fighter rankings – April 2010 edition

Since the last time we did this,’s changed a bit.  That’s right… we started exercising regularly, got a little lipo, and threw in a boob job for good measure.  So, now that we have some new-found confidence (albeit phony over-compensation for our daddy issues), we figured it was about time to unveil our latest rankings for you to ogle.  While we prefer eye contact, it’s OK if you sneak a peek below, if you know what I mean.  We don’t mind… I mean, why else would we have had all the work done?  Anyway, we’re doing the rankings once a month (until the boss decides he wants a change).  And instead of re-inventing the wheel every month, from here on out, fighters will climb or fall depending on activity in the interim.  I know, I know… that means the rankings won’t have a lot of movement… not unlike the chick you lost your virginity to.  Bad times, pal.

Just to refresh, the rankings are compiled by me, Mike Menninger.  “Who is Mike Menninger?” you might ask.  Or you might not.  Either way, I’m a self-proclaimed MMA economist and philosopher – considered by many (me) the John Locke/Adam Smith of mixed martial arts.  If those references are too obscure for you, do yourself a favor and trade in the bong for a book every once in a while.  A little education never hurt anyone (unless you learned about herpes from that crazy night second semester junior year with the absinthe and that weird chick who inexplicably had an adam’s apple.  Also, he/she was not impressed with your performance either).  I’m also the co-host, along with writer Brian Furby, of The Cageside Beat radio show.  Although, I do wonder why Furby gets to be “the host” and I’m relegated to “co-host.”  Probably because I let him do the introduction.  I really should get my agent on that.

Anywho, the rankings are not scientific or formulaic.  Why the hell would they be?  I’m a philosopher! No numbers can harness my bullsh**!  But I do put in a good amount of work researching various computer rankings across the internets, examining recent fighter activity, and considering whether or not I like the guy.  No fighter is ranked in more than one division.  I’ll also be tossing in some commentary to keep you (me) amused, or at the very least, on the website a little longer.

As always, please feel free to comment below or send me threatening and/or offensive e-mails at  I promise to respond to every one of them.  In fact, if I get any good/funny e-mails, I’ll give the author a shout-out on the radio show.

Welcome to the April 2010 edition of the ProMMANow Fighter Rankings, where Frank Mir apologizes and actually means it, Anderson Silva is a classy guy, and James Toney vanishes like an overweight, unintelligible apparition in the night.


“Showdown” Joe Ferraro agrees with me… the UFC should add the lighter weight classes, and the WEC cream of the crop should be folded in.  Make the WEC the AAA to UFC’s big leagues.  I think it’s a great idea on its own.  And hell… maybe some of the fighters in other organizations will want to make the leap.  But, come on, Zuffa… gotta start paying the little guys!  And there’s some movement in the rankings because a lot of the guys have been idle since the last rankings came out.

1. Jose Aldo Still has the WEC belt… still at the top of the list.  His bout with Faber looms large.
2. Mike Brown Had another convincing victory, this time over Anthony Morrison back in January.  And still, his only loss in the last 4 years is to that guy sitting… right… up… there…
3. Marlon Sandro 16-1, with his only loss to another guy on the list.
4. Bibiano Fernandes Joachim Hansen is a nice hide, but Fernandes is going to have to start finishing people (5 of 8 wins by decision; last 2 wins by split decision)
5. Urijah Faber A win over Aldo changes the FW landscape quite a bit.
6. NR Masanori Kanehara A win over Kid Yamamoto and Omigawa in his last 2.  Even though Kid’s washed up, it’s still a nice win to ring in the new year.
7. Michihiro Omigawa His recent loss to Kanehara keeps Omigawa a spot back, but a New Year’s victory over Hiroyuki Takaya keeps him in the mix.  A totally different fighter than he was 2 years ago.
8. Hatsu Hioki Hioki needs to get back into action or he may fall out of the top 10 (like he cares).
9. Joe Soto Still undefeated.  But you gotta fight, bro!
10. NR L.C. Davis A lot of WEC love this time around.  7-1 in your last 8 fights earns it, though.

Dropped out: Josh Grispi, Manny Gamburyan


So what the F do we do now that Penn lost?  Does anyone think that Edgar will be a favorite against whoever he fights next?  If a Gray Maynard is undefeated in the UFC with a win over the current champ, does Joe Silva hear it? Is there a bigger jackass than Aoki?  Good luck finding the answer to any of these?

