FIGHT! Rankings: Mariusz Pudzianowski Just One Fight Away From Being Ranked
While the biggest shows took the weekend off, five FIGHT! Rankings qualifying fight cards took place between Thurs. and Sat. Bellator 29, King of the Cage: No Mercy, KSW 14, Jungle Fight 22 and the M-1 Selection 2010 – The Americas Final all had some impact on our rankings, mostly in the form of competitors returning to our rankings after long layoffs or guys logging their third qualifying fights and entering our rankings for the first time. Here’s how the cookie crumbled this weekend.
(Bellator heavyweight Neil Grove)
After their wins on Thurs., Cole Konrad and Neil Grove will meet in Bellator’s season-three heavyweight tournament final. Konrad moved from #47 to #42 in our Heavyweight Rankings with his win over unranked Damian Grabowski, while Neil Grove enters the rankings at #32 with his win over Alexey Oleinik, who enters at #68. Though Konrad has more qualifying wins, Grove comes in 10 spots above him in the rankings because his first qualifying fight was in the UFC which offers the highest possible value in our rankings system. Brett Cooper moves from #92 to #64 in FIGHT!’s Welterweight Rankings with a win over Matt Major, who will enter our rankings after his next qualifying fight. After competing at 145 pounds and holding the #44 spot in the Featherweight Rankings, Jameel Massouh has been reassigned to Bantamweight, where he immediately takes up residence at #10 following his first round stoppage win over Nick Mamalis, who falls from #15 to #34. Jason Guida slips from #79 to #81 with a loss to unranked Justin Lemke. The fall is due solely to the inclusion of two more heavyweights in our rankings – Guida remains just two spots from the bottom of our list of rankings-eligible heavyweights.
KOTC: No Mercy
Bellator veteran Jimmie Rivera took the King of the Cage Bantamweight Championship from Abel Cullum on Fri. night and found himself installed at #21 in our Bantamweight Rankings because of it. The split decision loss actually helped Cullum, who moves from #35 to #31. At Lightweight, Noah Weisman enters at #116 with a win over unranked Sean Wilmot. Heavyweight prospect Ron Sparks was booked to fight Ray Mercer on the televised card, but unfortunately for Sparks, this is the second qualifying fight this summer in which his opponent dropped out and the fourth in the last year; “The Monster” was booked to fight Tim Sylvia, Bobby Lashley, and Ray Mercer (twice) before each withdrew.
KSW 14: Judgement
(After a disappointing showing against Tim Sylvia, Pudz gets back on track.)
No fighters entered the KSW ring with a ranking but a few left with one. Eric “Butterbean” Esch returns to our Heavyweight Rankings at #58 following his loss to Mariusz Pudzianowski. The ranking is probably not an accurate measure of his ability as much a reflection of the strength of competition component from his earlier fights. “Pudz” is now one qualifying fight from entering our rankings. Two 155-pounders entered our rankings following wins in the KSW Lightweight Tournament; Finn fighter Niko Puhakka enters at #108 and Danny Van Bergen enters at #144.
Jungle Fight 22
Brazil’s Jungle Fight promotion has proven to be a proving ground for young South American talent and most of the fighters on this card were logging their first qualifying fight. The only ranked fighter, Edilberto de Oliveira, fell from #88 to #112 in our Welterweight Rankings after his loss to unranked IFL vet Eduardo Pamplona. In a Lightweight feature bout, Yuri Alcantara entered our 155-pound rankings at #85 after defeating Manuelo Morales, who enters at #129.
M-1 Selection 2010 – The Americas Final
(This is M-1 Heavyweight Kenny Garner’s happy face.)
M-1 Global’s 2010 Selection tournament is nearing its completion. Tournament winners from the Americas final will meet tournament winners from the Eastern and Western Europe finals later this fall at M-1 Challenge events to establish the first M-1 Global champions in five weight classes. On Saturday night, nearly the entire notched their third qualifying fight and established a rankings value in the process. Now that nearly every M-1-contracted fighter has an established rankings value we should see a lot of movement following the upcoming M-1 Challenge shows.
American Top Team’s Kenny Garner enters our Heavyweight Rankings at #38 with a fast TKO win over Pat Bennett, who drops from #53 to #75. Byron Byrd enters FIGHT!’s Light Heavyweight Rankings at #38 with his win over Daniel Vizcaya, who enters at #71. Tyson Jeffries enters our Middleweight Rankings at #56 with a win over Mike Geurin, who enters at #111. Tom Gallicchio moves from #90 to #49 in our Welterweight Rankings with a win over Len Bentley, who enters at #103. Jose Figueroa enters at #89 LW with a win over George Sheppard who enters at #143. IFL vet Bristol Marunde re-enters our Middleweight Rankings at #84 with a win over one-time UFC fighter Shane Primm, who falls from #69 to #75 at Light Heavyweight. Fellow UFC vet Luigi Fioravanti moves from #105 to #89 in our Middleweight Rankings with a win over unranked Woody Weatherby.
No other ranked fighters appeared on these cards.