MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

Affliction (January, 2009)

January 24 – California

HVY – Fedor Emelianenko [1] vs. Andrei Arlovski [5]

  • MMA Records: Emelianenko (28-1); Arlovski (14-5)
  • Preview: Cro-Cop went down…Couture went down…Nogueira went down. The old guard is crumbling. There is a new wave of Heavyweights taking over. Will Fedor go down? If anyone can do it, Andrei can. He has won 5 in a row over solid competition: Marcio Cruz [29], Fabricio Werdum [16], Jake O’Brien [28], Ben Rothwell [21] and Roy Nelson [22] have all been thrashed. Fedor is a different animal. Everyone in the fight game loses…right? Not Fedor. His one loss was a fluke cut 15 seconds into the fight from a glancing elbow that he didn’t even notice. He re-matched the fighter (Tsuyoshi Kohsaka) and beat him to a pulp. He has no ego, no hate and seemingly no passion at all. He walks quietly into the ring…does his job…then exits. That being said, anything is possible. Arlovski’s striking has looked very formidable and he could very well knock out Fedor. I wouldn’t say that about any other fighter. That’s how much I revere Arlovski. But…Fedor is Fedor and he will win like he always does. He moves like a lightweight and has no holes in his game. He can end it anywhere and I’m guessing he’ll end it by 1st round TKO.
  • Reult: Fedor winner by 1st round KO.
  • Fedor stays at 1. Arlovski stays at 5.

HVY – Josh Barnett [4] vs. Gilbert Yvel

  • MMA Records: Barnett (23-5); Yvel (35-12-1)
  • Preview: Josh Barnett is the most underrated fighter in MMA. Nobody is less-known and more-talented than “The Baby-Face Assassin.” He is big, strong and fast. He can hold his own striking and has a top-level ground game. Gilbert Yvel has no chance in this fight. He’s a world class striker but has no ground game at all. He’s also the dirtiest fighter that has ever fought MMA. He’s tried to rip out the eyes of his opponent and he’s KO’d the referee. There is still some question as to whether or not the State of California will let him figth. If they do, Barnett will dominate him and win by 1st round submission 
  • Result: Barnett winner by 3rd round submission (punches)
  • Barnett rises to 3. Yvel debuts at 39.

HVY – Paul Buentello [23] vs. Kirill Sidelnikov

  • MMA Records: Buentello (26-10); Sidelnikov (5-2)
  • Preview: Paul Buentello is a highly-skilled brawler. He has solid takedown defense and tremendous hand speed. He looks out of shape but his cardio is solid. Sidelnikov trains with Fedor in Russia. All 5 of his wins have come by KO or TKO. If he slugs with Buentello then he will lose. Buentello by 1st round KO.
  • Result: Buentello winner by 3rd round TKO.
  • Buentello rises to 18.

205 lbs. – Rogerio Nogueira [12] vs. Vladimir Matyushenko [22]

  • MMA Records: Nogueira (14-3); Matyushenko (21-3)
  • Preview: This is a rematch of a 2002 match that Matyushenko won by Unanimous Decision. Vladimir took him down and wrestled his way to victory. That’s his modis operandi. He’s won 8 in a row but nothing spectacular. Rogerio has improved since his 2002 loss. He’s a solid boxer and world-class grappler. Vladimir’s only shot at winning this fight is to repeat his lay & pray performance in 2002. He has extremely limited striking and he won’t be able to submit Rogerio. Rogerio will win by 3rd round submission.
  • Result: Rogerio winner by 2nd round KO.
  • Rogerio rises to 10. Matyushenko drops to 23.

205 lbs. – Sokoudjou [13] vs. Renato Sobral [15]

  • MMA Records: Sokoudjou (5-3); Sobral (31-7)
  • Preview: There is no secret to Sokoudjou’s game. If he doesn’t overwhelm you with strikes in the 1st round, then he’ll probably lose. That’s a big if though. There is noone more explosive than him. The problem is he gases because of his powerful shots. Sobral is a tough veteran who is hard to finish. He’s been KO’d twice in his career but that’s because he’s been in with all the MMA legends. He’s seen it all. If Sokoudjou doesn’t get the 1st round KO then “Babalu” will get the 2nd round submission.
  • Result: Sobral winner by 2nd round submission (Brabo Choke)
  • Sobral rises to 11. Sokoudjou drops to 22.

