MMABlog’s Lightweight MMA Rankings

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

B.J. Penn

UFC

St. Pierre (#1 WW) 1/31

2

Takanori Gomi

World Victory Road

Golyaev (NR), 11/1

3

Shinya Aoki

DREAM

 

4

Eddie Alvarez

EliteXC?

 

5

Sean Sherk

UFC

T. Griffin (#15), 9/25

6

Mitsuhiro Ishida

DREAM/Strikeforce

 

7

Tatsuya Kawajiri

DREAM

 

8

Kenny Florian

UFC

Stevenson (#10), 11/15

9

Josh Thomson

Strikeforce

Edwards (NR), 11/21

10

Joe Stevenson

UFC

Florian (#8), 11/15

11

Gesias Calvancante

DREAM

 

12

Joachim Hansen

DREAM

 

13

Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce

 

14

Jamie Varner

WEC

 

15

Tyson Griffin

UFC

Sherk (#5), 9/25

16

Roger Huerta

UFC

 

17

Gray Maynard

UFC

Clementi (NR), 9/25

18

Frank Edgar

UFC

Wiman (NR), 12/10

19

Vitor Ribeiro

 

 

20

Nate Diaz

UFC

 

21

K.J. Noons

EliteXC?

 

22

Joe Lauzon

UFC

 

23

Nick Diaz

EliteXC

 

24

Spencer Fisher

UFC

Gugerty (NR), 9/25

25

Caol Uno

DREAM

 

 

Others Considered: Clay Guida, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal , Rich Clementi, Matt Wiman, and Mac Danzig.

WEC 35 Thoughts and Recap

Quick Results

  • Carlos Condit def. Hiromitsu Miura via TKO (strikes) in Round 4
  • Steve Cantwell def. Brian Stann via TKO (punches) in Round 2
  • Jamie Varner def. Marcus Hicks via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Brian Bowles def. Damacio Page via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
  • Josh Grispi def. Micah Miller via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Brock Larson def. Carlo Prater via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Blas Avena def. Dave Terrel via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Shane Roller def. Todd Moore via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
  • Mike Budnik def. Greg McIntyre via submission (triangle choke) in Round 3 
  • Scott Jorgensen def. Kenji Osawa via unanimous decision
    • I thought WEC put on another outstanding card
    • Jamie Varner looked impressive and perhaps I underestimated his talent.  He looked dominant against a very game Marcus Hicks.  It appears he will fight the winner of the McCullough/Cerrone fight in Septmeber. 
    • Josh Grispi may be a good challenge for Urijah Faber, but Faber must get through Brown first
    • Brian Stann showed he is one dimensional and Steve Cantwell showed he has a vast array of striking skills.  I think Stann will get a rubber match soon though.
    • Brian Stann though he losses showed that he was a class act.  He put the belt around Cantwell and he did nothing but show humility in defeat.  I like Brian Stann for that.
    • Carlos Condit vs. Hirumitsu Miura was the fight of the night and one of the best I have seen.  I underestimated Miura.  He showed good ground game in reversing Condit numerous times and excellent Judo skills.  He also showed very tough striking.  I enjoyed the chess match here.
    • Condit showed why he is the champ.  His conditioning is what proved to be the difference.  I have no problem with the stoppage as Mirua laid there for a while after the fight.  The question for Carlos Condit is where does he go now?
    • The WEC showcased some newer and upcoming talent like Josh Grispi, Brian Bowles, Mike Budnik and Shane Roller

    MY WEC 35 Predictions

    Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell

    Some people say that this fight will have a different outcome than their last fight and I agree.  I think the fight will last a little longer, but I don’t see Brian Stann losing.  Brian Stann is a star in the making.  I think he has all the goods to be a great fighter.  I like Brian Stann.  I think he will come off victorious in this fight by KO late in round 1.

    Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks

    The 155 divison in the WEC is very weak, and Jamie Varner is the most likely champion in display at this event to lose.  Marcus Hicks is a good fighter and he could very well beat Jamie Varner.  I still think Varner wins this fight.  I think Varner will win by decision.

    Carlos Condit vs. Hirumitsu Miura

    Carlos Condit is a great fighter.  I think he is up there with the top fighters at welterweight.  He should be mentioend in the same breath as St. Pierre, Fitch, Alves and Shields.  I cannot imagine Condit losing this fight.  Carlos Condit has great striking and awesome submissions.  He doesn’t have a weakness.  I think Condit wins this one in round 1 by submission.

    Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page

    Brian Bowles is a talented fighter that can go a  long way in the UFC.  He is one of the ten guys in the WEC that I believe stack up well agaisnt UFC level talent.  I look for him to win here.

    Micah Miller vs. Josh Grispi

    Cole’s brother will pull out the unanimous deicison win here.

