UFC Rankings After November 2010

Sterling SpiarsAnalyst IDecember 2, 2010

UFC Rankings After November 2010

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    The month of November offered two events under the UFC banner, as well as another event under their sister promotion, WEC. With the WEC set to merge with the UFC in the new year, all of the current WEC weight classes and fighters will be included in this month's edition of UFC rankings.

    Even with no championships on the line during the month, November offered plenty of exciting fights that affected several weight classes. New contenders emerged while former contenders fell further away from their ultimate goal.

    Find out where your favorite fighters stand among the top ten. Remember, this is just one man's opinion. Please chime in with your opinions.

Bantamweight Division

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    November's Key Fights

    Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki

    After failing to win back the title of the featherweight division that he once dominated, Urijah Faber made the decision to try out his hand in the lighter bantamweight division. His debut came against well-established contender Takeya Mizugaki.

    Faber controlled the fight throughout, finding even more of an advantage once the two clinched up.. As the first round neared it's conclusion, Faber sunk in a tight rear-naked choke that sent Mizugaki off to count sheep, as well as putting himself in a great position at 135 pounds.

    Joseph Benavidez vs. Wagnney Fabiano

    The highly-explosive Joseph Benavidez needed a big win to keep his name atop the bantamweight rankings, and he did so with his usual, high-energy style. Controlling the fight in all aspects, Benavidez eventually sunk in the signature Alpha Male guillotine and tapped the third-degree black belt out in the second round. 

    Although Benavidez's small frame would be better suited for a flyweight division, he will just have to continue cranking out exciting bantamweight bouts until the 125-pound weight class finds it's way into the UFC.

    Damacio Page vs. Demetrious Johnson

    After throwing around the smaller Demetrious Johnson with ease throughout the first round, Damacio Page eventually withered under the continuous pace set by his opponent. As Page continued to suck more and more wind, Johnson eventually sunk in a guillotine choke late in the third round.

    Similar to Joseph Benavidez, the small frame of Johnson would be better suited for UFC's non-existent flyweight division. In the mean time, Johnson will just have to use his speed and agility to out-work the bigger fighters.

    December's Key Fights

    Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen (Championship Bout)

    Scott Jorgensen finally gets his chance to fight for the title that has been eluding him for some time. In his first ever championship fight, Jorgensen will look to use his strength advantage with his mixed bag of tricks to overwhelm Dominick Cruz wherever the fight takes place.

    Making his second title defense, Cruz will need to be on his toes with his elusive footwork against Jorgensen. Sticking with his bread and butter, Cruz will likely bring in his usual plan of quick combinations out of his awkward angles to frustrate the challenger.

    Brad Pickett vs. Ivan Menjivar

    British striker Brad Pickett was on a nine-fight win streak before running into current No. 1 contender Scott Jorgensen. Pickett looks to get back on the winning track with his crisp striking against the grizzled veteran Ivan Menjivar.

    A nine-year journeyman, Menjivar's experience against some big-named opponents is more than enough to help him through his WEC debut. After taking four years away from the sport, a win over Pickett would do wonders in revitalizing Menjivar's career.

    Eddie Wineland vs. Ken Stone

    The former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland will get the first crack at American Top Team prospect, Ken Stone. Wineland needs to make short work of the newcomer if he wants to take the next step in reclaiming what was once his.

    Stone has the explosive, all-around style to give the former champ troubles in his WEC debut. If Stone can stay composed with the right game-plan, he could make an immediate impact and find himself in the mix of potential contenders.


    Noteworthy- Demetrious Johnson (8-1) & Antonio Banuelos (19-6)

    10- Wagnney Fabiano (14-3)

    9- Eddie Wineland (17-6-1)

    8- Charlie Valencia (12-6)

    7- Takeya Mizugaki (13-5-3)

    6- Brad Pickett (19-5)

    5- Urijah Faber (24-4)

    4- Miguel Torres (37-3)

    3- Brian Bowles (8-1)

    2- Joseph Benavidez (13-2)

    1- Scott Jorgensen (11-3)

    Champion- Dominick Cruz (16-1)

Featherweight Division

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    November's Key Fights

    Chad Mendes vs. Javier Vasquez

    Chad Mendes' rise from prospect to contender completed another chapter at WEC 52, where he earned a hard-fought decision victory over submission ace Javier Vasquez.

