MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

WEC 38 (January, 2009)

January 25

155 lbs. Title Fight – Jamie Varner [49] vs. Donald Cerrone [51]

  • MMA Records: Varner (15-2); Cerrone (9-0)
  • Preview: Whoever wins this fight will join the top of the pack in the lightweight division. After winning a decision in his 1st career fight, Jamie Varner has got a stoppage in his last 14 victories. He is a top level boxer with very good wrestling. He’s tough and has great stamina. Donald Cerrone won his 1st 8 fights by submission before winning a decision over Rob McCullough in one of the best fights in WEC history. Despite his gaudy submission resume, Cerrone can also strike. I don’t see him KOing Varner though. This could be an early fight-of-the-year candidate. Both guys are in their primes and both are hungry. I’m going with Cerrone by submission in the 4th round.
  • Result: Varner winner by Split Decision.
  • This fight was back and forth with Varner getting the takedowns at will. Cerrone worked a nice guard but ultimately couldn’t submit him. In the 5th round, Jamie was grazed by an illegal knee and the fight went to the judges who gave him the nod. He isn’t going to win many fans over after this one. The blow didn’t look that bad but he writhed about on the canvas as if he’d just been soccer kicked by Wanderlei Silva. The crowd booed his post-fight interview and he told them to f*ck off. Very immature reaction. Cerrone, meanwhile, could barely see after having both eyes swollen shut from punches by Varner. He gained a lot of fans with his gutsy performance. Varner has looked good his last few times out. It would be interesting to see how he would perform against a UFC lightweight. Varner rises to 36. Cerrone stays at 51.

145 lbs. – Urijah Faber [2] vs. Jens Pulver [10]

  • MMA Records: Faber (21-2); Pulver (22-10-1)
  • Preview: These guys just fought a 5-round war in June. Pulver’s heart was apparent but only because Faber was beating him pretty good. Faber took the Unanimous Decision but has since lost. Pulver is backed up against the wall. He’s lost 4 of his last 5 fights. He desperately needs a win. Faber needs to avoid losing 2 in a row. It will be interesting to see how Faber responds to being stopped in the 1st round. Will he be more cautious? I doubt it. He’s a wild man and will push the pace as always. Can Pulver still hang with the top fighters? I doubt it. Faber will get a 1st or 2nd round KO. 
  • Result: Faber winner by 1st round submission (guillotine choke).
  • Faber caught Jens with a vicious liver shot that was the beginning of the end. Pulver couldn’t recover and Urijah finished him. Jens has lost 3 in a row but they have come against the best in the world. Maybe he can’t compete against the top 10 but he is still a tough out for anyone. Faber stays at 2. Pulver drops to 15.

170 lbs. – Danillo Villefort vs. Mike Campbell

  • MMA Records: Villefort (8-2); Campbell (4-0)
  • Result: Villefort winner by 1st round TKO.
  • Danillo is a great grappler training at the prestigious American Top Team (ATT). This is his 2nd high-profile win in a row (he beat highly regarded Middleweight Mike Massenzio his last time out.) Future opponents will be well-advised to look out for his knee-bar. Villefort debuts at 62.

145 lbs. – Jose Aldo [18] vs. Rolando Perez

  • MMA Records: Aldo (12-1); Perez (4-1-1)
  • Result: Aldo winner by 1st round KO.
  • Watch out for Jose Aldo. He has one of the most technically sound striking games in the division, if not the most sound. The scary part is that isn’t even his greatest strength. He’s a blackbelt in jiu-jitsu. He will get a title shot very soon. Aldo rises to 12.

155 lbs. – Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Njokuani

  • MMA Records: Henderson (7-1); Njokuani (9-1)
  • Result: Henderson winner by 2nd round submission (guillotine choke)

170 lbs. – Hiromitsu Miura [58] vs. Edgar Garcia

  • MMA Records: Miura (9-5); Garcia (6-0)
  • Result: Garcia winner by 1st round KO.
  • Garcia debuts at 56. Miura drops to 63.

135 lbs. – Dominick Cruz [20] vs. Ian McCall

  • MMA Records: Cruz (11-1); McCall (7-1)
  • Result: Cruz winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Cruz rises to 16.

135 lbs. – Scott Jorgensen [17] vs. Frank Gomez

  • MMA Records: Jorgensen (5-2); Gomez (5-0)
  • Result: Jorgensen winner by 1st round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Jorgensen rises to 15.

170 lbs – Blas Avena vs. Jesse Lennox

  • MMA Records: Avena (5-2); Lennox (9-1)
  • Result: Lennox winner by 2nd round KO.
  • Lennox debuts at 74.

