(Jonathan Brookins is The Ultimate Fighter.)
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.
The UFC crowned a new Ultimate Fighter on Dec. 4 at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nev. – full results can be found here – and not coincidentally, this season of the long-running reality show featured numerous lightweights who have competed at 145 pounds in the past. A few of them fought at featherweight in their UFC debuts, and a Bantamweight bout graced the undercard as well in advance of the UFC’s full absorption of the WEC in 2011.
In the main event, TUF Finalists Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson engaged in a seesaw battle with Brookins taking the win. The TUF winner enters FIGHT!’s rankings at Featherweight – where his first two qualifying bouts took place – where he immediately takes up residence in the top 25 at #24. Michael Johnson will remain unranked until he logs three qualifying fights.
TUF vet Stephan Bonnar carried the card, notching a unanimous decision win over Igor Pokrajac. Bonnar moves back into the top 25 at 205, from #28 to #24, with the win, while Pkrajac falls from #48 to #54. In the night’s co-feature, former contender Demian Maia retained his top-ten standing in our Middleweight Rankings with a unanimous decision over Kendall Grove, who stays put at #38. The night’s only other middleweight bout featured Dave Branch’s defeat of Rich Attonito. Branch moved from #44 to #29 following his win, while Attonito enters our middleweight poll at #62.
At Welterweight, Rick Story made a convincing case for a step up in competition with a win over Johnny Hendricks. Story moves from #20 to #12 while Hendricks slips to #26.
In the nights other televised fight, Leonard Garcia took a controversial split decision over TUF 12 participant Nam Phan. Garcia falls from #24 to #44 in our Featherweight Rankings, while Phan climbs from #83 to #69. In other featherweight action, unranked Pablo Garza defeated Fredson Paixao. Garza lost to Johnson in the preliminary round of TUF 12 but wins his UFC debut, while Paixao crashes from #33 to #67. Formerly unranked Ian Loveland took a unanimous decision from Tyler Toner, setting up shop at #29, while Toner falls from #36 to #62.
In the nights lone bantamweight bout, formerly unranked Nick Pace beat Will Campuzano and enters the Bantamweight Rankings at #19. Campuzano fell from #36 to #62.
No other ranked fighters appeared on the card. Check back later today for a gallery of Paul Thatcher’s best shots from the fights.
(Demian Maia showed that he’s becoming more than a submission master.)