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Fightmania July Rankings

By on July 31, 2012

July featured big cards from a number of big promotions that promised to shake things up in the rankings a little bit. Some prominent fighters, like Chael Sonnen and Urijah Faber, clearly hit roadblocks, while others, like Anderson Silva and his Strikeforce counterpart Luke Rockhold, clearly showed that they have little left to prove in their current environments. How will the rankings be affected, especially in the competitive middleweight division? Read on to find out.


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. Mamoru Yamaguchi
10. John Dodson

September 22 is the date to remember in this division, as the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion will be crowned in the tournament final between Johnson and Benavidez. Urushitani will try to bounce back from his disappointing KO defeat against Benavidez when he faces Lineker at UFC 151. Da Silva has signed with the UFC, although his debut has not been set in terms of date or opponent just yet. Gaudinot will return in October, when he faces Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FX 5. Dodson will be out awhile with a broken left hand, and McCall had a bout scheduled that he had to withdraw from due to injury, as well.


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

Faber ran into yet another roadblock on July 21, as he was largely unable to make progress during a frustrating fight against Barao, who gets the next title shot against Cruz as a result. I feel confident that Faber is deserving of the third spot nonetheless, but that’s not much consolation when he has little hope of beating the two men in front of him. Pickett takes on Yves Jabouin in late September at UFC on Fuel 5.

A strange amount of fighters on this list have nothing scheduled at all. Sure, Cruz is hurt, but what about McDonald and Torres (inactive since April) or Bowles (inactive since last November)? Dantas will fight in Shooto in late August, but his opponent is still unnamed.


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

Mendes dispatched of McKenzie in impressive fashion, lining up a great straight right counter to the body to put his opponent away. McKenzie wasn’t on Mendes’s level, but it was a nice performance, nonetheless. Aldo will now face Erik Koch in Brazil in October (instead of in Canada this past month, as planned). Pitbull Freire and Curran do battle for the Bellator Featherweight Title on August 24. Siver will try to keep his momentum going at 145 pounds against Eddie Yagin on September 1, while Nunes will face Bart Palaszewski in October on FX.


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

August 11 is the day to remember in this division, which is when we’ll see Henderson and Edgar rematch and hopefully settle it for good so poor Pettis can finally get the title shot that’s been promised to him off and on since the WEC was absorbed over a year and a half ago. That same night, the fans (as well as Cerrone himself) will get what they wanted as we’ll see “Cowboy” take on Melvin Guillard in what should be a great fight. The Bellator Lightweight Championship will be defended at an undefined point in the relatively near future, when Chandler will face the talented Rick Hawn for the right to be called the champ.


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

The only fight among the welterweight top ten in July was a doozy, as Marquardt and Tyron Woodley unexpectedly put on a real barn-burner in which Marquardt won the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. No word on who Marquardt will face next, but he hops past Koscheck as a result of his strong showing in his first welterweight appearance. MacDonald will fight the now-unretired BJ Penn at UFC 152, while Kampmann faces Hendricks at UFC 154. Fitch will take on the surging Erick Silva in October. Diaz reportedly wants Anderson Silva next, though I doubt he’ll get him. The big fight here, of course, remains the November showdown between GSP and Condit for the real welterweight title.


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

Dropped out: Hector Lombard (7)

Middleweight was where the action was in July. First, we got the long-awaited rematch of Silva-Sonnen, which Silva took in dramatic fashion in the second round after a first round that looked like it was pulled straight from their first meeting. Who knows what’s next for Silva? I know what would be a good option- Chris Weidman, who looked amazing while absolutely manhandling the very tough Munoz. Meanwhile, Rockhold comfortably bested Tim Kennedy in a decent, but underwhelming performance, and Lombard disappointed with a largely lethargic loss against Tim Boetsch.

How does Weidman jump up so far? By absolutely stomping a mudhole in a guy like Munoz, that’s how. I think Munoz is pretty legit, which is why he only drops to #6 and Weidman gets such a boost. Weidman is just a beast, period. Numbers 8-10 also move up one because I decided that Jacare has been left in the middle of the top ten for too long and was likely undeserving. I do think he’s a legit top ten guy, but I did think long and hard about including Belcher at the tenth spot, nonetheless. The problem is that Belcher has to beat somebody besides Rousimar Palhares to get in. Neither Lombard or Tim Boetsch looked good in their bout, which was close anyway, so they’re both on the outside looking in at a very competitive group.

Speak of the devil, the awesome Okami-Rousimar Palhares fight that we were going to get because of an injury to Luis Cane has now been scrapped due to an injury to Palhares, leaving Okami to fight Buddy Roberts at UFC 150 next month. We do get a fun fight between Stann and Bisping in mid-September to ease our pain, followed by Alan Belcher-Vitor Belfort in October, however.


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

Nothing happening here, but Shogun will take on Brandon Vera on August 4th at UFC on Fox 4, where Machida will meet Bader and Davis will take on UFC newbie Wagner Prado. Prado takes over for former heavyweight Chad Griggs, which was a fight I really wanted to see. Much has been made of the fact that Dana White initially said the winner of Shogun-Vera would get a title shot, then said that whoever looks the best out of that fight and Machida-Bader would get the nod. Either way, Jones will be looking at a rematch against somebody that he already beat decisively after he fights Hendo at UFC 151.


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 (NR)

Dropped out: Mark Hunt (10).

Nothing happened here in July, but I did drop Hunt out in favor of Browne, who has been excellent lately. It’s a close call, and it was fun to include Hunt, but Browne has a brighter future right now…he’ll face Silva in October with a chance to prove me right.

In September, we’ll get Cormier and Barnett in their last Strikeforce bouts. Cormier will face Mir, who makes a one-fight departure from the UFC into the Strikeforce hexagon, while Barnett’s opponent has not been named. Dos Santos and Velasquez will rematch this fall, but it won’t be in September as originally planned.


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

Nobody was active here except Silva, who was impressive as usual, so nothing changes.

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