MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 93 (January, 2009)

January, 17 – Dublin, Ireland

205 lbs. – Dan Henderson [10] vs. Rich Franklin [19]

  • MMA Record: Henderson (23-7); Franklin (24-3)
  • Preview: This could be an all-time great fight. Rich Franklin pushes the pace as well as any fighter in the game. That’s how he wins most of his fights. He overwhelms his opponents. He’ll have a tough time overwhelming Dan Henderson, however. Dan is as rugged as they come. He’ll clinch you, take you down and pound you out. He also throws right-hand bombs that could end the fight at any moment. Franklin is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world. His striking is high-caliber. He is a finishing machine. Of his 24 victories, 22 have been finished within the distance. I think Henderson will take the 1st round but lose the 2nd and 3rd rounds. He won’t be able to match Franklin’s pace. Rich by Unanimous Decision.
  • Result: Henderson winner by Unanimous Decision
  • Henderson didn’t fade as quickly as I thought he would. He was able to put Franklin down and keep him there while he pounded away. Rich did take round 3 but it was too late. Dan’s world-class clinch game, ground and pound and power punching won him the fight. Henderson rises to 5. Franklin rises to 18.

205 lbs. – Mauricio Rua [6] vs. Mark Coleman [NR]

  • MMA Record: Rua (16-3); Coleman (15-8]
  • Preview: “Shogun” Rua was once considered the best Light-Heavyweight in the world..bar-none. Then he came to the UFC and got dominated by Forrest Griffin [2]. Many people claim it was because of a torn-ACL. He’ll have his chance to showcase his skills with a washed-up Mark Coleman. Coleman is 44-years-old and hasn’t looked good in 9 years. His win over Rua in 2006 was a fluke. Rua broke his arm defending a takedown. Mark may get a takedown or two in this fight but he’ll inevitably be taken out in brutal fashion. Rua we’ll recapture his fans with a devastating 1st round KO.
  • Result: Shogun winner by 3rd round TKO.
  • Despite getting the win, Shogun didn’t look anywhere near a top 10 fighter. He was gassed by round 2 and he couldn’t capitalize on Coleman’s sluggishness. Mark’s wrestling and heart kept him alive but he really should have been finished in round 1. He was completely gassed out and was just standing there like a drunk guy waiting to get hit. His hands were down by his hips and he was moving like a turtle. Shogun’s kicks were definately world-class but his boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu were nowhere to be seen. Coleman actually out-boxed him. I don’t no where Shogun goes from here but he needs to improve a lot of areas including his cardio. Rua drops to 11. Coleman debuts at 40. 

185 lbs. – Denis Kang [23] vs. Alan Belcher [41]

  • MMA Record: Kang (31-10-1); Belcher (13-5)
  • Preview: This is Denis Kang’s long-awaited debut in the UFC. He’s a former PRIDE star and top middleweight. Between 2003 and 2006, Kang had an unbelievable streak of 21 victories without a loss. Since then, he has gone 3-3 with losses to Gegard Mousasi [8], Yoshihiro Akiyama [10] and Kazuo Misaki [15]. Alan Belcher is primarily a muay thai striker. He has great kicks, knees and hands. His takedown defense is improving as is his ground game. Kang loves to strike as well but can also take it to the mat and finish it there. This is Belcher’s chance to get a breakthrough win but I doubt he’ll get it. Kang we’ll take him down and wear him out. Eventually, Belcher’s striking will get slower and Kang will get the late round KO.
  • Result: Alan Belcher by 3rd round submission (guillotine)
  • Belcher continues to imporve. Kang continues to slide. Kang dominated the first 2 rounds but Belcher hung in there and pulled out the guillotine finish. Kang appeard a bit gassed in the 3rd round while Belcher looked as if he was just getting started. Alan needs to pick up some stronger wrestling but he is definately improving his ground game. Kang looked like a top fighter until he gassed and was caught. He will have to go back to the drawing board. Belcher rises to 28. Kang drops to 30.

