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Fightmania September Rankings

By on September 28, 2010

It seems like just as much action took place outside of competition as it did inside the ring or cage this month, with plenty of top ten fighters making the news for reasons other than their performance. However, there were some changes in the various top ten rankings this month. Come check out what’s changed, along with upcoming bouts for the elite in each division in this month’s installment of the Fightmania MMA rankings.

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)
10. Wagnney Fabiano (NR)

Another month goes by without much changing, though I did boot Shuichiro Katsumura, who lost by TKO to Darren Uyenoyama in a non-title Shooto bout this month. Entering the top ten is Wagnney Fabiano, who has two wins in a row since his loss to Mackens Semerzier via triangle choke. He’ll face Brian Bowles at WEC 52 in November. Also in November, Faber will fight Mizugaki, while Page will face Eddie Wineland. Cruz will fight Jorgensen at WEC 53. Miguel Torres faces Charlie Valencia this week at WEC 51.

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

No changes this month, as only Omigawa was in action. He beat Cole Escovedo with a nifty submission at Dream 16, but the win wasn’t enough for me to propel him past Fernandes. Almost half of this list will be in action this week, as Aldo and Gamburyan will face off, while Mike Brown will fight Cole Province and Diego Nunes will be up against Tyler Toner. Grispi (vs. Erik Koch) and Davis (vs. Raphael Assuncao) will be in action at WEC 52, while Bibiano Fernandes will likely face Hiroyuki Takaya, though I’d rather see him face Omigawa.

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

The only two in action were Aoki and Dunham. Aoki beat Marcus Aurelio at Dream 16, while Dunham “lost” to Sean Sherk at UFC 119. Yet Dunham moves up and knocks three fighters down a notch, including Aoki. What gives? Well, Aoki’s win was not all that impressive, and I still think Florian’s a better fighter. Meanwhile, Dunham certainly won that fight, and continued to prove himself to be an elite lightweight. I’m not sure what to do with Penn, who will face Matt Hughes at UFC 123. I’m assuming for now that his move to welterweight is again a temporary one. Alvarez will face Roger Huerta soon, Thomson will fight JZ Cavalcante in October, and Henderson will defend his WEC title next at WEC 53 in December against Anthony Pettis.

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. Dan Hardy
9. Paulo Thiago
10. John Hathaway (NR)

If there’s a theme in the rankings, it’s very little activity since, well, many of the fighters listed weren’t active this month. If there’s another theme, it’s fighters dropping in my rankings even with a win. That tends to happen when a fighter I wasn’t that impressed with to begin with puts on an underwhelming performance, whether they win or not. In Daley’s case, he beat Jorge Masvidal, but benefited from awful refereeing and only showed that he still has absolutely no takedown defense or meaningful abilities from off of his back. I’ve replaced him with John Hathaway, who looked great against Diego Sanchez, is undefeated and will face Mike Pyle at UFC 120. Oh, and he would whoop up on Daley, anyway. Diaz will face KJ Noons next month, and Dan Hardy will take on Carlos Condit as well. Meanwhile, at UFC 121, Shields and Kampmann will face off and Paulo Thiago will fight Diego Sanchez. One big story in this division is that Jon Fitch is really pondering a jump to middleweight now, and has once again closed the door on the possibility of ever facing teammate Josh Koscheck.

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

First thing’s first: no, I’m not dropping Chael Sonnen. He’s below Silva anyway, and I can’t put him below Marquardt when he recently beat Marquardt soundly, with no positive drug test to taint that particular performance. Marquardt will get to prove his worth anyway, as he takes on Yushin Okami at UFC 122 for a title shot. If his takedown defense looks good, maybe he’ll jump past Sonnen, who will be out of action for awhile. Maybe I’ll take Sonnen out altogether, since he won’t be fighting for a year. I’m not sure yet. Anyway, Belfort will face Silva next year, in the meantime. Dan Henderson will fight Renato “Babalu” Sobral in December. Belcher stays at 9, but unfortunately there is no timetable for his return after eye surgery.

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)
7. Gegard Mousasi (8)
8. Rich Franklin (9)
9. Ryan Bader (NR)
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (6)

Nogueira lost to Bader and didn’t look very good for the second fight in a row, so he drops way down to the tenth spot. I need to see more out of Jon Jones against a quality opponent in order to put him in there and pull Nog out. King Mo, Mousasi, and Franklin all rise a spot as a result, and Bader comes into the top ten, where I’m sure he’ll spend plenty of time before his career is finally through. A lot of the fighters here are injured right now, but we will see Machida and Jackson face off at UFC 123. Other than that, there’s not much going on in MMA’s marquee division.

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

Not much happening here, except that I kept with my pattern of dropping fighters who just won. Let’s be fair, though, Mir looked tentative and altogether lethargic against a fighter far past his glory days before pulling off a knockout at the end of the bout. Meanwhile, dos Santos looked absolutely great against Roy Nelson in his most recent bout. Some of these guys won’t be competing for awhile. Werdum is out until probably March of 2011 after elbow surgery, while the man he beat most recently, Fedor will be out until 2011, too. Nogueira is out until next year with a knee injury, and Overeem is busy competing in the K-1 Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Carwin isn’t fighting anytime soon and is involved in a steroid investigation controversy. We will see Lesnar and Velasquez fight at UFC 119, and Barnett signing with Strikeforce is good news, if he can get his license taken care of and stop failing drug tests. Otherwise, there’s very little going on with the heavyweights anytime soon.

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 (NR)

Nothing happening here, although I did drop Sonnen from the list, replacing him with light heavyweight Rashad Evans. Sonnen was placed on the list after his impressive performance against Silva, and now I drop him because that performance is tainted. Evans is unquestionably one of the better pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, and eked out his claim mainly over Joseph Benavidez, who was his best competition. Only Aldo, Machida and Penn will be active from this list anytime soon.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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