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 411mania » MMA » Columns

411's Fighter of the Month: June 2014
Posted by Larry Csonka on 07.11.2014

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) Demetrious Johnson:
Demetrious Johnson, the king of Fox, headlined UFC 174 and defeated Ali Bagautinov to retain flyweight title via unanimous decision. While Johnson did not finish Bagautinov, I felt he dominated the fight and pretty much cruised to victory. Johnson continues to dominate his division, and right now, I don't see anyone stopping him. The 411 2013 FOTY is off to a good start in 2014.

2) Rick Glenn: Rick Glenn defeated Georgi Karakhanyan to win the WSOF featherweight title at WSOF 10. It was an impressive performance for Glenn, Georgi Karakhanyan was highly praised and many felt that Glenn posed no challenge. Glen brutalized the champion with body strikes, and when round three was set to begin, Karakhanyan simply could not answer the bell due to broken ribs, allowing Glenn to walk out with the title. Glenn moves to 15-2-1m, scoring the biggest victory of his career.
3) Cub Swanson: It took him five rounds, but Cub Swanson defeated Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44. This was Swanson's sixth victory in a row, and more importantly should secure him a title bout against the Aldo vs. Mendes winner. Swanson lost to both men, and is looking not only to win the title, but for redemption. He put himself into position to get both.
4) Dave Branch: Dave Branch knew JT Money hadn't learned choke defense after all these years, and in 1:41 became the WSOF Middleweight Champion at WSOF 10. Branch has won his last four fights, with all of them taking place in WSOF.
5) Ovince St. Preux: Ovince St. Preux defeated Ryan Jimmo at UFC 174. OSP's victory was his fifth in a row, and fourth overall in the UFC. This has earned him a win against Ryan Bader, and if he can win that fight, OSP should find himself "in the mix" for a UFC Light Heavyweight Title shot.

Robert Winfree
1) Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson:
In a relatively slow month Johnson successfully defending the UFC television flyweight title with a clear cut unanimous decision win over Russian Ali Bagautinov takes the top spot. Johnson continues to improve as a fighter, which is scary given how good he is right now.

2) Cub Swanson: Swanson ran his winning streak to six in the featherweight division with a unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens. Swanson is without question the number one contender now.
3) Benson Henderson: The former lightweight champion secured his first ever finish in the UFC with a fourth round submission win over Rustam Khabilov, if Henderson has found that killer instinct he could be wearing gold again sooner rather than later.
4) Rory MacDonald: MacDonald broke his string of boring fights with a watchable win over Tyron Woodley. MacDonald has tons of potential and this was the first big fight where he didn't mentally or physically choke, if he's found that groove he'll be fighting for the belt by the end of this year or early 2015.
5) Nate Marquardt: Marquardt submitted James Te Huna in his return to middleweight, following three consecutive losses which included two brutal first round knockouts, Marquardt managed to salvage his career in the UFC for at least two more fights.

Jonathan Solomon
1) Benson Henderson:
It was a tricky fight for the former lightweight champion, matched up against a dangerous Russian who had been beating up everyone in his path. But, Bendo provided us with the first evidence that Rustam Khabilov was not among the best at 155-pounds. Henderson was all over Khabilov, stronger, faster, and ultimately choked him out in the fourth round. It was Benson's first win by submission since he choked out both Cowboy Cerrone and Jamie Varner in 2010.

2) Demetrious Johnson: There is not much to say about the best flyweight in the world other than he scored another decisive win in his latest title defense. Many people probably didn't see the fight but Ali Bagautinov did not stand a chance.
3) Rick Glenn: Glenn was impressive in becoming the new WSOF featherweight champion, persevering through an early arm bar and battering champion Georgi Karakhanyan. Glenn was all over Karakhanyan to the point that he could not continue after the second round because his ribs were injured. Look out for Rick Glenn.
4) Jessica Aguilar: Arguably the best strawweight fighter in the world, Aguilar defended her WSOF title as she controlled Emi Fujino for 25-minutes. She did everything short of finishing the fight and displayed her grappling and striking, never letting Fujino get into any groove.
5) Ovince St. Preux: OSP stopped Ryan Jimmo, surprisingly by submission with a kimura lock. The win sets him up for a fight with Ryan Bader, a sizable step up in competition for the former Tennessee Volunteer.

