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5 Oz. of Pain’s Rankings Updated

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I’ve finally had a chance to update Five Ounces of Pain’s rankings, which you can now take a look at by CLICKING HERE. But before you check them out, please read this brief recap of the biggest movers in my rankings and my logic behind my alterations:

Top Ten Pound-for-Pound –

I made two changes this month. The first was to drop Gesias Calvancante out of the pound-for-pound rankings in response to his April loss against Shinya Aoki. I remain a huge JZ fan, but it’s hard to keep a guy in my top ten pound-for-pound coming off a loss. I was late in moving him out of it because I didn’t have an obvious candidate to replace him. That was until Lyoto Machida made the decision pretty easier for me with a decisive unanimous decision win over Tito Ortiz this past Saturday at UFC 84.

I also swapped B.J. Penn and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the rankings. It’s due to no fault of Jackson’s, it’s just that based on pure fighting ability, I consider Penn to be better. Pure fighting ability is only one component for my rankings, but if Penn’s credentials and production are going to match his potential, it’s hard not to move him up. Decisive wins over Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson, and now Sean Sherk are all big wins and make him worthy of leapfrogging Rampage, who hasn’t fought since September.

Light Heavyweight –

Keith Jardine, Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Silva, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou are four fighters in my top ten light heavyweight rankings who all fought this past Saturday at UFC 84. Jardine lost in a one-sided encounter and that needed to be taken into account. So I dropped him from four to nine. The problem with Jardine is that he takes a step forward and then a step back. He beats Forrest Griffin; loses to Houston Alexander; beats Chuck Liddell; and then loses to Wanderlei Silva. He’s still a top ten-caliber fighter in my book, but he hasn’t been consistent enough to continue to justify a top five ranking.

Since is was Wanderlei who beat him, I decided to award him Jardine’s spot in the rankings. Mauricio Rua hasn’t fought since September, so it just made sense to have him lead frog not only Jardine, but Rua as well.

Thiago Silva and Sokoudjou were rewarded for their wins. Thiago is now ranked seven in my rankings. Some will claim that’s too high, but my belief is that he is seriously underrated right now. Once he gets some higher profile wins, I think more people will come around to my way of thinking in this regard.

As for Sokoudjou, he has those wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona, who were both top ten at the time he defeated them. Kazuhiro Nakamura isn’t top ten but has been in the past so it’s a credible win in my book. Yes, he has the loss to Machida, but suddenly that doesn’t seem as bad as it once did? There’s no shame in losing to Machida, if you ask me.

Vladimir Matyushenko is now ranked ten due to no fault of his own. It was just a numbers game. Sokoudjou helped himself with the win to the point where I feel justified in moving him ahead of Matyushenko. Matyushenko isn’t fighting top ten competition right now, so he needs to fight and win often in order to keep his ranking up.

Middleweight –

No big changes here, I simply decided to move Jason “Mayhem” Miller up one spot in regard to his win at DREAM.3. He’s now ranked at number eight and Kazuo Misaki falls to nine. I see a lot of top tens that don’t feature Miller in them and I am extremely perplexed whenever I see that. Miller is legit.

Lightweight –

As much as I hated to do it, I had to move Takanori Gomi ahead of Gesias Calvancante in response to Calvancante’s loss to Aoki at DREAM.2. I just wish there was a more obvious number two at lightweight right now. I respect a lot of Gomi’s accomplishments, but I feel he’s overrated to some extent and hasn’t consistently fought top contenders. He also hasn’t been the most active fighter as of late. But his past wins and pure fighting ability have to account for something, and Calvancante losing cannot be ignored.

Another big change to my rankings include the addition of Eddie Alavrez. Alvarez is now ranked at number ten in my 155 lbs. rankings, replacing Joachim Hansen. His win over Andre Dida was very respectable in my mind, but not enough to move him into the top ten in spite of such an impressive showing. However, the win over Hansen is what made me decide to move him into my top ten. I’ve said in the past that it’s hard to justify moving a guy into your top ten if he hasn’t beaten any fighters in the top tne, but Hansen had been my tenth ranked fighter.

If Alvarez is able to win the DREAM lightweight Grand Prix, chances are that he will become top five.

Featherweight –

Takeshi Inoue dropped a unanimous decision to Trenell Young at a SHOOTO event earlier this month, so he’s out of my featherweight top ten. Every fighter behind him moved up a spot, clearing room at the tenth position. Instead of dropping Inoue to ten in a weight class that has better depth than most people realize.

At the ten spot, I decided to add Hideki Kadowaki. Kadowaki doesn’t have any recent wins, so consider this a “course correction.” And while his overall record isn’t overly impressive, he has two impressive wins in the last nine months over Rumina Sato, who in the mid and late ’90’s, was the top lightweight fighter in the world, as well as March decision victory over Akitoshi Tamura, who I consider to be third best featherweight in the world right now.

10 COMMENTS
  • Jeff says:

    jay heiron? really?

