beat Chuck, everyone was saying he was P4P best, then came Silva, and finally now GSP. The fighter who is coming off the most recent win usually gets more votes then they should because our thinking is skewed due to availability heuristics. This concept also goes beyond P4P, as it also goes with fighter hype and predictions that make you look back and say, "why did i pick him to win?"
i am going to use GG as an example. in his fight with Werdum, many people picked him to win. now, the reason that we all did was because we were using availability heuristics which told s that GG is a solid striker who KOed CC and Werdum is just a boring fighter who lost a decision to AA. most of us, however, forgot how Werdum beat GG the first time and how their styles match up in favor of Werdum. we forgot that before CC, GG was not considered a solid striker and that he hasn't done anything to prove that he his ever since. now, i know i am using hindsight bias in proclaiming that it wasn't a good move to pick GG against Werdum, but the point about availability heuristics is still valid.
and finally (if you read up to this point
) i will talk about Kimbo and other fighters of the kind. after his fight yesterday with Tank, everyone can not stop talking about him and are already making claims that he could be top 10 soon. the same thing happened with Lesnar, i am sure the mods remember all of the crap we got after Lesnar's fight. same goes with Mir in that fight. We were all using the availability heuristic to make them seem better than they really are. right after his fight, Lesnar was acclaimed to be a force at HW, well i don't think you can say he is a force until he actually beats someone first. and Mir, he beat a guy with one win in MMA and now he is said to be back to where he is.
To prove whether availability heuristics really distort our judgment on picking fights, the Shogun vs Chuck fight will be a perfect example. if Shogun is more than a +200 underdog and people are picking against him, and then he comes out and beats Chuck, then it is attributable to availability heuristics that we all picked Chuck because we all remembered the Chuck that beat Wandy and the Shogun that lost to Forrest.
there are hundreds of fights that can prove the effect of availability heuristics and it should be something you should consider when picking your P4P rankings or when choosing a fight. If you know of its distortions, then you can try and fight its effects and make your picks more logically, i know i will from now on
if you read all of this, i really appreciate you taking the time to hear me out