411's Fighter of the Month 9.06.13: August 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 09.06.2013
Jose Aldo retained the UFC Featherweight Title, Anthony Pettis become the new UFC Lightweight Champion, Chad Mendes made Clay Guida just another victim and more! But who won 411's Fighter of the Month for August? Check out the full article to find out!
How It Works
Each staff member picks five fighters and ranks them. I'll assign a point value to those rankings. Points are determined as:
1st - 5
2nd - 4
3rd - 3
4th - 2
5th - 1
The fighter with the most points is our Fighter of the Month and then new points are assigned that will go towards Fighter of the Year. Those points are:
1st - 15
2nd - 12
3rd - 9
4th - 6
5th - 3
6th – 1
The Voting Larry Csonka
1) Anthony Pettis: So Anthony Pettis, a blue belt in BJJ, did this…
Where's you're black belt at now playboy??? For real though, that was awesome.
2) Jose Aldo: Jose Aldo's incredible streak continues, now winning his 16th fight in a row. This is his 5th UFC victory/title defense, and the Champion seems pretty unstoppable. I just wish he didn't have to beat the Korean Zombie to do so.
3) Chad Mendes: Speaking of unstoppable, Chad Mendes may have lost to Jose Aldo back in January of 2012, but now he is back and better than ever. The man is a real striker now, finishing his last four opponents in impressive fashion.
4) Matt Brown: Matt Brown is the fucking man right now, seriously I love this guy. With his win over Mike Pyle, he has now won six fights in a row and has finished five of them. Add in the fact that he is a fun fighter to watch and Matt Brown's recent run has been one of my favorite things.
5) Chael Sonnen: Chael Sonnen won the first main event on the first UFC show on FOX Sports 1. He also did so by submitting Shogun Rua, keeping himself relevant and also making some history.
1) Anthony Pettis:
Winning or defending a title successfully, especially a UFC one, is grounds for high consideration as far as I'm concerned when Fighter of the Month comes around. Anthony Pettis defeated Benson Henderson, a former Fighter of the Year and undefeated in the UFC to become the new lightweight champion. Add to that a first round submission finish, a great post fight promo, and the fact that people are now thinking he'll be the champ for a long time, he's an easy choice for fighter of the month this time.
2) Jose Aldo: As above, defending a title or winning it is big in my book, and Jose Aldo successfully defended his featherweight title against Chan-Sung Jung. The fight wasn't the most impressive performance from Aldo, which is why I gave Pettis the top slot, but Aldo is still on a great run and looks unbeatable at featherweight. So much so that people are hoping he and Anthony Pettis clash at some point.
3) Carlos Condit: Condit avenged his UFC debut loss, finished Martin Kampmann, but displayed an improved takedown defense as well as more patience with his striking but still has his killer instinct.
4) Travis Browne: Browne survived an early vicious onslaught from Alistair Overeem, recovered, and knocked him out with a front kick to the face. Browne is likely one fight away from a title shot.
5) Matt Brown: A six fight winning streak in the UFC is nothing to sneeze at, a six fight winning streak in the highly competitive welterweight division is even better. Factor in that five of those wins have been finishes and Matt Brown might be on one of the better runs in the UFC right now.
1) Anthony Pettis:
Showtime earned the UFC lightweight championship with a dominant performance against Benson Henderson, something we have never seen. A fight ending armbar led way to one of the more inspiring sights of the year in the UFC as Pettis won in front of his hometown audience in Milwaukee. It took him three years to reach this point after his first win over Henderson in WEC, and a series of injuries, but you know how the cliché goes. Plus, he didn't wait long before challenging Jose Aldo to a super fight. Book it!
2) Chael Sonnen: Much like nobody expected Pettis to finish Henderson via first round submission, the same can be said for Chael and his guillotine choke win over Shogun Rua. With the win, he breathes new life into his career and will likely earn a spot on the 20th anniversary show in November.
3) Travis Browne: Nearly knocked out himself, Browne toughed it out at UFC on Fox Sports 1 and ended up knocking out Alistair Overeem with a beautiful front kick. The Hawaiian keeps winning and looking impressive in doing so, showing heart and the type of power that will give most heavyweights fits. Whether he can hang with the likes of Daniel Cormier or JDS or Cain Velasquez remains to be seen but he's in the same category as Fabrico Werdum and Josh Barnett at this point.