    Though he primarily used his dominant wrestling to control where the fight took place, Mendes did show his evolution as a fighter with improved striking. Already sitting pretty with the other featherweight contenders, Mendes will need to continue improving other facets of his game if he wishes to win the championship.

    Eric Koch vs. Francisco Rivera

    Originally slated to fight current No. 1 contender Josh Grispi, Koch was rescheduled to fight Francisco Rivera as Grispi was pulled out to fight for the title at a later date. Unaffected by the change of opponent, Koch dazzled fans with a Duke Roufus high kick that put Rivera to sleep.

    With the current champ clearing out the division left and right, Koch propelled himself up the rankings with his devastating knock out. One or two more big wins could earn Koch the first title shot of his career.

    Raphael Assuncao vs. L.C. Davis

    Facing the perennial Zuffa axe, Raphael Assuncao got his career back on track after earning a big win over L.C. Davis. Using his superior grappling control, Assuncao shut down Davis' attack through three rounds and earned the unanimous nod over his opponent.

    Since he lost back-to-back fights prior to his victory, Assuncao needs to keep accepting the tough fights to get his name back into title contention.

    December's Key Fights

    Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan

    Originally scheduled to fight Tyler Toner, Leonard Garcia was yanked from the bout to fight TUF 12 semifinalist Nam Phan.

    Always eager to excite the fans, Garcia will be pleased to have another fighter that is willing to strike. Garcia's hay-making style has earned him many fans, but more recently Garcia has been implementing a smarter strategy to try and make another run at the title.

    Much smaller than the rest of The Ultimate Fighter cast, Phan still had an impressive run before unofficially losing to Michael Johnson in the semifinals. Back at his natural weight, Phan will look to his technical striking to pick apart Garcia in his UFC debut.


    Noteworthy- L. C. Davis (16-4) & Leonard Garcia (14-6-1)

    10- George Roop (11-6-1)

    9- Raphael Assuncao (15-3)

    8- Diego Nunes (15-1)

    7- Urijah Faber (24-4)

    6- Mike Brown (24-6)

    5- Manny Gamburyan (11-5)

    4- Erik Koch (11-1)

    3-Chad Mendes (9-0)

    2- Mark Hominick (19-8)

    1- Josh Grispi (14-1)

    Champion- Jose Aldo (18-1)

Lightweight Division

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    November's Key Fights

    George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon

    The Australian-native continued his impressive win streak with another dominating performance, this time over fellow submission artist Joe Lauzon.

    Although he is sitting near the top of the UFC's most competitive division, George Sotiropoulos continues his slow methodical run towards the title as he is expected to take on fellow rising star Dennis Siver in February.

    Tyson Griffin vs. Nick Lentz

    Looking to end a two-fight skid, Tyson Griffin seemingly did enough to earn the decision over Nick Lentz. However, the judges saw the fight differently, awarding Lentz the win by split decision.

    A once promising title contender, Griffin will receive another chance to revitalize his UFC career according to the UFC higher ups. Lentz, on the other hand, will likely get another stiff test while he looks to extend his 13-fight unbeaten streak.

    December's Key Fights

    Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis (Championship Bout)

    WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson looks to keep his impressive 11-fight win streak going as he is scheduled to take on Duke Roufus Academy prospect Anthony Pettis. Each fighter has an advantage in different aspects of the game, but both are also under-rated in their weaker areas. Whoever comes in with the better, more adaptive game-plan will likely walk away the victor.

    Unofficially, the winner of this fight will be the UFC interim champion and will have secured a spot to take on the winner of January's championship bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, where they'll look to prove that they belong among the UFC elite.

    Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira

    An interesting matchup between an established contender in Jim Miller and one of the fastest rising prospects in Charles Oliveira is expected to be fought at UFC 124. 

    Miller finds himself in a tough situation. A win keeps him in contention, but doesn't necessarily move him any closer to a title shot. However, a loss will take away all of the hard work he's done in his five-fight win streak.