1. Frank Edgar It’s time to drop the “ie” from his name.  He’s all growed up, even though I’m not so sure he really beat Penn.  Neither do the good folks at FightMetric either.  Not that Penn was especially good either.  But, seeing as he’s the UFC LW champ, he should get some praise.  So, there ya go, buddy.  Nice job.
2. B.J. Penn Is it weird that one of the best P4P fighters in the world is only 2-2 in his last 4 fights?  I think so too.
3. Kenny Florian 8-1 in his last 9.  Nice wins over Guida and Gomi recently.  And because no one likes Gray Maynard, something tells me KenFlo (god I hate that nickname) might finally get to wear UFC gold.
4. Gilbert Melendez Very nice win over Aoki, a top-flight LW.  Who’s left to fight in Strikeforce though?
5. Eddie Alvarez Hasn’t fought in a while.  But he drops to make room for Melendez.
6. Gray Maynard See above.  Also, try NOT to see the tramp stamp.  Good luck with that.
7. Tatsuya Kawajiri Tacked another win onto his record on New Year’s Eve, just like a host of other Japanese fighters.
8. NR George Sotiropoulos He’s undefeated in the UFC (5-0, 4 stoppages).  He faced a step up in competition in his last fight against Joe Daddy, and laid waste to him.  Maybe he’s turning into the guy we thought he would from his TUF days.
9. NR Benson Henderson Hasn’t lost since ought-six.  Tallied Ws over Varner, Cerrone, and Njokuani in the last year and half or so.  But can we just call him Ben?  I don’t like using 2 last names for a guy.
10. Shinya Aoki Looked like hell against Melendez.  Where are his good luck pants?

Dropped out: Mizuto Hirota, Diego Sanchez


It would be nice if the UFC could get some decent talent in this division.

1. Georges St. Pierre
3. Everyone else.
4. Seriously, it’s over.
5. Fourth?  Come on…
6. Why bother.
7. Like it matters.
8. It doesn’t, trust me.

Seriously though…

1. Georges St. Pierre He probably should have finished Hardy, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
2. Jon Fitch Steady, yet unexciting.  Fitch hasn’t lost to anyone not named GSP since 2002.
3. Thiago Alves Gets jumped by Fitch due to inactivity.
4. Paulo Thiago Fighter and Brazilian Special Ops agent.  YOU tell him he belongs lower than 4.
5. Dan Hardy Tough as hell, but mustered slightly less than no offense against GSP.
6. NR Nick Diaz His first fight at WW in awhile was a good one.  Minus a doctor’s stoppage against boxer Karl James Noons and a NC for executing the first (allegedly) stoned gogoplata against Gomi, Diaz has beaten everyone he’s faced since a loss to Sean Sherk back in ’06.
7. Josh Koscheck He drops 2 spots in part because he hasn’t fight in a while.  Moreso because I said so.
8. Jay Hieron Dude just keeps on winning, with no title shot in sight.  He’s the Strikeforce answer to Gray Maynard.
9. NR Paul Daley He gives us an oddly specific nickname that is both a plastic explosive and the Czech answer to Red Bull.  He also gives Joe Rogan a reason to keep saying “bombs” as a metaphor for heavy punches.  A win-win as far as I’m concerned.  Keep up the hard hitting, Semtex!
10. Matt Hughes He only drops because Daley moves up.  Hughes only losses since 2004 are to #1 and #3 on the list.  Country boy can survive, indeed.  Plus, you gotta respect 2 things: 1) he doesn’t have a nickname; and 2) he doesn’t shave his chest.

Dropped out: Marius Zaromskis, Dustin Hazelett


Everything is crazy with the MW division.  We have a clear #1 who doesn’t give a sh**.  The fall-off to #2 is practically a bottomless trench.  And all the other top MWs keep beating the crap out of each other, inside and outside the UFC, which makes it pretty tough to rank.  Of all the division rankings, I’m the least comfortable with these.

