MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 94 (January, 2009)

January 31 – Las Vegas, Nevada

170 lbs. Title Fight – Georges St. Pierre [1] vs. B.J. Penn [NR]

  • MMA Records: St. Pierre (17-2); Penn (13-4-1)
  • Preview: Of all the great fights this month, this is the greatest. Both Penn and St. Pierre are among the handful of fighters that everyone in the world respects. They are masters of the craft. They are both boiling hot right now. Their minds are right and their games are tight. St. Pierre has the best takedowns in the game. Penn has the best takedown defense. Both have great jabs. Penn’s submissions are legendary. St. Pierre’s elbows are the best in the world. If you’re an MMA fan, you cannot miss this fight. It will go down in the history books. Both men will be judged by it. It could easily go either way. I’m taking St. Pierre by Split Decision.
  • Result: St. Pierre winner by 4th roudn TKO.
  • GSP’s skill level is in another galaxy. He is so far beyond everyone else it is frightening. Penn got smashed. He must stay at 155 where he is the king. It wasn’t too long ago that Welterweight was considered the most talented along with Light-Heavyweight. The fact that GSP cleaned out the division is incredible. He won the Canadian athlete of the year in 2008. In 2009, he may become recognized as the best athlete in the world. GSP stays at 1.

205 lbs. – Lyoto Machida [4] vs. Thiago Silva [8]

  • MMA Records: Machida (13-0); Silva (13-0)
  • Preview: Speaking of hot. Whoever wins this fight is the next MMA superstar. The winner will more than likely take on Rashad Evans [1] for the belt. Both guys possess similar skills but with a glaring difference in style. Lyoto is very methodical (8 of 13 wins by decision) Thiago is a hyper-aggressive (12 of 13 wins by stoppage)  A match between Yin and Yang. It could be special. Or it could be one sided. It would seem Thiago is tailor-made for Lyoto’s counter striking. Then again, Thiago could put enough pressure on Lyoto to fluster him. All that being said, I just don’t see Machida losing to anyone (including Rashad) right now. Machida by Unanimous Decision.
  • Result: Machida winner by 1st round KO.
  • Machida’s performance was his most dominating yet. He owned Silva. People criticized his patient style but he showed he can end things violently. Noone can touch him right now….including Rashad Evans. Machida rises to 2. Silva drops to 17.

170 lbs. – Karo Parisyan [8] vs. Dong Hyun Kim [58]

  • MMA Records: Parisyan (18-5); Kim (11-0-1)
  • Preview: This is great Judo-player vs. great Judo-player. They may cancel eachother out. It may come down to striking. Kim is the taller fighter but Karo is way more experienced. I would be very surprised if Karo were to lose. Karo by Unanimous Decision.
  • Result: Parisyan winner by Split Decision.
  • Karo got the win but Kim was the one who impressed me. I didn’t think he had a chance but he nearly got the win. Kim dominated Karo in the 1st round but was edged out in the latter 2. Karo did not look like a top 10 fighter.

205 lbs. – Stephan Bonnar [18] vs. Jon Jones [38]

  • MMA Records: Bonnar (11-4); Jones (6-0)
  • Preview: Jon Jones is a very promising young fighter. Stephan Bonnar is a grizzled veteran. Jones will have his day in the sun but not right now and not against Bonnar. It could be a close fight but Bonnar will find a way to win. Bonnar by Split Decision.
  • Result: Jones winner by Unanimous Decision
  • If Jones gets his cardio up to par then he will be contending for the belt in a couple years. He looked amazing in the first 2 rounds. It was one of the most dynamic MMA displays I have ever seen. Jones landed some crazy strikes and sick takedowns. Bonnar’s heart and chin kept him from getting KO’d. He just ran into a rising star. Jones rises to 13. Bonnar stays at 18.

