Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship

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(Photo by Daniel Herbertson for MMAFighting.com)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Go here for a detailed explanation of how FIGHT!’s rankings work.

There are few things less satisfying than fights which end in draws. Fighting is the most elemental form of human competition and its appeal lies in the fact that the results are (ideally) absolute and incontrovertible. A win or a loss proves something about the winner or loser. In most cases, draws prove only that the judges observing the bout don’t understand the sport enough to declare a winner. But the main event draw at UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch – after which most informed viewers would have given a decision victory to Jon Fitch – proved one thing that I’ve known all along. FIGHT!’s Super Computer knows what it’s doing.

After BJ Penn‘s knockout win over Matt Hughes, “The Prodigy” was reassigned from the Lightweight Rankings, where he was still a top-five fighter after consecutive decision losses to Frankie Edgar, to the Welterweight Rankings, where he was immediately installed at #2. Some of our readers cried foul, but the reality is that Penn had quality wins at welterweight and his only losses there were to top ranked fighters (Hughes and Georges St-Pierre). Even though Fitch clearly outstruck Penn, Penn had better luck with Fitch on the ground than say, Ben Saunders did. It wasn’t the kind of lopsided demolition that proved Penn incapable of hanging with top welterweights, and afterward, the fighters flip-flopped, with Penn dropping from #2 to #3 in the Welterweight Rankings and Fitch climbing from #3 to #2.

In other welterweight action, Chris Lytle moved from the cusp of title contention to the back of the line following his loss to journeyman Brian Ebersole, an adopted Aussie who made his Octagon debut on Sunday. Lytle fell from #11 to #29 with the loss, while Ebersole climbs from #43 to #17 with the win.

In the night’s other marquee fight, Michael Bisping finished Jorge Rivera and was rewarded with a top 10 ranking for his trouble. Bisping climbed from #13 to #8 in the Middleweight Rankings following the win, while Rivera falls from #14 to #32. The UFC’s Marshall Zelaznik mentioned that the Octagon might travel to the UK in June and that would be a perfect time to book Bisping with a top middleweight contender so that he can put to rest all talk about whether or not he deserves a title shot.

Also at 185 pounds, Kyle Noke leapt from #42 to #22 with his submission win over Chris Camozzi, who fell from #37 to #70 following the loss. In the only other middleweight bout, Riki Fukuda lost a bogus decision to unranked Nick Ring and fell to #94.

At lightweight, native son George Sotiropoulos fell short opposite Dennis Siver, who frustrated the Aussie’s takedown attempts, effectively short circuiting Sots’ entire strategy. Siver jumps from #19 to #7 in the Lightweight Rankings with the win, while Sotiropoulos falls from #5 to #16. In another 155-pound bout, Ross Pearson slugged it out with Spencer Fisher, moving from #39 to #25 with the decision win, while Fisher fell from #53 to #73. In the only other lightweight action, Curt Warburton entered the rankings at #76 following his win over unranked Maciej Jewtuszko. Former lightweight Zhang Tie Quan was reassigned to Featherweight following his win over Jason Reinhardt and takes up residence at #40 in the Featherweight Rankings.

Alexander Gustaffson had a bit of a coming out party at James Te Huna‘s expense, finishing the Maori warrior quickly and leaping from #39 to #13 in the Light Heavyweight Rankings. Te Huna falls from #22 to #44. Anthony Perosh, a man who Te Huna once defeated, leap frogged his country man, rising from #72 to #38 with submission win over Tom Blackledge. “The Hippo” benefits from the fact that several of his fights took place at heavyweight, which gives him a stronger value relative to his peers when he moves down a weight class.

At heavyweight, Mark Hunt won his first MMA bout in five years with a KO of Chris Tuchscherer. Hunt climbs from #76 to #55 in the Heavyweight Rankings with the win, while Tuchscherer slips from #89 to #100.

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Each week FIGHT! brings you the best from our friends around the web.

