FIGHT! Rankings: GSP #1 With A Bullet
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After months of listening to Koscheck’s mouth, GSP registered his official response last night as UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 popped off from the Bell Centre in Montreal. “Rush” turned in another dominant performance, winning all five rounds to retain his UFC Welterweight Championship belt as well as his number-one ranking. Koscheck could have waved off the fight due to swelling around his eye but he gutted it out and retained his ranking (#5) in the process. Former Shooto and EliteXC Welterweight Champion and Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields is likely next in line for GSP. Should GSP win that fight, the UFC would have to decide whether to throw guys like Chris Lytle, Carlos Condit, Jake Ellenberger and Rick Story in with the champ or move him up, maybe permanently, to middleweight.
Also at welterweight, former title challenger Thiago Alves held on to his top-10 ranking with a dominant decision win over John Howard, who actually moved up a spot, from #40 to #39, following his gutsy showing. Ricardo Almeida moved from #22 to #21 after defeating TJ Grant, who slips from #43 to #45, and Matt Riddle falls from #32 to #65 with his loss to unranked Sean Pierson.
In the co-main event, Stefan Struve responded to Sean “The Curtain Jerker” McCorkle’s stream of insults with a stream of punches, finishing him at 3:55 of the first frame. Struve moves from #26 to #14 in the Heavyweight Rankings – McCorkle remains unranked.
The main card was rounded out by lightweight bouts pitting Joe Stevenson against Mac Danzig and Jim Miller versus Charles Oliveira. Danzig scored a statement win, and likely saved his job, with a first round KO of Joe Stevenson. Danzig moved from #117 to #63 in the Lightweight Rankings with the win and took home a $100,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for his trouble. Stevenson falls from #18 to #56 with the loss. Miller moved from #7 to #6 (and took home $50,000 for Submission of the Night), making an argument for title contention with a quick win over fast rising Charles Oliveira. Oliveira enters the rankings at #28.
Also at lightweight, Mark Bocek took home the other half of the Submission of the Night bonus money by finishing new lightweight Dustin Hazelett – Bocek climbs from #40 to #25, while Hazelett is reassigned from #62 in the Welterweight Rankings to #98 at Lightweight. Previously unranked Pat Audinwood enters the rankings at #152 following his loss to unranked John Makdessi.
At 185, Dan Miller climbed from #37 to #28 in the Middleweight Rankings with a win over Joe Doerksen, who falls from #36 to #42. In the only other rankings movement after UFC 124, Rafael Natal enters the middleweight poll at #85 following a majority draw with unranked Jesse Bongfeldt.