MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 85 Analysis (Spoilers)

170 lbs. – Matt Hughes [2] vs. Thiago Alves [6]

Thiago Alves is for real. Yes, he was 4 lbs. over the weight limit but there’s no denying he had the more polished skillset. With stoppages over Karo Parisyan and now Matt Hughes (in back to back fights), Alves’ resume is looking very foreboding. He is entering his prime and seems to have all the skills needed to become champion. This was total domination (he won the Knockout of the Night award.) I didn’t think anyone on the planet could compete with Georges St. Pierre (except maybe a 170 lb. BJ Penn) but I’m forced to change my mind after this performance. Alves is a serious threat to St. Pierre’s title. Both are big, athletic and young. I wouldn’t be surprised if they became long-term rivals. As for Matt Hughes, the sport has finally caught up to him. He is no longer able to impose his will on this new breed of fighter. His legacy has been established and he can take comfort in knowing he left a giant mark on the sport. A bout with arch-nemesis Matt Serra looks like it will be the former champion’s swan song. Alves rises to 3. Hughes drops to 4.

185 lbs. – Michael Bisping [31] vs. Jason Day [41]

This was the best all-around performance by Bisping to date. He came out on fire and overwhelmed Day. He is one of the best pure mixed martial artist’s in the sport today. He is not dominate in any one area but he can transition from striking to grappling as well as anyone. His cardio and heart are world-class. A title shot against Anderson Silva looms. Bisping rises to 18. Day stays at 41.

170 lbs. – Marcus Davis [12] vs. Mike Swick [13]

Swick executed the smart gameplan by taking down the heavy-handed Davis. From there, he controlled the grappling game with relatvie ease. This was not the slugfest many were expecting, but it was the smart play for Swick. Marcus Davis remains a threat in the division but takes a slight step back with this loss. Swick rises to 11. Davis drops to 15.

185 lbs. – Nathan Marquardt [6] vs. Thales Leites [20]

This was one of the strangest fights of the year. It was also one of the best. Leites started strong and landed a clean punch that knocked down Marquardt. He was hurt badly but used his experience to survive. After regaining his senses, he landed a solid uppercut that rocked Leites. Back and forth it went until Marquardt landed a devastating illegal knee to his downed opponent. The referee took away a point for the blow and had the doctor look at Leites. Even though the knee obviously rocked Leites badly, the battered fighter would not concede that he was hurt. He told the doctor he wanted more. In a tremendous display of heart, he continued on but seemed to have lost his bearings. Marquardt took advantage and started to dominate him. He was on his way to a comeback victory when he lost another point for an illegal elbow to the back of the head (replays showed that it was to the side of the head and therefore, legal). Despite being deducted 2 points, Marquardt kept going strong and left his heart on the mat. Both fighter’s raised their stocks in this fight and I would love to see a rematch.  Leites rises to 6. Marquardt drops to 7.

HVY – Fabricio Werdum [8] vs. Brandon Vera [12]

Bad stoppage but Vera shouldn’t have put himself in that postion. You can never tell what a ref will do when you’re mounted and just covering up. I do think the referees should keep in mind the fighter’s fortitude. Some are prone to quit when they’re in a bad position but Vera isn’t that type of fighter. That being said, Werdum’s grappling and capable standup will pose a threat to anyone in the UFC. Vera has not had good luck in his last couple of fights but is still a threat in a weak division. Werdum rises to 7. Vera stays at 12.

185 lbs. – Martin Kampmann [16] vs. Jorge Rivera [34]

Martin Kampmann notches another solid victory. He is another fighter who doesn’t have any holes in his game. He has solid standup, solid grappling and a big heart. Hopefully he’ll get a top ten fighter in his next match. This may be the end of the line for the veteran Rivera. He doesn’t appear to have the skills necessary to make a serious run at the title. Kampmann rises to 14. Rivera drops to 38.

155 lbs. – Thiago Tavares [32] vs. Matt Wiman [63]

This was a great fight that won the Fight of the Night award. I am very impressed with Matt Wiman’s maturity and heart. He was aggressive and executed a great gameplan against Tavares. He put the pressure on him and kept him off balance by switching from grappling to striking several times. He is very young and seems to have the dedication to keep on improving for years to come. After a promising start to his UFC career, Tavares has looked underwhelming in his last 2 outings. On paper, he has all the skills necessary to be a legit contender. He needs to prepare better strategies if he wants to live up to his potential. Wiman rises to 34. Tavares drops to 40. 

170 lbs. – Roan Carneiro [19] vs. Kevin Burns

Wow! A bluebelt (Kevin Burns) submitted a world-class blackbelt (Roan Carneiro). Roan looked sloppy and unfocused throughout the fight while Burns used his aggression to push the pace. Roan had Burns mounted in the 1st round but could not finish him. Burns landed a solid right cross in the 2nd before getting taken down. With Roan in his guard, he landed sharp elbows that opened up a cut. Moments later, he slapped on the triangle choke to get the tapout. It also won him Submission of the Night honors. Burns is a game competitor and will surely get more opportunites in the octagon after this performance. Burns debuts at 22. Carneiro drops to 23.

205 lbs. – Jason Lambert [21] vs. Luis Cane [33]

Luis Cane looked very, very sharp. He appears to have the striking skills needed to hold his own on the feet against anyone in the division. A KO over Lambert, a top tier ground and pounder, is reason to be optimistic. With his skills, he could rise very quickly in the rankings. This is the 2nd straight KO loss for Lambert. It is extremely difficult for anyone to bounce back from that but if anyone can do it, he can. He still has tons of heart and will step in the cage with anyone. Cane rises to 19. Lambert drops to 25. 

170 lbs. – Paul Taylor [40] vs. Jess Liaudin

Liaudin’s gameplan was to put Taylor on his back. He accomplished that but he didn’t to any damage once he was on top. He did do fairly well on the feet but Taylor was obviously the better striker. Taylor is a machine when it comes to striking. He landed the sharper, tighter punches and followed up with precise leg kicks. As good as he is on the feet, he is equally bad on his back. He must improve his jiu-jitsu if he wants to climb the rankings. Taylor stays at 41. Liaudin debuts at 43.

HVY – Eddie Sanchez [32] vs. Antoni Hardonk [42]

This was a great heavyweight bout. Eddie Sanchez has an absolutely massive heart. That and his aggression define his warrior spirit. He used that aggression to aply heavy pressure and controlled the first round and a half. He looked well on his way to an easy victory. Then, in the middle of the 2nd round, Hardonk showed a bit of heart himself by coming back with some of the best leg kicks in MMA. The kicks were devastating and soon enough, Sanchez could barely stand. Hardonk went in for the finish and started throwing punches at his worn-out opponent. Sanchez took some extremely hard shots but fought back like a warrior. They engaged in a savage exchange until Hardonk finally put Sanchez down for the count. Hardonk rises to 32. Sanchez drops to 33.


June 9, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,


  1. Just a random formatting thought…
    I’ve noticed that on your ‘recent posts’ the HVY ranking has fallen off.
    I’d typically been using that region as a quick ‘jump to’ for the rankings.

    So, my thought would be to have a static link somewhere to the most recent rankings for each weight class (or a static link to the posts of the various weight classes). Or you could make sure to make new postings of all of the weight classes with more frequency, making sure that your ‘recent posts’ have all of the weight classes listed.

    I hope that was coherent.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | June 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. Good idea. I will try something.


    Comment by Kevin | June 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. Sweet.
    Well timed, because I just started pointing at your site in a thread.
    Best face forward.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | June 9, 2008 | Reply

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