Friday, February 02, 2007

UFC Divisional Rankings

Well I thought I would change things up a bit. Instead of the Power Rankings this is going to be a straight ranking system and i'll just put my two cents in on who is the most likely contender and whatnot.


1.) Tim Sylvia - Sylvia vs Couture could be interesting. Then again, maybe not. Sylvia is basically a poor man's Chuck Liddell built on a much larger frame. Couture says he see something and I bet that's not all hyperbole, though I doubt it is what he stated it was. I think Randy can use the clinch to his advantage, remember that is his best standup aspect, against the champ. Those long arms and straight-on punching style will be less effective in close with the two guys chest to chest. Not to mention that a takedown would be easier, I think, from that position. I say "I think" because i'm not sure it will ever be "easy" to upend that big of a guy who really doesn't want to get taken down.

2.) 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. I put Mirko behind Big Tim as a bit of respect for a titleholder. Yes Mirko has more "name" wins on his resume but I am going to respect Sylvia's game and belt and give him top billing. Tie-breaker is held by the beltholder.

3.) Randy Couture - It's great to have the former champ back in the UFC and really it was a bad time to leave with the sport just blowing up and Randy being the ambassador for the sport that he is. Randy has a chance to beat Tim, I won't deny him that but i'm not saying it's bloody likely. Still, WAR RANDY!!

4.) Arlovski - Andrei looked solid beating Marcio Cruz but nothing special but hey he's got acting lessons now. I still think we haven't seen the most effective Andrei, he's still looking to be popular by standing. There's some fighters you should just take down, it's just good sense. I love the confidence and his standup but you gotta play the smart fight at times.

5.) Jeff Monson - I'd like to see a Monson/Gonzaga fight. I would think that Monson still has fights on his UFC contract so let's make it happen guys.

6.) 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. It looks like Brandon might be on the outs and a shame it is but there's other fish in the see and with the signing of CroCop and possibly Nogueira, Vera seems more like a guppy. With one fight left on his contract, I believe, I'd like to seem go up against Arlovski.

7.) Heath Herring - Herring looked borderline pitiful in his debute but you could still see some flashes of his ability. Doesn't he have a wrestling background?! Anyway, his striking looked good and I can't see him use it against the likes of some of the incumbent UFC bangers. Arlovski and Sylvia mostly, i'd say. Herring/Sylvia is a match made in heaven.

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

9.) Cheick Kongo - With the recent additions at heavyweight Kongo is falling further and further down the list. I'd like to see him against Arlovski and/or Herring.

10.) Marcio Cruz - Cruz is a decent guy. If Big Nog defects to the UFC a matchup between the two would be phenomenal.

11.) 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.

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

13.) Jake O'Brian - I think his victory over Herring was mostly just due to style. If Herring had showed any wrestling ability at all he could have handled O'Brian.

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

Light heavyweight

1.) Chuck Liddell - Is Liddell/Evans on the horizon? Evans may be the best takedown artist in the UFC, certainly Rampage would have something to say on that but still I did say 'could be'. Evans may be able to follow Rampage's recipe for beating Liddell. Take it to him on the standup and use it to set up a takedown attempt. It could work.

2.) Quinton Jackson - Rampage showed his stuff against Eastman, though only some of his bag of tricks. Sounds like there will be at least one more tune up fight before Liddell. Jackson's only losses have been to great fighters like Sakuraba, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua. If you're going to get beat those are the guys to get beat by. It would just about be an honor!

3.) 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.

4.) Renato Sobral - C'mon lets get Babalu in the Octagon. Ortiz would be my first choice, Jardine would suffice. It's rumored Babalu will face off against Jason Lambert which should be a nice win for the Brazilian.

5.) Lyoto Machida - Maybe the best undefeated fighter with actual 'name' wins, that you've never heard of. Eventually look for a revenge match with Rich Franklin but in the mean time Machida should be working his way up the LHW ranks. Keith Jardine would be a nice next opponent.

6.) Rashad Evans - Evans' standup looked sweet as 'Sugar' against Salmon but, until that final kick, just about as effective in getting a win. Still it was a big improvement for Evans who stood the whole time and looked at ease doing it. He whiffed a little too much with his right hand and still seemed afraid to be punched a couple times, which seems odd since he does seem to have a decent chin at least. He takes a pretty good punch. A Liddell punch......well i'm sure we'll see fairly soon. Evan's doesn't have the impressive roster of victims that the guys in front of him have so despite probably getting a title shot soon he is only ranked here.

7.) Michael Bisping - Bisping looked solid and Shafer looked pretty exciting with nice submissions skills. I still want to see more Bisping.

