MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 87 Analysis (August, 2008)

170 lbs. Title – Georges St. Pierre [1] vs. Jon Fitch [2]

GSP shows once again that he is the most talented and best welterweight fighter in the world. Fitch was all heart but he simply didn’t have the tools to beat GSP. St. Pierre stays at 1. Fitch drops to 4.

155 lbs. – Kenny Florian [10] vs. Roger Huerta [14]

Florian executed a smart fightplan and dominated Huerta from start to finish. He kept Roger at bay with his jab and mixed in a few takedowns for good measure. A very solid win for a solid veteran. Huerta will learn a lot from this loss. He should now understand what it takes to compete at the top level. Florian rises to 8. Huerta drops to 21.

HVY – Heath Herring [10] vs. Brock Lesnar [43]

WOW! Lesnar is a silverback gorilla. He flat out manhandled the rugged Heath Herring. After landing a face-smashing right cross, he used his wrestling skills to control Heath on the mat and administer some hammer fists while he was at it. This shows that Lesnar has the stamina to go 3 rounds and it shows that he has a very, very dangerous right hand. Move over Bob Sapp, there is a new monster in town. Lesnar rises to 17. Herring drops to 18. (Re-adjusted Frank Mir to 16 as a result of Lesnar’s performance.)

155 lbs. – Manny Gamburyan [37] vs. Rob Emerson [65]

Emerson continues his rapid improvement as a fighter. Manny came rushing in while Emerson calmly sat in the pocket and touched him on the chin for the KO. Manny is going to have to think about moving down to 145 after this loss. His reach is going to be a handicap every time he fights good strikers. Emerson rises to 51. Manny drops to 58.

185 lbs. – Jason MacDonald [30] vs. Demian Maia [31]

I’m almost more impressed with MacDonald than I am with Maia…but not quite. Demian continues his rapid ascent up the rankings with a victory over an extremely tough and game Jason MacDonald. Another win or two and Anderson Silva may have a very dangerous fighter looking to take his title. Maia rises to 17. Macdonald drops to 31.

170 lbs. – Tamden McCrory [44] vs. Luke Cummo [59]


HVY – Cheick Kongo [11] vs. Dan Evensen

Easy win for Kongo. He probably wanted to keep busy while waiting for an opponent in the thin UFC heavyweight division. Kongo rises to 10 (as a result of Herring’s loss)

205 lbs. – Andre Gusmao [38] vs. Jon Jones

I have a feeling Jon Jones will be become an elite fighter in a few years. He’s only 21-years-old and is a former all-american in Greco-Roman wrestling. Add to that an unbelievable reach advantage (85 inches) and you have a tremedous potential for growth. Gusmao didn’t look like himself. I’m guessing it was the adrenaline shock that sometimes accompanies a fighter’s 1st appearence on the big show. Jones debuts at 38. Gusmao drops to 40. 

170 lbs. – Chris Wilson [38] vs. Steve Bruno

Nice dominant performance by Chris Wilson. After giving Jon Fitch a very competitive fight, he gets back on the winning track with a victory over Steve Bruno. He has very sharp striking and great takedown defense. He could become a solid contender. Wilson rises to 29. 

170 lbs. – Ben Saunders vs. Ryan Thomas

Ben Saunders is a pretty big welterweight. He trains at one of the best camps in the world in American Top Team (ATT) and looks pretty solid on his feet and on the mat. I rarely debut a fighter in the rankings if they haven’t yet beaten a ranked guy. Hopefully Saunders will get that shot next time around because he seems like he’ll put on some exciting fights in the future.

August 11, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,


  1. I don’t know about this shifting of Mir business.
    Mir fought a guy who had one mma match before.
    A fairly one dimensional wrestler.
    Stylistically Mir should be Brock’s nightmare. Brock wants it on the ground. Mir wants it on the ground. Most of Brock’s skills are to get the fight to the ground. Most of Mir’s skills are to beat the guy on the ground.

    It shouldn’t be much of a thing for Mir to beat Lesnar (who lacks finishing offensive techniques: elbows, armlocks, chokes, punches from mount).

    Herring, stylistically, was supposed to be pretty easy for Brock. Kongo took Herring down with ease. Herring doesn’t have slick subs. He has armlocks he earns by kneeing the guy in the head while they’re down (when he could do that, in the UFC he’ll probably just use knees to the body and shoulders). He gets those knees by outwrestling his opponents. His TD defense was too weak for Lesnar, he wasn’t going to outwrestle him there. Herring’s only chance was to wither Lesnar with strikes before it went to the ground.

    I think Herring or Kongo would likely beat Mir most of the time. I think Lesnar would pretty much always beat Herring or Kongo. I think Mir would pretty much always beat Lesnar. Makes for hard ranking.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. Gutu,

    This is a rare occurance having a guy fight 2 top fighters in his top 3 fights. It was very hard to gauge his ability after the Mir fight (Lesnar’s 2nd ever!) I wasn’t exactly sure how impressive Mir’s performance was because of that. I understand that styles make fights and that Herring and Mir would do well against different opponents and poor against others. Frankly, the shifting of Mir is to save face with the average fan. I’m sure the average fan doesn’t understand the depth that goes into analyzing fighters by styles, skills, etc. They just see that Mir beat Lesnar and that having Lesnar above Mir is ludicrous. They in turn don’t look at the other rankings because they have lost confidence in the analyzer (Me). Moving Mir up a couple of spots shouldn’t alienate the hardcore fans like us. It’s simply a middle ground between popular opinion and fact that must be struck in order to save face in a public setting (the internet.)

    I’m not sure you followed me on that. I was rambling a bit. The bottom line is Lesnar is very popular with the casual fans. I tried to find a solution that is reasonable for both the casual and hardcore fans. I don’t want to alienate either. I errored on the side of the casual fan because I figured the hardcore fan would be more understanding.

    It’s a tough ranking to make and I appreciate your feedback as always. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin my integrity too badly:)

    Comment by Kevin | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. It doesn’t, I suppose this is one of the most subjective rankings by necessity. I suppose Mir might as well be bumped up in the rankings as he’s the next in line for the HW title.

    I followed it, I think.
    You were afraid at losing all cred to the new/casual fans that think Lesnar is starting to storm the top (like that Tomas Rios guy on Sherdog that only sees Nog as a challenge for Brock).

    It’ll take a few fights for the rankings to get straight, pretty much it’ll take Lesnar and Mir having about two more fights each to work out. No HW rankings will make sense until that happens.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 12, 2008 | Reply

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