135 lbs. – Charlie Valencia [25] vs. Seth Dikun

  • MMA Records: Valencia (9-5); Dikun (6-2)
  • Result: Valencia winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Valencia rises to 23.

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


  1. I got on you about Jorge Santiago being too low 🙂 Now I think I’m gonna comment on Varner. I feel he’s a guy who’s definitely deserving of a Top 25 spot at this stage.

    Comment by JCS | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. 155 is so stacked right now. Varner has looked very good and the winner will definately be top 25. There are 50 or 60 guys that are highly skilled and very competitive. Its amazing!

    Comment by Kevin | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. At least at this moment WEC 38 stands tall as my most favored event of the year, heads above the Affliction and UFC cards that have gone by.

    Simply a great event. Varner is surely going to get some hate. And one of the fights did end with what I complained about with CB Dolloway, where a guy scores a pin then keeps throwing ineffective strikes to the downed foe.

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

  4. I hate to question fighter’s hearts but Varner appeared to be looking for a way out. It was a grazing shot and the way he reacted to it was bizarre. It reminded me of a 10-year-old kid faking illness to avoid going to school. Then telling the crowd (who bought tickets in a tough economy) to f*ck off was immature. He came off as a baby. That being said, he has a solid all-around game.

    Comment by Kevin | January 26, 2009 | Reply

  5. The f-off comment will live in infamy. He said he couldn’t see, if true then I’m fine with the way out, if not it’s pretty terrible. It reminded me of an idea I had, where mma fighters have a pr trainer.

    Had he only said, “I’m sorry it had to end like this. I never want a fight of mine to end like this, you all deserve better and my opponent deserves better. That knee grazed my eye and I just can’t see right now. I want a rematch as soon as possible to do this right. Cerrone is a real warrior and he deserves that.”

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

  6. I’ve been telling Kevin Varner is top 25 at lw for awhile now. You severely underestime him Kevin. You had Varner at 49 before this fight lol.

    Comment by matt quigg | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. Villefort is top 30-40 at ww for sure.

    Comment by matt quigg | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  8. Varner didn’t tell the crowd to ”fuck off”. He said fucking boo me then.

    If you watch Cerrone’s knee to Varner in slow it was a legal blow.

    Comment by matt quigg | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  9. Matt,

    I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you. I’ve never heard you say Varner was top 25, but if you did then you are the man dude!! Give yourself a pat on the back and grab a treat.

    Whatever Varner said, he looked like a tool.

    Comment by Kevin | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  10. No need to be a sensitive prick Kevin. Just questioning why you had Varner so low at 49. Varner is def. a tool/d-bag, whatever one label’s him.

    Comment by matt quigg | January 29, 2009 | Reply

  11. I think it’s still unclear how highly ranked Varner is, WEC is creating a third pool of LWs. It becomes hard to rank them (in my mind) against the UFC LWs and Eastern LWs.

    Varner fought Franca in the long, long ago. But that aside the WEC LWs have had very little interaction with the other groups.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 29, 2009 | Reply

  12. Matt,

    The problem with comminicating online is that you can’t read a person’s body language. I couldn’t discern whether you had a friendly smile on your face when you said “You had Varner at 49 before this fight lol.” or whether you wore a condescending smirk. I obviously responded to the latter version. I apoligize if you were kidding.


    I agree with you that having 3 or more talent pools makes it hard to compare quality of wins. After getting stopped by Franca, Varner beat Marcus Hicks, Rob McCullough, Sherron Leggett and Jason Gilliam. Those guys have never fought in the UFC. The same goes with Dan Lauzon’s win streak. It’s been against guys who’ve never fought in the UFC. He looked pretty average against a guy who fought on short-notice.

    Comment by Kevin | January 29, 2009 | Reply

  13. In my mind the ‘three separate pools’ theory supports your rankings pretty well. There is a pretty healthy, reasonable debate about which is greater between UFC and the East, but the 11th ranked guy in either pool is likely to roll through WEC’s LW division.

    I’d pick Spencer Fisher or Gomi over the top of the heap at WEC. Actually, I’d like to see that.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  14. Gutu,

    Its funny that you say Fisher or Gomi as Fisher vs. Gomi is a fight i’ve wanted to see for a long time. Those are 2 guys with enough wrestling to keep it standing, enough power punching to make it a knockdown drag out fight and godd enough chins to withstand it.

    Comment by Kevin | January 30, 2009 | Reply

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