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Fightmania October Rankings

By on October 26, 2010

Unquestionably, the month’s biggest story has been that of Cain Velasquez destroying Brock Lesnar to claim the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Obviously, there’s a corresponding shake-up in the heavyweight rankings, but what else has changed this month? Also, what are the fights that we will see soon that will affect the rankings? Read on to find out!

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)
1. Dominick Cruz
2. Joseph Benavidez
3. Brian Bowles
4. Miguel Torres
5. Urijah Faber
6. Scott Jorgensen
7. Takeya Mizugaki
8. Damacio Page
9. Masakatsu Ueda
10. Wagnney Fabiano

While there wasn’t a single October WEC event, there was a WEC show on September 30th that wasn’t taken into account in the September rankings, which were done a couple of days earlier. On that show, Miguel Torres defeated Charlie Valencia by submission in a return to his old form. I didn’t bump Torres past Brian Bowles for the performance, but it confirmed his position. In November, the action will pick up considerably, as Bowles faces Fabiano and Faber takes on Mizugaki at WEC 52.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)
1. Jose Aldo
2. Manny Gamburyan
3. Mike Brown
4. Bibiano Fernandes
5. Michihiro Omigawa
6. Marlon Sandro
7. Josh Grispi
8. L.C. Davis
9. Diego Nunes
10. Hatsu Hioki

Late last month, Jose Aldo once again proved his dominance over the division by dismantling Manny Gamburyan in the second round. Meanwhile, on the same show, Mike Brown got back on track by beating Cole Province, and Diego Nunes beat Tyler Toner on the undercard. I can’t flip-flop Brown and Gamburyan, seeing as Brown has lost to both Aldo and Gamburyan recently. Nunes stays put, too, as he lost to L.C. Davis a year ago and Toner is not exactly a world-beater. Josh Grispi takes on Erik Koch in November, as L.C. Davis will be in action against Raphael Assuncao.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)
1. Frankie Edgar
2. B.J. Penn
3. Gilbert Melendez
4. Gray Maynard
5. Evan Dunham
6. Eddie Alvarez (8)
7. Kenny Florian (6)
8. Shinya Aoki (7)
9. Ben Henderson
10. Josh Thomson

This month, three of the top ten were in action. Eddie Alvarez dismantled Roger Huerta, and I bumped him up to sixth in a move that is as much an acknowledgment that he was previously ranked too low as it was in response to the win. Josh Thomson beat Gesias Cavalcante in Strikeforce, but the win was not the most impressive performance we’ve seen from Thomson. Aoki gets leap-frogged by Alvarez but otherwise stays put after submitting Yokthai Sithoar, a former boxer who was making his MMA debut at Deep 50.

Gil Melendez’s next opponent looks to be Thomson (again), as another showdown with Aoki is not guaranteed to happen soon, or at all. BJ Penn will face Matt Hughes in a (momentary?) jump up to welterweight next month, while the UFC’s champ, Frankie Edgar, has a title defense against Gray Maynard looming this winter. Ben Henderson takes on Anthony Pettis, who recently appeared on MTV’s “World of Jenks”, on December 16th.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)
1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Jon Fitch
3. Thiago Alves
4. Josh Koscheck
5. Jake Shields
6. Nick Diaz
7. Martin Kampmann
8. Carlos Condit (NR)
9. Diego Sanchez (NR)
10. Dan Hardy (8)

Dropped out: Paulo Thiago (9), John Hathaway (10)

What to do, what to do with the welterweight division? First you have Shields, who beat a fellow top ten-ranked opponent, but did so unconvincingly in a matchup that was supposed to present a huge style advantage for him. Meanwhile, Nick Diaz won, albeit against a bloated lightweight in KJ Noons, and my numbers 8-10 fighters all lost, and to unranked fighters, at that.