4) Marlon Moraes: You may argue that Moraes is the best bantamweight not in the UFC (though Bibiano Fernandes may be that man) and coming off another destructive win in which he bloodied prospect Brandon Hempleman, there's no reason to outright say otherwise. He's got speed, striking and strength for a 135-pounder to pose match-up problems for most guys in the division and he's still young enough that we probably have not seen anything close to a finished product yet.
5) Urijah Faber: Speaking of top of the line bantamweights, Faber proved yet again why he's a modern legend. Nearly dropped and finished by Yuri Alcantara in Boston, Faber persevered to dominate rounds two and three in victory. Those final two rounds were in no way even close, and could have been given 10-8 rounds and I would not have blinked an eye. The California Kid is one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport, regardless of what class he's fighting in.
1) Anthony Pettis:
Pettis did a pretty good job of making destiny and fate look like it's 100% legit at UFC 164. His run to the title is almost like something out of a movie. He had a pretty meteoric rise in the WEC leading to his win over Ben Henderson and capturing the WEC lightweight title, highlighted by the Kick Heard Round the World with the Showtime Kick. However, he came into the UFC and lost a tough decision to Clay Guida after he was passed over in order to make a title rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. It ultimately had to happen again after he knocked out Joe Lauzon in order to make yet another rematch, this time Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson. And this is after, Ben Henderson, the man Pettis beat in a title bout went on to become the UFC lightweight champion. In one of the most anticipated rematches of the year, Pettis did what no else had ever been able to do in the WEC and UFC and that's stop Ben Henderson. Henderson had only been submitted once early on his career, and after that he'd made a career of being a guy that looked almost impossible to submit. Pettis caught Henderson in an impressive armbar technique and actually ended up breaking Henderson's arm before he verbally tapped. Pettis is now the lightweight champion at only 26 years old. If injuries do not hurt his career further, it looks like the sky could be the limit for him.
2) Carlos Condit: Carlos Condit gained retribution for his initial defeat in the UFC against Martin Kampmann. It was a career best performance for the Natural Born Killer who went in with two straight losses for this bout. Condit lost the first after Kampmann exploited what has generally been seen as one of Condit's greater weaknesses in his takedown defense. But ultimately, Condit's training and conditioning served him well as he managed to keep the fight standing and started letting his striking go. He finished the fight in the fourth, getting an emphatic victory and everyone has all but forgotten about how they trashed Condit after his defeat over Nick Diaz in 2012.
3) Chael Sonnen: Following UFC Fight Night 27, top ranked contenders stopped calling out the champions of their respective divisions and instead started calling out Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen might not be the champion, but he certainly carries himself like one, and he's revered and treated like one to be sure. For fighters, they seem to see fighting Chael Sonnen as even more desirable than fighting for the title. Fighting Jon Jones is a scary prospect, but fighting Sonnen guarantees some hefty box office and money as well as media attention. The mark of being a main eventer and true success in the UFC now is not fighting for the title, it's fighting the gangster from Oregon, Chael P. Sonnen.
4) Josh Barnett: Barnett started his return to the UFC aggressively, corning former champion Frank Mir up against the cage and unleashing a barrage of strikes in the clinch. Barnett made short work of Mir, dropping him with a knee before the fight was abruptly stopped. Some pundits bemoaned the fight as being premature, but Mir looked like he was out and done to me. Barnett now asserts himself back into the top 10 heavyweights and is probably just outside the top 5 at this point. With this, Barnett will have the chance to cement his legacy and hopefully end his career on a high note rather than obscurity. So with that, I hope he is doing his due diligence and keeping it clean.
5) Travis Browne: A lot of fighters would not be able to fight through what Travis Browne did against Alistair Overeem. After nearly getting finished in the first round and eating some hard body shots, Browne was able to fight his way back and ended up knocking out the Reem. Browne actually effectively used techniques this time that were actually what got him in trouble against Bigfoot Silva and led to his getting injured and finished.
1) Anthony Pettis:
This is a no brainer. Love him or hate him, the JCVD of the UFC is now its lightweight champion. Not only did he cause controversy with the Aldo debacle, and non conspiracy theory set up for his title fight (I snicker divine intervention) rematch, the Duke Roufus rep, got the job done, period. Plus the story is storybook itself, heated rivals from dead promotion rallying behind a youtube clip that will never day collide in the biggest promotion in the world for the biggest title in the world. Bendo has his hometown and got Bruce Lee'd in the face to lose. Pettis has Milwaukee behind him and shoves the Showtime kick down every bodies throat and takes the strap in 1 round by Submission. I still cannot believe that. Hometown win, for a title for the 2nd time after losing out on another title...kismet.