    L.C. Davis vs. Hiroyuki Takaya

    Carlo Prater vs. Brock Larsen

    Blas Avena vs. Dave Terrell

    Shane Roller vs. Todd Moore

    Kenji Osawa vs. Scott Jorgensen

    Mike Budnik vs. Greg McIntyre

    WEC News, Rumblings and Predictions

    This is a good fight on paper.  The card would have been much better with the Sonnen vs. Filho II fight on it.  I am looking forward to this fight, it has been billed as a good guy vs. bad guy fight.  On one side you have the champ, Doug “Rhino” Marshall.  He talks a lot of talk, he has a foul mouth and he looks the bad guy part.  On the other side you have an army veteran, the “All American” Brian Stann.  I am not going to pull any punches, I am rooting for Stann.  I think he could be a great MMA fighter, especialyl if he has any ground game.  Marshall may never find out.  I am predicting a round 1 TKO for Stann.  He is a potential star, and a win for Stann translates to $$$ for the WEC. 

         Today it was announced that June would be the date for the Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver fight.  Also they announced a Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia bantamweight title fight.  I am lookign forward to that card.  Torres really impressed me against Beebe.  He is 33-1.  I think he could dominate that divison and then move up and beat Faber.  The Faber vs. Pulver fight will be good.  Pulver I thought was done in MMA and then he comes and beat Cub Swanson quickly.  Faber is the man and the face of his division.  I will root for and pick Faber and Torres to retain their belts.   

           I also wonder what other title defenses will come.  When will Paulo Filho get it together and come out of rehab ready to fight?  Who will he fight?  I would say Filho will be offered the winner of the Sonnen vs. Baker fight tonight, which I am not counting out Baker to win.  Who will Jamie Varner face in his first title defense?  My bet would be a re-match with Rob McCullough.  I think Razor Rob is a better fighter than Varner and will get the belt back eventually.  Who will Carlos Condit next fight?  Heaven knows, he is awesome.  The WEC has done well and have 4 or 5 stars in Faber, Torres, Filho, Stann, and Condit.  The WEC is better off when these guys win.  I’d still like to see some of them against the best in the UFC, especially Condit and Filho.  If Faber could move to 155, he could be a great UFC fighter. 

    UFC’s Competition

    I have been critical of Dana White’ abilitiy to sign the free agents in the MMA world.  I think the bottom line is that Dana is unwilling to bend.  I just heard that Jacare, an excellent jiu-jitsu guy signed with DREAM.  The negotions broke down with the UFC because Dana felt they wanted too much money.  Maybe he is right, but nevertheless Jacare is now in a competitong organization.  Furthermore, it seems the UFC fails to sign top notch fighters especailly Japanese guys like Ishida, Ayoki or Sakurai.  There are other top level fighters that the UFC couldn’t sign.  Worse than that there are several top tier guys I don’t know if the UFC even cares about (Jakes Shields, JZ Calvancante, Gilbert Melendez).  He won’t sign Fedor.  He won’t sign Lindand.  In my opinion UFC will never be a monopoly and has some serious competition. With some of the internal problems and some of the UFC stars upset we could see another organization become the “big dog” in MMA.  In my opinion here is UFC’s biggest competitors.

    1. EliteXC.  Dana’s feud with Shaw hasn’t helped.  Shaw is a much more typical commissioner than White.  The CBS deal will bring them in a lot of viewers, but will also help all MMA.  They have some stars in EliteXC (Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Cung Le, Robbie Lawler). They are willing to take chances as seen by the future star Kimbo Slice.  They offered Fedor, and may get him.

    2. WEC – I know it is Zuffa owned, but they have some great fighters that the UFC should bring over to the UFC.  I don’t know why you have another organization with top level fighters.  They have some great guys that would translate well anywhere (Paulo Filho, Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, Doug Marshall, Brian Stann, Rob McCullough, Jamie Varner, Chael Sonnen, Leonard Garcia and Jens Pulver)

    3. DREAM – Not much competition now, but has some good fighters (Sakurai, Cro Cop, Calvancanti, Ishida, Aoki, Denis Kang, Yamamoto, Joachim Hansen, Eddie Alvarez and Mark Hunt).  The American market is next to nothing though.

    4. World Victory Road — Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi enough said.  A few more big names and they have something good.

    5. Strikeforce.  Not great competition, but still have a few guys any monopoly would want (Frank Shamrock, Josh Thompson and Gilbert Melendez)

    6. ICON.  They have Jason “Mayhem” Miller and a future star in Kala Hose.

     Right now the UFC is doing fine.  They have a few competitors, but they are still the big leagues.  They have the best fighters.  Some divisions they are better than others.  For example at Light Heavyweight they have a near monopoly and at welterweight they are doing pretty well.  There are several key free agents out there (Fedor, Arlovski, Couture).  If EliteXC or someone else picks up the other guys they can really compete.