155 lbs. – Clay Guida [27] vs. Nate Diaz [28]

  • MMA Records: Guida (24-9); Diaz (10-2)
  • Preview: Clay Guida wins his fights by setting a pace which his opponents can’t match. He’s relentless and overwhelming. Nate Diaz submits people. He’s hot right now and watch out for his triangle choke. I’m sure Guida will be. I think Diaz has the better boxing so Guida will probably take him to the mat. From there, it will either be Guida’s ground and pound or Diaz’s submissions that win the contest. I think Guida is savvy enough to avoid Nate’s submissions. Guida by Unanimous Decision.
  • Result: Guida winner by Split Decision.
  • Nate did more damage but Guida got the win because of his wrestling. It wasn’t exciting. Guida literally spent 90% of the fight bear-huggin Diaz. He didn’t land hardly any strikes but he maintained control. Diaz wasn’t strong enough to escape. Guida rises to 21. Diaz stays at 28.

170 lbs. – Jon Fitch [3] vs. Akihiro Gono [22]

  • MMA Records: Fitch (17-3); Gono (28-13-7)
  • Preview: Jon Fitch has been relegated to undercard status due to contractual disputes with Dana White. You don’t want to get on Dana’s bad side. Just ask Matt Lindland. As for the fight, I think it will be a good one. Fitch will get the takedowns and Gono will try to land a submission. Fitch is an animal on the ground and Gono is one of the smartest fighters in the world. It should be interesing to watch it play out. I doubt Fitch will finish Gono but he will get the Unanimous Decision.
  • Result: Fitch winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Fitch dominated from start to finish with takedowns and ground and pound. It took all of Gono’s craftiness to survive. Fitch stays at 3. Gono drops to 27.

155 lbs. – Thiago Tavares [46] vs. Manny Gamburyan [64]

  • MMA Records: Tavares (13-3); Gamburyan (8-3)
  • Result: Tavares winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Thiago’s takedowns and slightly more effective striking get him the win in a relatively lackluster fight. Tavares rises to 44. Gamburyan drops to 68.

205 lbs. – Jake O’Brien [NR] vs. Christian Wellisch

  • MMA Records: O’Brien (10-2); Wellisch (8-4)
  • Result: O’Brien winner by Split Decision
  • O’Brien gassed big-time in the 3rd round but put enough takedowns in the bank to eak out the win.
  • O’Brien debuts at 45.

170 lbs. – Chris Wilson [25] vs. John Howard

  • MMA Records: Wilson (14-4); Howard (10-4)
  • Result: Howard winner by Split Decision
  • This was a really good fight. Back and forth they went trading strikes and takedowns but Howard had the slight edge. He had back control in the 3rd round which pretty much sealed it for him. Howard debuts at 25. Wilson drops to 28.

170 lbs. – Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer

  • MMA Records: Arroyo (3-2); Cramer (0-0)
  • Result: Cramer winner by Split Decision
  • Pretty unimpressive fight. Cramer must improve his finishing instincts to become ranked.

Future Fights that make sense

205

Lyoto Machida [2] vs. Rashad Evans [1]

Jon Jones [13] vs. Eric Shaefer [19]

Thiago Silva [17] vs. Stephan Bonnar [18]

170

Georges St. Pierre [1] vs. Thiago Alves [2]

155

BJ Penn [1] vs. Kenny Florian [4]

Clay Guida [21] vs. winner of Gray Maynard [10] vs. Jim Miller [35]

Nate Diaz [28] vs. loser of Diego Sanchez [NR] vs. Joe Stevenson [22]

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

14 Comments »

  1. Do you believe Lyoto deserves an immediate title shot if he is able to pull off a win over Silva this month?

    What about if Silva pulls off the upset?

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think there’s no doubt Lyoto deserves a title shot with a victory over Thiago. But will he sell tickets? His name is not big enough IMO. I hope he gets the shot but I’m staying grounded on that one.

    I doubt Thiago will get a title shot with a win. He needs another one after.

    My guess is they’ll put the winner against Shogun Rua for the #1 contender match after he tears through Coleman.