2) Chael Sonnen: King of the sound bite finally made a statement and not with his mouth. He subbed Shogun...in the first Rd. Who does that? The Gangster from West Linn, Oregon says hello.
3) Josh Barnett: Maybe a premature stoppage (um...no) But for a man who lost the UFC title by losing to a drug test, and then kill another promotion entirely with another drug test and then kill Frank Mir (hopefully) without drugs is dang hilarious...and impressive. If Barnett comes back clean, that's a ten year redemption trek right there, can you imagine this as the first step to the Warmaster being UFC Champ again. Crazy.
4) Matt Brown: He be not be Immortal but as a man this dude just does not die without a fight. He went from how the frack did I not get a pink slip to quoting himself as being able to out wrestle GSP..(GTFOH) to laying waste to 6 straight dudes. Not just barely but with conviction. Watch out Tarec come November/Dec.
5) Carlos Condit: The Natural Born Killa be back son, and not a moment too soon. He smell Kampmann's blood and just went to town my friends like a rabid dog after a dead panda. He killed the feeling of that previous loss and the two that came before it.
1) Anthony Pettis
Anthony Pettis once again defeated Benson Henderson, but this was no epic war that lasted five round. Nope, this time Pettis got shit done in the first round, submitting the BJJ Black belt with an arm bar. I thought that Pettis could and likely would win, but I never saw it coming via RD1 submission. I thought it would go five or that Pettis could win late via strikes, but this was extremely impressive.
2) Chad Mendes: The loss to Jose Aldo may have been the best thing to ever happen to Chad Mendes. Mendes was a great wrestler, but needed to gain a striking game. The loss to Aldo drove that pint home, and with Duane Ludwig now coaching team Alpha Male, Mendes has become a dangerous man. He became the first man to finish Clay Guida with strikes, and that was his fourth (T)KO finish in four fights. Mendes in a man on a mission and I would be perfectly fine with him getting a title shot sooner rather than later.
3) Jose Aldo: Defeated the Korean Zombie in the main event of UFC 163. This was Aldo's fifth straight UFC win, and 16th overall. The man has not tasted defeat since 2005, and just when everyone says he is losing it, he comes out there and finishes the Zombie.
4) Carlos Condit: Defeated Martin Kampmann at the UFC Fight Night 27 event. Condit needed the win for job safety and if he wanted to ever think about getting near the title any time soon. The fact that he finished Kampmann was also very impressive.
5) Chael P. Sonnen: Tapped out Shogun pretty easily, and will now live to talk shit another day.
1) Anthony Pettis:
Another month, another UFC Championship changes hands. This time it was Mr. Showtime himself doing what he does best: beating Benson Henderson for a championship. Pettis really has Henderson's number. Pettis wasn't able to recreate the epic five-found war of the first fight and he didn't deliver another Showtime Kick but that's okay. He just went ahead and ripped Bendo's arm off inside the first round instead. That is damn impressive. The fight was awesome, the finish was sick, his path to the championship was quite fun to follow, and there is no question that Anthony Pettis, the new UFC Lightweight Champion, is the Fighter of the Month.
2) Travis Browne: "Hapa" Browne unquestionably asserted himself as a contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship with a huge knockout of Alastair Overeem. He fought like a champion when he was on the verge of getting beat and managed to work his way back into the fight only to end it moments later with a devastating front kick. Give the man a title shot. He's ready.
3) Chael Sonnen: Chael main evented the very first fight card on Fox Sports 1, he fought a former champion in Maurico Rua, and he defeated Rua with a guillotine choke in the first round. In defeating a former UFC champion, Chael did exactly what he needed to do to set him on a path towards another title shot at either 185 or 205. Hooray for Uncle Chael!
4) Josh Barnett: A return to the UFC 11 years in the making and it couldn't have gone better for The Warmaster. Barnett validated his spot near the top of the heavyweight rankings with a mauling of former champion Frank Mir. The win likely puts Barnett a win or two away from a shot at the heavyweight championship. Now THAT is how you make a return!
5) Carlos Condit: Condit finally managed to exorcise a ghost that had been haunting him since he debuted in the UFC. He lost to Martin Kampmann by close split decision the first time they fought back in 2009 but this time he left no doubt as to who the better fighter is by beating Kampmann up over two rounds and finishing him with strikes in the fourth. The win ended his losing streak so he can now get back on track to another shot at the welterweight championship.