185 lbs. – Matt Lindland [20] vs. Vitor Belfort [24]

  • MMA Records: Lindland (21-5); Belfort (17-8]
  • Preview: This is a fight between 2 old horses of the UFC. Lindland is pretty much blacklisted by Dana White and Vitor is forever trying to get back to glory days. Nobody is more talented than Vitor but his fights are won and lost between his ears. He can’t ever seem to perform on a consistent basis. He is a precursor to the Sokoudjou’s of todays game. If he doesn’t get the 1st round KO then he’ll lose focus and lose the fight. Matt Lindland is the complete antithesis of Vitor. He is an overacheiver. The word scrappy was invented for guys like him. He loves to take his opponent into deep waters and just pound on him the whole way through. But he’s getting old and slow. He looked pretty bad in his last fight while Vitor got a 1st round KO in his. I think Vitor has more in the tank right now. Vitor by 1st round KO.
  • Result: Belfort winner by 1st round KO.
  • Belfort rises to 15. Lindland drops to 29.

170 lbs. – Jay Hieron [18] vs. Jason High

MMA Records: Hieron (16-4); High (6-0)

155 lbs. – Bobby Green vs. Dan Lauzon

  • MMA Records: Lauzon (11-2); Green (7-1)
  • Result: Lauzon winner by 1st round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Lauzon debuts at 89.

145 lbs. – Bao Quach [16] vs. L.C. Davis

  • MMA Records: Quach (15-8-1); Davis (12-1)
  • Result: Davis winner by 3rd round Unanimous Decision
  • Davis debuts at 15. Quach drops to 17.

145 lbs. – Antonio Duarte vs. Albert Rios

  • MMA Records: Duarte (11-1); Rios (10-3)
  • Result: Rios winner by Unanimous Decision

170 lbs. – Brett Cooper vs. Patrick Speight

  • MMA Records: Cooper (7-4); Speight (7-1)
  • Result: Cooper winner by 2nd round TKO.
  • Cooper debuts at 72.

January 5, 2009 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , , ,


  1. Andrei Arlovski… Can you hear my prayers!?

    Please… pleeeassseeee!!!!!

    Destroy Fedor and come take the HVY belt from Mir in the UFC.


    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. yes, I realize that I made several far fetched assumptions.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Giga,

    I take it your an Arlovski fan? 🙂

    Comment by Kevin | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Yeah, but I’m also a Penn fan and I can’t decide if I should purchase Affliction or UFC 94!!! I have to choose… I can’t decide!!!

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. If I had to choose one, I’d go with Penn vs. St. Pierre. I think you’ll get your monies worth because it has a far better chance of going 5 rounds. Fedor vs. Arlovski will not go past round 1 IMO.

    Comment by Kevin | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. I’d pick Penn/GSP (but don’t have to pick).
    GSP/Penn should be tremendous, two of the most skilled fighters in a very intriguing rematch. Both have since improved and the first fight was a split decision (where I was on the GSP side of the decision).

    Fights I most want to see on UFC94:
    Karo/Kim (hopefully will be a judo whirlwind)

    Fights I most want to see on Affliction2:

    So my preference would be the UFC. Do we know if Affliction will show undercard on FSN again?

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  7. Gutu,

    I think the prelims are on HDNet. Not sure if FSN is airing them also.

    I would throw Lindland/Belfort and Sokodjou/Babalu in there as well. Also, L.C. Davis is a promising featherweight. I think Dlau/Horodecki will be a barnburner.

    Comment by Kevin | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  8. Lindland/Belfort and Soko/Babalu are must see IMO

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  9. I think Sokoudjou is one of a very small group of fighters that would benefit from moving up a weight class. He seems like he gasses because he’s just too big to fight at 205. Does anyone know how much weight he cuts? He looks like a monster when he steps in the ring with another 205 lb’er.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  10. Heh, I wish I could edit my posts cause I forgot to add that I think if he went up a weight class his cardio would be much better.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  11. Giga,

    That’s an interesting point. I think he would do well against a lot of heavyweights, but guys like Barnett, Lesnar and Tim Sylvia would be too big for him IMO. Other guys that do better at heavier weights have been: Frank Trigg, Kevin Randleman and Saukuraba.

    Comment by Kevin | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  12. For me, Lindland and Belfort are both fighters I’ve given up on. Lindland, in my view, was absolutely wretched at his last Affliction appearance. There is a very real chance that the two will bring something out of one another, but there is a chance that they’ll both be fighting below their capability, which would be a very tough fight to watch.

    Soko/Babalu is a bit of a wildcard. I think it likely to be pretty entertaining for a couple of minutes, but if it goes beyond that I don’t have high hopes. Babalu has been very apathy inducing in his past couple of outings, with his fight against Whitehead being one of the worst fights of last year.

    Both fights are of that variety of ‘guys ranked fairly highly, or who have been ranked highly’ being matched up. It’s good matchmaking compared to what was seen in Banned as far as skill levels, but I fear they won’t deliver. But we’ll see.

