Sunday, December 31, 2006

Power Rankings 12/30/06

Okay here are the Following the Flow Power Rankings. The fighters in each class are listed in a rough ranking with comments on the side. This isn't a pure talent level ranking system as that is not the only factor in determining who gets a title shot. Drawing ability is an important part of the decision making process on who fights who.


Tim Sylvia - Nobody pays more attention to the recent signing of Cro Cop than the reigning champ. And yes Tim, he can kick that high. The flip side of that is that the big guy is gaining more respect these days. His sprawl looks good and he showed some grappling skill as well against a great grappler in Monson. There has been talk that he doesn't work to finish fights but if you look at his record you'll see that with a like number of fights he ehas less decisions than the best heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emelianenko.

Mirko Cro Cop - The resume says it all for Mirko. He's fought and beaten all the big names that Tim has not. Randleman, Wanderlei, Josh Barnett and a whole posse of others. Cro Cop is on the top of his game at this very moment. This is a great 'value' pickup for the UFC as Mirko is of a size that he could be a contender at two weightclasses. Everyone in the world wants to see a Mirko/Iceman matchup. Arlovski would be another world class match up.

Brandon Vera - Vera will get the next title shot if he doesn't go to PrideFC. I think he would succumb to Sylvia'a long arms and hard fists and am not sure it's a very compelling offering.

Arlovski - Andrei looked solid beating Marcio Cruz but nothing special but hey he's got acting lessons now.

Gabriel Gonzaga - He's got world class BJJ so he could be dangerous in the right circumstances. His takedowns looked pretty good too.

Jeff Monson - I'd like to see a Monson/Gonzaga fight.

Cheick Kongo - Despite losing his last fight Kongo is still in the hunt for a title berth. Yeah the heavyweights are that thin. I'd love to see Kongo vs Arlovski, who's with me?

Marcio Cruz - His only hope is to get Andrei down but I don't see it happening.

Antoni Hardonk - Looked decent in his win. I was like how the hell did he knock that guy out with a leg kick!?! In replay it was obvious that he actually got him with a punch then landed another punch then the kick. Nice combo.

Frank Mir - Well, he looked better than last fight.

Brad Imes - When will we see the big man again? Imes vs Sylvia would be fun to watch. If the Octagon doesn't collapse.

Dan Cristison - Lost to Mir but looked okay doing it, maybe gets another shot in the UFC. Cristison/Imes could be fun.

Light heavyweight

Chuck Liddell - The Iceman would knock out the his mom if she tried to stand with him. He's simply the best fighter in the UFC and maybe the best in the world. Behind Chuck's mohawk is just another fist!

Tito Ortiz - Tito...........Tito.......what can I say. Well now maybe i'll get Ortiz/Sobral like i've been asking for. Any true fan of MMA should be licking their chop-s at tFunny how the best 205 lbs fighters,not named Chuck, are out of the title picture. Okay, okay one question. Where was Tito's shot? He'd drop and just sit there motionless like a turtle on a hot asphalt road. After the first round or so at any rate.

Renato Sobral - C'mon lets get Babalu in the Octagon. Ortiz would be my first choice, Jardine would suffice.

Quinton Jackson - I'm sure we'll have some vintage Rampage highlightes after his first fight. He's the next compelling title contender for Chuck and why not he has beat him before. Even if it was 2003. Despite not beating his elite foes Rampage possesses the right skillset to push Liddell, again. He was frequently quicker to the punch in their first fight, was hard to hit with good head movement, took a couple nice ones without blinking and rocked the champ several times. Rampage was good enough on his feet to give him chances to get the takedown and made good on the takedowns. But is Chuck on a different level now?

Michael Bisping - Bisping looked solid and Shafer looked pretty exciting with nice submissions skills. I want to see more Bisping. He could make a push for a title shot, there aren't a tremendous amount of other options and his striking

Rashad Evans - Evans hasn't shown much improvement at all since TUF. His style is basically lay and pray and avoiding submissions. Still shows potential with his boxing but like I said, no improvement. He beatdown Lambert nicely but still it seems his only ground weapon is to get a mount and then do the deed, he showed nothing from any other position. He can control anyone but do we want another, more athletic, Matt Lindland? NO.

Keith Jardine - Wow nice job Jardine. Sit back catch the wind from several whiffed punches, eat one or two and then wait for your moment to put a vicious beating down. Nice recipe. 95% Patience, 5% exertion.

Forrest Griffin - Forrest my man! Go back to the relentless assault that you used to use. Charge them and beat them in transition after transition until they ask for help. Stop this putting on a show crap.

Eric Shafer - A nice submission game with nice takedowns.

Matt Hamill - Tito's love child will get some action in the UFC and while wrestling/ground and pound is not my favorite style Hamill can do it very effectively. He beat a game Silverback Seth but Seth looked better than last time I saw him on the ground.

