Archive for Top Five

My Top Five: Heavyweight Fighters in the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Brock Lesnar     brock-lesnar

Brock Lesnar may the personality of a jackass, but the man is a BEAST.  After watching Lesnar put a whuppin on Frank Mir in their rematch its hard not to wonder who can beat this behemoth.  Lesnar clearly can make up for skill with brute strength and athleticism.  But whats really scary is that he is still developing as a real MMA fighter.  Pretty soon Lesnar will be considered a legit MMA champ. But in reality it just comes down to wins and losses, and who you beat.  Lesnar has already beaten two ex-UFC champs and its hard to argue against that.

 

2. Randy “The Natural” Couture     randy-couture

Well, what can you say about Couture, the guy is a great fighter.  The only problem is that he is old.  He has a well rounded fighting style, and even at the age of 46 deserves respect.  Nogueira has been in some wars lately, and Couture might have enough in the gas tank to take him out.  Carwin, that’s another story.  Couture could surprise everyone and beat Carwin, but maybe not it’s hard to say.  Couture has earned this spot, with his experience and ability to game plan for victory.  But, don’t be surprised if he isn’t here after his next fight.

3. Frank Mir  Frank Mir 2  

Well, Frank drops to number three after his loss to Lesnar.  Mir is still a very good fighter and will probably get the loser of the Carwin/Velasquez fight.  Despite the one sided victory Lesnar achieved I still believ that Mir could come back even better than ever.  The tough thing for guys like Mir, Couture and nogueira is that the Heavyweight division is filling up with really big Heavyweights.  Perhaps Mir should be trying to bulk up instead of trim up.  Either way Mir can still fight.

4. Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira     antonio-nogueira

Nogueira is a man on his way down the board I think.  He was not too long ago Heavyweight Champion, but in his loss to Mir he looked old.  He moves around like he’s old, I think his body is finally showing the effects of his life (all the brutal fights he’s been a part of, not to mention getting run over by a truck as a kid and going through multiple surgeries as a result).  We will see where Nogueira belongs in the Heavyweight division, I feel that Carwin could take him out, and that Cheick Kongo might be able to as well.  But, he just lost to Mir whom I have ranked as number 1, he has many impressive fights prior to the UFC, and a win against Tim Sylvia.  Nogueira gets this spot because of his fight history, and because he hasn’t lost to anybody else of note yet.  However, I suspect he will shortly, look for this division to shake up quite a bit in the next year.

5. Shane Carwin     shane-carwin

Carwin, I have one question for you, “Have you reached your potential yet?”  If the answer is no then you may enjoy being a top contender if not even Champion in the relative near future.  If however, you have been on a hot streak, and your potential is maxed out, I would expect that you may never get a title shot.  I feel that Carwin has yet to reach his potential yet.  Carwin has the ability to shoot up to number three for sure, if not number two within the year.  As I stated above, I think that Couture and Nogueira are on their way out, which leaves a very wide door for some of the younger more athletic fighters, of whom Carwin leads the pack.  Carwin is a beast of a man and I expect he will be a major player in this division for the next couple of years.

(6.  Cain Velasquez)Cain Velasquez

Cain had a very nice victory over Cheick Kongo at UFC 99.  Kongo was unable to prevent Cain from taking him to the mat and inflicting some brutal ground and pound.  Not only that, but Cains chin was also tested.  Kongo landed some very clean flush shots on Cains chin, and Cain was able to stay composed and win the fight by decision.  With that win Cain knocks Kongo out of this number 6  spot and moves one step closer to cracking the top five.

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My Top Five: Light-Heavyweight Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Lyoto “The Dragon” MachidaLyoto Machida 3

Machida recently beat Rashad Evans for the Light-Heavyweight Championship, but more importantly he did it in impressive fashion.  Machida dominated Evans in the standup game, before knocking Evans out in the 2nd round.  Machida holds victories over other UFC fighters such as Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Thiago Silva, Stephan Bonnar, and ex-UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. 

