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Fightmania August Rankings

By on August 29, 2011

Bookended by UFC pay-per-views that featured eight combined finishes out of ten main card fights, August gave MMA fans plenty to be excited about. We also got to see Pat Curran shock Marlon Sandro in Bellator, Dennis Hallman audition for the Chippendales and Rousimar Palhares celebrate a brutal TKO victory- only without the “brutal TKO” part. Did Anderson Silva take back his top spot in my pound-for-pound rankings? Read on to find out that and more.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

1. Dominick Cruz
2. Urijah Faber
3. Joseph Benavidez
4. Brian Bowles
5. Scott Jorgensen
6. Miguel Torres
7. Demetrious Johnson
8. Masakatsu Ueda
9. Brad Pickett
10. Takeya Mizugaki

Not much happened at 135 lbs. this month, although Benavidez did get his third straight win since losing to Cruz last year when he beat Eddie Wineland at UFC Live 5. On October 1st, Cruz will defend his title on Versus against “Mighty Mouse” himself, Demetrious Johnson. Meanwhile, Faber and Bowles will meet in a great matchup in November.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

1. Jose Aldo
2. Hatsu Hioki
3. Kenny Florian
4. Diego Nunes
5. Chad Mendes (6)
6. Marlon Sandro (5)
7. Manny Gamburyan
8. Pat Curran (NR)
9. Michihiro Omigawa (8)
10. Dustin Poirier (9)

Dropped out: Tyson Griffin (10)

Mendes defeated Rani Yahya by unanimous decision at UFC 133, while Curran dropped the highly-ranked Sandro with a beautiful high kick in Bellator. Thus, Sandro drops, Mendes moves up, and Curran joins the party, moving Omigawa and Poirier down a slot apiece. Hioki is now with the UFC, and will debut at UFC 137 against George Roop. Florian is the lucky man to take on Aldo next.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

1. Frankie Edgar
2. Gilbert Melendez
3. Gray Maynard
4. Eddie Alvarez
5. Shinya Aoki
6. Melvin Guillard (7)
7. Anthony Pettis (8)
8. Ben Henderson (NR)
9. Jim Miller (6)
10. Tatsuya Kawajiri (9)

Dropped out: Dennis Siver (10)

Some good action at 155 pounds shook things up a bit this month. Ben Henderson put on a great performance in a fun fight with Jim Miller to re-enter the top ten, while Miller falls to the ninth spot. In the same event, Donald Cerrone delivered his third straight UFC win, and I’d love to rank him, but I just don’t have room. I didn’t have room for Siver anymore either, but Cerrone will be stepping in to face Siver at UFC 137. Whoever wins will likely end up right here where they belong. Edgar-Maynard 3 draws closer and closer, as does Melendez’s December Strikeforce bout with challenger Jorge Masvidal, who’s another fighter on the bubble. There is talk of Alvarez-Aoki in Bellator, to which I say, “Yes, please!”

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Jon Fitch
3. Josh Koscheck
4. Nick Diaz
5. Jake Shields
6. Thiago Alves
7. BJ Penn
8. Carlos Condit
9. Martin Kampmann
10. Rick Story

Nothing to see here (again). It’s been months now since anything has happened with this list, though we have some promising fights coming, including St. Pierre-Diaz and Penn-Condit.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

1. Anderson Silva
2. Chael Sonnen
3. Nate Marquardt (4)
4. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (5)
5. Vitor Belfort (6)
6. Yushin Okami (5)
7. Demian Maia
8. Hector Lombard
9. Brian Stann
10. Mark Munoz

If Anderson could move up even more, he would. Okami isn’t necessarily dropping because he lost to Silva, but more as a matter of market correction, if you will. I think Belfort has earned the fifth spot, and he was very impressive in his destruction of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133. I’m still going to rank Marquardt at 185 pounds until he fights at welterweight in BAMMA. Jacare will defend his Strikeforce title against Luke Rockhold in September, while Sonnen and Stann will face one another next.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

1. Jon Jones
2. Rashad Evans
3. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
4. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
5. Dan Henderson
6. Lyoto Machida
7. Forrest Griffin
8. Gegard Mousasi (9)
9. Phil Davis (10)
10. Rich Franklin (NR)

Dropped out: “King Mo” Lawal (8)

Griffin earns a bit of a reprieve for his dreadful outing against Shogun for two reasons: for one, it’s Shogun. For another, I just can’t put Mousasi or Davis at the seventh spot. Rich Franklin comes back in at the tenth spot as King Mo drops out after a year of inactivity. That kind of break is troubling for a guy who has just eight fights and is still learning the sport. Griffin will likely bounce back his next time out, as he usually does. Evans beat Tito Ortiz, as he should, and looked great while doing so. Jones defends his title for the first time against Rampage in September. Will Hendo come back to the UFC in the near future, and if so, will he fight at 205, 185, or both?

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (up to 265 LBS.)

1. Cain Velasquez
2. Brock Lesnar
3. Fabricio Werdum
4. Junior dos Santos
5. Alistair Overeem
6. Antonio Silva
7. Fedor Emelianenko
8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (10)
9. Shane Carwin (8)
10. Frank Mir (9)

Nogueira looked great in his surprising win over Brendan Schaub, and I would favor him against both Carwin and Mir at this point. As I said in my UFC Rio Parting Shots column, I’d actually like to see Nogueira face Mir again (and healthy this time).

There’s now talk that Overeem will end up in the UFC after all, as he is in a Zuffa-exclusive negotiating period right now. We also have Velasquez-dos Santos to look forward to, as well as an admittedly less fun Strikeforce grand prix that should end up with a Bigfoot-Josh Barnett final. Sadly, we may have seen the last of Fedor against top competition, as he’s no longer under contract and I can’t see Zuffa signing him again to either Strikeforce or the UFC, for that matter.

POUND FOR POUND (No Limit)

1. Anderson Silva (2)
2. Georges St. Pierre (1)
3. Jose Aldo
4. Frankie Edgar
5. BJ Penn
6. Dominick Cruz
7. Jon Jones
8. Lyoto Machida
9. Rashad Evans
10. Dan Henderson

Considering pound-for-pound rankings are just imaginary journalist bullshit, I don’t know why I’ve agonized so much over the “GSP or Silva?” debate over the last several months. Well, St. Pierre carrying guys that he should be able to put away while Silva puts forth absolutely jaw-droppingly awesome efforts has cemented my decision: Silva’s number one. Well, for now, anyway. Of course, this is subject to change and could very well leapfrog as each man takes his turn winning in impressive fashion.

Would even a GSP-Silva fight solve the debate? I don’t know. Would St. Pierre moving up 15 pounds, then losing a close fight (for example) at Silva’s natural weight mean that he’s a lesser pound-for-pound fighter? They’re essentially “1A” and “1B”, anyway.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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