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411's MMA Rankings 09.12.07: Week 1
Posted by Dustin James on 09.12.2007



Welcome to the debut column of 411's MMA Rankings! My name is Dustin James and I will be the guy you love to hate. You can't really rank people or teams in the sporting world without tons of backlash from people with different opinions on who belongs where. I mean, look at the college football world. Most of the talk isn't about how good the teams are, but how the polls are "screwing" some team that deserves more credit than it's getting. My main goal is to try to be objective as possible.

If you are wondering what my ranking system is based upon, it's a collection of things. It's overall record, tougher opponents faced, quick finishes, my personal opinion, and a few other things. I won't always throw champions in the #1 field because of a thing called "fluke wins". For instance, if Travis Lutter had made weight and upset Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Title, I really don't think I'd even put Lutter in the Top 5 of the Middleweight division. There's that little opinion thing I was talking about earlier.

Now, for the reason you all clicked on this! The very first 411 MMA Rankings!

Heavyweight Division (up to 265 pounds)

1) Fedor Emelianenko (27-1-1-)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Matt Lindland - Win via submission (arm bar) - BodogFight - Clash of the Nations - April 14, 2007

- vs. Mark Hunt - Win via submission (kimura) - PRIDE - Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Mark Coleman - Win via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE 32: The Real Deal - October 21, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

-Currently unknown

Notes: Fedor is currently the hottest MMA free agent on the market. He just signed an endorsement deal with "Affliction" and is going to promote the clothing line alongside Randy Couture. It still remains to be seen if Fedor has signed with the UFC, but the rumors are certainly flying.

2) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria (30-4-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Heath Herring - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 73: Stacked - July 7th, 2007

- vs. Josh Barnett - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE - Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Josh Barnett - Loss via decision (split) - PRIDE - Final Conflict Absolute - September 10, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

-Currently unknown

Notes: Dana White of the UFC has already publicly stated that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira could be next in line for a shot at Randy Couture's title. If the UFC can't sign Fedor, then a Big Nog vs. Couture match-up could be the hottest ticket in the Heavyweight division.

3) Randy Couture (16-8)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 74: Respect - August 25, 2007

- vs. Tim Sylvia - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 68: Uprising - March 3, 2007

- vs. Chuck Liddell - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture 3 - February 4, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: The current UFC Heavyweight Champion continues to shock the MMA world. Unfortunately he broke his arm during his last fight with Gonzaga. His next opponent is currently unknown but the rumors are flying. Personally, I'd expect a Couture/Big Nog match-up to be scheduled for early 2008, depending on the severity of Couture's arm injury.

4) Josh Barnett (20-5)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Loss via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE - Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Pawel Nastula - Win via submission (toe hold) - PRIDE 32: The Real Deal - October 21, 2006

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Loss via submission (injury) - PRIDE - Final Conflict Absolute - September 10, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Barnett is among the hottest free agents in MMA. He is currently trash talking both Dana White and Randy Couture on his myspace in an effort to try to get fans amped up for a potential Barnett/Couture rematch. Barnett beat Couture in their last match at UFC 36 and won the Heavyweight title. He was then forced out of the UFC due to failing a drug test after the fight. It's a long shot to see Barnett in the UFC. In recent interviews Dana White has come out and said that if Barnett really is a hot item on the free agent market, then somebody else should sign him.

5) Gabriel Gonzaga (9-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Randy Couture - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 74: Respect - August 25, 2007

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via KO (head kick) - UFC 70: Nations Collide - April 21, 2007

- vs. Carmelo Marrero - Win via submission (arm bar) - UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II - December 30, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Gonzaga won his title shot against Couture by beating one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world, Mirko Cro Cop. Gonzaga continues to have the respect of many MMA experts, but was just over matched by the firecracker that is Randy Couture. Gonzaga will have to earn his way back up the MMA rankings, but it shouldn't be a problem for this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.

