MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 84 Analysis

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

B.J. Penn fought a perfect fight and cemented his legacy in MMA history as an all-time great. He showed that he is on another level than everybody else at 155. His top-level takedown defense forced Sherk to stand and trade with him. From there, B.J. popped his jab and mixed in a few right hands to bloody the challenger’s face. At the end of round 3, he landed a flying knee to get the knockdown and followed that up with several uppercuts to the face. It was reminiscent of his stoppage of Caol Uno, 7 years ago. Noone at 155 lbs. will be as big a challenge as Sherk was so that may mean B.J. moving up to challenge the winner of Jon Fitch/GSP. Penn stays at #1 and Sherk stays at #5.

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

Lyoto Machida is officially a contender. He got his biggest win to date and displayed world-class MMA wrestling. He is 13-0 and in line for a title shot. Tito’s future with the UFC is up in the air but he showed that his jiu-jitsu game is better than most people thought. A third round triangle/armbar attempt highlighted his performance and almost got him the come from behind victory. Machida once again showed an elusive style that noone has been able to figure out. He is a very calculating fighter who uses the samurai philosophy to sharpen his mind for battle. This mental toughness helped him stay disciplined throughout the 15 minute fight. The crowd was booing what they thought was a lack of action but the more patient fans appreciated his use of angles to employ a varied striking game that baffled the 11-year veteran, Ortiz. Machida rises to #2 and Ortiz drops to #11.

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

Wanderlei stole the show once again with his devastating KO of Keith Jardine. After losing 3 in a row and slipping in the rankings, he had his back against the wall. When Wand has his back against the wall, he unleashes a striking flurry seldom seen in MMA. He is arguably the most aggressive fighter in the history of MMA and showed it once again to solidify his spot in the top 10. Jardine continues to be one of the most up-and-down fighters in the sport. He is a dangerous opponent for anyone but can get overwhelmed by aggressive fighters like Wanderlei and Houston Alexander. Jardine would rather fight at a slow, methodical pace so he can execute one of his well thought out gameplans. Wanderlei and Jardine are still in the title hunt at 205 lbs. so we will continue to see them in significant fights in the near future. Wanderlei rises to #6 and Jardine drops to #8.

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

If Soko puts his hands on your chin, chances are your gonna drop. He again showed his punching power in his stoppage of the always game Nakamura. After the fight, he called out Mauricio Rua. If he can’t land Rua for his next matchup, expect him to fight someone else in the top 10. There are still things we don’t know about Soko because his two biggest wins (Arona and Lil’ Nog) didn’t go past 2 minutes. We do know that Nakamura has fought 3 straight top 10 fighters (Rua, Machida and Soko) and the only one to finish him inside the distance was Soko. All but 6 of Nakamura’s 19 fights have come against elite competition. He remains a tough opponent but needs a big win to stay relevant at 205 lbs. Sokoudjou rises to #9 and Nakamura drops to #27.

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

Thiago faced adversity after being dropped by a partially blocked high kick by Mendes. He showed the survival instincts of a champion and came back with a brutal ground and pound to force the tapout. He cracks the top 10 with this victory and looks to be in line for a big fight next time around. Mendes showed a solid Muay Thai game but couldn’t finish the tough Brazilian. Thiago rises to #10.

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

Gouveia’s rise to the top was halted by the 205 lbs. version of Mirko Cro Cop. Reljic used Cro Cop-like high kicks to destroy the right arm Gouveia was using to block them. It was a back and forth battle that won Fight of the Night honors. Reljic debuts at #19 and Gouveia drops to #20.

 155 lbs. – Rich Clementii [37] vs. Terry Etim [46]

Rich Clementi is an old school fighter. He will fight anytime, anyplace. In his second UFC appearance in as many months, he executed a methodical dismantling of Terry Etim. For his part, Etim showed very solid Muay Thai and a solid guard. It was not enough, however, to overcome the ring generalship of the tough veteran Clementi has become. “No Love” keeps climing the 155 lbs. ladder and has his eyes on another shot at a big time fighter. Clementi rises to #34 and Etim stays at #46.

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

Rousimar Palhares is a pitbull at 185 lbs. He showed a world-class jiu-jitsu game with an armbar that recieved the Submission of the Night award. Salaverry has been in with several elite fighters but this is the first time in his career he has been submitted. Rousimar is a rising prospect in the division and will look to rack up a couple more wins before becoming a contender for the belt. Palhares debuts at #43 and Salaverry drops to #62.

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

Yoshida has world-class judo skills and showed the division he is a serious threat on the mat. A fight with Karo Parisyan would be a great matchup but we will wait and see who his next opponent is. Koppenhaver is a warrior but was thouroughly out-classed in this matchup. He made a huge mistake by clinching the Judoka, Yoshida. That played right into the 4th degree black belt’s hands as he quickly threw him and locked on a super-tight anaconda choke/gator roll to finish the fight. Yoshida is 34 years old so he only has a few more good years to get to the top of the division. His ground game is top notch but he must improve his striking to get by in the toughest division in MMA. Yoshida stays at #21.

170 lbs. – Jason Tan vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Jason Tan was completely outclassed by the Judo black belt. Kim is a very big and strong Welterweight. He showed excellent Judo and a vicious ground and pound. Tan showed tons of heart in withstanding a pounding most guys would have tapped to. Kim looks like he could be relevant at 170 for a long time. South Korea is a budding hotbed for MMA and Kim looks to be the first among their ranks to crash the American scene. Kim debuts at #49.

HVY – Christian Wellisch vs. Shane Carwin

Shane Carwin had a highlight-reel KO that will surely get him another couple fights in the UFC. His one-punch, mouthguard dislodging of Wellisch was an impressive display of power that is a welcome sight in the thin Heavyweight division. Hopefully he will fight a ranked opponent next time out so we can find out if he is legit or not. Carwin debuts at #46.

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May 26, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I’m eager to see the extensive updated rankings.
    I’m curious, do you have HDNet?
    As you do this longer do you think the number of fighters listed in each weight class will increase?

    You’ll add new names, but you won’t drop names?

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | May 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Gutu,

    There weren’t any significant changes in the rankings. Palhares looked very impressive and Salaverry dropped heavily because the guys below him were right on his heels anyway.

    I do not have HDNet. I watch the DREAM fights and other fights online a day or two after the event…I imagine the number of fighters will increase becuase of debuts of guys like Palhares and Carwin. I’ll drop a guy if he’s been inactive for 2 years or if he’s ranked near the bottom and loses a couple fights to unranked guys.

    Also, there will no doubt be significant changes in the coming weeks because June is a very, very busy month for MMA.

    Comment by Kevin | May 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. I think I’d either failed to notice the bold statements at the end of each of the fight overviews or they were added after my comment.

    I must say I feel bad for War Machine.
    Dispatching War Machine with such beautiful grace and ease does nothing for Yoshida’s record.

    I do wonder who the UFC will give to War Machine, they probably adore him for not having boring fights, but he hasn’t been much of a competitor.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | May 27, 2008 | Reply

  4. Gutu,

    Don’t worry, you’re not tripping, they were added after your comment.

    War Machine has serious heart but I just don’t think he has the skills to compete with guys like Yoshida. Maybe he’ll move to the WEC? They are in desperate need of 170-pounders and he would be able to hone his skills there.

    Comment by Kevin | May 27, 2008 | Reply


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