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MMA Rankings for December 2009
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on December 21, 2009, 4:38 AM

December ended up being quite a solid month of MMA in the end, with two UFCs – one of which was one of the strongest cards of the year – and a WEC and Strike Force, so it’s time for another rankings update. For those wondering, I’m going to take into account the K-1 Dynamite show for January’s rankings as 12/31 is close enough for me.

Heavyweight (206lbs and above):
Champion: Fedor Emelianenko - Last fight: W vs. Brett Rogers - 11/07/09

1. Brock Lesnar - Last fight: W vs. Frank Mir - 07/11/09
2. Frank Mir - Last fight: W vs. Cheick Kongo - 12/12/09
3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Last fight: W vs. Randy Couture - 08/29/09
4. Cain Velasquez - Last fight: W vs. Ben Rothwell - 10/24/09
5. Shane Carwin - Last fight: W vs. Gabriel Gonzaga – 03/07/09
6. Brett Rogers - Last fight: L vs. Fedor Emelianenko – 11/07/09
7. Junior dos Santos - Last fight: W vs. Mirko Cro Cop - 09/19/09
8. Andrei Arlovski - Last fight: L vs. Brett Rogers - 06/06/09
9. Fabricio Werdum - Last fight: W vs. Antonio Silva Jr – 11/07/09
10. Gabriel Gonzaga - Last fight: W vs. Chris Tuchscherer – 08/29/09

Movements: Only movement in December was Frank Mir jumping over Rodrigo Nogueira with his impressive win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 107. I guess I underestimated Mir. Good for him.

Light-Heavyweight (186lbs-205lbs):
Champion: Lyoto Machida - Last fight: W vs. Mauricio Rua - 10/24/09

1. Mauricio Rua - Last fight: L vs. Lyoto Machida – 10/24/09
2. Rashad Evans - Last fight: L vs. Lyoto Machida - 05/23/09
3. Quinton Jackson - Last fight: W vs. Keith Jardine - 03/07/09
4. Forrest Griffin- Last fight: W vs. Tito Ortiz - 11/21/09
5. Thiago Silva - Last fight: W vs. Keith Jardine - 08/29/09
6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - Last fight: W vs. Luiz Cane – 11/21/09
7. Gegard Mousasi - Last fight: W vs. Thierry Sokoudjou - 11/07/09
8. Rich Franklin - Last fight: L vs. Vitor Belfort – 09/19/09
9. Keith Jardine - Last fight: L vs. Thiago Silva - 08/29/09
10. Luiz Banha Cane - Last fight: L vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - 11/21/09

Movements: No moves at 205lbs this month as none of the big names competed. Next big LHW fight is Evans-Silva on 01/02, followed by Couture/Coleman on 02/06 and Jardine/Bader on 02/20. All could impact the rankings.

Middleweight (171lbs-185lbs):
Champion: Anderson Silva - Last fight: W vs. Forrest Griffin - 08/29/09

1. Nathan Marquardt - Last fight: W vs. Demian Maia - 08/29/09
2. Dan Henderson - Last fight: W vs. Michael Bisping – 07/11/09
3. Vitor Belfort - Last fight: W vs. Rich Franklin – 09/19/09
4. Demian Maia - Last fight: L vs. Nate Marquardt - 08/29/09
5. Chael Sonnen - Last fight: W vs. Yushin Okami – 10/24/09
6. Jake Shields - Last fight: W vs. Jason Miller – 11/07/09
7. Yushin Okami - Last fight: L vs. Chael Sonnen - 10/24/09
8. Yoshihiro Akiyama - Last fight: W vs. Alan Belcher - 07/11/09
9. Ronaldo Jacare - Last fight: W vs. Matt Lindland – 12/19/09
10. Mamed Khalidov - Last fight: W vs. Jorge Santiago – 11/07/09

Movements: Michael Bisping moves out of the top ten due to Ronaldo Jacare’s big win over Matt Lindland and also his previous wins in DREAM, particularly the one over Jason Mayhem Miller. With his name now firmly established in Strike Force, strong fights against Dan Henderson and Jake Shields could be in his future. Bisping will have a chance to pop right back into the mix though when he faces Wanderlei Silva on 02/20. Being criminally overlooked in my opinion is the Marquardt-Sonnen fight on 02/06, as Sonnen has developed into a genuine threat these days.