6) Mirko Cro Cop (22-6-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Cheick Kongo - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion - September 8th, 2007

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Loss via KO (head kick) - UFC 70: Nations Collide - April 21, 2007

- vs. Eddie Sanchez - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 67: All or Nothing - February 3, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

-Currently unknown

Notes: Cro Cop's UFC run has been disappointing to say the least. He is 1-2 overall in the UFC, but he still remains a very tough heavyweight. In an interview after the Kongo fight, Cro Cop said he broke a rib in the first round and that he got knee'd in the groin twice, which hurt his stamina. It'll be interesting to see where Cro Cop goes from here.

7) Tim Sylvia (23-3)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Randy Couture - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 68: Uprising - March 3, 2007

- vs. Jeff Monson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 65: Bad Intentions - November 18, 2006

- vs. Andrei Arlovski - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 61: Bitter Rivals - July 8, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Brandon Vera - UFC 77: Hostile Territory

Notes: The former 2 time UFC Heavyweight champion remains one of the most unpopular fighters in the world. At one time he was the king of the UFC's heavyweight division but with the signings of Cro Cop, & Big Nog, & some of the up and comers like Brandon Vera & Cheick Kongo, he is slowly losing momentum. Sylvia needs a win over Vera at UFC 77 to keep his name in the UFC Heavyweight title mix.

8) Andrei Arlovski (12-5)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 70: Nations Collide - April 21, 2007

- vs. Marcio Cruz - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II - December 30, 2006

- vs. Tim Sylvia - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 61: Bitter Rivals - July 8, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: At one time, Arlovski was one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. Two straight losses to Tim Sylvia slowed down that bandwagon however. Arlovski really needs a huge win in the Heavyweight division in order to make a name for himself in a division that is getting stacked fast.

9) Cheick Kongo (11-3-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion - September 8, 2007

- vs. Assuerio Silva - Win via decision (majority) - UFC 70: Nations Collide - April 21, 2007

- vs. Carmelo Marrero - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 64: Unstoppable - October 14, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

-Currently unknown

Notes: Kongo scored a huge upset with a decision win over Mirko Cro Cop. He came into the UFC with much hype, and has gone 4-1 since joining the UFC. The only real knock on Kongo thus far has been that he hasn't defeated any huge names other than Cro Cop. It'll be interesting to see where Kongo goes from here.

10) Fabricio Werdrum (9-3)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Andrei Arlovski - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 70: Nations Collide - April 21, 2007

- vs. Aleksander Emelianenko - Win via submission (choke) - 2H2H - Pride & Honor - November 12, 2006

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Loss via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE - Critical Countdown Absolute - July 1, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: On August 8th Fabricio Werdum announced that he has joined the Brazilian MMA team, Chute Boxe. This is the same team that has trained Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Anderson Silva, & Gabriel Gonzaga. No doubt in an impressive team that can only help Werdum's continued development in the MMA world.

Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs)

1) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (16-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Win via KO (strikes) - PRIDE 33: Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Kevin Randleman - Win via submission (knee bar) - PRIDE 32: The Real Deal - October 21, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Forrest Griffin - UFC 76: Knockout - September 22, 2007

Notes: Shogun will make his long awaited UFC debut at the end of this month when he faces the very popular Forrest Griffin. Shogun has a lot of hype going into this fight. In my personal opinion Shogun will probably need 2 victories in the UFC before he faces the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

2) Quinton Jackson (28-6-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion - September 8, 2007

- vs. Chuck Liddell - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson - May 26, 2007

- vs. Marvin Eastman - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 67: All or Nothing - February 3, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Rampage is the undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion after his defeat of Dan Henderson at UFC 75. Rampage is now 3-0 since joining the UFC. What's next for Rampage is currently unknown. No doubt a match vs. Shogun would be huge, especially seeing as the last time they fought, Shogun won by TKO. But that was back in 2005 and in PRIDE. Rampage looks rejuvenated and wants to become the UFC's #1 guy. Would he be able to beat Shogun the next time? Only time will tell.

