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Fightmania August Rankings

By on August 31, 2013

anthony pettisJuly was a busy month, and August turned up the heat even more, with five major events including four from the UFC alone during the last 31 days. There were also plenty of fights featuring top-notch competitors, with only the middleweight division failing to have a top ten fighter in action.

As always, these rankings are subjective. To read a rather extensive explanation of my methodology, check out the rankings manifesto.

FLYWEIGHT DIVISION (125 LBS.)

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

UFC 163 saw both McCall and Lineker picking up wins. However, McCall won’t move up with a decision win over Iliarde Santos, particularly when the bout was as close as it was. Lineker’s TKO win over a tough Jose Maria Tome was good enough to allow him to swap spots with Montague, however. Montague will make his long-awaited UFC debut against Dodson in October, though, giving him a chance to move right back up. Lineker will be back in action in October too, facing Phil Harris.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

1. Dominick Cruz
2. Renan Barao
3. Urijah Faber
4. Michael McDonald (5)
5. Eddie Wineland (4)
6. Brad Pickett
7. Scott Jorgensen
8. Bibiano Fernandes
9. Raphael Assuncao
10. Eduardo Dantas

Faber stays put despite a decision win over Iuri Alcantara, while McDonald moves up a spot with a submission win over Pickett, who stays at the sixth spot with a gutsy performance against a top-notch opponent. Marlon Moraes has won again in the World Series of Fighting and is right on the cusp of the top ten.

Barao and Wineland will fight at UFC 165, after their initial bout was delayed due to injury. Assuncao faces TJ Dillashaw in October. You have to wonder whether the UFC will strip Cruz of his title if he’s not ready to face the winner in early 2014.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

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

Aldo was impressive yet again in August, defeating Chan Sung Jung, who fought gamely in defeat as we knew he would. Mendes and Curran are exceptional fighters themselves, and the fact that Mendes is not wearing the UFC belt is a testament to Aldo’s greatness. Mendes continues to impress me with another win by KO/TKO, this time finishing Clay Guida at UFC 164. Poirier also moves up a spot with a TKO win over Erik Koch, who was in line for a title shot what seems like a thousand years ago.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

1. Anthony Pettis (2)
2. Benson Henderson (1)
3. Michael Chandler
4. Gilbert Melendez
5. Gray Maynard
6. Josh Thomson
7. Eddie Alvarez
8. Nate Diaz
9. TJ Grant (10)
10. Rafael dos Anjos (NR)

Dropped out: Donald Cerrone (8)

Obviously, the big news here is that Pettis dethroned Henderson and now stands at the top of the lightweight heap. There was also the matter of Rafael dos Anjos taking his win streak to five with a decision win over Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 27, though. Cerrone drops out and dos Anjos enters the rankings after that bout. At UFC 166, Melendez will face Diego Sanchez. Chandler and Alvarez face off in a huge bout on November 2.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Johny Hendricks
3. Carlos Condit
4. Nick Diaz
5. Rory MacDonald
6. Demian Maia
7. Ben Askren
8. Josh Burkman (9)
9. Martin Kampmann (8)
10. Jake Ellenberger

No matter what Jon Anik says, Matt Brown hasn’t earned a spot on this list after beating a grand total of ZERO top ten-ranked fighters. And no, Brown saying Pyle is better than Georges St. Pierre didn’t help his cause. Condit TKOed Kampmann and Kampmann drops a spot after yet another setback, but Condit isn’t going to move up very easily from the third spot. UFC 167 will give us GSP-Hendricks, while Burkman will fight for the World Series of Fighting Welterweight Championship soon.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

1. Chris Weidman
2. Anderson Silva
3. Vitor Belfort
4. Yushin Okami
5. Mark Munoz
6. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
7. Michael Bisping
8. Luke Rockhold
9. Constantinos Philippou
10. Nate Marquardt

Nothing happening here, but that will change in September, when Okami and Jacare face off. Belfort will be division hopping yet again, facing fellow true middleweight Dan Henderson at 205 pounds in November. Bisping receives home field advantage yet again to face Munoz in late October. Philippou will be back in action in September, and Rockhold faces Tim Boetsch in October. Weidman and Silva rematch in December at UFC 168.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

1. Jon Jones
2. Rashad Evans (3)
3. Alexander Gustafsson (4)
4. Phil Davis (6)
5. Lyoto Machida (2)
6. Dan Henderson (5)
7. Chael Sonnen (9)
8. Glover Teixeira
9. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (7)
10. Gegard Mousasi

It too just two fights to royally screw up my rankings. First, Phil Davis took a decision from Lyoto Machida in what wasn’t exactly a great fight. Nonetheless, Machida drops to fifth and Davis moves up to fourth, with Evans, Gustafsson, and Henderson moving around to accommodate the switches. Yes, it feels weird having Evans at the second spot when he hasn’t been fighting well recently, but Gustafsson hasn’t earned it, either. Neither has Davis or anyone else on this list, honestly. Sonnen and Shogun switch spots after Sonnen’s big win over the former Pride Grand Prix champion.

Gustafsson will face Jon Jones at UFC 165 in Toronto. We’ve also got Teixeira taking on Ryan Bader in early September.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (265 LBS.)

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

Dropped out: Frank Mir (8)

Two high-profile heavyweights took a tumble in August, with Overeem and Mir both being finished by strikes, although Overeem’s loss was much more definitive as Travis Browned kicked him right in the face to end the bout. Now, Mir is out and Overeem is barely holding on for multiple reasons. For one, I just think Overeem is better than Mir. Mir honestly hasn’t looked great in years, other than his two wins over Nogueira…and let’s not forget that in the second win, Nogueira had rocked him badly before the finish. Overeem had better moments in his fight against Browne than Mir did against Barnett (who stays put despite the win). Dana White got it right when he said Barnett “won every second” of that fight.

JDS will rematch Velasquez for the belt at UFC 166, and Cormier will fight at least one more time at heavyweight while he makes the big cut to 205 pounds.

POUND-FOR-POUND (No Limit)

1. Jon Jones
2. Georges St. Pierre
3. Anderson Silva
4. Jose Aldo
5. Dominick Cruz
6. Demetrious Johnson
7. Frankie Edgar
8. Cain Velasquez (9)
9. Renan Barao (NR)
10. Anthony Pettis (NR)

Dropped out: Ben Henderson (8), Lyoto Machida (10)

Henderson and Machida leave the list with losses, and Cain moves up. Barao and Pettis, the interim bantamweight and lightweight champion, respectively, step in to fill the empty spots.

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