  • i agree with jeff above and some… jay heiron?? no sherk? you have faber a better featherweight than kid but kid as a better pound 4 pound fighter? kos at the bottom? matt serra although i didn’t think he is #1 like everyone else when he was champ, i think he belongs atleast at #10 for his win vs. gsp alone. frank trigg- that has got to be a joke? and last but not least randy the #1 heavy?? by the time the old man fights again- who ever beats him is going to beat a 45 y/o that hasn’t fought in over a year and think they are all great but who did who ever beat? an old man with a big name

  • cyph says:

    t wasn’t easy choosing him for this spot over Anderson Silva but physically, I don’t believe St. Pierre has a weakness while I still have questions about Silva’s wrestling.

    I’m gonna keep harping you on this until you switch the P4P listing spot. =)

    This is a horrible justification. St. Pierre doesn’t have a weakness compared to Anderson Silva?

    Striking: Silva
    JJ: Silva
    JJ Defense: Silva
    Wrestling: GSP
    GNP: Tie
    Intangibles: Silva (Silva puts fear in the heart of men, GSP is definitely beatable; Silva can beat you by GNP or striking. GSP 2.0 is purely a GNP’er)

    Silva is an unstoppable force in Middleweight. GSP could potentially be beaten by lightweight BJ Penn. Enough said.

  • Jeff says:

    silva’s bjj is OVERRATED! i’ve heard from several sources in the grappling community, that silva is NOT a legit black belt, and that he was given one to bolster his partnership with big nog and to help the legitimacy of black house and their new academies.

    that being said, penn is the #1 p4p in the world, and imo, would beat gsp 9 x’s out of 10 at 70, and laugh if you’d like, but would take out silva at 85. i’m a bit biased on this, but i think that there is one guy at 55 that would give penn a run. kurt pellegrino. he is the only guy at 55 that could box w/bj.

    as far as gsp is concerned, outside of bj penn, i don’t think their is a guy within 25 pounds of him that can match his complete skill set. if all 3 were at 185, i think silva would be running 3rd. flame on!

  • ultmma says:

    #4 you had me until you mentioned Kurt, you must be Jeff Pellegrino.

    p4p all at 185 in some magical world Penn-Silva-GSP

    They all need to clear out their weight class until anyone talks about moving up ( Penn and GSP I’m looking at you)

  • Nick says:

    Sam, I always wonder how you can consistently rank Randy number 1. Randy gets his clock cleaned twice by Liddell at lightheavy, retires, then comes back at heavyweight and grinds out a 5 round whuppin on an injured tim sylvia. then he defends against a one-head-kick wonder named gonzaga who was only in his 9th fight. not exactly a list of top ten competition in the weight class to deserve a number one ranking. Curious to hear your reasoning behind it. Thanks.

  • HexRei says:

    Nick,

    Randy won a HW competition before there even WAS a LHW class. He already had HW cred when he moved up weight again to fight Sylvia, with wins over guys like Pedro Rizzo, TK, Kevin Randleman, and Maurice Smith, and he put up a great fight against Barnett who ended up testing positive for roids, which in today’s era would mean a win reversal in Couture’s favor.

    In light of all that, Couture’s moving up to beat the UFC HW champ and then following it with a defense against a guy who had just KO’ed crocop (another top 5 HW at the time) makes a strong argument for Couture being somewhere near the top of the HW rankings, just because there aren’t a lot of other HW’s who deserve to be ranked above him. That said, I’d still rank Big Nog #1, Fedor #2, and Randy #3 at this point, just because Nog also has now beaten Sylvia, is the UFC HW Interim champion, and has fought more recently than Randy…

  • Nick says:

    HexRei,
    Your logic is a little faulty in my opinion. The same people who drop Fedor from the number 1 slot because he has been relatively inactive from top competition for the last 2+ years cannot rank Randy number one on the strength of his HW wins from 2002 and before. On the strength of his 2 HW wins in the recent past, there is no way you can logically justify ranking Randy number 1. I dare someone to prove it logically.

  • HexRei says:

    Nick,

    I believe you can take a fighter’s whole record into account. Inactivity is one thing, but remaining active while changing weight classes is a whole other. For instance, if BJ moved back up to WW, I think few people would have any trouble ranking him in top5 pretty much instantly, and they definitely would if he beat the WW champ (as Randy beat the HW champ in his return)… despite the fact that BJ hasn’t beaten a top WW since Hughes in ’04.

    Randy has actually still fought top guys more recently than Fedor, so if you only want to count very recent records, Randy has Fedor whooped- Randy has fought at least Gonzaga (who KO’d Crocop) and Tim Sylvia (who ruled the UFC for years, has an incredible record, and is still ranked top5 by most).

    Who’s Fedor beat recently, little Matt Lindland and a 7 foot freak with 1 fight on his record.

  • Matt says:

    My most trusted MMA site so i start off on a good foot….but I have a problem with your light heavyweight rankings….your 1st 5 i can agree with….but your bottom 5 are a strong WTF.

    6. Shogun 7. Thiago Silva 8. Sokojou 9. Jardine 10. Matyushenko

    How does Jardine drop to 9? If you point out inconsistency Sokojou was a good example of that when he lost to Machida. Plus Jardine has bigger wins than he does and recent ones at that. Also Shogun should definitely be lower than Jardine and Thiago due to inactivity. I can agree with matyushenko at 10 but please….Chuck’s loss to Rampage was one sided but he didn’t drop to 9. That and Jardine just beat the no.1 contender bad enough to make him cry and run out of the octagon. Shogun drops, Jardine & Silva move up.

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