This blog is primarily about games now, but I don’t have another place to really post my thoughts after UFC 112 and the fiasco of Strikeforce in Nashville. Between the two events, I think that a lot of rethinking has to go into most top 10 ranking lists I see out there.
First off, Frankie Edgar beating BJ Penn is huge. It wasn’t a stunning victory in and of itself, having gone to a decision, but remember that weeks before the fight everyone was looking past Edgar and talking about BJ going up to welterweight again to make a run for that title as well (assuming someone has wrested it from GSP’s iron grip).
Last night on Strikeforce there were three summary dethronings of ranking favorites in three profoundly underwhelming fights. All three title fights went to a decision – the most exciting fight by far was at the end when the brawl broke out between the entire Caesar Gracie camp and Jason Mayhem Miller.
Aoki, Mousasi and even Dan Henderson each got thoroughly spoiled by their opponents, surprising many if rankings before Saturday are any measure.
Aoki was touted as the number 2 behind BJ Penn in the lightweight division (before Frankie Edgar of course). Mousasi was talked about ceaselessly, fitting into Strikeforce’s apparent plan of having one dominant “name” fighter in each division and then feeding them outmatched opponents. Dan Henderson we all know – he left the UFC as the only man to win a round against Anderson Silva in that organization, and was signed by Strikeforce to be their new juggernaut after Jake Shields makes his essentially inevitable move to greener UFC pastures.
And then Strikeforce: Nashville happened.
Now Aoki is exposed as a fighter who was overwhelmed by Gilbert Melendez on the feet and on the ground. Mousasi’s total lack of takedown defense was finally exploited for another decision defeat.
And, amazingly, Jake Shields kicked Dan Henderson’s ass for four long rounds. He spent so much time in Hendo’s mount that he could probably receive mail there. He lived there like there was a zipcode.
As far as I’m concerned, the stock for these three highly touted fighters plummeted Saturday.
In thinking about these events, I thought I’d try my hand at top 10 rankings of my own. Here goes nothing
1 Frankie Edgar
2 BJ Penn
3 Gray Maynard beat Edgar but I don’t think he could beat BJ
4 Kenny Florian
5 Tyson Griffin
6 Sean Sherk still injured but would handle anyone below this point I think
7 Gilbert Melendez
8 Clay Guida
9 Shinya Aoki
10 George Sotiropoulos I think the sky’s the limit for this guy and he will steadily rise
…again, a wide gap – except for Silva and Daley, his only possible challenges are rematches
2 John Fitch officially is in the “Rich Franklin” position, dominating everyone but the champ
3 Thiago Alves
4 Paulo Thiago
5 Josh Koscheck his explosive striking puts him above Shields, his wrestling puts him above Hardy and Daley
6 Jake Shields I have a feeling his stiff standup might mean a fall on this list, but embarrassing Dan Henderson when you’re a natural welterweight is serious business
7 Dan Hardy
8 Paul Daley
9 Nick Diaz
10 Mike Swick
This lineup has some awesome fights between neighbors: Imagine Diaz vs. Swick, Hardy vs. Daley, Koscheck vs. Shields…holy crap those would be amazing fights
1 Anderson Silva
…this space is reserved for the huge gap between him and all others. I feel like 2 should be blank
2 Chael Sonnen vulerable to submissions so he’ll lose to Silva after he drags him to the ground but what an entertaining Republican
3 Nate Marquardt
4 Vitor Belfort could probably knock Marquardt out, would probably be taken down by him – toss up, but Nate has a much better record
5 Jake Shields <— natural welterweight; take that Dan
6 Dan Henderson beat Franklin, gotta go here
7 Rich Franklin still deserves standing in this division, even now
8 Vanderlei Silva
9 Yoshihiro Akiyama
10 Patrick Cote remember him? Healed and training and coming back soon for another run at the title
1 Lyoto Machida here until he’s defeated, sorry Rua apologists
2 Mauricio Rua
3 Rashad Evans because I think Evans will beat Rampage
4 Rampage Jackson
5 Anotonio Rogerio Nogueria
6 Anderson Silva yes, he’s here too, and on his way up I don’t doubt
7 Thiago Silva
8 Randy Couture
9 Jon Jones
10 Ryan Baeder
Again, amazing fights among neighbors. Jones vs. Baeder, Silva vs. Couture, A. Silva vs. Little Nog…goosebumps just thinking about it
1 Brock Lesnar
2 Shane Carwin I won’t be surprised if he knocks out Lesnar in the first round and we have a new beast at the top
3 Cain Valasquez
4 Junior Dos Santos is explosive like Fedor, trains with the Noguerias, and unlike Fedor, actually fights the best fighters in the world
5 Fedor Emeliananko nowhere near the top while popping open tomato cans in Strikeforce
6 Frank Mir
7 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria lost to Fedor and Valasquez so here he goes
8 Randy Couture
9 Fabricio Werdum in the tier under Fedor, outside of the UFC
10 Roy Nelson yes, Big Country. I think he’ll prove me right