Seth Petruzzelli - Seth did alright for a guy who at last glance had hardly any groundgame going against an Olympic caliber wrestler. He was way to quick to slide into guard. C'mon work for top position and fall back to guard if need be. Too many guys take up jiu-jitsu and then become too complacent to jump to guard. Seth also needs to work on his hands but the potential is there because he is a pretty good striker already. Good at judging distances and moving away from danger.

Drew McFedries - Billed as a bigger Robbie Lawler he really showed that to be the best comparison of fighters ever. Talk about making a splash. Says he wants to drop to 185 and I think he'll be able to make hay at both but then it is still pretty early. Then again he is Miletich.

Alessio Sakara - I really liked the fight with Drew McFedries. It's a shame it ended as soon as it did. I like Sakara and hope to keep seeing him in the UFC but his groundgame is still a liability, unless he's on top.

Wilson Gouveia - This guy looked really good. He dominated the first round and despite collapsing in the final two I believe he was the better fighter. If he works on his cardio he could go bigtime. He was comfortable and light on his feet and his kick boxing was better than Jardine's and Gouveia is a BJJ guy, we didn't even see that part of his game. If Gouveia gets his act together he could be a damn good fighter.


Anderson Silva - Silva against Travis Lutter just isn't a compelling fight. It should be a nice knockout highlight though.

Rich Franklin - Who will Franklin fight next on his comeback trail? Swick? Or the winner of the Marquardt/Lister fight?

Mike Swick - Will we see a Swick/Franklin fight for number one contendership?

Nate Marquardt - Nate has been waiting in the wings for a while since being tested positive for a banned substance. He's got legit credentials to make a title shot run and may deserve it more than Swick but I doubt it will happen just yet. Unless the UFC is just letting him work out his contract and then cut him loose i'd say he'll get a title shot next year or early next year. Be patient Nate, it's coming.

David Loiseau - I want Loiseau vs Spider Silva so bad I can taste it. Loiseau looked like he was seeing ghosts against Mike Swick and he was afraid to throw hands.......and feet. Loiseau/Leben would be fun. A rematch with Evan Tanner would be nice too.

Evan Tanner - What next for the former champ? I'd like to see him go against Leben at some point that would be a war! C'mon Evan Tanner, we need you.

Jason McDonald - A sneaky win against Chris Leben has Jason "Not a stepping stone" McDonald making some waves. I'd like to see him square off against Terrell or Grove. McDonald is so long and rangy he really should work on his boxing or muay thai. If he could strike a bit and use his athleticism and length it would add another dimension to his already super submission skills.

Dave Terrell - Needs a fight, Marquardt would be a good one.

Dean Lister - Bring on Dave Terrell, what a grappling exhibition that would be.

Travis Lutter - As the winner of TUF he gets a title shot. I'm looking for an early KO by Silva who won't let Lutter close in and use his tepid takedowns.

Kendall Grove - The kid has heart, he's a taller Kenny Florian. Determination seems to be his great, and only, weapon at this point. I'd like to see a Grove/Terrell matchup.

Chris Leben - Wow. The Crippler is limping yet again. I'd like to see Chris against Kalib Starnes. That could be a quality matchup, so would Scott Smith come to think of it.

Scott Smith - I don't know about all the hype that Dana White put on the Smith/Sell fight afterward but the ending was truly amazing. One hell of a great finish.

Kalib Starnes - Kalib looked great on the show despite injuries, he's got a lot of skills. I'd like to see him fight Ed Herman. Starnes lost his last match but his opponent was solid. Kalib has real talent, watch out for him.

Ed Herman - Tough loss to the newcomer Jason McDonald but nothing to be ashamed of, his post-fights comments are a different story altogether.


George St. Pierre - I can see no reason to pay to see GSP dismantle and abuse Matt Serra. Bring on Diego!

Matt Hughes - Folk its time to come clean, I have a sickness. Underdogaphilia. I know, I know. My mom didn't warn me either. All the signs were there, a lifelong love of my Detroit Lions...okay that was the only sign but c'mon it's unmistake-able. About the time that Matt Hughes loses is the time I start gaining some respect for the guy. He'll be back but I think it might be some time. Personally I think all this he's aging, he's talking about calling it quits stuff is because he wants a break. Can you blame the guy he's what...32 and has 45 fights? Yeah man take a break and comeback in a year or two and be an absolute beast and really just be hitting your prime as a fighter.

Diego Sanchez - What a show! Diego blasted Riggs with a right hook then a knee and then the requisite flurry to the head before the ref stopped the carnage. Diego really is a nightmare.

BJ Penn - What now for the former champ? Does Penn drop down to lightweight now with losses to the champ and the number one contender? That would make a dynamite division just full to bursting. If so I want to see Penn/Sanchez first.

