UFC on Versus 4: Power Ranking Every Fighter on the Card

Nick CaronAnalyst IJune 26, 2011

UFC on Versus 4: Power Ranking Every Fighter on the Card

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    Following the news that Nate Marquardt has been removed from his main event fight at UFC on Versus 4 against Rick Story and subsequently released from his UFC contract, this fight card may not have the star power that it once had.

    Still, even without Marquardt, for a free event on Versus, the UFC is giving us some surprisingly good fights with fairly high-ranked fighters.

    It’s always fun to look at the pound-for-pound rankings lists in MMA, but rarely do we go deep enough to include guys who will be competing on the undercard.

    In this article, however, we’ll count down all 22 fighters who remain on this fight card which will now be headlined by the heavyweight contest between Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry.

22. Edward Faaloloto

1 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’9”, 154 pounds

    MMA Record:
    2-1

    UFC Record:
    0-0

    Opponent:
    Michael Johnson

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Anthony Njokuani

    Explanation:
    Someone has to be ranked last, right?

    Edward Faaloloto will be making his UFC debut after losing his last fight for the WEC last November. 

21. Matt Grice

2 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’8”, 155 pounds

    MMA Record:
    13-3

    UFC Record:
    1-3

    Opponent:
    Ricardo Lamas

    Last Fight:
    Defeated David Gardner

    Explanation:
    After a failed run in the UFC which left him 1-3, Matt Grice will be making his return to the top MMA organization in the world. He has put together a four-fight win streak since leaving the UFC with three victories coming by way of stoppage.

20. Michael Johnson

3 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 155 pounds

    MMA Record:
    8-5

    UFC Record:
    0-1

    Opponent:
    Edward Faaloloto

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Jonathan Brookins

    Explanation:
    Michael Johnson was the runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck and made his official debut for the UFC against Jonathan Brookins in the finale.

    After an excellent first round, Johnson went on to lose both the second and third rounds, leaving him with the fifth loss of his professional career.

    He will now have a chance to even his UFC record at 1-1 if he can defeat promotional newcomer Edward Faaloloto on Sunday night.

19. Ricardo Lamas

4 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’8”, 155 pounds

    MMA Record:
    9-2

    UFC Record:
    0-0

    Opponent:
    Matt Grice

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Yuri Alcantara

    Explanation:
    Ricardo Lamas may have actually been ranked higher than this if it wasn’t for his loss to Yuri Alcantara at the final WEC event last December.

    He had been on a four-fight winning streak and was moving up the rankings, but the loss really derailed things. 

18. Curt Warburton

5 of 22

    Measurables:
    6’0”, 154 pounds

    MMA Record:
    7-2

    UFC Record:
    1-1

    Opponent:
    Joe Lauzon

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Maciej Jewtuszko

    Explanation:
    Many fans may not be familiar with Curt Warburton, but his name could shoot up the rankings with a victory over Joe Lauzon at UFC on Versus 4.

    Warburton lost his UFC debut to veteran Spencer Fisher, but bounced back by handing Maciej Jewtuszko the first loss of his career by way of unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 127. 

17. Matt Brown

6 of 22

    Measurables:
    6’0”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    11-10

    UFC Record:
    4-4

    Opponent:
    John Howard

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Brian Foster

    Explanation:
    Matt Brown is one of those fighters who has somehow held onto his job with the UFC despite putting together a record which would have sent most guys packing quite awhile ago.

    He is coming off his third straight loss, which is generally the kiss of death in the UFC, but has been given one last chance to prove himself.

    Even if the decision-makers in the UFC like Brown, it’s going to be hard to justify keeping him around if he drops a fourth straight fight, even if it is entertaining as many of his fights have been.

16. Charlie Brenneman

7 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    13-2

    UFC Record:
    2-1

    Opponent:
    Rick Story

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Amilcar Alves

    Explanation:
    Charlie Brenneman has the chance of a lifetime this Sunday night after Nate Marquardt dropped out of his fight against Rick Story.