Machida has never been beaten in his MMA career, but not only that, he has never even lost a round in the UFC.  I thought that Machidas style was pretty good, but not great.  After the fight with Evans he showed that he is elusive even for one of the fastest light-heavyweights in the sport.  Machida has earned this spot through consistant and impressive victories throughout his soon to be storied career.  I would anticipate Machida holding onto this belt for some time to come.

2. “Sugar” Rashad Evans     rashad-evans-21

Evans is coming off his first loss to Machida, even more sadly is that he didn’t look very impressive at all.  Machida made Evans look very awkward, but I would now anticipate Machida to do that to anybody in this division.  Evans still is probably the most athletic and quickest fighter in this weight class.  Even though Machida knocked him out, he did take some real flush shots to the jaw, showing that he can definately take a punch, if not several.  I will be interested to see how Rashad responds to the loss, it will be very telling to whether or not he stays on this list or falls compeletly off of it.

 

3. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson     quentin-jackson1

Jackson has had an up and down stint with the UFC.  First, he arrives in the UFC, beats Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman, knocks out Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and beats Dan Henderson.  He losses a tough bout with Forrest Griffin and has some trouble with the law and his manager.  Changes his trainers, heads over to train in England with the Wolfs Lair and comes back and beats Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine.  Jackson has fought and beaten better competition than Machida and deserves the number two spot. 

4.Rich “Ace” Franklin     rich-franklin1

Franklin is a new arrival to the Light-Heavyweight division, seeing that he couldn’t beat the Middle-weight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in two tries.  Franklin has a nice win over Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, but followed that up with a close loss to Dan “Hendo” Henderson.  Despite the loss to Henderson I expect that Franklin will get a shot at the Light-Heavyweight title soon enough.  Franklin is a very, very good fighter and given the right situation could hold the title in this division.

5. Forrest Griffin     forrest-griffin

Griffin is a good fighter, but he is not a champion.  He has the work ethic of one, but he lacks the natural talent to be an everyday champion.  He beat Quentin “Rampage” Jackson for the belt, I know.  But, it was a very close fight and I think that Jackson wins that fight at least 7 out of 10 times.  It was a good night for Griffin nothing more.  Griffin will be around for a while, and probably could get another title shot in the future, but he probably wont’ win and if he does he’ll lose it right away again.

Griffin has lost to Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, and Rashad Evans, the two people of note that he has beaten are Jackson and Mauricio Rua.  But, one could argue that when he fought Rua he didn’t get the best Rua had to offer.  Griffin is in this spot because he trains hard, and he’s a tough fight, and honestly he could end up moving either way on this board.  I just wouldn’t expect him to ever get as high as number one though.

(6. Luiz Cane)     luiz-cane

Cane was just featured in a very impressive win over Steve Cantwell.  Cane is on the rise, another fight against a better fighter would be nice, but I like what I see so far.

My Top Five: Middleweight Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Anderson “The Spider” Silva     anderson-silva-21

Silva has not had very impressive performances in his last two fights (Cote, and Leites) however, until he loses he is still top in this division.  What’s frustrating with Silva is that he is so good that it seems as though he doesn’t feel challenged when he’s fighting.  He has excellent striking, good jiu-jitsu defense, and appears to have good ground skills as well.  Hopefully, we can see a super-fight between Silva and St.Pierre in the future.

2. Dan “Hendo” Henderson     dan-henderson

Henderson proved he still has a little left in the gas tank and a whole lot of power left in his right hand.  With Hendersons impressive knockout over Michael Bisping Henderson belongs in this spot.  Henderson has lost to notables such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Anderson “The Spider” Silva, but he has recently beaten Rousimar Palhares, and Rich “Ace” Franklin.  Henderson seems to be back on an upswing, and has fought some of the best fighters of any division.  The reason Henderson is higher than Okami is simply based on strength of fight history.  Henderson beat Franklin (who Okami lost to) and has fought much tougher and more established opponents than Okami.