3) Chuck Liddell (20-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Quinton Jackson - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson - May 26, 2007

- vs. Tito Ortiz - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 66- Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 - December 30, 2006

- vs. Renato Sobral - Win via TKO (strikes) UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral - August 26, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Keith Jardine - UFC 76: Knockout - September 22, 2007

Notes: UFC's golden boy took a step back after losing to Rampage for the second time in a row. No doubt a Rampage/Liddell rematch has to be on the minds of the UFC match makers which in my opinion is why they gave Liddell a fight against Keith Jardine in the main event of UFC 76. Jardine is coming off an unexpected knockout against relative unknown Houston Alexander, and now he's in the main event against Liddell? This has the makings of the UFC feeding Liddell somebody to make him look good in my opinion. Either way, Liddell will need a few victories before he gets his rematch with Rampage. So Jardine could be a good start. Also, look for a potential Liddell/Silva "dream fight" sometime in the next few months.

4) Dan Henderson (22-6)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Quinton Jackson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion - September 8, 2007

- vs. Wanderlei Silva - Win via KO (left hook) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Vitor Belfort - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE 32: The Real Deal - October 21, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Henderson lost his much anticipated unification match against Rampage at UFC 75, and now is looking to rebound. There are plenty of guys Henderson could face in the UFC to get his name up in the ranks of the Light Heavyweight Division. That is of course, if he wants to remain in the division. Henderson could also drop weight and fight in the Middleweight division, where he last knocked out Wanderlei Silva to capture the PRIDE Middleweight title. Should be an interesting next few months for Hendo.

5) Wanderlei Silva (31-7-1-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Loss via KO (left hook) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Loss via KO (head kick) - PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute - September 10, 2006

- vs. Kazuyuki Fujita - Win via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute - July 7, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Making UFC debut in December

Notes: The UFC finally got their man when they signed Wanderlei Silva. MMA fans have been churning for a Silva/Liddell "dream fight" for sometime now, and now it looks like they might finally get it. Silva has been so close to coming into the UFC these last few months that it's almost been ridiculous how he's played with the fan's emotions. He is coming off of two losses, so I'd expect the UFC to feed somebody to Silva in December, then plan the potential Liddell fight. Either way, the next couple of months will be interesting for Wanderlei.

6) Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (4-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Ricardo Arona - Win via KO (punch) - PRIDE 34: Kamikaze - April 8, 2007

- vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - Win via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE 33 - Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Glover Teixeira - Loss via KO (strikes) - WEC 24 - Full Force - October 12, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Sokoudjou is one of the hottest MMA free agents on the market. After making a name for himself by defeating Arona and Nogueira this year he has fans clamoring to see his next fight. He almost had a contract signed with EliteXC, but the deal fell through and now many people expect to see him sign with K-1 HERO's. Sokoudjou now training with Dan Henderson and Team Quest.

7) Ricardo Arona (13-5)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou - Loss via KO (punch) - PRIDE 34: Kamikaze - April 8, 2007

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Win via submission (strikes) - PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute - September 10, 2006

- vs. Wanderlei Silva - Loss via decision (split) - PRIDE Shockwave 2005 - December 31, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: The only news that I have on Arona is that after his loss against Sokoudjou he came out and said that he suffered from dengue fever.

8) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (12-3)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou - Loss via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Win via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute - July 7, 2006

- vs. Mauricio Rua - Loss via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 - June 6, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: There really is nothing new to report on Big Nog's twin brother. He hasn't made any waves in the MMA world since his loss to Sokoudjou, which many call one of the greatest upsets of all-time.

9) Rashad Evans (10-0-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Tito Ortiz - Draw - UFC 73: Stacked - July 7, 2007

- vs. Sean Salmon - Win via KO (high kick) - UFC Fight Night 8 - January 25, 2007

- vs. Jason Lambert - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn - September 23, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: In his last fight with Tito Ortiz many fans walked away upset with the result. Dana White has gone on record saying that the two will have a rematch of their lackluster fight at UFC 73. Rashad does own of the best knockouts I've ever seen with the head kick to Sean Salmon.

10) Houston Alexander (9-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Alessio Sakara - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion - September 8, 2007

- vs. Keith Jardine - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson - May 26, 2007

- vs. Todd Allee - No contest - Extreme Challenge 76 - March 31, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Houston came into the UFC as an underdog against Keith Jardine and in the immortal words of Chris Tucker, "Knocked Jardine the FUCK out"! Houston is 9-1 in MMA so far, with his only loss coming in his first ever MMA professional fight. Talk about a guy riding momentum right now, Houston is definitely one to watch in the UFC.

