After Charlie Brenneman's impressive win over rising star Rick Story, the former NCAA wrestler was vaulted into the top 10 in virtually every expert's welterweight rankings.
Brenneman is a fairly one-dimensional wrestler who used those skills to stifle Story throughout the fight to earn a one-sided decision victory, but was Brenneman really that good, or did he just expose a fundamental weakness in Story's game?
Last night's fight with Johnson may have proven the latter. Johnson, a decorated wrestler himself, stuffed Brenneman's takedown attempts with ease and forced "The Spaniard" to stand and trade strikes. It was here that fans saw just how rudimentary Brenneman's striking is as he was unable to mount any sort of offence against Johnson and was eventually knocked out.
This thrashing at the hands of Johnson may cause analysts to reconsider how they rank fighters. Sure, Brenneman beat Story, a top-10-ranked fighter, but styles make fights and perhaps Brenneman simply had the right style to beat Story. That doesn't necessarily mean he's a top-10 fighter himself.
Given their skill sets and experience, one would think that Story would have a better chance against the majority of the welterweight division than Brenneman would. Yet, Brenneman beat Story, so should he be ranked higher than him?
This is where things get tricky, and it raises the debate over a whether or not a win over a fighter proves the winner is better.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson beat Chuck Liddell twice, but most would agree that throughout their careers, Liddell was the better fighter. So should we be using that kind of logic when creating our current rankings?
The truth is that rankings are completely subjective, and there's no way to get them "right," but perhaps we shouldn't be so hasty to give a largely unknown fighter a huge boost in the rankings after just one notable victory.
Only time will tell, but it's likely Charlie Brenneman was somewhat overrated going into this bout, and his win against Rick Story may just be the highlight of his career.
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