MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 92 (December, 2008)

205 lbs. Title – Forrest Griffin [1] vs. Rashad Evans [4]

  • MMA Records: Griffin (16-4); Evans (12-0-1)
  • Preview: Forrest Griffin is not your average fighter. He’s not an elite grappler, he’s not an elite striker, he’s not an elite wrestler and he’s not an elite athlete. Forrest Griffin is an elite warrior. He’ll out-work you in the gym and he’ll out-tough you in the cage. He’s a grinder. He’s also incredibly smart. He knows what it takes to be a champion. Rashad Evans is an elite athlete. He’s an elite wrestler. With his knockout of Chuck Liddell, he has become a feared striker. Rashad is also very intelligent. He knows how to win fights. It will be very interesting to see what strategies these two savvy fighters employ. Forrest needs to drag this fight the whole 5 rounds. Rashad needs to get a knockout. Both are equally likely. I’m leaning towards Evans though. He has 25 minutes to land one of his devastating kicks or punches. I think he’ll succeed in that task.
  • Result: Evans winner by 3rd round submission (Strikes)
  • Rashad’s power is what made the difference here. Forrest controlled the first 2 rounds but as soon as Rashad connected, Forrest fell and that was it. Rashad’s style has yet to be solved. His speed, power, footwork and wrestling present a formidable obstacle for anyone in the division. Forrest is an overacheiver. He has a ton of heart but he was physically out-classed against Rashad. Rashad rises to 1. Forrest drops to 2.

Heavyweight Interim Title – Rodrigo Nogueira [2] vs. Frank Mir [15]

  • MMA Records: Nogueira (31-4-1); Mir (11-3)
  • Preview: When someone asks you to define toughness, point your finger at Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The guy can’t be knocked out,  he can’t be submitted and he doesn’t wear down. He’s fought all over the world against the best of the best since the mid-90’s. He’s defeated everyone he’s stepped into the ring with except the almost mythical Fedor Emelianeko. I don’t see any possible way for Frank Mir to beat him. Nogueira by 2nd round TKO.
  • Result: Mir winner by 2nd round TKO
  • This was Frank Mir’s finest hour. You could almost see the smoke emanating from him. He was on fire. Never in my craziest dreams could I have seen this one. He dominated the boxing game and did what noone had ever done before, finish Rodrigo Noguiera.I will say that Nogueira appeared slow and worn down by the beatings he has endured over the years. He has aged seemingly overnight. I doubt we’ll ever see him near his prime again. Frank Mir, however, is riding incredibly high right now. Count me in as his newest fan. Mir rises to 2. Nogueira drops to 7.

205 lbs. – Quinton Jackson [2] vs. Wanderlei Silva [7]

  • MMA Records: Jackson (29-7); Silva (32-8-1)
  • Preview: Wanderlei Silva is a savage. There’s no other word that defines him so succinctly. It’s as if he just got done fighting ancient Greeks in the Trojan War and happened upon the 21st century. His style is timeless. He comes forward with windmill haymakers and doesn’t retreat untill somebody is knocked out. He’s done it twice already to “Rampage” Jackson in the past. I see it happening again in the short future. Rampage is as tough as they come but his style is tailor-maid for Silva. They are both brawlers but Silva throws the faster punches. Whether or not Silva gets the KO, this is guaranteed to be a knockdown, dragout slugfest.
  • Result: Jackson winner by 1st round KO.
  • Wanderlei’s game is very simple. Either he catches his opponent or they catch him. This time, he got caught. I think he would have been better served to go right at Rampage instead of taking time to feel him out. It gave Rampage time to pick his shots. Rampage drops to 3 (Because of Rashad’s rise). Wanderlei drops to 11.

HVY – Cheick Kongo [9] vs. Mustapha Al-Turk

  • MMA Records: Kongo (12-4-1); Al-Turk (6-3)
  • Preview: This is Mustapha Al-Turk’s UFC debut. He is an unknown. Cheick Kongo is possibly the best heavyweight striker in the world right now. He is also physically strong with improved wrestling and grappling. If he wins a couple more fights (including this one), he will likely get a title shot later this year.
  • Result: Kongo winner by 1st round TKO. Kongo rises to 6.