Alex Rella
1) Demetrious Johnson:
Mighty Mouse looked as great as ever this month as he defended his title for a fourth time and is having one of the greatest title reigns of all time at this point. Johnson dominated Ali Bagautinov for five rounds as we won by unanimous decision (50-45 x3). Hopefully some new contenders step up at flyweight so we can see some fresh matchups.

2) David Branch : David Branch won the WSOF middleweight tournament this month as he defeated Jesse Taylor to become the promotion's inaugural champion at 185 lbs. Branch is now 4-0 in the company and is one of their top fighters. My guess is he'll go up against Yushin Okami next.
3) Cub Swanson : Cub Swanson continued his awesome winning streak this month in the main event of UFC Fight Night 44. He won his sixth in a row as he defeated Jeremy Stephens who was undefeated at featherweight. It was a great fight and I really hope Swanson gets the next title shot regardless of what may happen.
4) Rick Glenn : Georgi Karakhanyan was going for his first ninth win in a row and his first title defense as the WSOF featherweight champion, but Rick Glenn ruined his night. Glenn won by TKO as Karakhanyan had to throw in a towel in between the second and third round. Glenn is undefeated in his last 13 fights and is now the best featherweight in the company.
5) Nate Marquardt : Nate Marquardt's job was on the line as he took on James Te Huna in his return to middleweight. It was his first fight at 185 lbs in over three years, but he saved his job with an armbar victory. I'm excited to see who he gets matched up with next.

Dan Plunkett
1) Demetrious Johnson:
The pay-per-view may have completely bombed, but Johnson's match against Ali Bagautinov only further solidified his spot at the top of the flyweight division. Now, we get to look forward to a rematch against the only other flyweight to give him trouble - John Dodson. That's a can't-miss fight.

2) Cub Swanson: Swanson's victory over Jeremy Stephens should have put him firmly at the top of the list of featherweight contenders. Unfortunately, Jose Aldo's recent injury may force him to wait longer for that title shot than Swanson anticipated.
3) Benson Henderson: Entering June, Henderson's only decisive victory in the past two years had come against Nate Diaz. Decision wins against Frankie Edgar (x2), Gilbert Melendez, and Josh Thomson were either controversial or bad calls. His June 7 stoppage against the very tough Rustam Khabilov provided him with the decisive victory he needed to move closer to another title match.
4) John Dodson: Sure, his fight against John Moraga may have ended with a weird doctor's stoppage, but Dodson still scored the win and is in line for another shot at Demetrious Johnson.
5) Jessica Aguilar: Her status as the top strawweight in the world may be in danger once the UFC's division debuts with much more hype and fanfare, but Aguilar held onto the title for now with a convincing win against Emi Fujino.

Jeffrey Harris
1) Benson Henderson:
Henderson gets No. 1 on my list this month for getting the first finish in his Octagon career over Rustam Khabilov. Henderson tends to ride a lot of waves of negativity after his fights because many of them are close decisions. One thing that has eluded him in all of his UFC wins was a finish, and now he finally has one. Props to Henderson for staying active and taking yet another fight this year against Rafael dos Anjos. He's basically the uncrowned interim lightweight champion of the UFC right now.