The Mitrione Minute (MMA Fighting)

Check Out this TUF 13 Tryout Video (Middle Easy)

Vote for The Host of CP’s New Weekly Vodcast (Cage Potato)

Does Jon Fitch Really Need the UFC Welterweight Title To Be Considered An MMA Legend? (LowKick)

Siver Seeks to Spoil Sotiropoulos’ Contender Status at UFC 127 (Versus MMA)

Black House Has a Youtube Channel and It’s Great (MMA Scraps)

Dan Henderson: “I Plan to Knock Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante Silly” (5th Round)

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And Now You’re NOT Fired: Brandon Vera (5 Ounces of Pain)

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Tune in right here at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST, Fri., Feb. 25 for live streaming video of the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch Fight Club Q&A and Weigh Ins. The event will take place at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, the site of Saturday night’s fights. The card is headlined by former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion BJ Penn (#2 Welterweight) and perennial welterweight challenger Jon Fitch (#3), with the winner promised a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. The catch is that its possible that the championship will be vacant by the time either man gets his shot, as UFC President Dana White has stated that if Georges St-Pierre (#1) – who has beaten both Penn (twice) and Fitch (once) – beats Jake Shields (#4) at UFC 129, he will vacate his belt to fight at 185 pounds.

UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch will air live on pay per view in the United States on Sat., Feb. 26 with two preliminary fights airing on ION Television and two preliminary fights streaming on Facebook.com/UFC. Go here to view the full UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch fight card.

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At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Go here for a detailed explanation of how FIGHT!’s rankings work.

For years, American MMA fans’ awareness of Australian MMA was limited to Elvis Sinosic. While the “King of Rock ‘n’ Rumble” was the first Australian to fight for a UFC title, he’s best known for losing six straight in the big show. Thanks to the hard work of guys like Sinosic and countless unnamed, unknown trainers and promoters, today’s fighters are faring better Down Under. In honor of UFC 127, we dug into our database to identify the top Australian fighters by weight class. Agree? Disagree? Join the conversation on our Facebook page!

Heavyweight

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Jim York (#34)

A New Zealand native (ok, ok, he’s not Australian but NZ is close enough, literally and figuratively, for our purposes), “Big” Jim faltered on his biggest stages, dropping three of four in Sengoku to Antonio Silva (#3), Dave Herman (#19) and Yoshihiro Nakao (#40), but he’s handled his business in Australian promotions. At 34 years old, it may be too late for York to make a UFC run but he should be able to finish strong with headlining opportunities in regional shows as the sport grows in Australia, China, and Southeast Asia.

Light Heavyweight

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James Te Huna (#23)

James Te Huna already has one UFC win under his belt and a string of stoppage victories in Australian promotions. Already a top-25 fighter, the ethnic Maori has the talent and looks to anchor Zuffa’s promotional efforts in Oceania.

Middleweight

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(Noke with coaches Winklejohn & Jackson.)

Kyle Noke (#42)

A former bodyguard for “The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, Noke is known stateside for his turn on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz. A member of Team Jackson, Noke finished Josh Bryant and Rob Kimmons in his first two UFC fights and returns on Saturday to make his Octagon debut at UFC 127 in his home country.

Welterweight

Ian Bone (#64)

A veteran of the Australian armed forces, Bone has fought every Aussie in his weight class in just about every Australian promotion and come out on top more often than not.

Lightweight

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George Sotiropoulos (#5)

If Sots wins on Saturday night he’ll head to the front of the back of the line – behind Gray Maynard and Anthony Pettis (assuming he gets past Clay Guida) – for a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship. Even though he resides in the U.S. full-time, Sotiropoulos will always be the local boy when fighting on his home continent.

Featherweight


Richie Vas: Surfer, Worker, Fighter
Uploaded by broadbandsports. – More professional, college and classic sports videos.

Richie Vaculik (#33)

Laborer, big wave surfer, Bra Boy and mixed martial artist Richie Vas is winning most of the fights he’s offered and might be ready to graduate to the Octagon.

Bantamweight

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Michael Mortimer (#51)

Mortimer’s record isn’t sexy but his three recent losses came against top Chinese prospects and the heavier Richie Vaculik.

Flyweight

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(Pic props Victorcui.)

Kian Pham (#11)

FIGHT! is keeping our Flyweight Rankings under wraps for now, but they are filling out nicely. Like Mortimer and many other sub-lightweight fighters, Pham suffers from having to fight above his natural weight class but he’s fared well enough to flirt with the top 10 at 125 pounds. When the UFC expands downward again and Pham can pick up a few more wins in Oceania, he would be a good acquisition.

