MMA Rankings for April 2010
by Scott Newman(MMA)
Posted on April 26, 2010, 5:43 AM
Fight quality (well, up until Saturday that is!) might not have been great, but boy did April have some fights with ramifications for the rankings. Top ranked guys fell, others ascended, and in general shit got crazy. Let’s check it out.
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. Cain Velasquez - Last fight: W vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - 02/20/10 3. Shane Carwin - Last fight: W vs. Frank Mir – 03/27/10 4. Junior dos Santos - Last fight: W vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - 03/21/10 5. Frank Mir - Last fight: L vs. Shane Carwin - 03/27/10 6. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Last fight: L vs. Cain Velasquez - 02/20/10 7. Brett Rogers - Last fight: L vs. Fedor Emelianenko – 11/07/09 8. Fabricio Werdum - Last fight: W vs. Antonio Silva Jr – 11/07/09 9. Alistair Overeem - Last fight: W vs. Kazuyuki Fujita – 12/31/09 10. Gabriel Gonzaga - Last fight: L vs. Junior Dos Santos – 03/21/10
Movements: No movements at HW in April as none of the big guns fought. May will see two major fights though in the form of Overeem vs. Rogers and Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva. I’ll probably end up putting the winner of that fight in at #10 as it’s been a long time now since Gabriel Gonzaga’s last truly impressive win.
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: W vs. Thiago Silva - 01/02/10 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: L vs. Rashad Evans - 01/02/10 6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - Last fight: W vs. Luiz Cane – 11/21/09 7. Jon Jones - Last fight: W vs. Brandon Vera – 03/27/10 8. Ryan Bader - Last fight: W vs. Keith Jardine – 02/20/10 9. King Mo Lawal - Last fight: W vs. Gegard Mousasi – 04/17/10 10. Gegard Mousasi - Last fight: L vs. King Mo Lawal - 04/17/10
Movements: Well, Gegard Mousasi showed why it’s not smart to rank people based largely on potential and wins over lesser opponents. Some publications had him as high as #4 at LHW despite his biggest wins being Babalu and Sokoudjou, but he was somewhat exposed by King Mo in their fight and thus slips to #10 in my rankings, with King Mo’s rise pushing out Randy Couture. On another note, it was pointed out to me on the forums (thanks Darcy!) that Jon Jones’ win over Brandon Vera and what should’ve been a win over Matt Hamill are probably better at this point than Ryan Bader’s win over Keith Jardine, so I switched them around. I bet they’d both still beat Mousasi, though.
Middleweight (171lbs-185lbs): Champion: Anderson Silva - Last fight: W vs. Demian Maia - 04/10/10
1. Chael Sonnen - Last fight: W vs. Nathan Marquardt – 02/06/10 2. Jake Shields - Last fight: W vs. Dan Henderson – 04/17/10 3. Nathan Marquardt - Last fight: L vs. Chael Sonnen - 02/06/10 4. Demian Maia - Last fight: L vs. Anderson Silva - 04/10/10 5. Dan Henderson - Last fight: L vs. Jake Shields – 04/17/10 6. Vitor Belfort - Last fight: W vs. Rich Franklin – 09/19/09 7. Yushin Okami - Last fight: W vs. Lucio Linhares - 03/31/10 8. Ronaldo Jacare - Last fight: W vs. Matt Lindland – 12/19/09 9. Robbie Lawler – Last fight: W vs. Melvin Manhoef – 01/30/10 10. Wanderlei Silva - Last fight: W vs. Michael Bisping – 02/20/10
Movements: Jake Shields’ stunning win over Dan Henderson vaults him up to #2, but that’s probably as high as he’ll get as I expect him to drop back to his more natural 170lbs when he joins the UFC in about a month or so. Elsewhere Anderson Silva’s shameful win over Demian Maia keeps him at the top and nobody else competed really.
Welterweight (156lbs-170lbs): Champion: Georges St-Pierre - Last fight: W vs. Dan Hardy - 03/27/10
1. Jon Fitch - Last fight: W vs. Ben Saunders - 03/27/10 2. Thiago Alves - Last fight: L vs. Georges St-Pierre - 07/11/09 3. Paulo Thiago - Last fight: W vs. Mike Swick – 02/06/10 4. Josh Koscheck - Last fight: W vs. Anthony Johnson - 11/21/09 5. Dan Hardy - Last fight: L vs. Georges St-Pierre – 03/27/10 6. Paul Daley - Last fight: W vs. Dustin Hazelett – 01/02/10 7. Martin Kampmann - Last fight: W vs. Jacob Volkmann – 01/02/10 8. Mike Swick - Last fight: L vs. Paulo Thiago - 02/06/10 9. Carlos Condit - Last fight: W vs. Jake Ellenberger – 09/16/09 10. Matt Hughes - Last fight: W vs. Renzo Gracie – 04/10/10
Movements: Well, Matt Hughes’ win over Renzo Gracie might not have impressed many people, but a win’s a win and with the news that he’s actually going to be fighting contenders again rather than once a year (Ricardo Almeida at UFC 117, apparently!) moves him back into my top ten. No other movements but Koscheck-Daley next month is big as is Fitch-Alves in June.
