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411 MMA Rankings 11.06.12: Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 11.06.2012





It's Election Day in the United States which means it's Tuesday and EVERYONE knows what 411mania MMA offers up today. It's the 411 MMA Rankings, today our last heavyweight edition before the holiday season hits us like a frying pan.

Hopefully all of our east coast readers are doing better in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Here's a break in reality and a chance for everyone to get angry at us for placing Brock Lesnar above Fedor Emelianenko…or the 2012 equivalent.

As we await the huge fight at the end of the year between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, we were treated to a slew of fights in the middle of the division that may set things up for what happens in 2013. After all, when a pair of undefeated fighters all of a sudden do not have a goose egg in the loss column anymore, people tend to take notice.

Travis Browne wanted to display his arsenal of kicks against Antonio Silva and ended up tearing his hamstring in the first round, leading to his first loss. Stipe Miocic could not solve the riddle that is Stefan Struve and likewise, received his first professional loss. Just like that, Stefan Struve is on the verge of taking a massive jump up the ladder and with another substantial pair of wins, you have to talk about the man as being right thick in the middle of the title picture. Of course, Alistair Overeem is already there (not to mention JDS should Velasquez win their rematch), but that's all for next year.

On the other hand, the legend that is Minotauro Nogueira refuses to ease off into the sunset. Just when you think it's possible he's on the verge of retirement, he's back being the hero to the Brazilian people as he finishes another fighter in Rio. Nogueira will now return to The Ultimate Fighter series as he will coach opposite Fabricio Werdum next year in the Brazilian version, and a win over Werdum puts Big Nog back into the top mix. Imagine that.

Besides the heavyweight title fight on December 29, there is the Roy Nelson fight with Shane Carwin set for FX next month, too. If you're one of the few people who watch the current TUF season, bless your heart. On the latest episode, Carwin defeated Nelson in a competition of track and field events. It was no ping-pong match like we saw between B.J. Penn and Jens Pulver years ago or soccer game between Nogueira and Frank Mir, but not many competitions can be. While Carwin is one of the biggest heavyweights in the UFC and has dynamite for hands, something about Nelson's insane ability to take a lot of punishment without quitting has me believing Big Country could win the fight in the second or third rounds. How about you?


I want to note that last week's poll asking YOU, the reader, your thoughts on whether or not 411 MMA should include female fighters in our pound-for-pound rankings worked as I had hoped. One way or the other, as long as there was no tie, I accept the result. Although voting was close, the 'ayes' have it by under five percentage points.

The next time our P4P rankings come up, if my peers want to include Ronda Rousey, she will be eligible.

We can all debate the pro's and con's to such things but let's face it, it's not like Demetrious Johnson is ever going to fight Junior dos Santos, so hopefully people don't get hung up on just the fact they're women. If you want to criticize something down the road, hark on the fact Rousey has only had a handful of fights.

Now, let's get on with the show!

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Here's the feedback to last week's pound for pound rankings:

From Powers:
Judging by this top fifteen we have to be in the most talent rich time ever in the sport; we just have to be. Right? The only slight reservation I have is Dodson. I feel you're ranking him a little high. Surely there could have been a Machida, a Cormier, a Benavidez?
Are the top 20 fighters in 2012 considerably more talented than the comparable fighters from 2008? It's debatable, but I'd lean on the positive side. The top 5 fighters today appear unbeatable (Silva, GSP, Jones, Aldo, JDS) while there are others on great runs (Bendo, Condit, Mighty Mouse, Melendez, Hendo).

As for Dodson, it may possibly be a bit too soon in his case. Plus, some will have hang-ups about flyweights (not saying you do). But, what he has going for him is a pair of wins over top 10 flyweights in recent years (John Moraga and most recently Formiga). Plus, he's looking great in these fights where nobody is really putting him in precarious positions. You could go with someone like Machida (his share of recent losses) or Benavidez (likewise) or Cormier (dominant heavyweight), but Dodson is putting in the work.


From Ryan Haseldine:
After watching Dodson on TUF you'd never think he'd ever be in the P4P rankings.
All I can vaguely recall from that season is Dodson being more of a joker. There was always talk that he'd make the eventual drop to the UFC's flyweight division when it came about and that's proved to be the case.

