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Fightmania October Rankings

By on October 31, 2011

October was a great month not just for the quantity of major MMA shows, but the quality, too. Not only did we have three UFC shows, four Bellator events and dozens of smaller shows, but three titles were on the line this month (plus, Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz fought for the first time since leaving for the UFC, too). Curious to see what’s changed in the last month? Read on for the newest Fightmania rankings, along with my breakdown of who moved and why.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

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

Although three top ten fighters from the bantamweight division were in action, the rankings stayed the same. Dominick Cruz added another successful title defense to his resume, but Demetrious Johnson doesn’t drop after a very game performance. Meanwhile, Scott Jorgensen won last weekend, but wasn’t especially impressive and stays at the fifth spot nonetheless.

We’ll be seeing Brad Pickett in action at UFC 138, where he’ll face Renan “Barao” on the main card. Bowles and Faber will face off in a terrific fight at UFC 139, the same event where Torres will take on Nick Pace. Ueda defeated Royler Gracie in Gracie’s last MMA fight last month by split decision.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

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

Jose Aldo was once again not the dominating force that he was in the WEC, but got the job done nonetheless against Kenny Florian, who drops to fourth after what may be his last chance at a UFC title. I was underwhelmed by Hioki’s performance against Jeff Curran at UFC 137, and Chad Mendes leapfrogs him, Florian and Nunes at once. Mendes will reportedly be the next challenger for Aldo’s title.

Omigawa will try to right the ship at UFC 138 against Jason Young, while Poirier (who beat Young his last time out) will fight on the undercard of the UFC’s debut on Fox against Pablo Garza. Finally, Sandro will attempt to bounce back from his loss to Pat Curran at Bellator 58 next month against Rafael Dias.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

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

Dropped out: Tatsuya Kawajiri

There are always a lot of tough decisions to be made in this weight class, but the top few spots aren’t among them. I can’t drop Gray Maynard from third even after a KO loss to Frankie Edgar, particularly when Maynard was once again so close to putting Edgar away several times in the first round of their latest tilt. I probably could have dropped Guillard farther, and I likewise could have put Joe Lauzon in the mix, but trust me when I say he’s right on the bubble. Instead, Donald Cerrone hops into the top ten after his impressive UFC 137 win over Dennis Siver. Anthony Pettis moves up a spot as much because of Guillard’s loss as he does because of his own win over the tough Jeremy Stephens. This division is a lot of fun right now.

Melendez is supposed to be fighting Jorge Masvidal on December’s Strikeforce card, but rumors persist that he will be making the jump to the UFC any day now. Alvarez will defend his Bellator title against Michael Chandler at Bellator 58 next month. Henderson will face Clay Guida next month in what should be a fantastic fight.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

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

The only fight involving these ten was Nick Diaz’s entertaining win over BJ Penn, for which I dropped Penn two spots, allowing Condit and Ellenberger to move up. Diaz doesn’t move up, mostly because Penn handled him so well in the first round. Also, I feel like Koscheck could have probably beaten the Penn that showed up on Saturday night, too. It’s a testament to Penn’s ability and talent that he can do as well as he did when he obviously isn’t training like he should, but you can’t ignore the fact that his cardio problems are a well-established trend (and have been for years).

St. Pierre will now take on Diaz in February, and Condit will fight on that card, too. Alves is fighting next month against UFC newcomer Papy Abedi, while Fitch fights Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. At UFC 139, Kampmann will face Rick Story in what should be a great contest and a chance for Story to get back into the top ten.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

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)
10. Brian Stann (9)

Maia won against a top twenty opponent in Jorge Santiago, but it was still a rather pedestrian effort, which seems to be the norm since Maia’s ill-fated title shot against Anderson Silva. Sonnen looked great in a win over Stann, and Stann drops a spot even though it’s hard to expect him to do much more against someone of Sonnen’s caliber.

Lombard will face Trevor Prangley in one of Bellator’s unfortunate non-title fights at Bellator 58, which is shaping up nicely. Belfort was supposed to fight Cung Le at UFC 139, but an injury forced him off the card and he has been replaced by Wanderlei Silva. We’re still waiting to find out who Marquardt will face in his BAMMA debut, for which there is no tentative date.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

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

None of the top ten were active in October. Evans has been bitten again by the injury bug, as a hand injury from hitting Tito Ortiz’s super-sized dome has kept him again from fighting Jones for the UFC title. Instead, Jones will defend against Machida in December. Shogun will face Henderson in November. Mousasi will face Ovince St. Preux on December’s Strikeforce card. Franklin has had shoulder surgery and won’t be back for nearly another year.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (265 LBS.)

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

Nothing was happening among these ten in October, though Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo are both knocking on the door after their wins over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Matt Mitrione, respectively.

The big fight to come in this division is next month’s bout between Velasquez and dos Santos on Fox, of course. Lesnar will take on Overeem in December in another explosive matchup, while Mir and Nogueira will meet for the second time before year’s end. Fedor begins his post-Strikeforce life as he takes on Jeff Monson in M-1 next month. Carwin won’t fight until 2012 after yet another injury setback.

POUND-FOR-POUND (No Limit)

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

Edgar was extremely gutsy in the first round and impressive in the rest of his fight with Gray Maynard, and he moves past Aldo, who got the job done but didn’t look spectacular by any means against Kenny Florian. Cruz withstood a good challenge from Demetrious Johnson and moves up, along with Jones, as Penn drops.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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