    Oliveira isn't facing the same type of pressure as his opponent. If he loses to the top five fighter, it doesn't hurt his stock all that much. If the undefeated Oliveira defeats Miller, than the submission wizard will find himself in the top ten after just three UFC fights.

    Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig

    A former title contender, Joe Stevenson is now fighting to remain relevant in a rapidly expanding division. Only losing to the top of the division, Stevenson looks to prove he is still a worthy opponent at the 155 pound weight class.

    Even though he has lost four of his last five, Mac Danzig has a tough test in front of him in Stevenson. While a win could do wonders for Danzig's career, a loss could ultimately end in the termination of his contract for the former TUF winner.


    Noteworthy- Tyson Griffin (14-5), Nick Lentz (20-3-1), Anthony Pettis (11-1) & Charles Oliveira (14-0)

    10- Joe Stevenson (31-11)

    9- Clay Guida (27-11)

    8- Evan Dunham (11-1)

    7- Kenny Florian (13-5)

    6- Sean Sherk (34-4-1)

    5-  B.J. Penn (16-7-1)

    4- Takanori Gomi (32-6-0-1)

    3- George Sotiropoulos (14-2)

    2- Jim Miller (18-2)

    1- Gray Maynard (10-0-0-1)

    Interim Champion- Ben Henderson (12-1)
    Champion- Frankie Edgar (13-1)

Welterweight Divison

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    November's Key Fights

    Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn

    With two completely different outcomes in their previous fights, not many fans expected the outcome of the third and final chapter in the series between Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn.

    Penn came in very aggressive against the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history, keeping Hughes flustered and unbalanced before clipping him with a short right hand. After finishing Hughes with a flurry of strikes only 21 seconds into the fight, Penn firmly established his footing back amongst the welterweight top ten.

    December's Key Fights

    Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck (Championship Bout)

    Three years ago, Georges St. Pierre got back to his winning ways after losing the welterweight championship to Matt Serra. His opponent was the man he is about to make his fifth title defense against, Josh Koscheck.

    Although both fighters are much more evolved since the original bout, expect St. Pierre to stick with his patented GSP game-plan. As he continues to evolve and grow stronger, this game-plan grows much easier for the champ, but don't be surprised if St. Pierre throws a switch up against the wrestling pedigree of Koscheck.

    It's up to Koscheck to come in with a heavy sprawl to avoid St. Pierre's world and to keep the fight standing. If he can avoid the dominant take-downs of the champion, Koscheck's dream of being a champion becomes much more plausible.

    Thiago Alves vs. John Howard

    Thiago Alves has taken quite a hit in his title aspirations since rocketing himself to the top of the welterweight division, although losing to the top two fighters of the division isn't a bad thing. The explosive striker gets a chance to end his recent troubles against the powerful hands of John Howard and get himself back in the mix.

    Howard was on an explosive win streak before Jake Ellenberger's constant pressure forced a doctor's stoppage in his last fight. The gritty heart of Howard earned him a big step up in competition despite losing last time out. If Howard can get past the dangerous Alves, he can find himself fighting contenders on a more consistent basis.


    Noteworthy- Matt Hughes (45-8), Mike Swick (14-4), Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1-1), Anthony Johnson (8-3) & Jake Ellenberger (23-5)

    10- Paulo Thiago (13-3)

    9- Diego Sanchez (22-4)

    8- B.J. Penn (16-7-1)

    7- Thiago Alves (16-7)

    6- Dan Hardy (23-8)

    5- Martin Kampmann (17-4)

    4- Carlos Condit (26-5)

    3- Jake Shields (26-4-1)

    2- Josh Koscheck (15-4)

    1- Jon Fitch (23-3)

    Champion- Georges St. Pierre (20-2)

Middleweight Division

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    November's Key Fights

    Yushin Okami vs. Nate Marquardt

    With the UFC announcing the winner would receive a title shot prior to their bout, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt seemed to come in with safer game-plans than normal and fought to a drawn-out decision with only a few moments of action.

    Okami had done enough with his jab and straight punches, as well as his superior ground control to earn the unanimous decision. Okami will now have a significant amount of time to train for the winner of February's championship bout between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, that is if Dana White and the UFC keep their word.