From Marty:
Frankie Edgar at #9? 1 for 4 in the past 2 years, right? I guess once Aldo cleans his clock and then he loses another 3 or 4, maybe you guys will drop him to #10. What is this, the shoulda-woulda-coulda rankings?
Some people do not hold his two losses to Benson Henderson against him as you normally would with a loss. Why? When fights are that close, it's not the same as someone being outclassed.

From sisti:
you have a point, but edgar always gets extra credit in p4p because he was competing against guys that weight 20 pounds more than him
still, i agree with you..many ultra-talented guys right now that have been on a tear that should be ahead of him (cormier and machida come to mind)
Machida's not exactly on a tear. Knocking out Randy Couture and Ryan Bader as your only two wins over the past three years…hopefully you can agree.

But yes, Edgar has fought the majority of his career in the spot of being the smaller lightweight in the cage. Clearly in his most recent fights, Gray Maynard and Benson Henderson were about 160-pounds or more on those respective fight nights.


From korimiusz:
20 pounds? More like 30-40. Frankie walks around at 155 and for example Benson Henderson cuts so much, he doesn't even want to admit how much (at least 35 judging from how massive he is).
Henderson's legs probably account for 15 pounds each, they're so massive.

From Stevie:
Alan, GSP also hasn't fought in a year. he's on the list, why not Cruz?
As our guidelines say each week, fighters are eligible when they have a fight officially booked (GSP's fighting November 17).

From Johnny Durrant:
Rashad higher all day long. He's only lost two fights in his entire career, those two fights being to arguably two of the best LHW fighters of all time. He took Jones to a decision and his only other loss was to Machida, a guy hardly anybody could figure out at the time. He seems to constantly be under ranked in these P4P lists, when in reality he should be cracking the time 10, certainly ahead of Henderson and probably even Edgar.
What's with all this love Lyoto Machida's getting all of a sudden? He's nowhere near being the best light heavyweight of all-time. Anyway, Rashad runs into problems in the P4P rankings because how are you going to rank him above Dan Henderson right now? Henderson is 4-1 in his last five (a loss at middleweight) with wins against a top 205er in Shogun and a top heavyweight in Fedor. Rashad is 4-1 in his last five (loss to #1 Bones) with wins against a top 205er in Rampage and wins over other light heavy's with the most impressive being the decision against Phil Davis. Considering that, Henderson should get the edge in the list that places more emphasis on fighting out of your natural weight class.

From MPMoore:
I like the list pretty much but I do agree with Edgar being too high.
Yes, he has put up some good fights and yes, I feel he should have won Bendo II, but he didn't.
Time to mosey on down the list while others who are fighting good competition are winning, such as Cormier or Machida, who don't make the list with a string of solid wins.
Don't get me wrong, Edgar can be on there, but probably floating around #12 or 13 (bumping the list up one). Barao is nasty and will work his way into the Top 10 in no time. That's his division until Cruz is healthy again, then that's a huge fight 85% of you won't care about... (the readers, not the writers).
Again…still don't understand why everyone is in love with Machida, again.

I understand all these thoughts on Frankie Edgar. The man has not won a fight in over a year and is only 1-2-1 over the past two years. People can think what they want about his two losses to Henderson, but they are losses nevertheless. What I'm looking forward to is seeing how his performance against Jose Aldo next year impacts his P4P spot. Assuming he loses but puts in a solid effort, can he possibly remain in the top 10 despite three consecutive losses?


From Sisti:
Jones/GSP/Silva/Aldo all extremely talented and I could see the top 4 rankings going anyway you want without thinking it would be dumb. I personally have Jones over Silva solely based on the caliber of fighters he has beaten in the last 3 years compared to the caliber of fighters that Silva has beaten. In my opinion, your top 9 are dead-on. 10-14 are very solid as well. I'd put Cormier or Machida at 15
Between Jones and Silva at the top, it's a total coin flip. If you want to go with Anderson because of his longevity, makes sense. On the other hand, if you think Jones deserves the top spot for dominating tougher competition (in Shogun, Rampage, Machida, Rashad), no argument can be made against that.

