The 411 MMA Top 10 12.23.13: Top 10 Fighters the WSOF Should Sign
Posted by Alex Rella on 12.23.2013
From Jason "Mayhem" MIller and Joe Ellenberger to Josh Hill, Charlie Brenneman, Dennis Hallman and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 fighters that the WSOF should sign!
Ten Fighters the WSOF Should Sign
Hey there gentle readers, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at ten fighters that I think the World Series of Fighting should sign. I've really enjoyed the shows that the WSOF has put on so far and I'm excited to see them expand in 2014. They have done a nice job of mixing in veteran free agents and mostly unknown prospects to put on some good fights. Their roster is getting larger and there are some more guys out there that could help them out as they go forward. It's funny that two guys that were on my rough draft from a few weeks ago, Joe Doerksen and Brian Foster, were signed by them before I got to upload my column. This list is made of guys that I personally think would help the WSOF based on their records, past success, and the division they compete in.
• Jimmy Quinlan (3-1) - 4x all-conference collegiate wrestler, as well as World and multiple-time Pan Jiu Jitsu champion in BJJ.
• Chris cope (8-3) - A taekwondo specialist that has won three in row since leaving the UFC.
• Chad Griggs (11-3) - The Gravedigger lost his two fights in the UFC, but he was wrecking people in Strikeforce before that. Maybe he can go back to winning ways in the WSOF.
• Travis Fulton (250-49-10) - Give the ultimate MMA journeyman a chance to compete in a top organization.
• Chinzo Machida (2-2) - Lyoto's older brother only takes a fight every couple years at featherweight, but he had one of the best KO's of the year in RFA. Maybe a contract can lure him into competing on a regular basis
• Bart Palaszewski (36-17)- Once a pretty good fighter in the WEC, Bartimus beat Anthony Pettis back at WEC 45
10: David Loiseau
David Loiseau starts the week off in the tenth spot. The WSOF's middleweight division has some solid fighters and Loiseau would fit in with some of their other veterans. Loiseau unsuccessfully challenged for the UFC middleweight title back in 2006 at UFC 58. Unfortunately, he would lose his next three fights in the UFC and up getting released more than once. Though he is currently on a four fight winning streak and has talked about making one more run before retiring. He's got to at least be better than Paulo Filho at this point.
9: Jason Miller
This could be a risky move, but I think it could work out nicely if Miller is able to get his life back on track. Mayhem announced his retirement after the UFC released him in 2012 after UFC 146. He's been a mess since then including odd arguments with Dana White, Ariel Helwani, Uriah Hall and multiple arrests. Maybe I'm wrong, but I always got the feeling Miller was genuinely a good person from watching him on Bully Beatdown and TUF season 14. Maybe the return to training will do him good. When healthy and focused, Miller has shown that he can be a top middleweight. Even if he doesn't reach the level he once competed at, Miller would be a high profiled name and may bring in some new viewers. They've given other fighters second chances so far, but Miller would have to win a fight or two in Asia before anyone takes him serious again.
8: Ryan Couture
I know I'm in the minority, but I like Ryan Couture and I think he would fit in well in the WSOF. Couture went 6-1 in Strikeforce before coming over to the UFC and got released after losing two in a row. Ryan has a fight coming up in January against Kyle Sjafiroeddin which he should win as Sjafiroeddin is only 4-4 against fighters I've never heard of and I have more twitter followers than him. Of course the second reason is a joke, but this should be a fairly easy fight to get him back on track. Then maybe Ryan gets a chance to build himself back up on the WSOF prelims. He does train with Ray Sefo so he has an in there. Ryan isn't a great fighter, but he's much better than all the third generation Gracie's that are on the roster and I think fans would be more interested in watching him fight than some random Brazilian prospect they've never heard of. Ryan Couture vs Nick Newell would make for a good fight.