1) Anthony Pettis:
Nobody expected Anthony Pettis to win last weekend the way he did. Benson Henderson had already tied the record for most UFC lightweight title defenses when he took on the last guy that beat him in the WEC. Pettis just wrecked him with body shots and submitted the champ.
2) Chael Sonnen: Chael Sonnen picked up his first win since January 2012 when he submitted Shogun Rua in the first round. Shogun isn't what he used to be, but owning him like that still isn't easy to do. One win was all Sonnen needed to return to relevancy as plenty of top fighters started calling him out afterwards. He now takes on Rashad Evans next.
3) Carlos Condit : Condit picked up a much needed win as he avenged a loss to Martin Kampmann. He lost the first round, but his takedown defense and striking were awesome after that. A fourth round TKO keeps Condit at the top of the division and a fight or two away from being back in the title picture.
4) Jose Aldo: It wasn't the best fight in the world, but he defended his title for the seventh time (5x UFC) and that deserves recognition. Unfortunately, he broke his foot against the Korean Zombie so he'll be out until next year. It always sucks when one of the best fighters in the world is out for extended periods of time.
5) Matt Brown: Matt Brown's six fight winning streak has been nothing short of awesome. He's been gradually tearing through the welterweight division and Mike Pyle was the biggest win of his career. The last Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine is up next and I'm expecting win number seven.
Honorable Mention: Chad Mendes and Josh Barnett - (7 points)
5th Place - Travis Browne - (10 points)
4th Place - Jose Aldo - (13 points)
3rd Place - Carlos Condit - (14 points)
Rebounded with a big win over Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27.
2nd Place - Chael Sonnen - (20 points)
Defeated Shogun Rua via submission at the debut event for FOX Sports 1…
411's Fighter of the Month for AUGUST is…
Anthony Pettis - (40 points)
Challenged Benson Henderson for the UFC Lightweight Title, and oops, he did it again….
2013 Year-End Standings
Here are the standing after EIGHT months…
RULE REMINDER: If a fighter ranked on the yearend list LOSES a fight they will lose 5 points. Also, after much discussion, if a fighter is suspended by an athletic commission or the UFC (drug related), they lose any points accumulated thus far.
Demetrious Johnson -27 pts
Anthony Pettis - 27pts
Chris Weidman -15 pts
Jose Aldo- 15pts
TJ Grant -15 pts
Georges St-Pierre -15 pts
Ronda Rousey -15 pts
Josh Burkman – 15pts
Cain Velasquez - 12pts
Fabricio Werdum - 12pts
Glover Teixeira - 12pts
Jon Jones - 12pts
Johny Hendricks - 12pts
Renan Barao - 12pts
Michael Chandler - 10pts
Benson Henderson -10 pts (Loses 5pts for his loss to Anthony Pettis)
Ben Askren - 9pts
Pat Curran - 9pts
Junior Dos Santos - 9pts
Stipe Miocic - 9pts
Vitor Belfort - 9pts
Tarec Saffiedine - 9pts
Emanuel Newton - 9pts
Chael Sonnen – 7pts (Loses 5pts for his loss to Jon Jones)
Cat Zingano - 6pts
Mark Hunt - 4pts (Loses 5pts for his loss to Junior Dos Santos)
Carlos Condit - 4pts (Loses 5pts for his loss to Johny Hendricks)
Jacare Souza- 3pts
Travis Browne - 3pts
Cub Swanson - 3pts
Wanderlei Silva - 3pts
Chad Mendes - 2pts
Josh Barnett - 1pt
Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino – 1pt
Bobby Lashley – 1pt
Marlon Moraes – 1pt
Alexander Shlemenko - 1pt
Michelle Waterson - 1pt
Bibiano Fernandes - 1pt
Antonio Silva - 1pts (Loses 5pts for his loss to Cain Velasquez)
Rashad Evans – 1pt (Loses 5pts for his loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira)
King Mo Lawal – (-2pts.) (Loses 5pts for his loss to Emmanuel Newton)
As per the rules, Pat Healy was stripped of his three points, due to his failed drug test for marijuana at UFC 159.
Year-End Rankings Key:
UFC Contracted Fighters are represented in BLUE.
Bellator Contracted Fighters are represented in RED.