2) Cub Swanson: Swanson had a tough battle against Jeremy Stephens. It was a five round war, but it was Swanson who rose to the occasion and looked like a champion in the bout. Stephens got the better of Swanson in the first two rounds. Swanson rallied back with his dynamic arsenal of strikes and even cartwheel kicks that worked effectively to capture the victory.
3) Demetrious Johnson: Mighty Mouse is one of the best fighters on the planet. Unfortunately, he does not get enough respect from the fans and the media as the UFC flyweight champion. He dominated a tough competitor in Ali Bagautinov in their UFC 173 bout. Johnson wasn't able to finish him, but Bagautinov is a durable, tough opponent. I can't wait to see his rematch with John Dodson.
4) John Dodson: Dodson picked up a big win over John Moraga on his home turf at UFC Fight Night 42. Flyweights are critiqued for not getting finishes, and yet Dodson is a flyweight fighter that does just that. Now he's clinched another title shot against Demetrious Johnson for his next fight.
5) Nate Marquardt: Nate "The Great" Marquardt managed to salvage what was left of his UFC career at UFC Fight Night 43. He was on unfriendly turf by facing James Te Huna in New England. However, Marquardt proved why he was a force to be reckoned when he fought at middleweight in the UFC. He submitted Te Huna in the first round and snapped a three fight losing streak.

Evan Zivin
1) Benson Henderson:
What a dismal month this was. I guess I'll give Fighter of the Month to Ben for being the first fighter to push back the Dagestani invasion. All of the guys from Dagestan have been killers so far and not only did Ben defeat the dangerous Rustam Khabilov, he finished him by submission. That's impressive. Can anyone other than Anthony Pettis beat this guy? It certainly doesn't seem like it.

2) Cub Swanson: Cub had a great fight with Jeremy Stephens in San Antonio, proving how good his technique is against the lethal brawling of Stephens. The win was his sixth in a row and should put him in line for a shot at the featherweight title, assuming Aldo-Mendes 2 still happens this year. Cub just needs to sit back and work on his flying knee defense.
3) Demetrious Johnson: His fight with Ali Bagautinov wasn't the most exciting and UFC 174 may go down as the least purchased PPV in a really long time, but you can't deny the dominance of Mighty Mouse. He's one of the most complete fighters in the UFC and it's hard to imagine anyone at flyweight giving him problems for the foreseeable future. All hail the lil' king.
4) Nate Marquardt: And we all thought Nate was done. Well, either that or we thought James Te-Huna would put up more of a fight. Marquardt was dominant in a first round submission victory that has breathed new life into his career back at 185. How long will this resurgence last? We'll have to wait and see.
5) James Thompson: Because he's awesome and his promos crack me up. It doesn't matter that I can't understand a word he's saying. He's hilarious.

Wyatt Beougher
1) Demetrious Johnson:
The biggest win of the month earns Mighty Mouse the number one spot. Johnson put on a clinic and removed any doubt that he is far and away the best fighter in the UFC's flyweight division.

2) Benson Henderson: Bendo finally got a finish inside the Octagon, and if he hopes to get a lightweight title shot while Anthony Pettis is champion, he's going to need to continue to show that kind of dominance, rather than his usual razor-thin decision wins.
3) David Branch: Branch became the first WSOF middleweight champion to cap off a 4-0 run in the promotion. Plus, he kinda looks like Norman Smiley, that gives him enough of a bump to move into third.
4) Cub Swanson: Swanson may have done enough in defeating Jeremy Stephens to earn himself a title shot, but even if he didn't, he picked up a very solid win that doesn't hurt his resume in the least.
5) Nate Marquardt: Marquardt avoided the end of his second UFC run by picking up a win over James Te Huna at middleweight. Not bad for a guy who dropped to welterweight after the TRT train went dry because he didn't think he could compete at the higher weight class.

Robert Practor
1) Cub Swanson:
Cub Swanson has been on a roll, winning six straight in his quest for a shot at the Featherweight Championship. Swanson is a very entertaining fighter to watch and he possesses an uncanny 'it-factor' that is hard to come by. I truly feel that Cub could have a strong chance at defeating either Jose Aldo or Chad Mendes, both of which would be rematches with a chance at redemption for him. Here's hoping the delay of the Aldo-Mendes title fight doesn't end up causing Swanson to miss out on his well-earned title shot.