8.) 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.

9.) 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.

10.) 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.

11.) Eric Shafer - A nice submission game with nice takedowns.

12.) 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.

13.) Drew McFedries - Martin Kampmann would be a nice fight.

14.)Alessio Sakara - Here's hoping Sakara sticks around a while, I like his game. With standup being the emphasis in UFC I think he's got a good chance.

15.) 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.


1.) Anderson Silva - Lutter looked pretty good. I was amazed that he kept getting takedowns on Silva. He had him in side mount at one point and I was yelling "hit him with the knees, side or head but use those damn knees!". Lutter didn't hear me. Come on man you need to soften these guys up before going in for checkmate. Does Silva get Marquardt or Franklin next?

2.) Rich Franklin - Franklin vs MacDonald is perfect for Rich. Rich is well versed in subs so he can be competitive in that area but in the arenas of wrestling and striking Rich has a huge advantage. KO, first or second round.

3.) Nate Marquardt - Marquardt beat all-world grappler Dean Lister and has solidified his position among the elite at middleweight. He has a strong case for #1 contender-ship in my mind.

4.) 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.

5.) 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. He'll get decimated by Ace though.

6.) Mike Swick - Swick seems to be no where on the championship radar right now. A matchup with Marquardt would give us a strong contender for Silva's belt.

7.) Dean Lister - Lister lost a decision to the very experienced Marquardt. Now he needs to climb that ladder. I'd like to see him against Lutter.

8.) Travis Lutter - With an impressive showing against Spider Silva I think Lutter gets some more airtime.

9.) 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. Most importantly though lets see the real Crow, not the ghost of him.

10.) 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.

11.) Dave Terrell - Lets see Terrell vs Lutter or Lister.

12.) Kalib Starnes - Despite losing his last fight I think Starnes is an amazing fighter and quite possibly I am lowballing him on this rank.

13.) 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.

14.) Ed Herman - Herman has serious ground ability. Terrell would be a great matchup, Cote as well. A rematch with Grove is a necessity at some point.

15.) Patrick Cote - The guy has some skills.

16.) Scott Smith - As a guy with decent wrestling who likes to keep things standing and has KO power he might continue to get some fights.


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

2.) 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 unmistakeable. Lytle is a great matchup for the former champ who seems to want to reinvent himself as a striker. He can certainly stop any takedowns, can get his whenever if he gets rocked and can make something of a name for his hands against a good boxer.

3.) BJ Penn - What now for the former champ? Does Penn drop down to lightweight now with losses to the Hughes and GSP? I'm keeping him here because he may well fight at WW some more and he has a case even at being ranked higher than Hughes. A case, I said.

4.) Diego Sanchez - Sanchez vs Koscheck II is compelling but I am surprised that Diego hasn't gotten a title shot yet. If he beats Kos I myself would say he has earned it or at least a shot at the loser of Hughes/St. Pierre II.

5.) Karo Parisyan - Karo took it to Fickett and was trying to prove a point, especially after catching that nasty cut. Ouch. Karo has the ability beat anyone ranked above him. Believe that!

6.) 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.

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

8.) Joe Riggs - Riggs vs Fitch would be a fun one.

9.) 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. Of course his recent substance abuse suspension will hurt him. I'd have him ranked higher if not for it.

10.) 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!

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

12.) 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.

13.) 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.


1.) BJ Penn - If Penn beats Pulver at the Ultimate Finale, instant title shot. Instant champion too.

2.) 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.

3.) Jens Pulver - Jens needs a good win before going into the next Ultimate Fighter installment.

4.) Hermes Franca - What a win over Spencer Fisher. Franca has those heavy hands and mounts quicker than anyone i've seen.

5.) Joe Stevenson - I'd love to see Stevenson against Franca, hell even against Fisher.

6.) Spencer Fisher - Tough loss for the Kingfisher but i'm sure he can bounce back.

7.) 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.

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

9.) 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.

10.) 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.

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

12.) 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)

13.) Frankie Edgar - This guy looked really good beating Tyson Griffin who's a guy himself with some skill. Edgar has really, really nice wrestling and threw hands like a guy who's been doing it a while. Nice transitions, when he wasn't grappling he was chucking knuckles.

14.) Tyson Griffin - The guy looks like a midget sorta but is a good fighter. His fight with Frankie Edgar was a classic.

15.) 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.

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

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

18.) Luke Cummo - Luke is rumored to be fighting Josh Haynes who I just simply detest. C'mon Luke, knock him out!

19.) 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.