MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

Rankings Analysis (May, 2008)

HVY

April was a slow month for the Heavyweights. Cain Velasquez made his UFC debut and looked impressive. He debuts at 38.

The big news in the HVY division is that Fedor has signed to fight Tim Sylvia on July 19. Sylvia gave Couture, Nogueira and Arlovski all they could handle so it will be a great chance for Fedor to prove his greatness or for Sylvia to bounce back.

Kimbo will fight James Thompson on May 31 on CBS. Thompson is a PRIDE veteran who is known for his intensity and low gas tank. He has powerful standup and a limited ground game. If Kimbo gets by him, look for him to take a big step up in competition the next time around.

Another big fight will be Josh Barnett vs. Jeff Monson on May 18. Both are world class grapplers but Barnett has better standup and the better gas tank. Kevin Randleman will be returning on the same night against an undersized and limited Ryo Kawamura.

205

Houston Alexander continues to slide after his loss to James Irvin while Vladimir Matyushenko continues to roll in the IFL.

UFC 84 is a HUGE night for the 205ers. We will see Lyota Machida’s wrestling get tested vs. Tito Ortiz; Find out if Keith Jardine is a title contender when he fights Wanderlei Silva; Watch Sokodjou’s Judo get tested by Kazuhiro Nakamura; and better gauge two elite prospects Wilson Gouveia and Thiago Silva in their respective fights.

185

At UFC 83, Rich Franklin again proved his top 5 status; Michael Bisping beat an overmatched opponent in his 185 debut; Demian Maia proved he is a threat to anyone at 185 after beating Ed Herman; Jason Day showed great finishing instincts; and Jason MacDonald and Nate Quarry stayed in the mix.

Gegard Mousasi rocketed up the rankings after an impressive win over Denis Kang. Mousasi always had the skill but lacked a high caliber win. He now has it. The legend, Sakuraba is again using his bag of tricks to try and get back to the top of the sport. I fear his prime is long gone but we will see. Ronaldo Souza won and is attempting to transfer his world class grappling to MMA. Along with Demian Maia and Dean Lister, he is the best grappler at 185.

170

Georges St. Pierre settled all the debate about who the true king at 170 is. He has the most ability BY FAR in the division. If he doesn’t have a mental lapse, he will reign for a very long time. Thiago Alves continues to roll as he defeated the always tough Karo Parisyan. He will now have his wrestling tested when he fights Matt Hughes at UFC 85. If he gets by Hughes, he will face St. Pierre. Anthony Johnson looks like a monster at 170. He is huge and is an elite prospect. He could very well crack the top ten in a few more fights.

155

Gray Maynard pulled off a huge victory over Frank Edgar. Gray is now a fight or two away from the top ten. Kenny Florian again proved his Elite status in beating a very determined Joe Lauzon. Nate Diaz looked impressive in surviving Kurt Pellegrino’s onslaught and then tapping him with a textbook triangle choke. Manny Gamburyan continued to roll over an overmatched opponent. Josh Neer got a very important victory over the always tough Din Thomas. Rich Clementi is on a hot streak and is steadily moving up the rankings. Mac Danzig outskilled the tough Mark Bocek and looks to make the jump to elite status.

Shinya Aoki proved that he is a master of the rubber guard against JZ. Look for more people to use the rubber guard in the future as it has helped Aoki become the number 2 ranked 155er in the world.

The most important fight in the 155 division takes place at UFC 84 as BJ Penn fights Sean Sherk. I believe that time will show that these are the two greatest lightweights of thier era. This is an epic fight. I look at this like Hagler vs. Leonard. If BJ doesn’t finish it early, I think Sherk’s gas tank will carry him to victory.

Moved the Shooto three up after reconsideration (Nakakura, Endo and Tentsuku.)

145

Nothing significant. Waggney Fabiano continues to dominate the IFL.

Masakatsu Imanari will have an extremely tough fight against Mishima in Mishima’s 145 debut on May 19. This will be a grappling fest and I can actually see Mishima beating Imanari…but always beware of the leg submission master, Imanari.

Akitoshi Tamura will look to rebound from his loss to Hideki Kadowaki when he fights the old lion Rumina Sato on May 3. Sato is alway dangerous and with a win will jump back in the top ten. Savant Young makes his 145 debut as he fights number 9 ranked Takeshi Inoue. It will interesting to see the former IFL fighter face the Shooto star.

135

Nothing significant. The superfight between Miguel Torres and Yoshiro Maeda looms on the horizon as they will meet on June 1.

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May 1, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | ,

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