Karo Parisyan - Karo took it to Fickett and was trying to prove a point, especially after catching that nasty cut. Ouch.

Jon Fitch - Fitch is coming on strong. He's ultra-aggressive and it works. Those guys make good fights. I'd like to see him and Diaz go at it. Maybe even Karo.

Nick Diaz - That fight with Sherk was great, maybe a fight of the year contender. It may not have been as explosive as many but the technique in it was fabulous. Diaz always impresses me with his technique, whether boxing or grappling. The kid's game is just beautiful to watch. If only he'd keep his mouth shut and do the thing. He seemed to show class with Sherk at the end of the fight but no telling what happened after the decision was announced. Diaz has lost several tough, close decisions. Maybe you can fault him for not finishing them but that just seems picky when you see a young guy with the all around skills that Diaz has. He'll be champ one day mark my words. He could stand to be a little less defensive and go for some sub attempts.

Thiago Alves - Thiago's standup is amazing. Quick hands, easy KO power, nice kicks and a huge, 77" arm length. Alves' sprawl is pure explosion. He's ready to make a splash. I want to see Thiago against Melvin Guillard. Tell me that wouldn't be some Sh!t.

Kuniyoshi Hironaka - He lost to Jon Fitch but looked composed, patient and skilled doing it. At least the groundwork. He might even deserve to be ranked higher here but his lack of notoriety in the states hurts him. I'd like to see more of Hironaka myself and am glad the UFC is bringing in more talent from outside the U.S. Let's see Hironaka/Riggs!

Joe Riggs - I think a rematch with Nick Diaz would be worth watching.

Josh Koscheck - Josh's standup looked very good and very crisp, very light on his feet. He looks ready to make some serious noise.

Josh Burkman - What next for Burk? I'd like to see him against Kos.

Josh Neer - Neer looks like he can give just about anyone a good fight. I'd like to see a Fickett rematch with Neer rearranging his grill but that's just me.

Marcus Davis - It was nice to see Marcus in the Octagon and his boxing made for some realy fine standup. I'd like to see more of him. Neer would be a strong matchup, Riggs maybe too.


Sean Sherk - The new lightweight champ! He performed about as expected i'd say. He took every round but could not finish off Florian and probably looks worse today than Florian does. I'm sorry to say it looked more like lay and pray, as opposed to ground and pound.

BJ Penn - If Penn drops down expect him to get a title shot rather quickly and I expect him to take it home to Hawaii. I think Fisher is his biggest threat.

Spencer Fisher - Fisher beat a decent looking Dan Lauzon. Fisher looks to be next in line for a title fight and with his impressive all around game that would be fun to watch. He fights Hermes Franca next and the winner of that will be the number one contender, until the Penn/Pulver rematch anyway.

Kenny Florian - Florian is still progressing nicely on his standup. He consistently scored with kicks to Sherk's midsection but could not defend the takedown and despite several game sub attempts never was much of a threat. Great heart staying in there the whole fight though.

Joe Stevenson - Joe still needs some big wins to make a run at a title shot and Dokonjonosuke Mishima doesn't really count but still is a nice win. Mishima's got fights against some really good guys on his record.

Hermes Franca - A nice ground game and he could see title contention soon.

Jens Pulver - Jens needs at least one win against a top contender before getting a title shot.

Mark Hominick - C'mon UFC let's see Hominick vs Cummo or Pulver.

Yves Edwards - Got a beatdown from the very strong Stevenson. What next for Edwards who's 0-2 in recent UFC bouts? Sam Stout would be a good start.

Sam Stout - Right about here I would think. I think he would lose to Stevenson so Edwards would be a better matchup.

Joe Lauzon - Bursting onto the UFC with a win against a former champ is a big deal. Lauzon might have been the beneficiary of a bad matchup for Pulver though. Pulver's a striker and wanted to keep things standing but Lauzon had a huge reach advantage. The next fight will tell us if Lauzon is for real or not. Oh, and get a decent nickhame man. J-Lo? Ughhhh. (shivers)

Dokonjonosuke Mishima - I look forward to seeing more of the guy myself but I do have a soft spot for judoka. Check his record he's got some strong experience. I am a bit surprised that someone with so many decisions on his record caught the eye of Dana White but then again catching people's attention is what Mishima does so well. He's a true entertainer.

Jorge Gurgel - I was surprised that Jorge couldn't get a takedown on Hominick. Not one and by the 3rd he had a couple shots that he just couldn't take advantage of because of his wind. Surprising.

Dan Lauzon - Got some work to do but could see some fights.

Duane Ludwig - Ludwig against Edwards would be a nice fight. Or Cummo.

Luke Cummo - Luke is rumored to be fighting Ross Pointon. Luke will have the advantage on the standup for sure and should be able to win this if he doesn't get caught with a haymaker. I'm still waiting for Cummo to get someone he can stand and trade with, maybe this will be it.

