The lightweight rankings were yesterday and here is day two of the rankings, the welterweights.
1) Georges St. Pierre – GSP has been one of the most dominating welterweights of all time. Since winning the title initially from Matt Hughes at UFC 65 GSP has only slipped once to Matt Serra. Many say that Serra got lucky in his striking and connected well on that one shot. Since losing to Serra though GSP has shown an amazing skill set defeating some of the biggest names in the welterweight division. Names such as Matt Hughes (#9), Jon Fitch (#3) and BJ Penn (lightweight #1).
2) Thiago Alves – Alves will be challenging for the title this July 11th against GSP (#1). On his road to the title shot Alves defeated #9 ranked Matt Hughes and #8 ranked Josh Koscheck. In the bout against Hughes, Alves may have come in a few pounds over limit but he wowed fans with his flying knee KO of a true MMA legend.
3) John Fitch – Fitch is an amazing fighter at welterweight, he has faced off against many different opponents and come out on top most of the time. At UFC 87 Fitch challenged for the title against GSP and took him all the way to a decision which he ended up losing. After that fight Fitch had a few issues with the UFC and even got fired for a day before returning to face Japanese fighter, Akihiro Gono. Fitch won that fight via unanimous decision. Fitch, like GSP and Alves will also be fighting on July 11th at UFC 100. His opponent will be Paulo Thiago (#7).
4) Jake Shields – Shields was the EliteXC welterweight champion before the promotion went bust. Now he finds himself, like most former EliteXC fighters, fighting for Strikeforce. Shields recently made quick work of Robbie Lawler in a catchweight bout (182lbs) defeating him via guillotine choke in the first round.
5) Mike Swick – After losing a middleweight bout to Japanese standout Yushin Okami, Swick dropped down a weight class. Swick now finds himself fighting at welterweight and he is having a hard time losing. Since making the drop Swick has defeated Marcus Davis, Jonathan Goulet and Ben Saunders.
6) Martin Kampmann – Kampmann has only had two fights at welterweight but he is looking good. He first beat Barros and then Carlos Condit, the former WEC welterweight champion.
7) Paulo Thiago – Thiago does not yet understand what losing is like. Maybe he will learn though when he faces John Fitch (#3) on July 11th at UFC 100. Thiago’s most recognizable win is over #8 Josh Koscheck. He defeated Koscheck via TKO at UFC 95.
Josh Koscheck – Koscheck has always been one of those fighters that gets so close and then falls back down. His most recent loss was to #7 Thiago and his most recent win was the event before that which was a stunning KO over Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Koscheck’s next fight will be against MMA veteran Frank Trigg at UFC 103.
9) Matt Hughes – Hughes could be called the greatest welterweight fighter of all time. Unfortunately he has let himself go a bit recently losing to Alves (#2) and St. Pierre (#1). Hughes did do a good job in his fight against Serra though which is why he still sees himself within the top 10.
10) Dan Hardy – Hardy has been putting on quite a show in his last few fights defeating Akihiro Gono, Rory Markham and of course Marcus Davis. Hardy may not fully deserve the number 10 spot but he made it there.
Outside top 10:
Special thanks to those who help put the list together, Jim Kammer, Tommy Yacyshyn and Zachary Romaniuk. Middleweight rankings will be right here on MMA-Live tomorrow.
Machinemen has put together a great video showcasing the rise of Brock Lesnar from high school wrestling all the way to the UFC heavyweight champion.
This is the first of monthly updated rankings put together by myself with the help of Jim Kammer. Although we didn’t agree on the placement of each fighter this is the closest I could make it. I will be adding a weight class each day so make sure you come back to check out the rest of the rankings. If you don’t agree with the placement of any of the fighters feel free to leave a comment below.
MMA Live’s Top 10 Lightweight’s
1) BJ Penn – Is there really a reason for BJ Penn not to be in the #1 spot? Not that I can think of. He has destroyed all lightweight opponents he has come up against. The only reason Penn could find himself lower down in the rankings is due to lack of fighting in the lightweight division. I guess all of that will come to an end though when BJ Penn will defend the UFC Lightweight crown against #2 Kenny Florian at UFC 101.
2) Kenny Florian – Florian is a great fighter and as mentioned above he will be getting his shot at the UFC lightweight championship this August. Since entering the UFC on a loss to Diego Sanchez at middleweight Kenny has found his fighting home to be in the lightweight division.
3) Eddie Alvarez – The first Bellator lightweight champion! Alvarez fought his way through a three round tournament over twelve weeks to win the title via a rear naked choke over inverse triangle innovator Tony Imada. Alvarez last lost a fight in 2008 to our #5 lightweight Shinya Aoki.
4) Diego Sanchez – Sanchez is just coming off a split decision win to over #7 ranked Clay Guida at the finale of the Ultimate Fighter Season 9. After defeating Guida Sanchez now believes he is ready to challenge for the UFC lightweight championship. I believe that win or lose at UFC 101 Diego Sanchez will be facing off against Kenny Florian for a second time.
5) Shinya Aoki – He is the WAMMA lightweight champion, but does that mean anything? Not at all. Aoki would be up around #2/3 right now if it had not been for his 27 second loss to Sakurai at DREAM 8.
6) Joachim Hansen – In his last fight he did beat #5 ranked Shinya Aoki but Hansen has not fought in close to a year. So Hansen would be higher, if he would actually fight.