185 lbs. – Mike Massenzio [42] vs. C.B. Dollaway

  • MMA Records: Massenzio (11-2); Dollaway (7-1)
  • Preview: Massenzio and Dollaway are young wrestlers relatively new to the game. Who knows what skills they’ve developed since their last fights. What I do know is that whoever wins will officially become a contender.
  • Result: Dolloway winner by 1st round TKO. Dolloway debuts at 54. Massenzio drops to 55.

185 lbs. – Yushin Okami [10] vs. Dean Lister [27]

  • MMA Records: Okami (22-4); Lister (11-5)
  • Preview: You’re not going to find a Middleweight with more physical strength than Yushin Okami. He steps into the cage and imposes his will. He’ll take you 3 rounds and flat out wear you down. Dean Lister is arguably the best grappler in the world. Unfortunately, that is all he is. The term one-dimensional was made for Lister. Okami would be a fool to take him down. To be honest, this may be an ugly fight. It’s on the undercard for a reason. Okami is no doubt a top 10 Middleweight, but he needs more intriguing matchups to gain a fan-following.
  • Result: The fight went exactly as I thought it would. Dean wanted no part of the striking and it turned into a boring fight. Okami couldn’t do anything because Lister was being so defensive. I think it’s too late in Lister’s career to acquire a solid standup game. Okami took care of business and should be in line for a title later this year. Okami rises to 8. Lister drops to 30.

205 lbs. – Matt Hamill [23] vs. Reese Andy [41]

  • MMA Records: Hamill (4-2); Andy (7-2)
  • Preview: Matt Hamill is a very strong wrestler with decent boxing skills. Reese Andy is a very strong wrestler with hardly any boxing skills. This is a horrible matchup for Andy. Matt Hamill should cruise to a 1st or 2nd round TKO via punches.
  • Result: Hamill winner by 2nd round TKO. Hamill rises to 22. Andy stays at 41.

170 lbs. – Brad Blackburn [17] vs. Ryo Chonan [18]

  • MMA Records: Blackburn (13-9-1); Chonan (15-8]
  • Preview: This is a very interesting fight with two very interesting fighters. Blackburn has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career. He holds big wins over Delson Heleno [32], Jay Hieron [19] and Chris Wilson [26] but at the same time, he’s lost 9 times. That being said, he seems to be entering his prime. He’s on a 3-fight win streak that includes wins over Heleno and Hieron. Ryo Chonan’s list of vicitms is eye-opening, considering he’s not well known to the public. He’s beaten top Middleweights Anderson Silva [1] and Joey Villasenor [21]; solid welterweight Roan Carneiro [30] (twice); and legends Carlos Newton and Hayato Sakurai [36]. I wish this fight was on the main card but it’s not. The fight itself is a toss-up. Blackburn is a highly explosive striker with solid wrestling and Chonan is a well-rounded striker with submission capability. An interesting fact is 3 of Chonan’s wins have come by stoppage due to a cut. My gut tells me, however, that Blackburn will get the 1st or 2nd round TKO with strikes.
  • Result: Blackburn winner by Unanimous Decision
  • If this fight would have gone 4 rounds, Chonan would have gotten the KO. Instead, Blackburn put the first 2 rounds in the bank before gassing in the 3rd and surviving until the decision. Chonan was sturdy and relentless throughout but Blackburn’s quicker punches scored him rounds 1 and 2. Blackburn rises to 16. Chonan drops to 27. 

HVY – Antoni Hardonk [32] vs. Mike Wessel

  • MMA Records: Hardonk (7-4); Wessel (6-0)
  • Result: Hardonk winner by 2nd round TKO. Hardonk rises to 27.

