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 411mania » MMA » Columns

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Rousey? Weidman? Who Is 411's Fighter of the Month for July 2014?
Posted by Larry Csonka on 08.08.2014



  • Welcome back to year six (July edition) of the 411 MMA Fighter of the Month column! Each month the 411 MMA writers come together to name their Fighter of the Month, which will help us decide out Fighter of the year in January.

    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


    …and they go towards the 411 Fighter of the Year award, to be announced each year in January. Lets get to the voting…





    Larry Csonka
    1) Ronda Rousey:
    Ronda Rousey. 16 seconds. Destruction. For me, there was no other choice for#1 this month.

    2) Chris Weidman: Chris Weidman defeated Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in a fight of the year candidate to retain the UFC Middleweight Title. This was a fight I got to sit back, relax and just enjoy (a rarity these days) and I loved it. Weidman controlled Machida early, like no one else had, but Machida made a late comeback and we ended up with a tremendous fight. Weidman showed a lot in the fight, got pulled into the championship rounds, and performed like a champion does. This was an impressive victory and overall performance for Weidman.
    3) Anthony Johnson: Anthony Johnson doesn't get paid by the hour, and proved that when he ended Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's return to the octagon is a mere 44 seconds. Johnson has looked fantastic since his return to the UFC, and has to be "in the mix" as Dana would say for a title shot.
    4) Dennis Bermudez: Dennis Bermudez defeated clay Guida via submission at UFC on FOX 12. Not only did he finish Guida, but the victory was his seventh UFC win in a row. The young man is on a roll and closer than ever to a title shot.
    5) Robbie Lawler: Defeated Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 12 to secure a welterweight title shot against Johny Hendricks.


    Lorenzo Vasquez III
    1) Ronda Rousey:
    Love her or hate her Ronda Rousey again proved why she is the queen bee of women's MMA. In 16 seconds she utterly destroyed Alexis Davis showcasing her improving striking skills combined with a nasty judo throw. Rousey is on another level as an MMA practitioner and it seems as though there are few women on the same level to challenge the reigning champ.

    2) Chris Weidman: Chris Weidman proved he was no fluke at UFC 175. He was able to dominate Lyoto Machida for the majority of the five round war and retained the 185 lb. title. He was tested during the fourth and fifth rounds but he showed resiliency and determination. Not many fighters can say they truly defeated Machida.
    3) Anthony Johnson: Rumble added an exclamation point on UFC on FOX 12 to the message he sent after humiliating Phil Davis by dropping a solid veteran in Antonio Rogerio Nogueira with vicious upper cuts less than a minute into the fight. Johnson continues to show he is a force at 205.
    4) Dennis Bermudez: Bermudez submitted a durable and tough veteran Clay Guida in the second round at UFC on FOX 12 bringing his winning streak up to seven. Bermudez is jumping up the ranks and making his case as a legit contender to the featherweight crown.
    5) Robbie Lawler: With three fights in four months Robbie Lawler defeated a game and tough opponent in Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 12. That makes two straight wins after his controversial loss to Johny Hendricks. With this win he has earned himself another crack at Hendricks for welterweight title.


    Wyatt Beougher
    1) Chris Weidman:
    In a month with a ton of great performances, Weidman's stood out to me the most. It wasn't an impressive finish like some of the other fighters on the list earned, but by virtue of going five rounds with one of the most dangerous fighters on the UFC roster, and not only never getting into any real danger, but also only unanimously losing a single round on the judges' scorecards, Weidman did more in twenty-five minutes in the cage to prove his legacy than he did in the previous twenty-four months since winning the title from Anderson Silva. Believe it or not, a lot of MMA fans weren't satisfied with Weidman's wins over Silva, blaming it on Silva not taking the first fight seriously and injuring himself in the second. When the final horn sounded on UFC 175 though, there were no excuses to be made - the champion was flat-out dominant. That's enough to edge out the other fighters on the list for me.

    2) Ronda Rousey: Rousey continued her run as the most dominant female fighter ever to step foot inside the cage, and her run of battered and broken opponents continued to get more impressive. Once known as a one-trick pony, the women's bantamweight champion has now rounded out her striking game and not unlike dominant light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, it's now less a question of who can beat her and more of who can even give her a competitive fight.
    3) Anthony Johnson: Since realizing he wasn't cut out for welterweight, a heavier, healthier Anthony Johnson has returned to the UFC and faced heralded collegiate wrestler Phil Davis and former Brazilian boxing champion Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. He outwrestled the former over three rounds, making Davis' wrestling look bush-league, and he outboxed the latter, needing less than a minute to separate the Nogueira from his senses. Johnson looks like he belongs in the discussion for contenders for Jon Jones' title at this point.
    4) Justin Gaethje: Gaethje main evented a show on network television and easily defended his title, which would be enough to merit inclusion on this list. The fact that he's making a case to be considered the best lightweight not currently under the UFC banner doesn't do anything to hurt his cause either.
    5) Conor McGregor: McGregor's done a lot of talking over his relatively brief UFC career, but in his first main event performance, he did nothing but back it up, needing less than a full round to end Diego Brandao's night. McGregor looks to be on the path to become the UFC's biggest European star, and that, combined with the ease in which he handled Brandao, is enough for inclusion on this list.


