MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 84 Preview

155lbs. Title – B.J. Penn [1] vs. Sean Sherk [5]

Penn is a fast starter. He is virtually impossible to take and keep down in the first two rounds. If his opponent survives until round 3, however, he starts to wear down. He hasn’t gone 5 rounds since he lost a majority decision to Jens Pulver in 2002. Sherk is a relentless ground and pound fighter who will test Penn’s cardio if he can take the fight into rounds 3-5. He has gone 5 rounds twice since 2006. Neither fighter has been KO’d and neither has been submitted. Either Penn will overwhelm Sherk and finish him inside of 2 rounds or Sherk will wear him out and get a TKO or decision.

205 lbs. – Lyoto Machida [5] vs. Tito Ortiz [9]

Machida has not fought a fighter will the same level of MMA wrestling skills that Tito has. The big question will be whether or not he can keep the fight standing. If he can, he will dominate the fight. He has far superior striking. If Tito gets the takedown, we will see how good Machida is at defending against an elite ground and pound fighter. Cardio shouldn’t be a problem with either fighter. I see Machida preventing the takedowns and getting a TKO standing.

205 lbs. – Keith Jardine [6] vs. Wanderlei Silva [8]

Both fighters have great striking. Jardine is the more technical MMA striker while Wanderlei is more explosive. Jardine has the reach advantage and will look to execute the same gameplan that Liddell did against Wanderlei. He will circle him and use angles to hit him with clean punches and kicks. Wanderlei will attack with inside leg kicks and powerful haymakers. Cardio will not be a problem with either fighter. Each fighter has been KO’d recently but neither will look to take the fight to the ground. If Jardine can stick and move for three rounds, he will either catch Wanderlei and KO him or win a decision. I don’t think that will be the case. I see Wanderlei overwhelming Jardine and rocking him with a punch and finishing him with knees.

205 lbs. – Sokoudjou [10] vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura [25]

Sokoudjou’s two defining wins were quick KO’s over Ricardo Arona and Lil’ Nogueira. They were so quick that we didn’t get to see him display the rest of his skills. He is still an enigma. He has obvious power but his two losses were by submission and TKO. Both of these fighters come from a Judo background. Nakamura has 7 losses but they were all to top 5 fighters. He has good submissions but lacks KO power. Lil’ Nog couldn’t submit him so I doubt that Sokoudjou will be able to. I can see Nakamura out-hustling Soko and getting a decision…or Soko getting a KO. This fight can end at any time because of Soko’s power. If Soko loses, it will further cast doubt as to whether or not his 2 KO’s were because of skill or luck.

205 lbs. – Thiago Silva [15] vs. Antono Mendes

Thiago Silva is a fast rising star in the UFC. He had a dominate win over the over-hyped Houston Alexander. He has great finishing skills. Ten of his 12 wins have been by KO or TKO. If he wins, he will surely get a top 10 fighter and will be a win or two away from challenging for the 205 lbs. title. Antonio Mendes is a 27-year-old who had a very busy last year. He went 9-0 in 2007. He hasn’t fought anyone with the same level of skills that Thiago has, so we don’t know what to expect from him. He won 3 fights in one night last June, so we can assume he has a lot of heart. If he wins, it will be a huge victory and will go a long way in getting him to the top. Thiago is rolling right now and it will be tough for anyone to beat him, let alone a guy making his debut in the UFC.

205 lbs. – Wilson Gouveia [18] vs. Goran Reljic

Gouveia is a rising prospect at 205 lbs. He has shown technical striking with KO power and quality submissions. He trains at one of the best camps in the world in American Top Team (ATT). Goran Reljic is a 24-year-old from Croatia who is undefeated at 7-0. He is a grappler with 5 of his 7 wins coming by submission. This will be his first fight against a high level fighter. If he wins, it will put him on the map at 205 lbs. If Gouveia wins, he will get a contender in his next fight.