HVY – Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry

  • MMA Records: Evensen (10-3); Barry (3-0)
  • Result: Barry winner by 1st round TKO. Barry debuts at 38

Future Fights That Make Sense

HVY

Frank Mir [2] vs. Brock Lesnar [3]

Cheick Kongo [6] vs. Antoni Hardonk [27]

Rodrigo Nogueira [7] vs. Randy Couture [8]

Pat Barry [38] vs. Eddie Sanchez [37]

Mike Wessel vs. Mark Burch

Mustapha Al-Turk vs. loser of Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway

205

Rashad Evans [1] vs. Rampage Jackson [3]

Forrest Griffin [2] vs. winner of Dan Henderson [10] vs. Rich Franklin [19]

Wanderlei Silva [11] vs. Matt Hamill [22]

Reese Andy [41] vs. Vinny Magalhaes

185

Yushin Okami [8] vs. Demain Maia [12]

Dean Lister [30] should get released

CB Dolloway [54] vs. Jason MacDonald [30]

Mike Massezio [55] vs. Nate Laughran

170

Brad Blackburn [16] vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida [19]

Ryo Chonan [27] vs. Paul Taylor [46]

December 16, 2008 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , | 10 Comments

Ultimate Fighter Finale (December, 2008)

205 lbs. TUF Title – Vinicius Magalhaes vs. Ryan Bader

  • MMA Record: Magalhaes (2-2); Bader (7-0)
  • Result: Bader winner by 1st round TKO
  • Although Vinny did improve his standup since the show, he still couldn’t handle Bader’s strikes. A powerful overhand right caught Vinny upside the temple and that was it. Bader is a beast and he has a very bright future in the UFC. Vinny must keep improving his standup. Bader debuts at 40.

155 lbs. TUF Title – Phillipe Nover vs. Efrain Escudero

  • MMA Record: Nover (5-0-1); Escudero (10-0)
  • Result: Escudero winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Efrain won this fight by controlling the wrestling aspect. Phillipe kept making the mistake of throwing knees and kicks against a wrestler. He would have been better suited throwing nothing but punches. Efrain looks like the real deal already. He could probably compete against some of the top 50 right now. Phillipe showed during the season that he has great skills also. Both guys deserve to be ranked. Efrain debuts at 67. Phillipe debuts at 81.

185 lbs. – Jason MacDonald [23] vs. Wilson Gouveia [48]

  • MMA Record: MacDonald (21-10); Gouveia (11-5)
  • Result: Gouveia winner by 1st round submission (ground and pound)
  • I was surprised by how easily Gouveia dominated MacDonald. MacDonald has looked really good his last few times out. Gouveia is crafted in the same mold as Vitor Belfort and Kevin Randleman. He has all the skills in the world but he doesn’t always bring his A game. Tonight he did. It must be noted that Wilson came in 3 lbs. over weight so that takes a bit of glory away. Gouveia rises to 22. MacDonald drops to 30.

170 lbs. – Kevin Burns [16] vs. Anthony Johnson [17]

  • MMA Record: Burns (7-1); Johnson (5-2)
  • Result: Johnson winner by 3rd round KO.
  • This was a battle of two of the bright young stars in the welterweight division. It was a pretty even fight for the first 2 rounds. Johnson got more takedowns but Burns controlled from his guard. Johnson was getting the better part of the exchanges and in round 3, he put Kevin’s lights out. Burns will no doubt come back strong. Johnson moves one step closer to GSP. Johnson rises to 15. Burns drops to 28.

155 lbs. – Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

  • MMA Record: Browning (2-0); Kaplan (0-0)
  • Result: Browning winner by 2nd round armbar.
  • Of all the fighters on the card, I thought Junie was the most impressive. He looked like a completely different fighter out there. It is a credit to his gym, Xtreme Couture and his trainer, Shawn Tompkins. Junie’s footwork blew me away. It usually takes guys years to develop that type of comfort in the striking game. He learned it in his short time with Tomkins. He might be a headcase, but he can fight. Junie debuts at 82.

205 lbs. – Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Shane Primm

  • MMA Record: Soszynski (15-8-1); Primm (1-0)
  • Result: Soszynski winner by 2nd round submission (Kimura).