    Jack McGee
    1) Ronda Rousey:
    What Rousey sees, she destroys. Literally, it only took her 16-seconds to end Alexis Davis, and she did so while being banged up. 80% Ronda Rousey is still way better than anyone it seems. Irrationally hate all you want, she's doing her job, defeating anyone they put in front of her.

    2) Dennis Bermudez: Dennis Bermudez earned his seventh victory in a row in the UFC by defeating Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 12. Not only is it his seventh victory in a row, but Bermudez finished Guida with a second round submission. Sure Guida annoys a lot of people, but he is not finish easily. Bermudez is quickly rising up the ranks, and has to be in that mix for a title shot with Swanson, and I suppose Edgar (since he beat a past his prime BJ Penn and because he's Dana's buddy because HE'S A FUCKIN WARRIOR MAN!). Bermudez made a huge career leap this month, and it needs to be respected and appreciated.
    3) Chris Weidman: At UFC 175, Chris Weidman defeated Lyoto Machida to retain his UFC Middleweight Title. Weidman controlled early, but Machida made a fight of it late, testing the young champion and making him dig deep. Weidman took another step in proving himself to the doubters (and there are still at on of them) while retaining his title after going into deep waters.
    4) Anthony Johnson: An impressive 44 second destruction of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira makes Anthony Johnson a legit contender, and a very dangerous man in the Light heavyweight Division. Welcome back Rumble.
    5) Justin Gaethje:Defeated Nick Newell at WSOF 11 to retain the WSOF Lightweight Title on the promotion's debut on NBC.


    Jonathan Solomon
    1) Ronda Rousey:
    I know there was no one expecting Rousey to knock Alexis Davis out in 16-seconds. She did and continues to improve, becoming more than the one-dimensional grappler we saw come up through Strikeforce. While the UFC may be trying to book her against Gina Carano next, there's no argument to be made against Rousey as the biggest MMA star today.

    2) Robbie Lawler: A five round slugfest saw Lawler defeat Matt Brown and earn his second UFC title fight against Johny Hendricks. Robbie has improved so much since his Strikeforce days (see a pattern here?) that he truly is an elite welterweight in 2014. His body strikes wrecked havoc on Brown and even though there may have been some drama during the fifth round, it was Lawler who definitively won with a great gas tank and more power.
    3) Dennis Bermudez: There is no more climbing to get into the top echelon of UFC featherweights for Bermudez, he's there. He dominated Clay Guida on FOX and choked him out, cementing his 7th consecutive win. While a title shot is not available, give the man a top 5 opponent like Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson or even the Korean Zombie.
    4) Justin Gaethje: The undefeated WSOF lightweight champion continues to display why he's the best up-and-coming fighter in the division. Against a skilled challenger in Nick Newell, Gaethje picked him apart (particularly courtesy of devastating body punches). It was also a different sight to see him more measured and show less balls-to-the-wall aggression as we've come to expect from him.
    5) Conor McGregor: In his return from ACL surgery and nearly a year away from action, McGregor looked fantastic in his TKO win over Diego Brandao in Ireland. Beyond that, thanks to his mouth (in combination with the skill shown as a fighter), he is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars around -- at least in Ireland, he most definitely is. Next up, he gets Dustin Poirier in Las Vegas and all the people counting on him failing and falling on his face, those people may not be ecstatic come September 27th.


    Jeffrey Harris
    1) Chris Weidman:
    It was tough because there were a lot of great performances last month, but Weidman's took the cake for me. I thought that Lyoto Machida was really the toughest strategic match-up he could ever face coming off his two fights with Anderson Silva. Now while I did pick Weidman to win, I thought it was going to be an incredibly tough match-up. Weidman disrupted and dealt with Machida masterfully. Machida was not able to use his trademark, elusive style to his advantage. I think Weidman proved that Machida's style is just as big of a curse as it is a benefit to his performances. Weidman had a tough war and came out on top.

    2) Ronda Rousey: Rousey looks like she is getting even better each time she steps into the cage. When she came into the UFC, she was criticized as being a one trick pony. Now she has two wins by knockout in title fights. The way she just obliterated Alexis Davis was flabbergasting. We expected domination by Rousey, but probably not quite like that. Her striking looks like it is getting better with each fight.
    3) Donald Cerrone: The Cowboy picked up what was quite possibly the biggest win of his career at UFC Fight Night 45. He knocked out Jim Miller in the second round with an amazing headkick. This was one of the toughest match-ups Cerrone had in a while, and Cerrone continues to prove his worth as one of the most exciting fighters in the lightweight division. Cerrone showed good patience in this fight and did a great job of letting his feet go.
    4) Conor McGregor: Conor McGregor is getting a lot of hype in the UFC, but he continues to perform well. He came off a one year layoff due to an ACL injury and he looked fantastic. Granted, Diego Brandao was a last minute replacement, and it was a fight he was supposed to win. However, it was a fight where he looked fantastic and put Brandao away in impressive fashion. It was an incredible return for the UFC to Ireland, which McGregor helped spearhead single-handedly.
    5) Gunnar Nelson: Nelson defeated another opponent he was supposed to beat, but at least he looked great doing it. I truly believe Nelson is a future title contender at welterweight. He looks like an absolute cold-blooded killer and animal in the cage. And I do not take a phrase like that lightly. He seems to show no emotion when he's inside the cage. When he pops a smile, I am almost creeped out. Nelson has come along nicely in his UFC run. He's 4-0 and he's shown to be a strong submission artist. After how he took care of Zak Cummings, I'm looking forward to seeing him hopefully fight a top 10 opponent next.