Middleweight Division (185 lbs)

1) Anderson Silva (19-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Nathan Marquardt - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 73: Stacked - July 7, 2007

- vs. Travis Lutter - Win via submission (triangle choke) - UFC 67: All or Nothing - February 3, 2007

- vs. Rich Franklin - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 64: Unstoppable - October 14, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Rich Franklin - UFC 77: Hostile Territory - October 20, 2007

Notes: Almost exactly a year from the day he beat Rich Franklin for the UFC Middleweight Title, The Spider will defend his Middleweight title against Franklin. Silva has been unstoppable since joining the UFC by finishing off all of his opponents thus far. Franklin blamed his loss against Silva on a bad game plan, so only time can tell if Franklin can find a way to avoid that Muay Thai clinch that made Franklin's nose look like the letter "C".

2) Paulo Filho (15-0)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Joe Doerksen - Win via TKO (strikes) - WEC 29 - August 5, 2007

- vs. Kazuo Misaki - Win via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

- vs. Ryo Chonan - Win via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE: Bushido 12 - August 26, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Paulo won the WEC Middleweight title in his first WEC match last August. I'd look for a long run by the undefeated Filho, who has basically gone on record saying that he wouldn't fight in the UFC as long as his good friend Anderson Silva is the champion.

3) Matt Lindland (20-5)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Loss via submission (arm bar) - BodogFight: Clash of the Nations - April 14, 2007

- vs. Carlos Newton - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - IFL: Houston - February 2, 2007

- vs. Jeremy Horn - Win via TKO (strikes) - IFL: Portland - September 9, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Lindland is a strange one to defend. Since he comes from the much hailed "Team Quest" his ground and pound skills are phenomenal. I don't expect him to return to the UFC anytime soon since he left on bad terms when the UFC let him go for breaking one of the sponsorship and advertising-related terms of his contract. Lindland seems to be enjoying coaching the IFL's Portland Wolfpack, while fighting in big name fights like the one he took against Fedor in April. Only time will tell where Lindland goes from here.

4) Rich Franklin (22-2-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Yushin Okami - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 72: Victory - June 16, 2007

- vs. Jason MacDonald - Win via TKO (corner stoppage) - UFC 68: Uprising - March 3, 2007

- vs. Anderson Silva - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 64: Unstoppable - October 14, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anderson Silva - UFC 77: Hostile Territory - October 20, 2007

Notes: Franklin will finally get his rematch against Anderson Silva in October. Franklin has said that his game plan was bad going into the first match with Silva. Only time will tell if that is the truth.

5) Denis Kang (26-8-1-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Junggyu Choi - Win via decision (unanimous) - Spirit: Martial Challenge - March 11, 2007

- vs. Kazuo Misaki - Loss via decision (split) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

- vs. Akihiro Gono - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- It is rumored that he will be fighting against Kazushi Sakuraba at K-1 HERO'S 10 on September 17, 2007

Notes: Nothing to report.

6) Nathan Marquardt (25-7-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Anderson Silva - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 73: Stacked - September 7, 2007

- vs. Dean Lister - Win via decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 8 - January 25, 2007

- vs. Crafton Wallace - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC: Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3 - October 10, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: After losing his UFC Middleweight Title shot against Anderson Silva, Marquardt is going to have to start making a name for himself in the division once again. He is 4-1 overall in the UFC, so it remains to be seen who his next opponent will be.

7) Robbie Lawler (14-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Frank Trigg - Win via KO (strikes) - Icon Sport: Epic - March 31, 2007

- vs. Eduardo Pamplona - Win via TKO - IFL: Atlanta - February 23, 2007

- vs. Joey Villasenor - Win via KO (strikes) - PRIDE 32: The Real Deal - October 21, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Murilo Rua - EliteXC: Hawaii - September 15, 2007

Notes: Robbie Lawler is the current ICON Sport Middleweight Champion. He has had a great year thus far, and he looks to expand upon it by facing Murilo Rua at the next EliteXC show for the EliteXC Middleweight Title.

