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Fightmania November Rankings

By on November 29, 2011

November was a pretty tumultuous month rankings-wise, as not one, not two, but four top five fighters lost inside the month. Cain Velasquez, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Eddie Alvarez and Brian Bowles experienced defeat, even if only three of them deserved it (hint: the guy who got an undeserved loss is Brazilian and has a nickname that rhymes with “Toebun”). Where will they find themselves in the November rankings, and what other changes are shaking about? Read on to find out.


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

Dropped out: Takeya Mizugaki (10)

The biggest fight here obviously paired Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles, and Faber responded to the opportunity with a vintage performance that reminded us all of Faber’s WEC days. Bowles drops a bit, but he’s still an elite guy in the division; it’s just a really deep division, honestly. I was really impressed with Renan “Barao” and unlike many fighters who come to the U.S. with inflated records filled with guys you’ve never heard of, he showed that he’s worthy of his stats with a dominating win over the extremely tough Brad Pickett.

It hurts me to drop Takeya Mizugaki, a personal favorite due to his toughness, but he’s 4-4 in his last eight fights and it was probably long overdue, anyway. Prepare to see Michael McDonald on this list pretty soon, and when he does make it, he won’t be leaving for a long time. It’ll be pretty slow going in the near future for these ten fighters, most of whom have competed recently and don’t have opponents announced for upcoming bouts.


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

Both Sandro and Poirier got back on track in November, though Sandro doesn’t yet move back up the ladder. The big fight coming up in this division is unquestionably the pairing between Jose Aldo and Chad “Money” Mendes, which goes down in the UFC’s return to Brazil in January. Hioki will look to build on his successful, if slightly pedestrian, UFC debut when he fights Bart Palaszewski on February 26. Nunes will square off against Gamburyan at UFC 141 on December 30. Finally, Pat Curran will get a chance at wearing Bellator gold when he faces featherweight champ Joe Warren at some point in February.


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

The big news here is obviously Alvarez’s loss to the unranked Michael Chandler at Bellator 58. I wanted to include Chandler, but I don’t have a spot for him yet; he’ll get a chance to earn one soon enough. Meanwhile, I don’t feel right dropping Alvarez any further than eighth. Henderson looked great against Clay Guida and will challenge Frankie Edgar in the UFC’s first Zuffa-run show in Japan on February 26. Melendez faces Jorge Masvidal in what I suspect will be his last Strikeforce fight next month. Some other great fights featuring these men are also coming up: Cerrone-Nate Diaz in December, Guillard-Miller in January, Pettis-Joe Lauzon in February.


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

February is when the most important fights in the division will happen, as GSP will take on Diaz and Koscheck will face Condit on Super Bowl weekend. Elsewhere, Fitch will finally return to action against Johny Hendricks next month, while Shields will attempt to right the ship against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144. Alves-Kampmann is another fantastic welterweight fight, and will occur on the UFC’s first FX show in March.


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

Dropped out: Brian Stann (10)

Nothing much to see here, besides Hector Lombard’s victory over an aged Trevor Prangley, which isn’t going to move up past where he already is. I hate to drop Brian Stann, but Munoz is a better all-around fighter. Belfort will face Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 as Johnson makes his middleweight debut. Marquardt finally has his first post-UFC opponent, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, but the fight is at welterweight, so he may be moved to that list soon.


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

I firmly believe Shogun-Hendo was a draw, so Shogun stays put, though I’ll move Hendo up a spot until I see Rampage look more like his old self. Jones will defend against Machida in December. Mousasi will face Ovince St. Preux on December’s Strikeforce card. Franklin has had shoulder surgery and won’t be back until mid-2012 at earliest. Rampage will take on former top ten LHW Ryan Bader in Japan next year.


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

Dos Santos seized the top spot with his quick demolition of Velasquez on Fox, though Velasquez only drops to number two on the list. Lesnar and Overeem will tangle in December, which should make for an excellent scrap for however long it manages to last. Fedor looked pretty good in his win against Jeff Monson in Russia, though his opportunities to move up with be few and far between with the spotty competition he’ll be undoubtedly facing from here on out. Nogueira and Mir will face off again on December 10, when Mir could prove that his first win over Nogueira had a lot more to do with his ability than with Nogueira not feeling well.


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

Nothing to see here this month.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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