205 lbs. – Eliot Marshall vs. Jules Bruchez

  • MMA Record: Marshall (5-1); Bruchez (0-0)
  • Result: Marshall winner by 1st round submission (rear-naked choke)

205 lbs. – Kyle Kingsbury vs. Tom Lawlor

  • MMA Record: Kingsbury (7-1); Lawlor (4-1)
  • Result: Lawlor winner by Unanimous Decision

155 lbs. – Shane Nelson vs. George Roop

  • MMA Record: Nelson (10-3); Roop (8-3)
  • Result: Nelson winner by Split Decision

155 lbs. – Roli Delgado vs. John Polakowski

  • MMA Record: Delgado (5-3-1); Polakowski (2-1)
  • Result: Delgado winner by 2nd round Submission (Guillotine choke)

Future Fights That Make Sense

205

  • Ryan Bader [40] vs. Winner of Thomas Drwal vs. Ivan Serati
  • Vinicius Magalhaes vs. Loser of Andre Gusmao [43] vs. Antonio Mendes
  • Eliot Marshall vs. Karn Grigoryan (rematch)
  • Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Loser of Thomas Drwal vs. Ivan Serati
  • Tom Lawlor vs. Antwain Britt

185

  • Wilson Gouveia [22] vs. winner of Jeremy Horn [35] vs. Rousimar Palhares [40]
  • Jason MacDonald [30] vs. winner of Mike Massenzio [42] vs.  C.B. Dolloway

170

  • Anthony Johnson [15] vs. Mike Swick [10]
  • Kevin Burns [28] vs. Jonathan Goulet [34]

155

  • Efrain Escudero [67] vs. Kyle Bradley [79]
  • Phillipe Nover [80] vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Junie Browning [81] vs. Dale Hartt
  • Dave Kaplan vs. Aaron Riley
  • Role Delgado vs. Alberto Crane [76]
  • Shane Nelson vs. Shannon Gugerty

December 5, 2008 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , , | 9 Comments

UFC Fight for the Troops (December, 2008)

170 lbs. – Josh Koscheck [4] vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida [16]

  • MMA Records: Koscheck (11-3); Yoshida (10-2)
  • Result: Koscheck winner by 1st round KO.
  • This was one of the most brutal KO’s I can remember. Yoshida was commenting before the fight about how he was going to counter Koscheck’s looping right hands.  That was a mistake because Kos made an adjustment and sent his right hand straight down the pipe with brutal results. Yoshida is going to have a tough time bouncing back from this horrible loss. This was Koscheck’s best performance yet and he remains at the head of the division. Koscheck remains at 4. Yoshida drops to 21.

170 lbs. – Mike Swick [12] vs. Jonathan Goulet [29]

  • MMA Records: Swick (12-2); Goulet (22-9)
  • Result: Swick by 1st round KO
  • Mike Swick was on fire. He came out looking ferocious and devastated Goulet. This is the 4th opponent that Swick has discarded within 33 seconds. No one in the game has faster hands than “Quick.” Swick rises to 10. Goulet drops to 34.

205 lbs. – Steve Cantwell [35] vs. Razak Al-Hussan

  • MMA Records: Cantwell (6-1); Al-Hussan (6-0)
  • Result: Cantwell winner by 1st round TKO submission (armbar)
  • Steve Cantwell is known for his formidable striking game but he showed that he is far from being one-dimensional. He set up the armbar perfectly and sat down on it. Razak would not tap, so Cantwell broke his arm. Razak is going to need some plates and screws to rebuild his forearm. Cantwell is rising fast. Cantwell rises to 29.

185 lbs. – Tim Credeur vs. Nate Loughran

  • MMA Records: Credeur (10-2); Loughran (9-0)
  • Result: Credeur winner by 2nd round TKO.
  • Tim Credeur took apart Laugran on the feet. I saw no chance for Nate to take Tim to the mat. His wrestling looked terrible and his striking even worse. Credeur pushed his win streak to 5 and cracks the rankings. Laughran’s striking and wrestling are nowhere near UFC-level right now. Credeur debuts at 75.