 155 lbs. – Rich Clementii [37] vs. Terry Etim [47]

After 5 straight wins, Clementi has steadily moved up the 155 pound ladder. He will look to continue his journey to the top against Etim. Clementi has been in the cage with every type of fighter. He is smart with well-rounded skills, great cardio and will not quit. Etim got out-powered in his last fight against Gleison Tibau. He is a very tall fighter for 155 lbs. and 9 of his 10 victories have come by submission. A lot is still unknown about him because he hasn’t fought enough high level guys.

 185 lbs. – Ivan Salaverry [45] vs. Rousimar Palhares

Salaverry hasn’t had a quality win since his 2005 defeat of Joe Riggs. He needs to win in order to keep himself relevant in the division. Poulhares is a member of Brazilian Top Team (BTT) and has a record of 7-1. Five of his 7 wins have come by first round submission. He has beaten some of the top fighters in Brazil including Daniel Acacio. With a win over Salaverry, he will enter the rankings and put himself in line for another fight in the UFC.

170 lbs. – Yoshiyuki Yoshida [21] vs. Jon Koppenhaver

Yoshida is a 4th degree black belt in Judo with a record of 9-2. He is 34-years-old and hasn’t lost in over 2 years. In that span, he has quality wins over Luis Sapo,  Katsuya Inoue, Akira Kikuchi and Dan Hardy. His main strengths are his Judo and Ground and Pound. If his opponent can keep the fight standing, Yoshida will be in trouble. Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver is 5-1 and coming off a victory over Jared Rollins in a 2007 Fight of the Year candidate. He is a TUF 6 fighter with tons of heart looking to crash the rankings with a win.

170 lbs. – Jason Tan vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Jason Tan is from Liverpool, England and has a record of 5-2. He was KO’d by Marcus Davis a little less than a year ago at UFC 72. Kim (tall for 170 lbs. at 6’3) is from Korea and has a record of 9-1-1. His only loss was in his MMA debut in 2004. Before a draw last October, Kim had reeled off 4 KO’s in a row. He is looking to become the first Korean fighter to make a splash in the UFC.

HVY – Christian Wellisch vs. Shane Carwin

Wellisch is 9-3 and is making his fourth appearance in the UFC. Eight of his 9 wins have come by stoppage and he is looking for his 3rd win in a row in the UFC. Despite his 2 wins in the octagon, all his victories have been against sub-par competition. Carwin is 8-0 with all 8 wins coming within 3 minutes of the first round. The UFC’s Heavyweight division is thin so a win hear will go a long way for either fighter.


May 7, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,


  1. Man up and do a Flyweight ranking 🙂

    Comment by JCS_FightMatrix | May 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. Haha. I’m american. We don’t breed Flyweights anymore. Either that or the WEC hasn’t found them yet.

    Comment by Kevin | May 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. There’s a few fighting in the obscure leagues. 90%+ are in Japan though.

    Comment by JCS | May 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. I still think you’ve got Aurelio way too low 🙂

    The guy has never been knocked out or submitted and only has 1 unanimous decision loss. He has a submission win over Gomi and a split loss to Gomi. A UD loss to Ishida isn’t anything to shake a stick at, and maybe his split loss to Guida says something about him.

    Comment by JCS | May 13, 2008 | Reply

  5. I have Guida at #24. I have to put Aurelio below him becuase he lost to him head to head and hasn’t done anything to erase that. I’ll look it over again and reconsider it.

    p.s. Who do you think will win the Tyson Griffin vs. Aurelio fight? I think Griffin’s wrestling will be the difference.

    Comment by Kevin | May 14, 2008 | Reply

  6. I moved him up 5 spots. That’s the most reasonable spot for him I believe. Where do you think he should be?

    Comment by Kevin | May 14, 2008 | Reply

  7. I think Aurelio is legit top 20.

    BTW, I think you should give Abel Cullum @ 135 some love.

    Comment by JCS | May 20, 2008 | Reply

  8. JCS,

    I got you. Thanks for the heads up on Abel.

    Comment by Kevin | May 29, 2008 | Reply

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