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Tune in right here at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST today, Tues., Feb. 23 for live streaming video of the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch press conference. The presser will take place at the Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia. The card is headlined by former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion BJ Penn (#2 Welterweight) and perennial welterweight challenger Jon Fitch (#3), with the winner promised a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. The catch is that its possible that the championship will be vacant by the time either man gets his shot, as UFC President Dana White has stated that if Georges St-Pierre (#1) – who has beaten both Penn (twice) and Fitch (once) – beats Jake Shields (#4) at UFC 129, he will vacate his belt to fight at 185 pounds.

UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch will air live on pay per view in the United States on Sat., Feb. 26 with two preliminary fights airing on ION Television and two preliminary fights streaming on Facebook.com/UFC. Go here to view the full UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch fight card.

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(Beerbohm weighs in at a previous Strikeforce event.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Go here for a detailed explanation of how FIGHT!’s rankings work.

On Fri., Feb. 18, Strikeforce Challengers 14 went down in the Austin, Tex. area, as did one of Strikeforce’s few lightweight prospects, Lyle Beerbohm. UFC, WEC, IFL, and MFC veteran Pat Healy leapt from #75 to #30 in the Lightweight Rankings following his decision win over the formerly unbeaten Beerbohm, who falls from #24 to #73 with the loss.

Former WEC Welterweight Championship contender Carlo Prater has struggled of late but he pulled out a catchweight win over welterweight Bryan Travers. Prater moves from #175 to #107 in our lightweight poll while Travers falls from #100 to #165 in the Welterweight Rankings.

Also at Welterweight, unranked Ryan Larson defeated Erik Apple; Apple falls from #135 to #182 at 170.

Ryan Couture notched his second win in two professional fights (this time over unranked Lee Higgins) and will enter our Lightweight Rankings after his third bout. David Douglas defeated Nick Gonzalez in another catchweight bout; Douglas drops from #106 to #108 in the Lightweight Rankings, while Gonzalez sits tight at #99 in the Featherweight Rankings with the loss.

In the only other ranked bout of the evening, Ousmane Diagne moved from #204 to #167 in the Lightweight Rankings with his win over unranked Aaron Franco. No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.

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(Loiseau weighs in before his bout with Mario Miranda.)

Farther west, in Lemoore, Calif., 22 fighters threw down in the square cage at Tachi Palace Fights 8: All or Nothing. Two belts were up for grabs and both changed hands. Read on for full analysis of how the results effected our rankings.

In the main event, UFC veteran David Loiseau picked up the TPF Middleweight Championship belt with a cut stoppage win over IFL vet and Lemoore regular Leopoldo Serao. Loiseau climbs from #136 to #91 in the Middleweight Rankings with the win, while Serao falls from #71 to #120 with the loss.

In the co-main event, Darrell Montague took the TPF Flyweight Championship from Ulysses Gomez with a unanimous decision win. In what was likely a top contender bout, WEC veteran Ian McCall defeated the man many considered to be the best flyweight in the world, Jussier Da Silva. The fight highlighted the problems with subjective rankings and opinion polls – while Da Silva was undefeated and held a signature non-title win over former Shooto Flyweight Champion Shinichi Kojima, he was beaten soundly by an unheralded fighter who went 1-2 while fighting as a Bantamweight in the WEC. When FIGHT! publishes its official Flyweight Rankings later this year, all four fighters will likely figure in the top 10, and fighters below 135 pounds can be assessed objectively.

John Gunderson‘s plan for making a return to the UFC hit a snag on Friday when he was felled by Dominique Robinson. Robinson climbs from #128 to #72 in the Lightweight Rankings while “Guns” falls from #117 to #177. In another lightweight battle, this one contested between two UFC veterans, Fabricio Camoes knocked out Steve Lopez with a head kick. Camoes moves from #57 to #46 in the poll, while Lopez enters the rankings at #154 following the loss.

Edgar Garcia climbs from #103 to #86 in the Welterweight Rankings with a win over unranked Mike Moreno. No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.