8) Kazuo Misaki (18-8-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Frank Trigg - Loss via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Denis Kang - Win via decision (split) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

- vs. Paulo Filho - Loss via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Nothing to report

9) Frank Trigg (15-6)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Robbie Lawler - Loss via KO (strikes) - Icon Sport: Epic - March 31, 2007

- vs. Kazuo Misaki - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Jason Miller - Win via TKO (strikes and kicks) - Icon Sport - December 2, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Trigg lost his Icon Sport Middleweight Title to Robbie Lawler just 3 months after winning it from Jason Miller. Will Trigg return to the UFC? Many rumors are circulating that he has a rather rocky relationship with Dana White. But then again, who doesn't?

10) Yushin Okami (20-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Rich Franklin - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 72: Victory - June 16, 2007

- vs. Mike Swick - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 69: Shootout - April 7, 2007

- vs. Rory Singer - Win via submission - (strikes) - UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 - December 30, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Jason MacDonald - UFC 77: Hostile Territory - October 20, 2007

Notes: Okami was on a quite the roll in the UFC before running into Rich Franklin. He was 4-0 at the time of the Franklin fight having defeated 3 former TUF fighters and Alan Belcher. He looks to get back on track by facing the self-proclaimed "TUF Killer" Jason MacDonald at UFC 77.

Welterweight Division (170 lbs)

1) Matt Serra (9-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 69: Shootout - April 7, 2007

- vs. Chris Lytle - Win via decision (split) - The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale - November 11, 2006

- vs. Karo Parysian - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 53: Heavy Hitters - June 4, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Matt Hughes - The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale - Season Finale

Notes: Serra shocked a lot of people with his upset victory over Georges St. Pierre back in April. Not only did Serra beat St. Pierre, but he BEAT St. Pierre. The current UFC Welterweight Champion is going to be coaching on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter and will then face Matt Hughes. Whomever wins that match is in line for a match against Georges St. Pierre.

2) Georges St. Pierre (14-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 74: Respect - August 25, 2007

- vs. Matt Serra - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 69: Shootout - April 7, 2007

- vs. Matt Hughes - Win via KO (head kick & strikes) UFC 65: Bad Intentions - November 18, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: St. Pierre needed to have a big win after Matt Serra upset him back in April, and he did just that by defeating Josh Koscheck. There's no doubt St. Pierre is next in line for another shot at the Welterweight Title, but it'll be awhile before he gets it because Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra won't be happening until the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 6, most likely in December.

3) Matt Hughes (41-5)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Chris Lytle - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 68: Uprising - March 3, 2007

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 65: Bad Intentions - November 18, 2006

- vs. B.J. Penn - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn - September 23, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- vs. Matt Serra - The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale - Season Finale

Notes: At the conclusion of TUF 6, Hughes will get his rematch at the title that he once OWNED. Hughes has stated that he would like to go up to Middleweight and fight Anderson Silva if he loses to Serra, and Franklin loses to Silva.

4) Karo Parisyan (17-4)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Josh Burkman - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson - May 26, 2007

- vs. Drew Fickett - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night 7 - December 13, 2006

- vs. Diego Sanchez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night 6 - August 17, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Karo isn't scheduled for a fight anytime soon. But he has been busy in the meantime. He is currently training MMA at the WFA Legends Gym with Jason Miller, Bas Rutten, and Randy Couture, and picking fights with Nathan Diaz on TUF.

5) Josh Koscheck (9-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 74: Respect - August 25, 2007

- vs. Diego Sanchez - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 69: Shootout - April 7, 2007

- vs. Jeff Joslin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night 7 - December 13, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Kos suffered a setback in his loss to St. Pierre. He was riding a good wave of momentum but now it'll be interesting to see where he goes from here. A rematch with Diego is a possiblity since they are basically 1-1 against each other (Kos lost to Diego on TUF 1 which doesn't count towards your pro record). Kos and Diego hate each other, so those two fighting each other is usually a good watch.

6) Diego Sanchez (17-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 69: Shootout - April 7, 2007

- vs. Joe Riggs - Win via KO (knee) - UFC Fight Night 7 - December 13, 2006

- vs. Karo Parisyan - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night 6 - August 8, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- vs. Jon Fitch - UFC 76: Knockout - September 22, 2007

Notes: Diego's only loss comes at the hands of a decision vs. Josh Koscheck. It was a fight where Diego looked horrible and very intimitated by Kos. After the fight it was revealed that Diego had a staph infection. He has since healed and now Diego will look to get his momentum back by facing another top Welterweight, Jon Fitch.