Next tier goes to GSP and Aldo where St. Pierre is coming off missing a year. Aldo is an interesting case because while he's been dominant in his run, I don't see how fans can put him above either of the three mentioned before. Further, if Junior dos Santos ends up stopping Cain Velasquez again next month, does he crack the top 3?


Thank you for all the comments and MMA debate it's always welcomed and appreciated.




Rankings From One Year Ago
12.06.11


1. Junior dos Santos

2. Cain Velasquez

3. Alistair Overeem

4. Brock Lesnar

5. Josh Barnett

6. Shane Carwin

7. Frank Mir

8. Daniel Cormier

9. Fabricio Werdum

10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

11. Antonio Silva

12. Cole Konrad

13. Cheick Kongo

14. Fedor Emelianenko

15. Roy Nelson






411's MMA Ranking Rules

- Which fighters are eligible for these rankings? They must meet the following qualifications: fight at least once in the past 365 days or if they have not, be officially scheduled for an upcoming fight.

- A fighter serving a disciplinary suspension will not be ranked. They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded. This includes fighters who may disregard their suspension locally to fight overseas.

- If a fighter appears on just one single ballot, and in the top ten, five points will be deducted to balance between other fighters who may be ranked lower, but appear on a greater amount of ballots.

- Want to complain about a fighter's ranking in the comments section? Please include an objective reason why you despise the list, and try your best to bring the rest of us to your way of thinking.

* denotes statistical tie



411's Official MMA Rankings


Heavyweight Division



1) Junior dos Santos (15-1)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 243

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Frank Mir - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Win via TKO (punches)- UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Shane Carwin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on Versus - March 21, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012





2) Cain Velasquez (10-1)


Height: 6'2

Weight: 242

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Brock Lesnar - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez - October 23, 2010

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez - February 20, 2010

- vs. Ben Rothwell - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 104 - October 24, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012





3) Daniel Cormier (9-0)


Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Barnett - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via KO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Jeff Monson - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Devin Cole - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine - January 7, 2011

- vs. Soa Palelei - Win via submission (strikes) - Xtreme MMA 3 - November 5, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: With Strikeforce delaying their next card until January, it sounds like Cormier's UFC debut is pushed back because of it. There's a lot of rumblings that Cormier could drop down to light heavyweight whenever he ends up in the UFC. As long as his health allows him to, I see no reason he cannot do the weight cut. Besides, there's no other fight at 205 that interests me for Jon Jones.




4) Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 242

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 wins:

- vs. Mike Russow - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2 - June 23, 2012

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Win via submission (triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum - June 26, 2010

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers - November 7, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - TUF Brazil 2 Finale - June 8, 2013

Comment: Word came down last week announcing Werdum and Big Nog will be coaches for the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and the pair will compete next summer.




5) Frank Mir (16-6)


Height: 6'1

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce & UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via submission (Kimura) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machia - December 10, 2011

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via KO (knee) - UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop - September 25, 2010

- vs. Shane Carwin - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Mir is not preparing to fight anytime soon but he is part of Jon Jones' team of coaches on next season's TUF acting as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach. I'd say he's as good a BJJ coach as you can have, wouldn't you?



>

6) Josh Barnett (31-6)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Sergei Kharitonov - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Brett Rogers - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Geronimo dos Santos - Win via TKO (strikes) - Impact FC 1: The Uprising - July 10, 2010

- vs. Mighty Mo - Win via submission (Kimura) - DREAM 13 - March 22, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Rumors arose last week saying Barnett was going to defend his old King of Pancrase championship in Japan next year. However, his management came out pretty quickly to shoot those rumors down as false. Barnett is still in the dark as far as whom he may be fighting to conclude his Strikeforce contract in 2013 following his final fight. Note that Barnett's broken hand from the Cormier fight has healed following surgery and he has resumed training.