    Brenneman will now step in to fight Story, who was expected to be just one or two fights away from a potential title shot at 170 pounds.

    Brenneman is obviously getting a huge step up in competition from his previously scheduled fight against TJ Grant, but has been promoted to the semi-main event in what could be the biggest fight of his MMA career. 

15. Rich Attonito

8 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    9-4

    UFC Record:
    2-1

    Opponent:
    Daniel Roberts

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Dave Branch

    Explanation:
    After a 2-1 run as a middleweight in the UFC, Rich Attonito will be making his welterweight debut for the organization as he fights Daniel Roberts this Sunday night.

    Attonito was originally scheduled to fight Matt Brown, but Martin Kampmann had to drop out of the fight, leading Brown to move up the card to fight John Howard instead. 

14. Daniel Roberts

9 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    12-2

    UFC Record:
    3-2

    Opponent:
    Rich Attonito

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Claude Patrick

    Explanation:
    After dropping his UFC 129 fight to Claude Patrick, Daniel Roberts will be looking to get back in the win column against Rich Attonito.

    Roberts is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who has finished opponents in nine of his 12 career wins by way of submission. 

13. John Howard

10 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’7”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    14-6

    UFC Record:
    4-2

    Opponent:
    Matt Brown

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Thiago Alves

    Explanation:
    John Howard started off his UFC career on an impressive four-fight winning streak that had many pegging him as one of the top up-and-comers in the division.

    But things changed when the doctor stopped his fight against Jake Ellenberger last August. Howard’s left eye was completely closed after taking numerous punches and elbows.

    Still, the UFC seemed impressed by Howard’s work and gave him a fight against consensus top-10 welterweight Thiago Alves at UFC 124. Unfortunately, Howard was unable to get much offense going in that fight and eventually lost a unanimous decision.

    Howard was scheduled to fight Martin Kampmann in what would have been a big fight for both men, but now he finds himself in a likely must-win fight against Matt Brown, who has lost three straight fights himself. 

12. Javier Vazquez

11 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’7”, 145 pounds

    MMA Record:
    15-5

    UFC Record:
    0-0

    Opponent:
    Joe Stevenson

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Chad Mendes

    Explanation:
    Despite losing to Chad Mendes in his most recent fight at WEC 52 and a losing record in the WEC overall, Javier Vazquez is still widely considered one of the better featherweight fighters competing today.

    But at 35 years old, Father Time is catching up with this Brazilian jiu-jitsu second-degree black belt. 

11. Tyson Griffin

12 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’6”, 145 pounds

    MMA Record:
    14-5

    UFC Record:
    7-5

    Opponent:
    Manny Gamburyan

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Nik Lentz

    Explanation:
    There was about a year during 2007-2008 when Tyson Griffin was widely considered to be one of the top lightweight fighters on the planet.

    His victories over Thiago Tavares, Clay Guida and Gleison Tibau were impressive, but his loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 90 seemed to really cause a sudden lack of confidence in him.

    He did defeat Hermes Franca and Rafael dos Anjos in back-to-back fights, but has since dropped three straight bouts to Evan Dunham, Takanori Gomi and Nik Lentz.

    Griffin decided to make his cut back to 145 pounds for this Sunday’s fight, a weight which he was comfortable fighting at early in his career; and a weight in which he holds a victory over former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber. 

10. Joe Stevenson

13 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’7”, 145 pounds

    MMA Record:
    31-13

    UFC Record:
    8-7

    Opponent:
    Javier Vazquez

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Danny Castillo

    Explanation:
    The Ultimate Fighter 2 welterweight winner Joe Stevenson has had a very up-and-down career in the UFC.

    The “ups” have come in the form of victories over Yves Edwards, Melvin Guillard, Nate Diaz and Kurt Pellegrino. But the “downs” have come by way of brutal losses to BJ Penn, Kenny Florian and Mac Danzig.

    On a three-fight losing streak in the lightweight division, Stevenson has now decided to drop to featherweight where he will fight Javier Vazquez.