    LC Davis should be fun to watch.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  13. Gutu,

    The reason i’m so excited for Lindland vs. Vitor is because both guys have such storied careers and i love watching each new chapter unfold. I like long books because there are so many twists and turns and that’s why I like veteran athletes. Who knows, one of them may pull a Frank Mir and turn their career around? But I do agree with you about the performances of Lindland and Babalu at the last show They were pretty subpar.

    Comment by Kevin | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  14. As far as ‘watching chapters unfold’ I think I’m only really like that with Saku and Hughes.

    I was clinging on to hope for so long with Saku. In my mind he was the favorite against Manhoef. But after that loss and his more recent one, the hope is getting dim. It just doesn’t seem like he’s taking the fights seriously.

    With Hughes I’d have more hope if that division was less terrifying. If he goes back to the basics and checks his ego he might string together some more wins and quiet the talk of him needing to retire.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  15. Gutu,

    Sakuraba is just plain old. He hasn’t been the same since getting KO’d by Wanderlei. Watching him in his prime was amazing though.

    The sport has passed Hughes by IMO. He dominated an era and that will be remembered forever.

    The sun sets on every fighter but how they go out is a part of their legacy. Some find second life (like Bernard Hopkins and Archie Moore in boxing; Frank Mir and Randy Couture in MMA), others turn off at their peak (Rocky Marciano and Bas Rutten) and still others leave a stained image (Inumerable boxers; Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman?).

    Guys that need to get out IMO: Saku, Hughes, Lindland (If he loses), Mark Hunt, Pulver (If he loses), Hayato Sakurai and perhaps some others.

    Comment by Kevin | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  16. Hunt is another that makes me sad. I was a big fan of his. Interviews, fights, all of it. Getting KO’d in under 30 seconds by a guy 100 lbs less than you, that is a late replacement, when your most noteworthy attribute is ‘never been KOd’ things look really gloomy.

    I’m pretty sure that the sun has set on Hughes’s career, even more sure with Saku… but I’d welcome either to prove me wrong. I hold a shred for Hughes, maybe not champion again, but still high level. He isn’t that old, he can cut weight as well as anyone in that division and he is an athlete.

    But we’ll see.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  17. FYI: For some reason, the text font and coloring got messed up. I tried to fix it but it couldn’t.

    Comment by Kevin | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  18. ack
    one of my three most anticipated bouts for Affliction is off.
    Chris H has a bulging disc.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  19. Gutu,

    I just saw that. It sucks. Hopefully they’ll find a decent replacement. I hate when a fighter goes down days before the fight.

    Comment by Kevin | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  20. Well, I was disappointed even by my lower expectations. There was some to like. For what it’s worth I currently have it listed as the ‘best event of 2009’ but I hope WEC 38 will pass it (not that I would’ve expected it to prior to DoR…)

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 25, 2009 | Reply

  21. Gutu,

    The production value was horrible. The worst was the backstage reports with that hyper-manic guy. He had no clue what he was doing.

    Comment by Kevin | January 25, 2009 | Reply

  22. I think my roommate properly identified him as Ty Pennington from Extreme Home Makeovers.

    My opinion seems to be against the grain over on Sherdog, I did a poll and found that most people would rank DoR an 8-10 out of 10 (10 being best event ever). I gave it a 5.

    Time for WEC

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 26, 2009 | Reply

  23. Fedor vs. Arlovski was such a huge fight in MMA and the finish was definative. That alone is going to make this card memorable.

    Other impressions: Yvel showed tons of heart fighting off his back and preventing the finish until late in the 3rd round. Vitor’s KO was spectacular. Babalu showed why experience is more valuable than natural ability. Sokoudjou continued his slide. Buentello’s boxing game is top notch. Quach vs. Davis was the fight of the night. Both guys showed huge hearts. Davis emerges as the leader of Miletich’s new generation. Vladdy looked horrible. Terrible fight vs. Rogerio. Lauzon was milking the low blows. He did not live up to his hype.

    If it wasn’t for the horrendous production, this would have been a great card. I loved the fights themselves. But listening to Tito and Ty Pennington (LOL) was cring-inducing.

    Comment by Kevin | January 26, 2009 | Reply

  24. No commentary on the bouts!??? 🙂

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  25. Giga,

    I don’t have a lot of time right now to provide commentary to all the fight. I posted above your comment my impressions. There’s just so many cards this month that I can’t keep up. 🙂 What were your thoughts?

    Comment by Kevin | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  26. I’m still not a big fan of a ring over a cage… I don’t like the restarts and Soko was sticking his head outside the ropes on purpose to restart (at least that was the first thought I had when I saw him do it).

    I wish Arlovski hadn’t thrown a flying knee…

    I was really glad to see Vitor win, but I was hoping it would have lasted longer… actually, I guess I can say that for most of the fights.

    Tito should never be announcing again. Have you seen his quotes? They are awesomely bad.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 28, 2009 | Reply

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