3. Yushin “Thunder” Okami     yushin-okami 

Okami has some impressive wins over Mike “Quick” Swick, Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald, and Dean Lister.  The only thing that is holding Okami back is a loss to Rich “Ace” Franklin as well as a very frustrating proneness to injury.  When Okami fights he is easily a top five fighter, the only problem is he never fights.  I would anticipate that Okami will come off this board pretty soon, or at least drop after the winner of Maia vs Marquardt.

 

4. Demian Maia     damian-maia

Maia is in this spot for one reason and one reason only, jiu-jitsu.  He has had five fights in the UFC with five victories, all by submission.  He has beaten Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald and Nate”Rock” Quarry who are respectable fighters in this division.  No one in this weight class is better at jiu-jitsu than Maia period.  But, he hasn’t faced the toughest the UFC has to offer.  I would expect him to get a match against one of the top four fighters I have listed here, to see where he really ranks.  I would like to see him take on Nate “The Great” Marquardt, it would be a good test for both of them, and would decide who should face Silva after he fights Okami.

 

5. Nate “The Great” Marquardt     nathan-marquardt

Marquardt is an all around good fighter, he does have losses to Thales Leites and Anderson Silva though, and that’s why he is at this spot.  He carries wins over Dean Lister, Martin Kampmann, and Wilson Gouveia.  I feel that there is perhaps a rematch with Leites in the future, but we’ll have to see.  Some people want to think there’s a possible rematch with Silva if Marquardt can get another win under his belt, it could be interesting.

My Top Five: Welterweight Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Georges “Rush” St.Pierre     georges-stpierre-3

There really shouldn’t be any question why St.Pierre is number one.  He has one of the most complete fight games in all of MMA.  He is a superior athlete to any MMA fighter.  This was an easy place for St.Pierre.  St.Pierre is a pretty young fighter still, and could be on top of the fight game for the next ten years.  He is the first ever MMA fighter to be sponsored by Gatorade, and I expect him to receive many more sponsorships before he’s done. St.Pierre has beaten BJ Penn, Thiago Alves easily in his last two fights which further cements his spot at this spot but also as one of the best MMA fighters in history.  Here’s to a great career St.Pierre.

 

2. John FitchJohn Fitch   

Fitch moves back up to the number two spot after UFC 100.  Fitch had a very impressive win over Paulo Thaigo in which he basically out-grappled a grappler.  Fitch proved in his fight against Thiago that he is still developing as a fighter.  Although Fitch is still out of St.Pierres league he did hold his own a little better than Thiago Alves did.  Fitch moved past Thiago for the number two position for a couple of reasons.  First, as I just said, he had a better fight against St.Pierre, but he has also won two fights since his loss to St.Pierre and looks as though he is a better fighter today then when he last fought St.Pierre.  Although a fight with  Alves would go to the scorecards and be a very close fight, I think Fitch might be able to take him. 

3. Thiago “Pitbull” Alves     thiago-alves

With recent wins over top welterweight competitors Karo “The Heat” Parisyan, Matt Hughes, and most recently Josh Koscheck,  Alves is still in the top five, but with his recent loss to Georges St.Pierre he falls a spot to number three.  Thiago looked to be in the best shape of his life against St.Pierre, he still didn’t look as good as Fitch did fighting St.Pierre.  Alves is young, and can easily move into the number two spot once again, he just needs to make sure that he keeps developing as a fighter.  Although, it will be tough to ever reach the level that St.Pierre is at currently.  There could very easily be a rematch in the future with St.Pierre, but first, I would like to see Alves fight Fitch.

4. Mike “Quick” Swick     mike-swick

Swick is a very good fighter, he has really good power and hand speed, and can hold his own on the ground.  His most disappointing loss was to Yushin “The Thunder” Okami who is a fantastic fighter in his own right.  Also, when Swick fought Okami it was as a Middleweight, Swick has since dropped down to Welterweight and looks great.  Swick is going to be facing Martin Kampmann to decide who will recieve a title shot against Georges St.Pierre.  Personally I think that both fighters are very good, but I think Swick is just a little bit better.  Either way it should be a very interesting and exciting fight to watch.

