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Article:Sports Brief's MMA Rankings (8.21.08)

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The Sports Brief is back with it’s most recent MMA rankings. Although we had UFC 87 and WEC 35, there wasn’t much that changed in the rankings. The WEC talent pool just isn’t deep enough to truly break into the MMA rankings except for a notable few, and most everyone on the UFC card took care of business.

Once again, apologies to Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres, but you will not see Featherweight or Bantamweight, because we just don’t know enough about it. Those fighters do show up, however, on the Pound 4 Pound rankings. Also there a list of honorable mentions following each weight class, for the guys who just missed out on the Top 10. Enjoy the list and let the debates begin.


1. Fedor Emelianenko

2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

3. Randy Couture

4. Andrei Arlovski

5. Josh Barnett

6. Tim Sylvia

7. Fabricio Werdum

8. Alistair Overeem

9. Frank Mir

10. Brock Lesnar

Honorable Mentions: Ben Rothwell, Heath Herring, Chiek Kongo, Gabriel Gonzaga, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop

Affliction doesn’t have another card until October, so the heavyweight division shouldn’t fluctuate much until then. That tells you how stacked Affliction’s heavyweight talent pool is. Lesnar makes the jump into the rankings, however, after his dominate effort against Herring. Let’s face it, Lesnar’s striking, wrestling and brute strength/athleticism are downright scary. Until he proves his mettle against a bona fide jiu-jitsu fighter such as Mir, Big Nog or Fedor, or shows he can outstrike world-class fighters like Arlovski, Lesnar will continue to teeter on the outside looking in. But we expect him to continue his ascent.

Light Heavyweight:

1. Forrest Griffin

2. Quinton Jackson

3. Chuck Liddell

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Wanderlei Silva

6. Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua

7. Thiago Silva

8. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

9. Keith Jardine

10. Rashad Evans

Honorable Mentions: Babalu Sobral, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Tito Ortiz, Vladimir Matyushenko, Brandon Vera

None of the light heavyweights that competed over the past month are even close to consideration here, so nothing changes. We did, however, move Vera to light heavyweight since his next opponent is Keith Jardine. That justifies a change in weight class in our rankings. There are lot of intriguing matchups to be made, particularly involving the likes of Forrest, Silva and Rampage. And the Machida v. Thiago Silva fight is very intriguing. But most intriguing is Liddell’s tilt against still undefeated Rashad Evans. This could be Chuck’s final bid for a title comeback if he falters.


1. Anderson Silva

2. Matt Lindland

3. Dan Henderson

4. Rich Franklin

5. Paulo Filho

6. Cung Le

7. Robbie Lawler

8. Yushin Okami

9. Nathan Marquardt

10. Frank Trigg

Honorable Mentions: Patrick Cote, Frank Shamrock, Kazuo Misaki, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Thales Leites, Chris Leben. Michael Bisping, Ricardo Almeida, Demian Maia, Gegard Mousasi

I hope James Irvin saved some of those painkillers for after the fight. Cote is up next, and it’ll be interested to see if the slugger fairs any better than Chris Leben did. Speaking of which, that should be a heck of a matchup between Leben and Bisping free on SpikeTV at UFC89. Can’t wait.

Meanwhile, Rich Franklin returns to 205 against Matt Hamill. And Nate Marquardt faces Martin Kampmann, who could seriously be a sleeper in the middleweight division. Dan Henderson returns, as well, all on the undercard of Liddell and Evans main event clash. Wow.


1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Jake Shields

4. Thiago Alves

5. Josh Koscheck

6. Diego Sanchez

7. Carlos Condit

t-8. Matt Hughes

t-8. Matt Serra

10. Karo Parisyan

Honorable Mentions: Nick Thompson, Mike Swick, Marcus Davis, Drew Fickett, Jay Hieron

So St. Pierre is clearly a class above the UFC’s 170lb division, and most likely the rest of the world at that weight, as well. He took care of Fitch in their title bout, but Fitch proved he’s among the elite and that he was deserving of the title shot, grinding out five rounds of punishment in a decision loss. Condit, meanwhile, proved he is a true champion of the WEC with his impressive win over Hiromitsu Miura. Condit is a world class fighter, and we hope you’ve been watching these WEC telecasts because they’re really enjoyable. On the whole, the talent is a notch below the UFC and some other major organizations, but the fights are exciting nonetheless. Let’s hope they can bring in some other notable opponents for Carlos or perhaps have him cross over into the UFC.


1. BJ Penn

2. Takanori Gomi

3. Eddie Alverez

4. Joachim Hansen

5. Shinya Aoki

6. JZ Cavalcante

7. Josh Thomson

8. Tatsuya Kawajiri

9. Sean Sherk

10. Gilbert Melendez

Honorable Mentions: Kenny Florian, KJ Noons, Nick Diaz, Victor Ribero, Joe Stevenson, Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta

BJ Penn is all but off to the welterweight division for his rematch with St. Pierre. While it’s an exciting fight that everyone wants to see, it leaves the championship belt idle in the meantime. Kenny Florian certainly showed he could be considered as next in line for a shot at the champ. His decision win over Huerta was tactical and exciting in spurts, and Florian is showing ever improving skills every time out. He says he wants to keep fighting regardless of what Penn does, and that could lead to some exciting possible matchups. The winner of Griffin-Sherk, Stevenson or even Frankie Edgar would be intriguing.

Pound 4 Pound:

1. Anderson Silva

2. Fedor Emelianenko

3. Georges St. Pierre

4. BJ Penn

5. Urijah Faber

6. Miguel Torres

7. Takanori Gomi

8. Forrest Griffin

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

10. Quinton Jackson

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