Warning! Personal Opinion Advisory!
The UFC pulled through a tough month of November that was plagued with injuries and two solid cards that appeared weak on paper. While the fights may not of been the greatest fights of the year, they were good enough to hold the company over.
Despite the grueling winter winds, the month of December should bring back some sunny skies to the UFC fans.
So just have some patience, because bad things always come before the good ones do, and if your patience runs thin, here are two words to embrace...
The top 10 remains the same, as the best lightweights are to be showcased throughout the months of December and January.
One change though: There is another noteworthy fighter in the mix as Terry Etim won impressively once again, bringing his win streak to four. If he can get a victory over one or two well-seasoned fighters, Etim could find his way sneaking into the top 10.
Noteworthy—Jim Miller (15-2), Kurt Pellegrino (14-4), and Terry Etim (14-2)
10—Nate Diaz (10-4)
9—Clay Guida (25-10)
8—Joe Stevenson (31-10)
7—Tyson Griffin (14-2)
6—Sean Sherk (33-4-1)
5—Kenny Florian (11-4)
4—Gray Maynard (9-0-0-1 NC)
3—Frankie Edgar (10-1)
2—Diego Sanchez (21-2)
1—B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
The welterweight division is in a bit of a limbo here, as Mike Swick, another front-runner for Georges St. Pierre's title, was sent tumbling down the mountain.
However, Dana White can't have his champion waiting impatiently while the rest of the division try and prove themselves worthy. Thus, Dan Hardy was granted the title shot with his impressive victory over Swick.
November also offered a great deal of other welterweight fighters, as Josh Koscheck proved that he should be considered one of the top contenders, as well as proving Anthony Johnson still needs some slight improvement before stepping against the top 10.
Paulo Thiago won impressively against a relatively unknown, yet very game opponent in Jacob Volkmann.
Ben Saunders showcased his deadly muay thai, as he was the first fighter to knock out Marcus Davis, earning a spot on the board.
Noteworthy-Paul Daley (22-8-2) and Ben Saunders (8-1-2)
10—Martin Kampmann (15-3)
9—Carlos Condit (23-5)
8—Mike Swick (14-3)
7—Paulo Thiago (12-1)
6—Matt Hughes (43-7)
5—Josh Koscheck (14-4)
4—Dan Hardy (23-6)
3—Thiago Alves (16-6)
2—Jon Fitch (20-3)
1—Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
Denis Kang had the opportunity to slide into the top 10 with an impressive victory over Michael Bisping, but this sport isn't about the what if's.
Bisping recovered from a bad first round, coming back to dominate the rest of the fight before finishing off Kang with a relentless ground attack.
The win was impressive to say the least, shooting Bisping a couple notches higher on the climb to the top. However, Bisping still needs some victories over strong competition if he wants to prove he's worthy of fighting Anderson Silva.
Noteworthy—Yushin Okami (23-5)
10—Alan Belcher (14-6)
9—Patrick Cote (13-5)
8—Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1)
7—Michael Bisping (18-2)
6—Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
5—Demion Maia (10-1)
4—Vitor Belfort (19-8)
3—Nate Marquardt (29-8-2)
2—Dan Henderson (25-7)
1—Anderson Silva (25-4)
With the semi-giant division as stacked as it is, it's almost impossible for a month to go by without one of the top guys on display. November was no exception to the rule.
Randy Couture earned himself a spot on the board with a very close decision over Brandon Vera. Wanting to keep his momentum rolling, Couture has already signed on to fight Mark Coleman in February.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira announced his presence inside the UFC with a one-sided, knockout victory over the dangerous striker, Luiz Cane.
Finally, after a devastating defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin got up again, earning himself a split-decision over Tito Ortiz.
Noteworthy—Dan Henderson (25-7), Vladimir Matyushenko (23-4), and Luiz Cane (10-2-0-1)
10—Randy Couture (17-10)
9—Jon Jones (9-0)
8—Quinton Jackson (30-7)
7—Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
6—Forrest Griffin (17-6)
5—Anderson Silva (25-4)
4—Thiago Silva (14-1)
3—Rashad Evans (18-1-1)
2—Mauricio Rua (18-4)
1—Lyoto Machida (16-0)
Only slight changes in the heavyweight division as the month of November focused on the lighter weight classes.
Randy Couture's fight at light-heavyweight division loses himself some clout inside the land of giants.
On a final note, despite the general dismay surrounding Brock Lesnar, he is the UFC's heavyweight champion, and nobody wants to see a champion forced out of the sport due to an illness. Let's all hope that Lesnar recovers and finds his way back to the octagon.
Noteworthy—Mirko Filipovic (26-7-2) and Ben Rothwell (30-7)
10—Paul Buentello (27-10)
9—Randy Couture (17-10)
8—Cheick Kongo (14-5-1)
7—Gabriel Gonzaga (11-4)
6—Frank Mir (12-4)
5—Cain Velasquez (7-0)
4—Junior Dos Santos (9-1)
3—Shane Carwin (11-0)
2—Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1)
1—Brock Lesnar (4-1)