Welterweight (156lbs-170lbs):
Champion: Georges St-Pierre - Last fight: W vs. Thiago Alves - 07/11/09

1. Jon Fitch - Last fight: W vs. Mike Pierce - 12/12/09
2. Thiago Alves - Last fight: L vs. Georges St-Pierre - 07/11/09
3. Paulo Thiago - Last fight: W vs. Jacob Volkmann – 11/21/09
4. Josh Koscheck - Last fight: W vs. Anthony Johnson - 11/21/09
5. Dan Hardy - Last fight: W vs. Mike Swick – 11/14/09
6. Paul Daley - Last fight: W vs. Martin Kampmann – 09/19/09
7. Martin Kampmann - Last fight: L vs. Paul Daley – 09/19/09
8. Mike Swick - Last fight: L vs. Dan Hardy - 11/14/09
9. Carlos Condit - Last fight: W vs. Jake Ellenberger – 09/16/09
10. Ben Saunders - Last fight: W vs. Marcus Davis – 11/21/09

Movements: With the UFC having a basic lockdown on the 170lbs division, nobody moves this month as none of the ranked fighters here had any matches aside from Jon Fitch’s win over Mike Pierce. I did however make the decision to remove Matt Hughes from the rankings as it looks like it’ll be April when he fights and the likely opponent is Renzo Gracie in somewhat of a veterans match. Don’t get me wrong – I’m looking forward to the fight, but it seems as if Hughes is likely done in terms of a chase for the title now. Still the greatest champion in UFC history IMO. Ben Saunders takes the #10 spot due to his win over Marcus Davis, but whether he can hold onto it is another thing as Dustin Hazelett will be looking to steal a spot when he fights Paul Daley on 01/02.

Lightweight (146lbs-155lbs):
Champion: BJ Penn - Last fight: W vs. Diego Sanchez - 12/12/09

1. Diego Sanchez - Last fight: L vs. BJ Penn – 12/12/09
2. Kenny Florian - Last fight: W vs. Clay Guida - 12/12/09
3. Shinya Aoki - Last fight: W vs. Joachim Hansen - 10/06/09
4. Gray Maynard - Last fight: W vs. Roger Huerta - 09/19/09
5. Frankie Edgar - Last fight: W vs. Matt Veach – 12/05/09
6. Sean Sherk - Last fight: L vs. Frankie Edgar - 05/23/09
7. Eddie Alvarez - Last fight: W vs. Katsunori Kikuno - 10/25/09
8. Joe Stevenson - Last fight: W vs. Spencer Fisher – 10/24/09
9. Tyson Griffin - Last fight: W vs. Hermes Franca – 09/19/09
10. Gilbert Melendez - Last fight: W vs. Josh Thomson – 12/19/09

Movements: BJ Penn showed the gulf between himself and the rest of the talent at 155lbs with a five-round domination of #1 contender Diego Sanchez, while Kenny Florian choked out Clay Guida to keep his spot at the top. Florian-Sanchez II next anyone? Guida drops from the rankings with the loss while Gilbert Melendez returns after his win over Josh Thomson.

Featherweight (136lbs-145lbs):
Champion: Jose Aldo - Last fight: W vs. Mike Brown – 11/18/09

1. Mike Brown - Last fight: L vs. Jose Aldo – 11/18/09
2. Urijah Faber - Last fight: L vs. Mike Brown – 06/07/09
3. Manvel Gamburyan - Last fight: W vs. Leonard Garcia – 11/18/09
4. Leonard Garcia - Last fight: L vs. Manvel Gamburyan – 11/18/09
5. Josh Grispi - Last fight: W vs. Jens Pulver – 06/07/09
6. Bibiano Fernandes - Last fight: W vs. Hiroyuki Takaya – 10/06/09
7. Raphael Assuncao - Last fight: W vs. Yves Jabouin – 10/10/09
8. Mackens Semerzier - Last fight: W vs. Wagnney Fabiano – 10/10/09
9. Wagnney Fabiano - Last fight: L vs. Mackens Semerzier – 10/10/09
10. Marlon Sandro - Last fight: W vs. Yuji Hoshino – 11/07/09

Movements: Quiet month at 145lbs with no movements. I am however salivating over Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao on 01/10!

Bantamweight (126lbs-135lbs):
Champion: Brian Bowles - Last fight: W vs. Miguel Angel Torres – 08/09/09

1. Miguel Angel Torres - Last fight: L vs. Brian Bowles – 08/09/09
2. Dominick Cruz - Last fight: W vs. Joseph Benavidez – 08/09/09
3. Joseph Benavidez - Last fight: W vs. Rani Yahya – 12/19/09
4. Masakatsu Ueda - Last fight: W vs. Eduardo Dantas – 07/19/09
5. Damacio Page - Last fight: W vs. Will Campuzano – 10/10/09
6. Antonio Banuelos - Last fight: W vs. Kenji Osawa – 11/18/09
7. Scott Jorgensen - Last fight: W vs. Takeya Mizugaki – 12/19/09
8. Takeya Mizugaki - Last fight: L vs. Scott Jorgensen – 12/19/09
9. Akitoshi Tamura - Last fight: W vs. Manny Tapia – 04/05/09
10. Rani Yahya - Last fight: L vs. Joseph Benavidez – 12/19/09

Movements: Joseph Benavidez’s KO of Rani Yahya moves him up the list while Scott Jorgensen’s win over Takeya Mizugaki shakes things up a lot, meaning Antonio Banuelos and Damacio Page rise a little by proxy.

Until next month, see ya.

Scott Newman:
NewmanMMA@gmail.com





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