155 lbs. – Matt Wiman [33] vs. Jim Miller [50]

  • MMA Records: Wiman (10-3); Miller (12-1)
  • Result: Miller winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Jim Miller has arrived.  He dominated an incredibly durable Matt Wiman for 3 rounds. Despite the one-sided nature of it, I thought this was a great fight. The fortitude was palpable. Both guys fought on grit for the last 10 minutes. Miller was relentless in his attack but so was Wiman in his defense. Matt kept getting up but Jim kept putting him down. Miller rises to 34. Wiman drops to 40.

170 lbs. – Luigi Fioravanti [34] vs. Brodie Farber

  • MMA Records: Fioravanti (13-4); Farber (13-4)
  • Result: Fioravanti winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Luigi controlled this fight entirely. He took Farber down at will and dominated the grappling. The American Top Team product has improved greatly over the last year and a half. He looks very comfortable in the octagon right now and is a tough out for all but the best in the division. Luigi rises to 28.

170 lbs. – Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees

  • MMA Records: Bruno (11-4); Rees (10-1)
  • Result: Bruno winner by 2nd round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Nothing too notworthy here. Steve controlled the grappling by repeatedly taking Rees’s back and eventually finishing it from there.  Bruno is a solid but not spectacular fighter. In a top-heavy division, he scratches himself on the map. Bruno debuts at 69.

170 lbs. – Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff

  • MMA Records: Saunders (6-0-2); Wolff (7-2)
  • Result: Saunders winner by 1st round TKO.
  • Ben Saunders had Joe Rogan saying that he displayed the best Muay Thai clinch in octagon history. Even better than Anderson Silva. I wouldn’t go that far because of the quality of opponents but Saunders looks like he can make some serious noise in this division. He is a big guy for this weight (6’2) and he has a killer’s instinct. He’s tough as nails and his skills keep soaring. He needs a name opponent next. Saunders debuts at 50.

155 lbs. – Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt

  • MMA Records: Hill (2-1); Hartt (5-1)
  • Result: Hartt winner by 2nd round TKO (leg injury)
  • The fight was stopped due to the most disturbing injury ever in the UFC. Corey Hill threw a leg kick early in the 2nd round and it was checked by Dale Hartt. When shin met shin, Hill’s leg gave way and broke in half. When I watched the replay, I couldn’t believe what I saw. His leg looked like rubber and snapped at a 90 degree angle. Don’t watch it if you’re queasy.

HVY – Justin McCully [30] vs. Eddie Sanchez [33]

  • MMA Records: McCully (8-4-2); Sanchez (8-2)
  • Result: McCully winner by Unanimous Decision
  • This was a good, solid Heavyweight scrap. There were back-and-forth exchanges throughout. Sanchez started to fatigue towards the end and McCully dropped him with seconds left to cap off the victory. McCully rises to 27. Sanchez drops to 38.

Future Fights That Make Sense

HVY

  • Justin McCully [27] vs. winner of Jake O’Brien [28] vs. Christian Wellisch
  • Eddie Sanchez [38] vs. Josh Hendricks

205

  • Steve Cantwell [29] vs. winner of Matt Hamill [23] vs. Reese Andy [41]

185

  • Tim Credeur [75] vs. Ryan Jensen [61]
  • Nate Laughran vs. Nissen Osterneck [81]

170

  • Josh Koscheck [4] vs. Pete Sell [23]
  • Mike Swick [10] vs. Winner of Kevin Burns [16] vs. Anthony Johnson[17]
  • Yoshiyuki Yoshida [21] vs. Winner of Brad Blackburn [18] vs. Ryo Chonan [19]
  • Luigi Fioravanti [28] vs. Ben Saunders [50]
  • Jonathan Goulet [34] vs. Loser of Kevin Burns [16] vs. Anthony Johnson [17]
  • Steve Bruno [69] vs. Brandon Wolff
  • Brodie Farber vs. Johnny Rees

155  

  • Jim Miller [34] vs. Joe Stevenson [21]
  • Matt Wiman [40] vs. Jeremy Stephens [59]
  • Dale Hartt vs. winner of Junie Browning vs. Dave Kaplan

December 5, 2008 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , | 5 Comments