7) Clay Guida – Just coming off a loss to #4 Diego Sanchez Guida sees himself sat at #7 on the inaugural MMA Live rankings. Guida is always an exciting fighter and one day we may see him as the lightweight champion.
Frankie Edgar – Frankie stunned everyone when he dismantled #10 Sean Sherk piece by piece. One day Edgar may also be a challenger for the UFC lightweight crown.
9) Gray Maynard – Still undefeated in his UFC ques, Maynard has defeated some decent fighters including #8 Frankie Edgar. His wins have not been as convincing recently to put him higher than Edgar.
10) Sean Sherk – Former champion Sean Sherk has had two losses in his last three fights. He has to get a win on his next time out or this could be the end of a great era for the “Muscle Shark.”
Outside top 10:
UFC 100 predictions
By Jim Kammer
Lines as of 6.25.2009 form Bodog.com
All the lines are at Bodog!
Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir
Line Brock (-250)
Brock is the fan favorite choice and in the betting lines too. He is bigger, stronger and faster, than almost every heavyweight in the world and has an aurora of greatness around him. Brock has a superior pedigree of wrestling and is gifted with freakish talent.
Brock Lesnar is not going to win.
Since the win over Brock, every day Frank Mir is closer to becoming the fighter he was before the motorcycle accident. You see it in his eyes. You see it in his demeanor. Mir’s confidence and swagger are closer to an all time high. He is arguably the most dangerous submission man in the heavyweight division. In three fights in the UFC, Brock Lesnar has faced one submission attempt and tapped – and that was Frank Mir’s knee bar- one of the easiest submissions to defend against.
Mir’s standup looked very much improved over Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. This was the only stoppage of Nog’s career. The fact of Nog’s staph infection and knee issues were a huge factor are understood. But Mir looked good- real good. That was not the fighter that lost to Brandon Vera- this was the fighter that broke Tim Sylvia’s arm.
To me, Brock has not shown great endurance in his fights. In his last one, you have to wonder how much longer he could have gone. Grant it, he was throwing bombs against Couture- but Couture is 46 years old! Lesnar’s two wins in the octagon have come against a striker with a 3-4-1 record in his last 8, and a wrestler with a 4-4 record in his last 8. Looking back on Couture’s wins now, they are not as impressive as they initially seemed.
The questions for the fight are:
- Is Mir’s knee ok? I am assuming that it is, it’s a whole other game if its not. If that knee isn’t 100% and he cannot lock submissions, he may be in for a long (or short) night.
- Does Brock catch Mir early or does Lesnar run out of gas and make a mistake and Mir capitalize on it?
I believe that Brock caught Mir in the first fight –and he was unlucky with the horrible stoppages by referee Steve Mazzagatti. That is not going to happen again; Mir is a submission specialist with an improved striking game and is ready for Lesner and ready for a decent run as UFC heavyweight champion.
Prediction- Mir wins in round 3 by submission.
Georges St Pierre vs. Thiago Alves
Line- St Pierre (-325)
How good is GSP?! If you look at his record and a list of his opponents, it’s a who’s who of the welterweight division- it is just amazing. He is the complete package. He can and will dominate the fight- almost any fight- from start to finish. The ONLY way GSP loses is when he beats himself. For some reason he used to let his head get into the fight, either not confident enough (Hughes) or over confident (Serra). When he is ready and prepared he wins, period. GSP is not taking Alves lightly. Alves is a tough fighter with that one punch knockout ability. He is riding a 7 fight win streak with his last loss to Jon Fitch back in June 2006. Alves has improved since that loss, but so has Fitch and GSP handled Fitch.
I do not think that there is really too much to analyze here- GSP is a better striker and grappler, but does not have the greatest chin. If Alves connects this fight could be over at any time. I do not see GSP giving that chance and dominates the fight from the beginning – both standing and on the ground for all five rounds.
Prediction- GSP wins by unanimous decision
Here is the first of many upcoming press conferences for the big 100. The main topic throughout the interview is size and whether it will be to one fighters advantage or not. Thanks to CageWriter for the video.
“Rampage” Jackson celebrating his 31st birthday at Body English via Combat Lifestyle
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, former UFC light heavyweight champion is being sued by a victim of his 2008 run-in with the law.
In July of 2008 Quinton Jackson lost his UFC light heavyweight championship via unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin. Just over a week after losing the title reports were hitting the net that the former champion had been arrested on reckless driving and hit-and-run charges stemming from lack of sleep. Jackson will not be sentenced for the crimes he plead guilty to until January 2010 in the mean time he must complete 200 hours of community service.
TMZ.com broke the news on Rampage being sued earlier today:
“Holli Griggs filed a lawsuit against Rampage in Orange County, California — claiming he repeatedly rammed into her car ’so he could escape and flee the scene (hit and run).’ Griggs says ‘the impact of her abdomen with the steering wheel caused her amniotic fluid membranes (bag of waters) to rupture, ultimately resulting in the stillbirth of her baby.’”
If forced to pay up the former champion may find himself more than $25,000 out of pocket.
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale took place last night and it would be an understatement to call it spectacular. Pretty much every minute of every fight kept me on the edge of my seat. So what better way to show thanks to the fighters than to give out three “Fight of the Night” bonuses?
Fight of the Night: Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida; Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns; Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz
KO of the Night: Tomasz Drwal
Submission of the Night: Jason Dent
Each one of the fighters listed above took home an extra $25,000 bonus on top of their salaries which have not yet been released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The $25,000 amount is less than the normal amount for a PPV but the exact same as the Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale bonuses that were handed out.