Lightweight (146lbs-155lbs): Champion: Frankie Edgar - Last fight: W vs. BJ Penn – 04/10/10
1. BJ Penn - Last fight: L vs. Frankie Edgar - 04/10/10 2. Gray Maynard - Last fight: W vs. Nathan Diaz - 01/11/10 3. Kenny Florian - Last fight: W vs. Takanori Gomi - 03/31/10 4. Gilbert Melendez - Last fight: W vs. Shinya Aoki – 04/17/10 5. Shinya Aoki - Last fight: L vs. Gilbert Melendez - 04/17/10 6. Eddie Alvarez - Last fight: W vs. Katsunori Kikuno - 10/25/09 7. Tyson Griffin - Last fight: W vs. Hermes Franca – 09/19/09 8. Tatsuya Kawajiri - Last fight: W vs. Kazunori Yokota – 12/31/09 9. Benson Henderson - Last fight: W vs. Donald Cerrone – 04/24/10 10. George Sotiropoulos - Last fight: W vs. Joe Stevenson – 02/20/10
Movements: Where to start? Firstly Frankie Edgar beat BJ Penn in what will probably be the upset of the year, taking the champion slot. I moved Gray Maynard above Kenny Florian by proxy then as he’s got a win over Edgar and no losses. Then Gilbert Melendez totally dominated Shinya Aoki and proved many people right on the Japanese fighter’s one-dimensional style. I was tempted to move Aoki lower but he *does* have strong wins to keep him at #5. The final big win was for Ben Henderson, cementing himself as the top 155lber in the WEC and a true top ten fighter in my opinion.
Featherweight (136lbs-145lbs): Champion: Jose Aldo - Last fight: W vs. Urijah Faber – 04/24/10
1. Manvel Gamburyan - Last fight: W vs. Mike Brown – 04/24/10 2. Mike Brown - Last fight: L vs. Manvel Gamburyan – 04/24/10 3. Urijah Faber - Last fight: L vs. Jose Aldo – 04/24/10 4. Bibiano Fernandes - Last fight: W vs. Joachim Hansen – 03/22/10 5. Raphael Assuncao - Last fight: L vs. Urijah Faber – 01/10/10 6. Marlon Sandro - Last fight: W vs. Tomonari Kanomata – 03/07/10 7. Michihiro Omigawa - Last fight: W vs. Micah Miller – 04/25/10 8. Javi Vazquez - Last fight: W vs. Jens Pulver – 03/06/10 9. Hatsu Hioki - Last fight: L vs. Michihiro Omigawa – 11/07/09 10. Masanori Kanehara - Last fight: W vs. Kid Yamamoto – 12/31/09
Movements: More big moves. Manny Gamburyan showed why I had so much faith in him by KOing Mike Brown to move firmly into the #1 contender’s spot, while Jose Aldo cemented himself as the champion at 145lbs by thrashing Urijah Faber. June will most likely see Marlon Sandro take his rightful place as Sengoku champion when he faces Kanehara, while the same month also sees Josh Grispi return to action (finally!) to face LC Davis.
Bantamweight (126lbs-135lbs): Champion: Dominick Cruz - Last fight: W vs. Brian Bowles – 03/06/10
1. Brian Bowles - Last fight: L vs. Dominick Cruz – 03/06/10 2. Joseph Benavidez - Last fight: W vs. Miguel Angel Torres – 03/06/10 3. Miguel Angel Torres - Last fight: L vs. Joseph Benavidez – 03/06/10 4. Scott Jorgensen - Last fight: W vs. Antonio Banuelos – 04/24/10 5. Antonio Banuelos - Last fight: L vs. Scott Jorgensen – 04/24/10 6. Damacio Page - Last fight: W vs. Will Campuzano – 10/10/09 7. Takeya Mizugaki - Last fight: W vs. Rani Yahya – 04/24/10 8. Shuichiro Katsumora - Last fight: W vs. Masakatsu Ueda – 03/22/10 9. Rani Yahya - Last fight: L vs. Takeya Mizugaki – 04/24/10 10. Wagnney Fabiano - Last fight: W vs. Clint Godfrey – 01/10/10
Movements: No real changes outside of ANOTHER impressive win by Scott Jorgensen. This time he avenged an earlier loss to Antonio Banuelos which leapfrogs him into fourth place.