    Comment by Kevin | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. I’ve been trying to get my Dad and brother on the Machida band wagon. We’ve re-watched all of his fights and they keep saying: “I don’t like watching a fighter that doesn’t fight.” and “All the dude does is back pedal.” After watching his fights, he does in fact do that… a lot. He will engage, but he tends to wait until his opponent has dropped his guard. Last night I was watching the Soku/Lyoto fight and you know? The guy is like a dragon, he toys with his food before he eats it.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. There’s no doubt that Machida is a counter-fighter. Kind of like Pedro Rizzo was for a while there. Somebody has to figure him out. My guess is he is beginning to understand the entertainment part of the game and we will see a more aggressive Machida in this fight and beyond.

    Comment by Kevin | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. I’d say it was evident in his match with Tito that he has some sense of entertainment. Tito was zero threat to him during the third round, Machida hurt Tito with a knee to the body and Machida decided to pounce instead of hanging back.

    I’m very excited that Bonnar is coming back.

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

  6. Gutu,

    I felt the boos and Tito’s posturing got to Machida a little bit during their fight. You could almost see him realize he needed to engage a bit more.

    Bonnar is very underrated IMO. He’s a solid if unspectacular fighter. He’s tough as nails also.

    Comment by Kevin | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  7. I really believe that BJ Penn is going to crush GSP. I think that GSP is afraid of him.

    Comment by Giga Explosivo | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  8. I’ve never much understood the ‘this fighter is afraid of this other fighter’ mindset. Maybe it’s just hyperbole, but not as over the top as most mma hyperbole (fighter x by murder/anything he wants, fighter b won’t last more than 20 seconds….)

    I don’t think GSP is afraid of Penn. I don’t imagine he is intimidated by Penn. He likely still employs a sports psychologist to help him get the right mindset. For GSP that stuff seems important (seen in his loss to Hughes, he was intimidated by Hughes’s aura). For other fighters it isn’t always as much of a thing (Mir against Nog comes to mind).

    Penn is a threat to GSP, but I still see GSP winning. I’m not much of a fanboy for either.

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

  9. As far as fear goes, I think the furthest it goes is nerves. But those nerves dissapear as soon as you get hit. Also, nerves are natural and they help you prepare for impending danger. I doubt GSP is exceptionally nervous. He’s already proved he can handle Penn. Anyone who fights at the UFC-level has long-since discarded fear.

    Comment by Kevin | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  10. You say “””GSP’s skill level is in another galaxy. He is so far beyond everyone else it is frightening.”””

    Could you perhaps put together a category where you list the best fighters overall, regardless of weight class?

    Also can you indicate what the old rating was that they are leaving? For example “Machida rises from #4 to #2” instead of just “Machida rises to #2”

    Comment by Terrence Brannon | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  11. You say “””If Jones gets his cardio up to par then he will be contending for the belt in a couple years.”””

    Personally, I am impressed by his free-flowing creative style, but his striking skills need a lot of work for him to be a complete enough fighter for belt contention.

    Comment by Terrence Brannon | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  12. Terrance,

    Thanks for the feedback. I have their previous ranking next to the matchup in boldfaced.

    205 lbs. – Lyoto Machida [4] vs. Thiago Silva [8]

    I’ll consider adding a P4P list. It’s just really hard to compare guys across weight divisions.

    Bonnar is a good striker and Jones handled him. Perhaps his technique isn’t that orthodox but his 7-foot reach allows him to get away with it. Plus, he’s still learning. I’m predicting he’ll be good enough in 2 years to be a title contender.

    Comment by Kevin | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  13. I’m curious about the allegations that GSP’s corner greased him up with Vaseline…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news;_ylt=As9CQhhxSOn4BD1a1rbr4bE9Eo14?slug=mmajunkie-Penn_contacts_NSAC_UFC_94&prov=mmajunkie&type=lgns

    Either way, BJ Penn simply seemed to be standing there, waiting for GSP to grab him and take him down.

    Comment by Terrence Brannon | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  14. Terrence,

    That article pretty much sums it up. I personally don’t think it made any differnce but the rules are the rules and they were broken. Nothing big is gonna happen. GSP won’t lose the win but his cornerman could be suspended and if something happens again, there could be harsher penalties.

    Comment by Kevin | February 9, 2009 | Reply


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