7) Jon Fitch (14-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Roan Carneiro - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC Fight Night 10 - June 12, 2007

- vs. Luigi Fioravanti - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 68: Uprising - March 3, 2007

- vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 64: Unstoppable - October 14, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- vs. Diego Sanchez - UFC 76: Knockout - September 22, 2007

Notes: Fitch is on an amazing roll since joining the UFC. He has compiled a 6-0 record and will now be facing the 1 loss Diego Sanchez at the next UFC PPV. If Fitch gets by Diego, he will no doubt be right behind St. Pierre for a Welterweight Title Shot.

8) Jake Shields (18-4-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Ido Pariente - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - K-1 HERO's DYNAMITE!! USA - July 2, 2007

- vs. Ray Steinbeiss - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - BodogFight: Costa Rica - February 18, 2007

- vs. Steve Berger - Win via TKO - FCP: Malice at Cow Palace - September 9, 2006

Next scheduled appereance:

- vs. Renato Verissimo - EliteXC Uprising - September 15, 2007

Notes: Nothing to report

9) Shinya Aoki (11-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Brian Lo-A-Njoe - Win via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE 34: Kamikaze - April 8, 2007

- vs. Akira Kikuchi - Win via decision (split) - Shooto: Back To Our Roots - April 17, 2007

- vs. Joachim Hansen - Win via submission (gogoplata) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Since PRIDE buckled, Aoki has kept relatively quiet in the MMA world. Only time will tell when the former Shooto champion will return.

10) Yoshiyuki Yoshida (8-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Akira Kikuchi - Win via TKO (elbows) - GCM: Cage Force 4 - September 8, 2007

- vs. Matt Cain - Win via TKO (strikes) - GCM: Cage Force EX - May 27, 2007

- vs. Katsuya Inoue - Win via KO (punch) - GCM: Cage Force 2 - March 17, 2007

Next scheduled appereance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Yoshida hasn't lost since 2005 and is riding a huge wave of momentum. If he continues to win, it'll be just a matter of time before one of the big dogs in MMA comes knocking on his door.

Lightweight Division (155 lbs)

1) Takanori Gomi (27-3)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Nick Diaz - No contest (originally lost via submission) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida - Win via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Marcus Aurelio - Win via decision (split) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Gomi caught a lucky break when it was announced that Nick Diaz had tested positive for marijuana so the NSAC overturned his submission loss to Diaz. Gomi has gone on record stating that he has no intentions to fight for the UFC, which is a little of a heartbreaker because I feel he would dominate their division. Instead Gomi will look to fight for either K-1 HERO's or Shooto.

2) Hayato Sakurai (30-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Mac Danzig - Win via KO (punch) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Luciano Azevedo - Win via TKO (doctor stoppage) - PRIDE: Bushido 12 - August 26, 2006

- vs. Olaf Alfonso - Win via KO (punch) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2005 - December 31, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: There is no word on what Sakurai is planning on doing since PRIDE folded. He has fought once in the UFC, which was a 2002 loss to Matt Hughes. He's another guy I feel the UFC should snatch up for their Lightweight division as I believe he's better then anybody they currently have.

3) Gilbert Melendez (12-0)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Nobuhiro Obiya - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE: Bushido 12 - August 26, 2006

- vs. Clay Guida - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce Revenge - June 9, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Unnamed opponent - Strikeforce Playboy Mansion Show - September 29, 2007

Notes: Yet another guy who has been relatively quiet since PRIDE folded. This undefeated Lightweight is another guy who would help the UFC's soft Lightweight divison.

4) Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (15-1-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Istvan Majoros - Win via TKO (strikes) - K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite!! - December 31, 2006

- vs. Kazyuki Miyata - Win via KO (flying knee) - K-1 HERO's 5 - May 3, 2006

- vs. Genki Sudo - Win via TKO (strikes) - K-1 Premium 2005 Dynamite!! - December 31, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Bibiano Fernandes - OLYMPIA HERO'S 2007 - Sept 17, 2006

Notes: Kid Yamamoto had a leave of absence from MMA in order to train for the Olympics, but due to an injury he had to pull out of that. Now he looks to be fighting Bibiano Fernandes on Sept. 17th. I'm a huge fan of Kid Yamamoto and I have a feeling a lot of people will be too in the upcoming months.

5) Tatsuya Kawajiri (19-4-2)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Gilbert Melendez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Per Eklund - Win via TKO (strikes) - Shooto: Champion Carnival - October 14, 2006

- vs. Chris Brennan - Win via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE: Bushido 12 - August 26, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: The former Shooto Lightweight Champion had to relinquish his title back in January due to a thumb injury. He has since not scheduled a fight. Only time will tell if he will be back dominating thumb wars again anytime soon!

6) B.J. Penn (11-4-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Jens Pulver - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale - June 6, 2007

- vs. Matt Hughes - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn - September 23, 2006

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 58: USA vs. Canada - March 4, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: I was at a crossroad at where to rank Penn. I wasn't sure if I should rank him as a Lightweight or a Welterweight seeing as he fights as both. I choose Lightweight because that's where he last fought. He was scheduled to face Sean Sherk for the UFC Lightweight Title, but since Sherk's suspension that fight has been called off. Dana White has said that if the UFC does strip Sherk of the title, he will find somebody to face Penn for the vacant title.

6) Vitor Ribeiro (19-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Kazuyuki Miyata - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - K-1 HERO's Middleweight Tournament Opening Round - July 16, 2007

- vs. Ryuki Ueyama - Win via submission (triangle/arm bar) - K-1 HERO's 8 - March 12, 2007

- vs. Daisuke Nakamura - Win via technical submission - CR 19: Fearless - December 9, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Gesias Calvancanti - 2007 HERO's Middleweight Tournament Semi-Finals - September 17, 2007

Notes: If Ribeiro can defeat the 2006 HERO's Middleweight Champion Calvancanti on September 17, he will advance to the finals of this year's tournament. That would be a huge stepping stone in his MMA career.

7) Joachim Hansen (15-5-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Jason Ireland - Win via submission (arm bar) - PRIDE 33: The Second Coming - February 24, 2007

- vs. Shinya Aoki - Loss via submission (gogoplata) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. Luiz Azeredo - Win via KO (knee) - PRIDE: Bushido 10 - April 2, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Yet, ANOTHER Lightweight who has kept quiet since PRIDE folded.

8) Sean Sherk (31-2-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Hermes Franca - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 73: Stacked - July 7, 2007

- vs. Kenny Florian - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 64: Unstoppable - October 14, 2006

- vs. Nick Diaz - Win via decision - UFC 59: Reality Check - April 15, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently suspended

Notes: Sherk was suspended from competing in the state of California after both him and his opponent (Hermes Franca) tested positive for banned substances after their fight in July. Sherk is the current UFC Lightweight Champion and the UFC is waiting for Sherk's appeal hearing to come through before they announce any intentions of what to do with Sherk's title.

9) Mitsuhiro Ishida (14-3-1)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Kevin Karney - Win via decision (unanimous) - CW: Cage Wars - April 21, 2007

- vs. Takanori Gomi - Loss via TKO (strikes) - PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 - December 31, 2006

- vs. David Bielkheden - Win via decision (unanimous) - PRIDE: Bushido 13 - November 5, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: Nothing to report.

10) Joe Stevenson (28-7)

Last 3 fights:

- vs. Kurt Pellegrino - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 74: Respect - August 25, 2007

- vs. Melvin Guillard - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC Fight Night 9 - April 5, 2007

- vs. Dokonjonosuke Mishima - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 65: Bad Intentions - November 18, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

- Currently unknown

Notes: The winner of the The Ultimate Fighter 4's Welterweight Division also fights as a Lightweight. He has been on a roll since his loss to Josh Neer back in April of 2006 and rumor is that he could be the guy who faces BJ Penn for the UFC Lightweight title if Sean Sherk gets stripped.

That's about it for the rankings this week. If you have any comments or suggestions you can always email me of course.





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