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Fightmania June Rankings

By on June 30, 2012

You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not all that jazzed up to talk about June’s rankings. Like many MMA fans, I’m looking forward to what has to be 2012′s most anticipated fight, Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen. Still, the rankings will not wait! They must be tended to, like little lost sheep that have randomly ordered themselves according to one man’s biased opinion.

FLYWEIGHT DIVISION (125 LBS.)

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

Demetrious Johnson made some good adjustments after his first fight with McCall, winning their second matchup via a clear decision. As such, he moves up and McCall drops to third while we wait for Mighty Mouse and Benavidez to face off for the UFC Flyweight Championship. We won’t be seeing Dodson for awhile by the way, as he broke his left hand during his May win over Tim Elliot.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

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

Dropped out: Bibiano Fernandes (10)

I knew Wineland was a dangerous opponent for Jorgensen, and he showed why with a nasty KO win that sends Jorgensen tumbling down the rankings this month. Not only has Wineland won five of seven now, but his only two losses were by decision to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez. Not too shabby. To accommodate Wineland, Fernandes drops out. Fernandes announced recently that he signed with One FC over the UFC for financial reasons. Seems a little short-sighted, seeing as his sponsorship opportunities (along with the chance for much higher pay down the road) would be much better with the UFC.

Faber and Barao are still on track to fight for the UFC Fake Bantamweight Championship on July 21. The only other announced bout between these ten men occurs when Pickett takes on Yves Jabouin in late September on the UFC’s fifth Fuel-aired card.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

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

Dropped out: Marlon Sandro (10)

Hioki still has not lived up to his billing in the UFC, as he has unfortunately become the latest Japanese import to struggle under the Zuffa banner. The man who defeated him by unanimous decision, Lamas, moves into the rankings at #9 as Hioki slips six spots. Sandro, who has not been very impressive in his Bellator stint so far, drops out of the rankings for now.

Jose Aldo will no longer face Erik Koch in Canada in July due to a leg injury. Hioki, who passed on the chance to fight Aldo, will take on Ricardo Lamas in June. Mendes will get back into things with a fight he is widely expected to win as he takes on Cody McKenzie at UFC 148. Pitbull Freire and Curran do battle for the Bellator Featherweight Title on August 24.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

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

Maynard defeated Clay Guida in a disappointing fight that represented the only action concerning the lightweight top ten in June. Things won’t pick up much until August, when Henderson and Edgar will rematch for the UFC Lightweight Title, because you have to fight Edgar two times in a row, no matter what. It’s a rule. I looked it up.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

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

Kampmann seems to like close fights, and he won with another comeback performance by TKO against Ellenberger in June. He is already slated for his next fight, a showdown with Hendricks at UFC 154. Also that night, St. Pierre and Condit will finally face off for GSP’s UFC Welterweight Title. UFC 154 takes place on November 17. Two months earlier at UFC 152, MacDonald will attempt to move further up the rankings with a fight over the supposedly-retired BJ Penn. Fitch has had to pull out of his scheduled July scrap with Aaron Simpson due to injury.

Also, Marquardt and Tyron Woodley will square off for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship on July 14.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

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

Yes, it’s been slow, but things are going to heat up fast. Next weekend, we have Silva-Sonnen. Four days later, Munoz takes on Chris Weidman on Fuel. A few days after that, Showtime will feature Rockhold-Tim Kennedy for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title. Lombard then makes his UFC debut on July 21 against Tim Boetsch. Even injuries can’t slow down the Summer of Awesome in the middleweight division. Luiz Cane is out of his fight with Okami, but this is the rare case where the replacement makes for a much more compelling fight, as Rousimar Palhares steps in to face the Japanese wrestler on August 11. That, my friends, is a great matchup.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

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

June was another slow month for light heavyweights, and things won’t pick up in July, either. 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. Of course, in September Jones will defend his title against Hendo at UFC 151.

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 (NR)
10. Mark Hunt (NR)

Dropped out: Fedor Emelianenko (9), retired; Shane Carwin (10), inactivity.

Werdum handily defeated Mike Russow, who was due for a market correction after four straight UFC wins. Meanwhile, Fedor put away Pedro Rizzo in the first round of their meeting. Fedor retires as the ninth-best heavyweight in the world in my rankings, and drops out now that he’s called it a career. Carwin also drops, as he hasn’t fought since last June and has no return in sight. I moved Bigfoot Silva in the ninth spot, despite his bad run of it lately, and Hunt into the tenth. I considered Hunt, Cheick Kongo, and Ben Rothwell for the spot. Well, Hunt beat them both recently, so he gets it.

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 (NR)

Dropped out: Ian McCall (10)

With McCall’s loss to Demetrious Johnson, he drops out of the pound-for-pound rankings. Instead of moving Mighty Mouse in, though, I moved in UFC Heavyweight Champ Junior dos Santos, who deserves a place in the top ten.

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