    It will be interesting to see if “Joe Daddy” has what it takes to make another run at a title. 

9. Joe Lauzon

14 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 155 pounds

    MMA Record:
    19-6

    UFC Record:
    6-3

    Opponent:
    Curt Warburton

    Last Fight:
    Lost to George Sotiropoulos

    Explanation:
    Always one of the most exciting fighters on any card, Joe Lauzon will look to get himself back in the win column against Curt Warburton at UFC on Versus 4.

    After dropping two of his last three fights, the 27-year-old has his sights set on getting back into the title picture at 155 pounds.

    Though he lost his last fight to George Sotiropoulos, Lauzon still has to be considered one of the better fighters not currently ranked in the top-10 in the UFC’s lightweight division. 

8. Nik Lentz

15 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’8”, 155 pounds

    MMA Record:
    21-3-2

    UFC Record:
    5-0-1

    Opponent:
    Charles Oliveira

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Waylon Lowe

    Explanation:
    One of the best kept secrets in the lightweight division, Nik Lentz has quietly put together an impressive resume that includes victories over numerous UFC veterans.

    He hasn’t yet jumped into the mainstream with a fight over a big-named opponent, but a “W” over Charles Oliveira would be a good start.

7. Christian Morecraft

16 of 22

    Measurables:
    6’6”, 260 pounds

    MMA Record:
    7-1

    UFC Record:
    1-1

    Opponent:
    Matt Mitrione

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Sean McCorkle

    Explanation:
    Christian Morecraft currently boasts a 7-1 MMA record with his only loss coming in a fight he was dominating against Stefan Struve at UFC 117.

    Morecraft had won the first round on most experts’ scorecards, using his wrestling to bring the giant Struve to the ground where he was able to control the fight from a safe distance.

    But Struve landed some big shots on the feet early in the second round which would knock Morecraft out for the first time in his career.

    He did bounce back, though, in March when he defeated Sean McCorkle by submission. After landing an illegal blow to the groin which caused a momentary referee’s stoppage, Morecraft went on to win the fight with a standing guillotine choke.

6. Charles Oliveira

17 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 154 pounds

    MMA Record:
    14-1

    UFC Record:
    2-1

    Opponent:
    Nik Lentz

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Jim Miller

    Explanation:
    At just 21 years old, Charles Oliveira has already become one of the top prospects in the UFC lightweight division. After dominating fights in his native country of Brazil, Oliveira made his UFC debut last August by submitting Darren Elkins with an armbar.

    Two months later, he doubled his win total with another submission victory, this time over Efrain Escudero, who had weighed in four pounds overweight for the fight.

    The UFC was impressed by their young phenom and offered him a fight against the company’s consensus No. 3 lightweight, Jim Miller, at UFC 124. Oliveira quickly lost the fight in the first round by way of a kneebar.

    Even given the loss to Miller, this fight could be huge for both Oliveira as well as his opponent Nik Lentz. Both fighters have to be considered two of the top young fighters in the division and could be only a couple more victories away from getting their names in the title picture. 

5. Matt Mitrione

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    Measurables:
    6’3”, 260 pounds

    MMA Record:
    4-0

    UFC Record:
    4-0

    Opponent:
    Christian Morecraft

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Tim Hague

    Explanation:
    With a perfect 4-0 record, the 32-year old Matt Mitrione is an unlikely candidate as an up-and-comer, but that’s exactly what he has proven to be so far in his career.

    A former NFL player for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, Mitrione made the transition to mixed martial arts by becoming a cast member for The Ultimate Fighter 10.

    Though he lost during the show to James McSweeney, Mitrione has gone on to have more success than anyone other than the two finalists on the show, Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub.

4. Pat Barry

19 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’11”, 243 pounds

    MMA Record:
    6-2

    UFC Record:
    3-2

    Opponent:
    Cheick Kongo

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Joey Beltran

    Explanation:
    Former kickboxer Pat Barry continues his transition into MMA in what may be his biggest test yet against Cheick Kongo. The bout will be featured as the new main event for UFC on Versus 4.