7: Dennis Hallman
Dennis Hallman has been fighting since 1996 and has amassed an impressive record of 53-14-2. Hallman is most famous for defeating Matt Hughes twice, but he also challenged Jens Pulver for the UFC lightweight title back at UFC 33. Hallman left the UFC in 2012 after citing family problems and issues with cutting weight. He's won two fights since then and is on a three fight winning streak. I think Hallman would be a nice addition to either the WSOF's lightweight or welterweight division if he has trouble cutting down to 155. Hallman would fit in with the other veterans at 170 lbs, but he would do really well at lightweight if he can consistently pull it off. There are only about maybe three fighters that would be able to defeat him there. They gave Tyson Griffin a chance, why not Hallman too.
6: Josh Hill
I think the UFC dropped the ball by not giving any of the guys from the recent TUF season another chance to compete in the Octagon. I know the ladies were the highlight of the season, but they usually give most competitors one final chance on the TUF finale to earn a spot in the UFC. I would like to see most of those guys compete again, but I think Josh Hill has the most potential. The Gentleman is a very strong wrestler and is currently undefeated at 9-0. It wouldn't take him long to reach the top of their bantamweight division either. They gave Cody Bollinger a nice contract and he didn't even make weight.
5: Sergei Kharitonov
I just don't get why Sergei Kharitonov isn't in a top promotion. I know he'll never be in the UFC because of the way Golden Glory does business, but he would do well in the WSOF or even Bellator. Kharitonov (20-5) has wins over Alistair Overeem, Mike Russow, Andrei Arlovski, Pedro Rizzo, and Fabricio Werdum. He's only fought twice since leaving Strikeforce and has focused more on kickboxing lately, but Kharitonov would immediately be the company's top heavyweight if he were to join.
4: Joachim Hansen
The WSOF's featherweight division could really use Joachim Hansen. One of the best fighters to never sign with the UFC, Hansen has spent most of his career competing over in Asia for Shooto, Dream, and Pride. The Norwegian has wins over JZ Cavalcante, Yves Edwards, Caol Uno, Takanori Gomi, and Shinya Aoki. The former Dream lightweight champion took a nearly two year break from MMA to compete in kickboxing, but returned with a victory back in April. The WSOF has announced plans to branch out into Asia next year, so maybe Ray Sefo can lure Hansen over.
3: Satoshi Ishii
Satoshi Ishii would be a great addition to either the heavyweight or light heavyweight divisions of the WSOF. An Olympic gold medalist in judo, Ishii has just been beating on former UFC fighters lately and it's time for him to move on from IGF. Ishii is on a six fight winning streak with wins over guys like Sean McCorkle, Pedro Rizzo, Jeff Monson, and Tim Sylvia. I know most of these guys are far removed from their respective primes, but I'd still expect him to succeed if he were to take on some younger and tougher competition. Ishii has expressed interest in coming to America before as he was once supposed to fight for Strikeforce before visa held him back and he's talked about how he'd like to become an American citizen too. So maybe the WSOF can convince him to come over or maybe just get him to fight on one of their upcoming shows in Asia.
2: Joe Ellenberger
You know how Jake Ellenberger has fights where he looks awesome? Well his twin brother Joe looks like that all the time. With an equally cool nickname of Excalibur, Ellenberger has been wrecking people in smaller promotions. A lightweight with an impressive record of 14-1, Ellenberger has finished off twelve of his opponents. Unfortunately, Joe was diagnosed with an incredibly rare blood disease called PNH that has a mortality rate of about fifty percent. But he hasn't let that stop him from competing. He hasn't had a chance to go up against top competition yet, but I think he can be just as good as his brother, if not better.
1: Charlie Brenneman
This top pick may throw some people off, but Charlie Brenneman deserves to be back in a top MMA promotion. Brenneman (19-5) fought in the UFC from 2010-12, going 4-4 which included wins over Jason High and Rick Story. He was released after UFC 152 and has since dropped down to lightweight. Brenneman has won four in a row at 155 lbs competing mostly for CFFC, where he has won their lightweight title. Brenneman's wrestling and submission skills have looked really great during his current run and I think he could become the best lightweight in the WSOF if given the chance.
• This is one of the rare times where I do a list based entirely on my opinion so let me know of any guys you think would fit in the WSOF.
• As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
• I'm undecided on next week so feel free to suggest something good.