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FORM Athletics/KSwiss recently released a video promoting its new clothing line. The clip features half-a-dozen UFC fighters, including former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber (#4 Bantamweight), former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis (#9 Lightweight), Chad Mendes (#4 Featherweight), Mark Munoz (#21 Middleweight), Joseph Benavidez (#2 Bantamweight) and Scott Jorgensen (#7 Bantamweight). Former UFC Octagon Girl Natasha Wicks is also prominently featured in various states of dress. Enjoy.

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Tune in live at 1 p.m. EST for a special UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields press conference at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event is headlined by a Welterweight Championship bout between title-holder Georges St-Pierre (#1 Welterweight) and challenger Jake Shields (#4) and also features a Featherweight Championship bout between title-holder Jose Aldo (#1 Featherweight) and challenger Mark Hominick (#6) and a Light Heavyweight contender match between former champions Randy Couture (#6 Light Heavyweight) and Lyoto Machida (#9).

Go here to see the full card.

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(Lawlor instructs. Photo courtesy Yokosuka MWR.)

A lot of attention is paid – and rightly so – to those servicemen and women stationed in the Middle East. But there are thousands of U.S. soldiers, sailors, and airmen serving in other areas of the world. From Jan. 5-20, Armed Forces Entertainment sent “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (#27 Middleweight), Seth Petruzelli (#95 Light Heavyweight), Nate “Rock” Quarry (#35 Middleweight), Eben Kaneshiro, Joao Assis and Greg Thompson to visit troops stationed in the Pacific. The fighters signed autographs, posed for photos and extended their appreciation to America’s men and women in uniform.

“What an honor to show the servicemen and women our appreciation. With the sacrifices we saw them go through on a daily basis, I was truly moved,” said Quarry after he returned from the trip. “There are still heroes among us and no where is that more clear than in those serving in the United States armed forces.”

According to Armed Forces Entertainment, it is the official Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and at remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment. Founded in 1951, Armed Forces Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually, embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of entertainment.

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(Quarry observes. Photo courtesy Yokosuka MWR.)

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Last week Bellator Fighting Championships announced the addition of UFC veteran Ben “Killa B” Saunders (#59 Welterweight) to its roster. “I’m here to test myself against anyone that they throw against me,” Saunders was quoted in a press release. “I want to be the best. I want to be a champion, and that’s my goal. I’m here to kick some ass, make some money, and take a belt along the way.” Saunders’ championship aspirations will have to be put on hold at least for the duration of Bellator’s fourth season, as Saunders will not be competing in the upcoming Season 4 Welterweight Tournament. Company CEO Bjorn Rebney has said on numerous occasions that title shots will go to tournament winners only, otherwise the tournament format is rendered moot.

Bellator Season 4 kicks off live on MTV2 at on Sat., March 5, 2011 at 9 p.m. EST from Tachi Palace Resort & Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Bellator previously announced its upcoming Featherweight and Welterweight Tournaments. The Featherweight bracket features unheralded Nazareno Melagarie, Patricio Freire (#21 Featherweight), Wilson Reis (#23), Daniel Straus (#20), Georgi Karakhanyan (#29), Kenny Foster, Zac George and Eric Larkin in the Featherweight Tournament field. The tournament winner will take home $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (#2)

The Welterweight Tournament features Jay Hieron (#19 Welterweight), Steve Carl (#43), “Judo” Jimmy Wallhead, former Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good (#38), Dan Hornbuckle (#57), Brent Weedman (#84), Chris Lozano, and former Olympic judoka Rick Hawn as they compete for $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren (#16). Both Lozano and Hawn will enter our rankings after their first tournament fight.

The promotion’s inaugural Light-Heavyweight Tournament is the other officially-announced component of Bellator’s upcoming fourth season, which will air on MTV2. In the coming weeks, Bellator will announce the rest of its season four tournament participants. To date, the other announced fighters for season four are Joe Riggs, Daniel Gracie and Ron Sparks.

The promotion currently boasts champions in all men’s divisions but Flyweight and Light Heavyweight. Those champions are Zach Makovsky (#11 Bantamweight), Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight), Eddie Alvarez (#11 Lightweight), Ben Askren (#16 Welterweight), Hector Lombard (#6 Middleweight), Cole Konrad (#24 Heavyweight), and Zoila Frausto, who will likely be at the top of the heap when FIGHT! unveils its Women’s Flyweight Rankings.

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