    Mark Munoz vs. Aaron Simpson

    Two wrestling buddies threw their friendship aside to further climb up the ranks of the middleweight division. As with most wrestler vs. wrestler matches, each fighter's strengths were just about nullified for most of the fight, with both guys fighting for position in the clinch.

    In a back and forth battle, Munoz took control in the later rounds as Simpson slightly faded, earning himself the unanimous decision. Munoz is now 4-1 in the division and will look for a step up in competition once again.

    Maiquel Falcao vs. Gerald Harris

    Relatively unknown to the UFC audience, Maiquel Falcao came in riding a seven-fight win streak as the underdog to the "powerful slams" of Gerald Harris. Although he is been known as an explosive fighter, Falcao didn't do to well in winning over the favor of the UFC audience.

    With a safe, counter-strike strategy, Falcao frustrated Harris, as well as the fans, from the outside with powerful strikes on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Adding another notch to his win streak, Falcao has officially put the UFC middleweights on notice.

    December's Key Fights

    Demian Maia vs. Kendall Grove

    Demian Maia looks to take the next step in his career on his way towards another crack at the belt. Although a victory over Kendall Grove won't shoot him back to the top of the pack, a win would definitely keep him in the mix as new contenders continue to emerge.

    While Grove has been hit or miss in his most recent outings, the lanky middleweight definitely has the potential to upset the rankings and throw his name back into the mix. A loss to Maia wouldn't hurt his career all that much, but it would send him a few more notches back down in the title picture.


    Noteworthy- Maiquel Falcao (26-3), Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-3), Alessio Sakara (15-7-1) & C.B. Dolloway (11-2)

    10- Mark Munoz (9-2)

    9- Chris Leben (21-6)

    8- Demian Maia (12-2)

    7- Alan Belcher (16-6)

    6- Michael Bisping (20-3)

    5- Nate Marquardt (30-10-2)

    4- Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1-1)

    3- Chael Sonnen (24-11-1)

    2- Yushin Okami (26-5)

    1- Vitor Belfort (19-8)

    Champion- Anderson Silva (27-4)

Light-Heavyweight Division

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    Novembers Key Fights

    Quinton Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida

    In a division desperately seeking new championship contenders, Quinton "Rampage Jackson squeezed out an extremely close split-decision victory over Lyoto Machida. In a fight that could have gone either way in the eyes of the judges, Jackson stuck to a gameplan that made it difficult for Machida to establish his outside striking.

    Jackson has secured his spot at the top of one of the most dangerous divisions in the world. A fight against the winner of Jon Jones and Ryan Bader could potentially determine a number one contender in 2011.

    December's Key Fights



    Noteworthy- Randy Couture (19-10) & Matt Hamill (10-2)

    10- Rich Franklin (27-5-0-1)

    9- Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4)

    8- Ryan Bader (12-0)

    7- Forrest Griffin (17-6)

    6- Thiago Silva (14-2)

    5- Anderson Silva (27-4)

    4- Jon Jones (11-1)

    3- Lyoto Machida (16-2)

    2- Quinton Jackson (30-7)

    1- Rashad Evans (19-1-1)

    Champion- Mauricio Rua (19-4)

Heavyweight Division

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    November's Key Fights


    December's Key Fights

    Stefan Struve vs. Sean McCorkle

    Sean McCorkle needs some bigger fights if he wishes to elevate himself to the next level of competition. His lanky opponent Stefan Struve is definitely a nice place to showcase his skills and start making a name for himself.

    Stefan Struve on the other hand needs to put on a dominant performance against the relatively new UFC fighter. A loss to the less experienced McCorkle will knock Struve down several notches in his journey up the heavyweight ladder.


    Noteworthy- Stefan Struve (20-4) & Travis Browne (10-0-1)

    10- Ben Rothwell (31-7)

    9- Brendan Schaub (7-1)

    8- Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2)

    7- Cheick Kongo (15-6-2)

    6- Roy Nelson (15-5)

    5- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1)

    4- Frank Mir (14-5)

    3- Shane Carwin (12-1)

    2- Brock Lesnar (5-2)

    1- Junior dos Santos (12-1)

    Champion- Cain Velasquez (9-0)

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