First things first: Shields, Diaz and Kampmann are staying put. Sorry, it’s not very exciting but I don’t see any other way to do it. I’m tempted to put Kampmann ahead of Diaz, but I’m hesitant to do so, since I think Diaz would beat Kampmann if they fought. As for the 8-10 spots, I’m dropping Paulo Thiago and (reluctantly) John Hathaway, who lost to Mike Pyle. I’ll throw Carlos Condit in there, as he knocked out Dan Hardy and was a borderline top ten fighter anyway, and put Diego Sanchez in, which is ass backwards since he just lost to Hathaway, but what can you do?

Worst of all, this mess of a division won’t be changing much soon, as the only fights among the top ten coming up soon are that of GSP vs. Josh Koscheck and Thiago Alves against the unranked John Howard, both of which will go down at UFC 124.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)
1. Anderson Silva
2. Chael Sonnen
3. Nate Marquardt
4. Dan Henderson
5. Demian Maia
6. Vitor Belfort
7. Yushin Okami
8. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
9. Alan Belcher
10. Jorge Santiago

If the welterweight debacle gave you a headache, there’s a welcome respite in the form of the middleweight division. Absolutely nothing happened in October among these fighters, although Michael Bisping continues to knock on the door, this time defeating Yoshihiro Akiyama. I can’t include him yet, though, especially with that unavenged loss to the unranked Wanderlei Silva just sitting there.

In a few weeks, Nate Marquardt will face Yushin Okami for a 2011 title shot at UFC 122. Other than that, not much else will happen yet this year, as Dan Henderson will face Renato “Babalu” Sobral (at light heavyweight) in early December, and Anderson Silva will defend his title against Vitor Belfort next year.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)
1. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
2. Lyoto Machida
3. Rashad Evans
4. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
5. Forrest Griffin
6. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
7. Gegard Mousasi
8. Rich Franklin
9. Ryan Bader
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

A lack of activity in the top half of the rankings will come to a halt in November, as Lyoto Machida will take on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 123. Meanwhile, Ryan Bader will face off against Jon Jones early next year, supposedly at UFC 126, where Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin are also rumored to be squaring off.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (up to 265 LBS.)
1. Cain Velasquez (5)
2. Brock Lesnar (2)
3. Fabricio Werdum (2)
4. Fedor Emelianenko (3)
5. Shane Carwin (4)
6. Junior dos Santos
7. Frank Mir
8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
9. Alistair Overeem
10. Josh Barnett

The only change here is a major one, as Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar handily at UFC 121. I’ve ranked him at the top, as I see him as a better overall fighter than anyone else in the weight class at this point. Sorry, but Fabricio Werdum is just not the top heavyweight in the world. He’s just not.

He’s not #2 in my book either, as I thought long and hard about putting Lesnar after Werdum and Fedor Emelianenko before settling him in the two spot. As a result of Velasquez jumping from the fifth to the top spot, Werdum, Fedor and Shane Carwin all drop a position. Look, I know Lesnar has holes in his game. But his strengths are so ridiculously unmanageable for almost anyone that will ever step in the cage with him that I just can’t have him chilling outside of the top two in the world.

Fedor’s reluctance to actually compete certainly doesn’t help his cause, as you would think that a guy who just suffered his first loss in several years by way of a 69-second submission would want to get in there right away, but I guess not. Meanwhile, Shane Carwin has had to pull out of his UFC 125 bout with Roy Nelson due to back problems.

POUND FOR POUND (No Limit)
1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Anderson Silva
3. Jose Aldo
4. Frankie Edgar
5. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
6. Dominick Cruz
7. Lyoto Machida
8. Jon Fitch
9. BJ Penn
10. Rashad Evans

Nothing to see here, though I did think quite a bit about bumping Jose Aldo up to the second spot and sitting Anderson Silva down to the third. Ultimately, cooler heads have prevailed, as Silva hasn’t lost since a million years ago, while Aldo is still a very new champion compared to the UFC middleweight champ.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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