7) Stefan Struve (25-5)


Height: 6'11

Weight: 247

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Stipe Miocic - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Lavar Johnson - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger - February 15, 2012

- vs. Pat Barry - Win via submission (triangle armbar) - UFC on Versus: Cruz vs. Johnson - October 1, 2011

- vs. Travis Browne - Loss via KO (superman punch) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Wow. I don't know about you, but I certainly did not expect Struve to pick Stipe Miocic apart like he did in September. He was quicker to the punch and packed more power en route to his second round TKO win. With four consecutive wins by TKO or submission, it's about time the 24-year-old Dutchman gets a fight with a bigger name. Frank Mir is most likely not an option, how about Bigfoot Silva?



>

8) Antonio "Big Foot" Silva (17-4)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 263

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Travis Browne - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Silva - October 5, 2012

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via KO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Win via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva - February 12, 2011

- vs. Mike Kyle - Win via TKO (punches) - Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 - December 4, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Bigfoot won his first UFC fight and his first fight overall since blasting Fedor last year when he finished Travis Browne last month. Silva was not drawn into the fray by Browne's display of kicks and after Browne turned up injured, Silva pounced like a dog smelling meat.




9) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1)


Height: 6'3

Weight: 231

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Frank Mir - Loss via submission (Kimura) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Brendan Schaub - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez - February 20, 2010

- vs. Randy Couture - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira - August 29, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - TUF Brazil 2 Finale - June 8, 2013

Comment: A successful return was had for the legendary heavyweight, in Big Nog's first fight since his arm was broken by Frank Mir last December. After Dave Herman said jiu-jitsu is incapable of working on him, Nogueira felt a personal obligation to show everyone how wrong the weed smoker was. And he was. Nogueira finished Herman with an armbar as the Brazilian crowd roared with approval.

Nogueira will participate on the next TUF Brazil season with a fight against Fabricio Werdum expected for June. The fight would be a rematch of their 2006 meeting when Nogueira defeated him in Pride by decision.



>

10) Travis Browne (13-1-1)


Height: 6'7

Weight: 255

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Antonio Silva - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Silva - October 5, 2012

- vs. Chad Griggs - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

- vs. Rob Broughton - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Stefan Struve - Win via KO (superman punch) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Cheick Kongo - DRAW (unanimous) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured (torn hamstring)

Comment: Browne's undefeated streak and first UFC main event ended in a greatly disappointing fashion thanks to a torn hamstring which happened minutes into the fight. Browne will not need surgery but expects to be out of action for up to four months.




11) Stipe Miocic (9-1)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 245

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Stefan Struve - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Shane del Rosario - Win via TKO (elbows) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Phil De Fries - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger - February 15, 2012

- vs. Joey Beltran - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Bobby Brents - Win via submission (leg kicks) - NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 7 - June 4, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: A second UFC heavyweight prospect saw his undefeated record fall as Miocic was beaten by Stefan Struve over a month ago. Stipe struggled with Struve's reach advantage and was a sitting duck on the outside for most of the fight. It's back to the drawing board for the talented big man.




12) Shane Carwin (12-2)


Height: 6'1

Weight: 259

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

- vs. Brock Lesnar - Loss via submission (Arm Triangle choke) - UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin - July 3, 2010

- vs. Frank Mir - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 96: Jackson vs. Jardine - March 7, 2009

- vs. Neil Wain - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 89: Bisping vs. Leben - October 18, 2008

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Roy Nelson - UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale - December 15, 2012




13) Mark Hunt (8-7)


Height: 5'10

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cheick Kongo - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Ben Rothwell - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Chris Tuchscherer - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch - February 27, 2011

- vs. Sean McCorkle - Loss via submission (armbar) - UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop - September 25, 2010

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - Loss via submission (armbar) - Dream 9 - May 26, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





14) Roy Nelson (17-7)


Height: 6'0

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Frank Mir - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Shane Carwin - UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale - December 15, 2012




15) Cheick Kongo (18-7-2)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 230

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Shawn Jordan - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Mark Hunt - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Matt Mitrione - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Pat Barry - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC on Versus: Kongo vs. Barry - June 26, 2011

- vs. Travis Browne - Draw (unanimous) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




Closing Comments: Additional votes were cast for Ben Rothwell.





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