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Fightmania August Rankings

By on August 31, 2012

August was a month full of controversy. It began innocently enough, with a Fox-aired event that featured a decent cast and high quality fights. Soon after, though, Ben Henderson’s close decision win over Frankie Edgar got fans, fighters, and the media hyped up, and Jon Jones’ decision not to fight Chael Sonnen on eight days’ notice at UFC 151 caused an explosion of controversy in the middle of a year full of injury-based disappointments.

When the most memorable event of the month was not one of Bellator’s champions getting knocked out in a Shooto event in Brazil, you know it was a newsworthy month. How did it affect the rankings? Let’s find out.

FLYWEIGHT DIVISION (125 LBS.)

1. Joseph Benavidez
2. Demetrious Johnson
3. Ian McCall
4. Jussier Da Silva
5. Yasuhiro Urushitani
6. Darrell Montague
7. Louis Gaudinot
8. John Lineker
9. John Dodson (10)
10. John Moraga (NR)

Dropped out: Mamoru Yamaguchi (9; inactivity)

September 22’s fight to crown the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion may not be UFC 152’s main event anymore, but the fight between Johnson and Benavidez will likely be the most competitive and compelling on the card. Yamaguchi departs due to over a year of inactivity, allowing the UFC’s John Moraga to step in fresh off of a scintillating quick KO win over Ulysses Gomez at UFC on Fox 4. Urushitani will take on the tough Lineker at UFC 151. Gaudinot will return in October, when he faces Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FX 5. Dodson will welcome Da Silva to the UFC in a couple of months.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

1. Dominick Cruz
2. Renan Barao
3. Urijah Faber
4. Brian Bowles
5. Michael McDonald
6. Eddie Wineland
7. Scott Jorgensen
8. Miguel Torres
9. Brad Pickett
10. Bibiano Fernandes (NR)

Dropped out: Eduardo Dantas (10)

Two big fights occurred outside of the UFC for this division in August. First, Tyson Nam scored an upset KO of Eduardo Dantas at a Shooto event in Brazil, and then, Bibiano Fernandes scored a competent decision win over Gustavo Falciroli at ONE FC 5. Next, Pickett takes on Yves Jabouin in late September at UFC on Fuel 5. Torres will have to ply his trade outside of the Octagon after being released by the UFC yet again.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

1. Jose Aldo
2. Frankie Edgar (NR)
3. Chad Mendes (2)
4. Pat Curran (3)
5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (4)
6. Dennis Siver (5)
7. Chan Sung Jung (6)
8. Dustin Poirier (7)
9. Diego Nunes (8)
10. Ricardo Lamas (9)

Dropped out: Hatsu Hioki (10)

This division has had mostly bad news lately. Mendes is in trouble with the law stemming from his alleged role in a bar fight. Curran got hurt and couldn’t fight Pitbull Freire in Bellator. Meanwhile, Siver’s fight with Eddie Yagin got postponed when UFC 151 got canceled.

The good news? With Erik Koch out due to injury, Aldo will now face former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in Brazil in October at UFC 153. Edgar comes in at what I think is a well-deserved spot at number two, moving everyone else down a spot and bumping Hioki from the list.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

1. Ben Henderson
2. Gray Maynard (3)
3. Gilbert Melendez (4)
4. Anthony Pettis (5)
5. Nate Diaz (6)
6. Jim Miller (7)
7. Michael Chandler (8)
8. Donald Cerrone (10)
9. Eddie Alvarez
10. Clay Guida (NR)

Dropped out: Frankie Edgar (2; moved to featherweight)

The title fight didn’t solve a whole lot for many fans, but Henderson wears the belt and Edgar has departed for featherweight. Diaz takes on “Bendo” next at UFC on Fox 5. Edgar’s departure moves everybody up a spot, which also allows the suddenly-unpopular Guida to step into the top ten. Well, almost everybody moves up a spot…Alvarez stays put as Cerrone moves up an extra spot thanks to his KO win of Melvin Guillard at UFC 150.

The Bellator Lightweight Championship will be defended in the relatively near future, when Chandler will face the talented Rick Hawn for the belt. Maynard will face Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 in December.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Carlos Condit
3. Nick Diaz
4. Johny Hendricks
5. Jon Fitch
6. Nate Marquardt
7. Josh Koscheck
8. Rory MacDonald
9. Martin Kampmann
10. Jake Ellenberger

Nothing to see here, folks. We were supposed to get Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron at UFC 151, but that’s obviously not going to happen. Erick Silva takes on Fitch at UFC 153. MacDonald will fight the now-unretired BJ Penn at UFC on Fox 5 after a slight delay, while Kampmann faces Hendricks at UFC 154. Fitch will take on the surging Erick Silva in October. The big fight here, of course, remains the November showdown between GSP and Condit for the real welterweight title.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

1. Anderson Silva
2. Chael Sonnen
3. Vitor Belfort
4. Chris Weidman
5. Yushin Okami
6. Mark Munoz
7. Luke Rockhold
8. Brian Stann
9. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (10)
10. Michael Bisping (9)

There were a couple of important fights at 185 in August, though none will result in huge changes here. Jacare knocked out Derek Brunson impressively at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman, but let’s face it: Brunson isn’t on Jacare’s level. Meanwhile, Okami dispatched Buddy Roberts in a similarly one-sided matchup at UFC 150, where Jake Shields beat Ed Herman in a rather uninspiring fight.

There’s a lot of division hopping here, with Sonnen moving up to fight Forrest Griffin and Belfort stepping up to fight Jon Jones at 205 pounds next month as part of the whole UFC 151 debacle. I’ll wait to see if either jump will stick before doing much else. I know Belfort’s won’t, at least. Stann-Bisping is easily the best fight coming up soon in this division.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

1. Jon Jones
2. Rashad Evans
3. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
4. Lyoto Machida (5)
5. Dan Henderson (4)
6. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
7. Gegard Mousasi
8. Phil Davis (9)
9. Alexander Gustafsson (10)
10. Ryan Bader (8)

Shogun’s performance against a surprisingly-motivated Brandon Vera was memorable, but not really impressive. Meanwhile, also at UFC on Fox 4, Machida looked to be back to his old self with a great win over Bader, and I moved Machida up one and dropped Bader to reflect their performances. Some may have a problem with Hendo dropping a spot, but he was always better at middleweight than at light heavyweight, anyway. Of course, we now get to “look forward to” Jones defending his title against a middleweight who lost against the 185 pound champ not that long ago when Jones faces Belfort next month.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (265 LBS.)

1. Junior dos Santos
2. Cain Velasquez
3. Alistair Overeem
4. Fabricio Werdum
5. Daniel Cormier
6. Frank Mir
7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
8. Josh Barnett
9. Antonio Silva
10. Travis Browne

No, the titanic Sylvia-Arlovski megafight over the weekend had no bearing on the rankings. I don’t think anyone’s surprised. Browne faces Silva in October in what should be a good matchup. First, we’ll get Cormier facing Mir in Strikeforce in September, while Barnett will fight on the same night. Puzzlingly, Barnett’s opponent remains a mystery with just under a month to go before the fight. Dos Santos will defend his title next against Velasquez, of course.

POUND-FOR-POUND (No Limit)

1. Anderson Silva
2. Jon Jones
3. Georges St. Pierre
4. Frankie Edgar
5. Jose Aldo
6. Dominick Cruz
7. BJ Penn
8. Dan Henderson
9. Joseph Benavidez
10. Junior dos Santos

No, I’m not dropping Jones down because he refused to take a fight. Clowns.

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