185 lbs. – Jeremy Horn [35] vs. Rousimar Palhares [40]

  • MMA Record: Horn (80-18-5); Palhares (8-2)
  • Preview: Jeremy Horn is on the downslide. He’s gone 2-4 in his last 6 fights. Once upon a time, he was nearly impossible to submit. After losing 3 by submission in those 6 fights, that is no longer the case. Rousimar Palhares is a submission dynamo. Six of his 8 wins have come by 1st round submission. I don’t see any way Horn escapes the same fate. Palhares by 1st round submission.
  •  Result: Palhares winner by Unanimous Decision
  • I was actually more impressed by Jeremy Horn in losing than I was with Palhares winning. Horn neutralized Palhares ground game and even had him mounted at one point with an arm-triangle. But it was Rousimar’s strength that proved the difference. He manhandled Horn with some crazy suplex’s. He also pounded on him a good deal. He should be a couple wins away from title contention. Horn showed glimpses of why he was once considered one of the best fighters in the world. If he continues to fight the way he did against Rousimar, then he’ll climb back up the rankings. Palhares rises to 26. Horn rises to 33.

170 lbs. – Chris Lytle [13] vs. Marcus Davis [14]

  • MMA Record: Lytle (26-16-5); Davis (15-4)
  • Preview: This fight was made strictly for entertainment purposes. These guys flat-out like to throw down. That’s not to say they aren’t skilled. They are contenders. Nobody is tougher than Chris Lytle. He’s lost 16 times, but has never been broken. Only 2 times has the ref halted him and that was because the cuts he was fighting through were too gruesome. Marcus Davis can finish people. Of his 15 wins, only 2 have gone the distance. They’re already saying this might be the fight of the year, and we’ve still got 348 days left! I’m going with Davis by Split Decision.
  • Result: Davis winner by Split Decision
  • This fight went exactly like I thought it would. Both guys slugging it out for 3 rounds. Lytle more with the straight right hands down the pipe and Davis with the brutal body kicks and counter striking. These guys are true pros and they were determined to stand toe to toe in order to get the Fight of the Night bonus. Davis rises to 11. Lytle drops to 14.

205 lbs. – Eric Shaefer [24] vs. Antonio Mendes

  • MMA Record: Schaefer (10-3-2); Mendes (15-3)
  • Result: Schaefer winner by 1st round TKO.
  • Schaefer got the quick clinch, pulled guard, swept Mendes and then administered some nasty ground and pound. Very impressive performance. Schaefer rises to 19.

205 lbs. – Tomasz Drwal vs. Ivan Serati

  • MMA Record: Drwal (14-2); Serati (10-2)
  • Result: Drwal winner by 1st round TKO.
  • Tomasz dominated Serati on the feet, took him down and hammer-fisted until the ref stepped in for the TKO. Drwal debuts at 44.

170 lbs. – Martin Kampmann [NR] vs. Alexandre Barros 

  • MMA Record: Kampmann (13-2); Barros (13-5)
  • Result: Kampann winner by 2nd round TKO.
  • Martin was expected to win and he didn’t disappoint. He dominated Barros in striking and grappling. He will make some noise this year inthe Welterweight division. Kampmann debuts at 63.

170 lbs. – Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway

  • MMA Record: Egan (0-0); Hathaway (9-0)
  • Result: Hathaway winner by 1st round TKO.
  • Hathaway’s wrestling contolled this fight. He just out-grappled Egan the whole fight and pounded him out. Hathaway debuts at 71.

155 lbs. – Nate Mohr vs. Dennis Siver

  • MMA Record: Mohr (8-5); Siver (12-6)
  • Result: Siver winner by 3rd round TKO.
  • Siver rises to 90.

Future fights that make sense:

205

Mauricio Rua [11] vs. Chuck Liddell [6]

Rich Franklin [18] vs. Loser of Lyoto Machida [4] vs. Thiago Silva [8]

Eric Schaefer [19] vs. Steve Cantwell [28]

Mark Coleman [40] vs. Wanderlei Silva [10]

185

Dan Henderson [4] vs. Michael Bisping [14]

Rousimar Palhares [26] vs. Yushin Okami [9]

Alan Belcher [28] vs. CB Dollaway [54]

Denis Kang [30] vs. Loser of Nathan Marquardt [7] vs. Wilson Gouveia [22]

Jeremy Horn [33] vs. Jason MacDonald [29]

170

Marcus Davis [11] vs. Winner of Dan Hardy [20] vs. Rory Markham [53]

Chris Lytle [14] vs. Kevin Burns [28]

Martin Kampmann [63] vs. Winner of Chris Wilson [26] vs. John Howard

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January 5, 2009 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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