    Dan Plunkett
    1) Ronda Rousey:
    Sure, we knew she was going to win. Sure, Alexis Davis isn't quite Lyoto Machida's female counterpart. But it's really tough to pick against a 16 second win in a world championship match. Ronda Rousey was a monster on July 5 and appears to be widening the skill gap between herself and the rest of the division she has dominated for two years.

    2) Chris Weidman: Of the current crop of middleweight contenders, Lyoto Machida looked to be the toughest match-up for champion Chris Weidman. He's hard to hit, hard to take down, hard to prepare for, and those things make him really hard to decisively beat. It was a tough out, but Weidman passed The Dragon Test in one of the year's best fights to remain undefeated.
    3) Robbie Lawler: Matt Brown isn't meant to be physically combated by human beings. When he is, it's not a fair contest because Brown is some evolved form of badass. Robbie Lawler, a suspected human being, hurt and beat Brown. That alone is worthy of recognition here.
    4) Donald Cerrone: "Cowboy" finally appears to be putting it all together. That's terrible news for his fellow lightweights.
    5) Conor McGregor: We don't know if he's championship quality, but his first round stoppage of Diego Brandao proved McGregor is good enough to stick around for a long time.


    Evan Zivin
    1) Chris Weidman:
    It looks like July has come down to what we consider a greater accomplishment and more deserving of Fighter of the Month: defeating in definitive fashion a former world champion in a five round war of attrition that many people didn't think was winnable, thus solidifying the champion's status as one of the best fighters in the world when there was still a lot of doubt, or crushing someone in 16 seconds who no one was giving a chance to begin with. Seriously, guys? It's no contest. Ronda is tough but we already knew that. Weidman accomplished a lot more in his win over Lyoto Machida and he earned Fighter of the Month in my book.

    2) Robbie Lawler: I couldn't believe that Robbie Lawler was going to be fighting for a UFC championship in 2014 when he faced Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 and now he's getting another shot? Hell yeah, Robbie. The fight with Matt Brown was great and nobody is more deserving of a title fight right now than you. Johny got his moment to shine already so I wouldn't mind seeing Robbie take the rematch.
    3) Ronda Rousey: Now, just because I don't agree that Ronda thrashing Alexis Davis in 16 seconds is as or more impressive than Weidman beating a former UFC champion, it was still damn impressive to see how easily Ronda hurt Davis and put her away. Ronda is a legit threat anywhere the fight takes place and it's going to be a long time before we find anyone who can be remotely competitive with her. Anyway, how's the Gina Carano talks going, Dana?
    4) Anthony Johnson: Damn. It was obvious Rumble Johnson had come a long way when he returned in April and clowned Phil Davis in a way only former world champions have been able to, but that knockout of Lil' Nog was frightening stuff. If he keeps this up, he'll be fighting for the title in a year. I can't wait. Let's see if he can drop one of those right hands on Jon Jones.
    5) Conor McGregor: Wow. Did you see the reactions he got from his hometown fans in Dublin? This guy could play a big part in the UFC's continued efforts to break into Europe. Hell, Conor has the potential to be the next big star stateside. He did exactly what he needed to against Diego Brandao to keep his hype train a'rollin' and I am excited to see how he performs against Dustin Poirier next month.



    THE RESULTS
    Honorable Mention: Conor McGregor - (6 points)

    5th Place - Dennis Bermudez - (11 points)

    4th Place - Robbie Lawler - (13 points)

    3rd Place - Anthony Johnson - (14 points)

    Destroyed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on FOX 12 in just 44 seconds.


    2nd Place - Chris Weidman - (30 points)

    Defeated Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in a fight of the year candidate to retain the UFC Middleweight Title.


    411's Fighter of the Month for JULY is…














     photo rouseyko175_zps80b688f6.png

    Ronda Rousey - (36 points)

    Defeated Alexis Davis at UFC 175 in 16 seconds to retain the UFC Women's Bantamweight Title!





    THE 2014 STANDINGS (THROUGH JULY)
  • Ronda Rousey - 30 pts.

  • Anthony Johnson - 18 pts.

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

  • Chris Weidman - 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.

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

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

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

  • Robbie Lawler - 5 pts. {Lost five points due to a loss to Johny Hendricks}

  • 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.
  • Dennis Bermudez - 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}
  • Conor McGregor - 1pt
  • John Dodson - 1pt
  • Alistair Overeem - 1pt
  • Abel Trujillo - 1pt
  • Rousimar Palhares - 1 pt

  • 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.


    **PREVIOUS WINNERS**

    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


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