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Article:The Sports Brief's MMA Rankings (9/9/08)

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Once again this is the rankings for all of MMA, but just for the weight classes recognized by the UFC.  Not a lot has happened in the ring or octagon since the last rankings besides last weekend’s UFC 88, however many exciting match ups have been scheduled/ rumored for the rest of 2008.  Also with so many fighters moving up or down in weight classes (i.e. Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Brandon Vera, B.J. Penn, etc.), where do you put them?  Besse and I have stated that a fighter must be at least booked to fight in the same division for 2 fights in a row to officially move divisions.  Let’s see how the top 10’s look entering football season…

 

Heavyweight:

 

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

 

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

 

Fedor is hurt and will miss the 2 nd Affliction show.  But how about these fights still to come in the next 2-3 months: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir (December), Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett (October), and of course the return of the UFC Champ Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar (November).  And before all of those match ups is one I’m really looking forward to.  The on again, off again fight between Alistair Overeem and Mirko Cro Cop is back on, and happening on September 23 rd as part of the Dream 6 card.  Two former Pride stars going head to head, should be great.

 

Light Heavyweight:

 

1. Forrest Griffin

2. Quinton Jackson

3. Lyoto Machida

4. Wanderlei Silva

5. Rashad Evans

6. Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua

7. Chuck Liddell

8. Thiago Silva

9. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

10. Keith Jardine

 

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

 

The only shake up since July’s rankings is right here in the ultra competitive Light Heavyweight division.  Rashad Evans (prev. 10 th) KTFO of Liddell (prev. 3 rd) vaults him up to 5 th in our poll.  Sugar won’t leap frog everyone, after all his previous highlights were a draw to Tito Ortiz and a win over Michael Bisping who is now a middleweight.  Evans now gets the title shot with Forrest in a TUF winners show down.  Rumors are circulating that Liddell wants to fight Anderson Silva.  Really?  Chuck is 1-3 last 4 fights with devastating KOs by Rampage and Evans, a decision loss to Jardine, and a decision win against Wanderlei.  His last knockout was back in 2006 vs. Tito, who Dana White says isn’t a good fighter anymore.  I would never say anything bad about Liddell in fear that he may read it, but hey Dana everything you’ve said about Tito in the cage is coming back to you in the form of the Iceman.  And as for Tito, looked like he was headed to Affliction, then EliteXC, now who knows?

 

Middleweight:

 

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

 

Patrick Cote, Frank Shamrock, Kazuo Misaki, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Thales Leites, Chris Leben. Michael Bisping, Ricardo Almeida, Demian Maia, Gegard Mousasi

 

Dream 6 on September 23 rd features the middleweight grand prix.  Not big names but great fighters like Gegard Mousasi set to compete.  Rich Franklin beat Matt Hamill at 205, should be interesting to see if he stays up there or comes back down to 185.  I’d love to see him fight Dan Henderson, but after a solid win on the same card, Hendo is thinking he can take down A. Silva if given another chance.  Problem is, Silva is fighting Patrick Cote coming up then I wouldn’t be surprised if he fights Liddell or another LHW.  Also Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen 2 has been pushed back from September to November 5 th. 

 

This seems like the best place also to say RIP Evan Tanner.  The former UFC middleweight champ was found dead in California.  He was 37. 

 

Welterweight:

 

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Jake Shields

4. Thiago Alves

5. Josh Koscheck

6. Diego Sanchez

t-7. Matt Hughes

t-7. Matt Serra

9. Karo Parisyan

10. Carlos Condit

 

Nick Thompson, Mike Swick, Marcus Davis, Drew Fickett, Jay Hieron

 

The super fight that everyone is waiting for on Super Bowl weekend will affect the welterweight and lightweight divisions.  GSP vs. Penn II.  Get excited.  Thiago Alves will meet Diego Sanchez next month as well with a title shot looming for the winner.  Not sure who Fitch will fight in his first fight back from losing to St. Pierre.  Karo was a late scratch from UFC 88.  And let’s book Hughes vs. Serra so we can break our tie for 7 th here.  It’s still amazing to me that guys like Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell can look so unbeatable, and then in a short time get absolutely worked.  That’s the nature of the beast, as they say.   

 

Lightweight:

 

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

 

Kenny Florian, KJ Noons , Nick Diaz, Victor Ribero, Joe Stevenson, Roger Huerta, Frankie Edgar

 

As you can see many of the best lightweights fight outside of the UFC.  Two of their best, however, will meet in November as Kenny Florian squares off against Joe Stevenson.  Ken Flo probably deserves a title shot after beating Huerta, but since Penn is fighting GSP, he doesn’t want to sit around a wait.  You have to appreciate that. 

 

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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