Melvin Guillard - In this the deepest weight class Melvin seems to have the ability to give just about anyone a run for their money on 'any given Sunday'. Raw power, explosive quickness, very good striking, uncanny's just not fair. Melvin vs Sherk would be worth watching, as would a fight against Fisher.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The MMA world

Well things have gotten interesting in the world of MMA the last few days. As reported in MMAWeekly and the UFC has acquired the WEC and many fighters from the WFA. All this still with the talk of Pride being up for sale and several of Pride's biggest fighters looking, or possibly looking, elsewhere for fights.

I really haven't touched on Pride too much in this blog so let me do so now. Despite watching UFC since the mid-nineties and being a loyal fan I have nothing but admiration for the Japanese based organization Pride Fighting Championships. Pride really embodies the warrior spirit of its fighters. Pride simply throws together great fights, time and time again. No worries about a certain fighter losing and thus a championship contender wasted, no throw them together and let them bang. You have to love that. Of course it helps that Pride has the deepest pool of talent in MMA to work with. Not that, as some would say, they have all the best fighters, but that they have the deepest level of them. Mostly at the heavier weightclasses. UFC's welterweight and lightweight classes are the cream of the crop but as you go heavier it's obvious that Pride has the advantage. Whatever else happens let's hope that Pride can weather the storm and keep close to it's warrior code of throwing together the cream of the crop and letting the chips fall where they may.

That being said, things they are a changin'. For a long time UFC didn't pursue the big names or didn't pursue them with enough cash in hand. Now though after, presumably, building up a great name and plenty of capital Dana White is going after the big fighters and when the stable is full I think we might get to see those great fights we want to see in the Octagon. Let's keep in mind though that competition is always best for the consumer.

Heath Herring will add depth to the woeful heavyweights in the UFC. I can see him getting a title shot rather quickly given the lack of incumbent candidates.

Quinton Jackson is tailor made for the UFC, he's everything they want. He's brash, larger than life, talented and brutal. His Rampage slams will be highlight material in short order I am predicting.

Along with these newly acquired fighters there are some others that are there for the taking and hopefully we'll see the UFC pick up on them.

Fedor Emelianenko is doing a series of one fight contracts, seeing action in Pride as well as BodogFights. Why not a fight or two in the Octagon? Yeah, probably not but it would be nice wouldn't it and it would bring some of the international fans to the UFC.

Aleksander Emelianenko is a 6'6 250lb striker who, while not on his brother's level, would be a fine addition and would be an intriguing matchup for Tim Sylvia, heavyweight champion. Would Big Tim be able to handle a fighter without that huge reach advantage he always claims?

Mirko Filipovic is also available as well and this guy is amazing. He's clearly number 2 in the world behind Fedor and says he'll go wherever to get that fight but the UFC has to be pretty appealing. CroCop is a superb striker and could be a contender at both HW and LHW. I'm drooling at the thought of a Liddell/Filipovic fight. Two of todays best knockout artists teeing off on each other?? Wow.

Friday, December 01, 2006

MMA Camps

Here are, in no particular order, the major players on the MMA scene. It's not meant to be a complete list just some information for those who are interested. Knowing where and with whom a fighter trains can be a helpful resource.


Pat Miletich
Matt Hughes
Jeremy Horn (at one time. he has started his own school now)
Rich Franklin (at times)
Spencer Fisher
Jens Pulver
Robbie Lawler
Drew McFedries
Josh Neer
Tony Fryklund
Mike Whitehead

Randy Couture
Dan Henderson
Matt Lindland
Chris Leben
Nate Quarry
Ed Herman
Josh Haynes
Chael Sonnen
Quinton Jackson?
Evan Tanner (at one time)

Tito Ortiz
Kendall Grove
Matt Hamill
Quinton Jackson
Karo Parisyan (has done some training with Team Punishment)
BJ Penn (has done some training with Team Punishment)

Mark Coleman
Kevin Randleman
Phil Baroni
Brandon Lee Hinkle

Rodrigo Noguiera
Rogerio Noguiera
Murilo Bustamante
Ricardo Arona
Paulo Filho
Antonio Silva (at one time)

Wanderlei Silva
Mauricio Rua
Murillo Rua
Kazushi Sakuraba (has done some training with Chute Boxe)
Evangelista Santos
Anderson Silva (at one time)

Jeff Monson
Seth Petruzzelli
Din Thomas
Marcus Aurelio
Denis Kang
Thiago Alves
Jorge Santiago
Wilson Gouveia
Antonio Silva
Charles McCarthy

Mike Swick
Josh Koscheck
Paul Buentello
Trevor Prangley
Jon Fitch

Chuck Liddell
Jason Von Flue

Greg Jackson's Gaido-Jitsu
Diego Sanchez
Rashad Evans
Keith Jardine