1. Anderson Silva How can someone look so good and so bad at the same time?
2. Jake Shields Considering Henderson was considered the #2 MW, this is a no-brainer, especially because Shields is a WW.
3. Chael Sonnen Write your congressman and root him to victory of Anderson Silva!
4. Yoshihiro Akiyama Big one coming up against The Axe Murderer.
5. Jorge Santiago Avenged his loss to Khalidov via unanimous decision.
6. Dan Henderson Was it age or over-reliance on the right hand?  We’ll find out soon enough, I’m guessing.
7. NR Wanderlei Silva Finally fought at MW, and looked pretty good.
8. Mamed Khalidov Tough loss to Santiago is nothing to be ashamed of.
9. NR Rousimar Palhares Only one loss, to Dan Henderson, since summer of 2006, rattling off 3 in a row of late.
10. NR Alessio Sakara Legionarius has a newfound focus, with 3 consecutive wins in the UFC, 2 over highly-touted opponents.

Dropped out: Michael Bisping, Demian Maia, Nick Diaz


Also known as The Division Where the Best Fighters Don’t Fight All That Often.

1. Lyoto Machida A but more tenuous at the top than last time
2. Quinton Jackson Anyone lose any money betting on Jackson’s acting career?
3. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Gotta get back in the cage, but still hasn’t lost in a quite some time.
4. NR Muhammed Lawal Utterly dominated Mousasi.  Very impressive for King Mo.  Given what happened to Mike Whitehead after his scrap with Mo, maybe we should keep a close eye on Mousasi for a couple months.
5. Rashad Evans
6. Mauricio Rua Should he be higher?  Maybe.  But he is still coming off a loss, controversial though it may be.
7. Randy Couture Age is just a number.  And the AARP discount is just a sweet-ass bonus.
8. Forrest Griffin Nice win over Tito.
9. Gegard Mousasi Way to fight off your back, bro.  I suppose his team forgot to mention that King Mo was a wrestler.
10. NR Jon Jones A weird DQ against Hamill away from being undefeated.

Dropped out: Thiago Silva, Vitor Belfort


This edition of the HW rankings brought to you by Roy Nelson’s gut.  All rights and french fries reserved.  On a side note, how about that Strikeforce title shot coming up?  Good match making, huh guys? Is there another guy in the mix here?  No?  OK, moving on!

1. Fedor Emelianenko Fans everywhere have 3 words for Fedor… New. Management. Please.
2. Brock Lesnar What can be said here, other than we’re glad he’s coming back to defend (lose, please?) his belt.
3. Shane Carwin Nice win over Mir.  Although he still looked small standing next to Lesnar.
4. Cain Velasquez Made Minotauro look like an amateur.  That ain’t easy.
5. Junior dos Santos Remember when Gabe Gonzaga was a top HW?  Me either.  Still a great performance from both Santoses.
6. Fabricio Werdum Hasn’t fought recently, but that means he hasn’t lost recently either.
7. Josh Barnett The Babyfaced Assassin is fighting again!  Do we really care if he won’t fight in the states though?  I’m not so sure.
8. Frank Mir Too much talking, not enough fisticuffs.  For me, being on the business end of a Carwin uppercut is top 3 places I’d least like to be.
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Getting older by the second.
10. NR Alistair Overeem Now that he’s fighting state-side, I’ll give him a slight nod.  Plus, did you see him kick the crap out of that smug little girl scout?

Dropped out: Brett Rogers


1. Fedor Emelianenko Fedor runs the risk of becoming obsolete pretty quickly if he doesn’t dump M-1.
2. Georges St. Pierre At least he fights.
3. Anderson Silva If you’re bored, take up knitting or something.  But don’t make the paying fans suffer like this anymore.
4. Brock Lesnar Can he fight already so someone can beat him?
5. Jake Shields Scary first round against Hendo, but made it look easy after that.  20-0-1 since the end of 2002.  And let’s not forget that he’s a natural WW fighting above his weightclass.
6. Jose Aldo A win over Faber convinces everyone.
7. Lyoto Machida A win over Rua silences the doubters.
8. B.J. Penn Weird fight against Edgar, but all signs point to Penn being less than 100% for the fight.  At least he didn’t make any excuses.
9. NR Dominick Cruz Dispatching Bowles in the manner he did, broken hand or not, was pretty incredible.
10. NR Nick Diaz Love him or hate him, he’s gonna give you the finger.  I won’t hold the weirdness with Mayhem and Shields against him.  Those were street instincts, homey.

Dropped out: Gegard Mousasi, Brian Bowles