 

5.Martin Kampmann     martin-kampmann

Kampmann is a tough dude, and could easily move up this board to the number four spot.  He has some good wins in the UFC, one over Thales Leites, and his most recent win against Carlos Conditt.  Kampmann will be facing off against Mike Swick to decide who takes on St.Pierre.  I think Kampmann loses to Swick, but I still like his chances of staying at the number five spot.

 

 

(6. Josh Koscheck)     josh-koscheck-2

The only reason Koscheck is at number six and not higher is because of his most recent loss to Paulo Thiago.  Koscheck has the athleticism to be a ranked fighter but has yet to put it all together.

(honorable mention: Paulo Thiago)

My Top Five: Lightweight Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Five Fighters in Each UFC Weight Class with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Kenny “Kenflo” Florian     kenny-florian1

OK, I know, what the heck am I thinking? Well, Florian has had very impressive and decisive victories over Joe Lauzon, Roger Huerta, and Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.  His only two losses in the UFC are to Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk and Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez.  I realize that I have Florian ranked higher than both of these other fighters now as well, and that’s simply because Florian has improved all aspects of his fight game exponentially since his last loss to Sherk. 

I believe that Florian will beat Penn at UFC 101, and I really think that Florian would beat either Sherk or Sanchez if given the opportunity.

2. BJ Penn     bj-penn-21

Penn is a fantastic fighter, the only problem is he can’t decide who he wants to fight or at what weight class.  I feel that Penn is possibly over-rated for this spot, I think that Diego would really give Penn a run for his money if they were to fight each other.  But, Penn has faced stiffer competition in St.Pierre, Hughes, and Sherk.  The only problem is he lost to St.Pierre and Hughes on numerous occasions.  Time will tell just how good Penn really is.

3. Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez     diego-sanchez-21

Sanchez is a new arrival to the Lightweight division.  He had a lot of success at Welterweight, until he met Koscheck and Fitch.  Koscheck fought the perfect fight, and Fitch won by split-decision.  I anticipate Sanchez being very successful as a Lightweight.  I expect him to beat Clay “The Carpenter” Guida in his next fight, and I would anticipate a rematch between him and Florian in the not too distant future. 

4. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida     clay-guida1

Guida is a wild card in this spot, he has been on a pretty good run as of late, beating Nate Diaz and Mac Danzig in his last two fights.  He does have a couple of losses to some notable fighters (Din Thomas, Tyson Griffin, and Roger Huerta) however was competitive in those fights.  If Guida can control himself a little more in the ring and become a little more technical as a striker he could be a real contender.  I like the passion and the ferocity of Guida, but I don’t see him staying at the top too much longer, perhaps a loss to Sanchez and a Greg Maynard win will spell the end of this run for Guida.  Or, perhaps not, this is the UFC and stranger things have happend.

5. Frank “The Answer” Edgar

Well, well, well.   Edgar really had the answer for a formidable foe in Shawn Sherk.  With Edgars win over Sherk he knocks Sherk right out of this list probably down to eight.  Perhaps Sherk has the physical tools to beat Edgar, but he proved he doesn’t have any ability to formulate a decent gameplan.  Edgar on the other hand looked as though he anticipated a standup battle with Sherk, and looked very impressive on his feet.  Edgar also sports a very good wrestling pedigree.  Some might think that Edgar is too small to fight at lightweight and should perhaps drop down a weight class.  Hog wash if you ask me, he is beating some of the best fighters in this already stacked division.

Edgar has wins now over Sean Sherk, Hermes Franca, Spencer Fisher, and Tyson Griffin.  Edgars only loss is thanks to Gray Maynard a superior wrestler, and a complete monster at 155.  Maynard will no doubt appear on this board, probably sooner than later, but until then this ranking is for Edgars superb unanimous decision victory over Sean “dont know my own strengths” Sherk.