    Barry has gone back-and-forth with wins and losses since joining the UFC back in 2008, but his most recent victory over Joey Beltran may have been his most impressive.

    His non-stop assault of leg kicks eventually chopped the leg out from under Beltran who was practically unable to move in the third round.

    Beltran was extremely tough and did finish the fight, but immediately collapsed to the ground afterwards, obviously in excruciating pain. Barry won the fight by unanimous decision.

3. Manny Gamburyan

20 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’5”, 145 pounds

    MMA Record:
    11-5

    UFC Record:
    2-3

    Opponent:
    Tyson Griffin

    Last Fight:
    Lost to Jose Aldo

    Explanation:
    Nearly four years ago to the day, Manny Gamburyan was competing against Nate Diaz to become The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner at lightweight. Gamburyan lost that fight, but it was in a very odd fashion as he had actually dominated Diaz in the first round.

    But things quickly went south for the Armenian when he dislocated his shoulder on a failed takedown attempt, causing him to quickly tap out, giving Diaz the title of The Ultimate Fighter.

    After a so-so run as a lightweight following the loss to Diaz, Gamburyan decided to drop to 145 pounds and compete in the WEC.

    This proved to be a great decision as he would win three straight fights over John Franchi, Leonard Garcia and even former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, before earning his shot at Jose Aldo last September.

    The fight with Aldo was a trainwreck, though, as the champion completely smashed Gamburyan on his way to a second-round knockout victory.

    Gamburyan has not been in the cage again since that fight, but will be returning to the UFC to fight Tyson Griffin on Sunday night. 

2. Cheick Kongo

21 of 22

    Measurables:
    6’4”, 234 pounds

    MMA Record:
    15-6-2

    UFC Record:
    8-4-1

    Opponent:
    Pat Barry

    Last Fight:
    Draw with Travis Browne

    Explanation:
    Cheick Kongo seems to be one of the most difficult-to-predict UFC fighters. This is a guy who looked horrible in a fight against Frank Mir, but has also out-struck UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez on the feet in their fight.

    Still, Kongo’s only losses in the past three years have come against those two consensus top five heavyweights.

    He did fight to a draw against Travis Browne last October at UFC 120, but that only came after he was deducted a point for holding onto Browne's shorts in a fight he would have otherwise won. Not only that, but Browne is an undefeated fighter who just defeated Stefan Struve.

    Of course, a victory over Pat Barry would also be his biggest since defeating Mirko Cro Cop back in 2007, but Kongo seems to be being underrated by many fans who have dismissed his skills in losses to Mir and Velasquez.

1. Rick Story

22 of 22

    Measurables:
    5’10”, 170 pounds

    MMA Record:
    13-3

    UFC Record:
    6-1

    Opponent:
    Charlie Brenneman

    Last Fight:
    Defeated Thiago Alves

    Explanation:
    In what must be an extremely disappointing turn of events for him, Rick Story has been downgraded to the semi-main event and will now be fighting Charlie Brenneman at UFC on Versus 4 this Sunday night.

    Story took the fight against Nate Marquardt on short notice after Marquardt’s scheduled opponent, Anthony Johnson, had to pull out of the fight due to injury.

    Unfortunately, as we all now know, Marquardt himself dropped out of the fight just one day prior to the event and has since been released by the UFC.

    Story obviously took the fight with Marquardt with the assumption that it would do big things to get a victory over another big-name opponent in the main event of a televised card, but now he has gone from a “hopefully I win” situation to an “I must win” situation.

    It’s not that he is in any danger whatsoever of being cut if he loses to Brenneman, but Story’s hopes of a title shot in the near future would be completely dashed if he is unable to secure the victory.

    Still, he is the highest-ranked fighter on the card going into Sunday, which his most recent fight coming in the form of a win over consensus top five welterweight Thiago Alves.

    He is currently riding a six-fight winning streak and may only be a fight or two away from a title shot if he is able to make it seven in a row this Sunday night.