UFC

UFC Rankings: August 2008

HEAVYWEIGHT

1. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (Champion)
2. Fabricio Werdum
3. Frank Mir
4. Gabriel Gonzaga
5. Brock Lesnar
6. Cain Velasquez
7. Cheick Kongo
8. Shane Carwin
9. Heath Herring
10. Jake O’Brien

NOTES: Lesnar moves up significantly after his decimation of Heath Herring at UFC 87. In only his third MMA fight, Lesnar completely dominated a guy who’s been in the ring or cage with Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett and Mirko Cro Cop. He dropped Herring with a vicious right hand in the opening moments and controlled the fight from beginning to end. He’ll likely face Mark Coleman next, which will do nothing for him in these rankings, but will likely showcase him winning in quick and brutal fashion. He’ll need to develop finishing skills before he’s considered a true contender, however.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

1. Forrest Griffin (Champion)
2. Quinton Jackson
3. Lyoto Machida
4. Chuck Liddell
5. Anderson Silva
6. Wanderlei Silva
7. Rashad Evans
8. Mauricio Shogun Rua
9. Thiago Silva
10. Sokoudjou

NOTES: The only movement in this division is Anderson Silva making his debut after knocking James Irvin into next year with a single punch in his light heavyweight debut. Silva will be moving back and forth between this division and middleweight, so I will include him in both rankings. His next light heavyweight fight is unknown.

MIDDLEWEIGHT

1. Anderson Silva (Champion)
2. Yushin Okami
3. Dan Henderson
4. Patrick Cote
5. Michael Bisping
6. Damien Maia
7. Martin Kampmann
8. Nate Marquardt
9. Thales Leites
10. Jason MacDonald

NOTES: The major movement in this division comes from Damien Maia, who displayed brilliant jiu-jitsu in a match with Jason MacDonald at UFC 87. With a few more wins under his belt, Maia could be seen as a contender for the middleweight title.

WELTERWEIGHT

1. Georges St. Pierre (Champion)
2. BJ Penn
3. Jon Fitch
4. Thiago Alves
5. Matt Serra
6. Matt Hughes
7. Diego Sanchez
8. Karo Parisyan
9. Mike Swick
10. Marcus Davis

NOTES: B.J. Penn makes his debut in these rankings by virtue of his move to challenge Georges St. Pierre for the title in December…Jon Fitch remains high at #3 for a gutsy performance against Georges St. Pierre, who dominated Fitch for five rounds but couldn’t finish him.

LIGHTWEIGHT

1. BJ Penn (Champion)
2. Kenny Florian
3. Sean Sherk
4. Tyson Griffin
5. Roger Huerta
6. Joe Stevenson
7. Frankie Edgar
8. Clay Guida
9. Nate Diaz
10. Melvin Guillard

NOTES: Kenny Florian moves into the virtual #1 contender’s role after his technically masterful humbling of Roger Huerta at UFC 87. Florian will not receive an immediate shot at Penn due to Penn’s move to the welterweight division, and they’ll likely keep him busy by having him fight Sean Sherk in the meantime. If Florian beats Sherk, he’s virtually guaranteed a title shot in 2009.

POUND FOR POUND

1. Anderson Silva (Middleweight Champion)
2. Georges St. Pierre (Welterweight Champion)
3. BJ Penn (Lightweight Champion)
4. Forrest Griffin (Light Heavyweight Champion)
5. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (Heavyweight Champion)
6. Quinton Jackson
7. Chuck Liddell
8. Fabricio Werdum
9. Lyoto Machida
10. Wanderlei Silva

NOTES: No movement in these rankings. I’m a big believer that someone must actually lose in order to be demoted in pound for pound rankings. There is the potential for big movement in the rankings over the rest of the year, with matchups between St. Pierre/Penn and Liddell/Griffin on the horizon.

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2 thoughts on “UFC Rankings: August 2008

  1. Great UFC rankings. I’m not sure if ranking Penn as a welterweight before he even fights at welterweight is appropriate, but besides that I think you’re pretty close to right on.

  2. Yeah, I normally wouldn’t rank someone debuting in a new division. I didn’t rank Anderson Silva in the light heavyweight division until he fought James Irvin, but that’s only because he’d never actually fought in the division. Penn is a former welterweight champion, and so I’ve seen him fight there and while it’s not up-to-date, I think the fact that he’s been in the division before is enough to rank him.

    Of course, going by that I probably should have ranked Rich Franklin in the light heavyweight division.

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