2) Demetrious Johnson: 'Mighty Mouse' continues to shine and despite perhaps not catching on with the masses, he has worked his way to becoming widely-regarded as one of the top 3 or 4 pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
3) Kelvin Gastellum: Kelvin Gastellum has the potential to be something special in the UFC's Welterweight division... or maybe the Middleweight division if he can't get this weight-cutting issue under control.
4) Benson Henderson: You have to admire Henderson's 'take on anyone and everyone' approach that he has had since dropping the Lightweight Championship to Anthony Pettis. If 'Bendo' keeps on trudging through the competition, he can earn another title fight in 2015, and even sooner if Pettis were to drop the belt in one of his next fights.
5) Rory MacDonald: MacDonald put on an excellent performance as he dominated Tyron Woodley at UFC 174. He may be only one more win away from a crack at the Welterweight Title.

Honorable Mention: John Dodson - (4 points)

5th Place - Nate Marquardt - (6 points)

4th Place - Dave Branch and Rick Glenn - (9 points)

3rd Place - Benson Henderson - (27 points)

Defeated Rustam Khabilov to get back on track to a lightweight title shot.

2nd Place - Cub Swanson - (29 points)

Defeated Jeremy Stephens and is now one step closer to a featherweight title shot!

411's Fighter of the Month for JUNE is

 photo djfotm_zps27017e16.jpg

Demetrious Johnson - (39 points)

Defeated Ali Bagautinov t UFC 174 to retain the UFC flyweight title!

  • Ronda Rousey - 15 pts.
  • Luke Rockhold - 15 pts.
  • Johny Hendricks - 15 pts.
  • Jon Jones - 15 pts.
  • TJ Dillashaw - 15 pts.
  • Demetrious Johnson - 15 pts.

  • Matt Brown - 12 pts.
  • Fabricio Werdum - 12 pts.
  • Justin Gaethje - 12 pts.
  • Pat Curran - 12 pts.
  • Daniel Cormier - 12 pts.
  • Benson Henderson - 12 pts.
  • Cub Swanson - 12 pts.

  • Anthony Johnson - 9 pts.
  • Alexander Gustafsson - 9 pts.
  • Will Brooks - 9 pts.

  • Renan Barao - 7 pts. {Lost five points due to a loss to TJ Dillashaw}

  • Tim Kennedy - 6 pts.
  • Jose Aldo - 6 pts.
  • Marlon Moraes - 6 pts.
  • Dave Branch - 6 pts.
  • Rick Glenn - 6 pts.

  • Lyoto Machida - 4 pts. {Lost five points due to a loss to Chris Weidman}
  • Alex Caceres - 4 pts. {Lost five points due to a loss to Urijah Faber}

  • Douglas Lima - 3 pts.
  • Emanuel Newton - 3 pts.
  • Gegard Mousasi - 3 pts.
  • Nate Marquardt - 3 pts.

  • Donald Cerrone - 2pts.

  • Jeremy Stephens - 1 pts. {Lost five points due to a loss to Cub Swanson}
  • John Dodson - 1pt
  • Alistair Overeem - 1pt
  • Abel Trujillo - 1pt
  • Rousimar Palhares - 1 pt

  • Robbie Lawler - (-1 pts.) {Lost five points due to a loss to Johny Hendricks}

  • Tyron Woodley - (-2 pts.) {Lost five points due to a loss to Rory MacDonald}

  • 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.

  • Year-End Rankings Key:

  • UFC Contracted Fighters are represented in BLUE.
  • Bellator Contracted Fighters are represented in RED.
  • Other Fighters are represented in MAROON.


    Year One (2009) Winner: Lyoto Machida

    Year Two (2010) Winner: Cain Velasquez

    Year Three (2011) Winner: Jon Jones

    Year Four (2012) Winner: Benson Henderson

    Year Five (2013) Winner: Demetrious Johnson


    Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow itTO CSONKA'S TWITTER!



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