Archive for March, 2012
Monday, March 19th, 2012
With undoubtedly no shortage of talent throughout all the weight classes in the mixed martial arts world compiling a ranked list of the ten best fighters proved to be no easy task. With the UFC in particular planning a heavy dose of blockbuster fights in the coming months these rankings will surely change but for now here’s who made the cut.
10: Benson Henderson
MMA record: 16-2
Next fight: Rematch with Frankie Edgar
One only needs to look at his lightweight title winning performance against Frankie Edgar to get a glimpse of the outstanding ability of the former WEC champion. Blessed with great quickness and a solid ground game, Henderson looks like a marketable star in the UFC for years to come but will have to prove that his victory over Edgar was no aberration. Avenging his WEC loss to Anthony Pettis in the near future wouldn’t hurt either.
9: Cain Velasquez
MMA record: 9-1
Next fight: May 26, 2012 vs Frank Mir
The former collegiate wrestler began his MMA career compiling nine straight victories including an impressive seven victories in a row to start his UFC career. A dominant force,Velasquez made quick work of then UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar to capture the heavyweight crown in October of 2010 but his reign would be a short lived one. After being out over a year with a rotator cuff injury suffered in the Lesnar fight, Velasquez was promptly knocked out by Junior dos Santos in the first round in his first title defence.
Whether the layoff affected Velasquez or if he was simply beaten by a better fighter has been a debated point amongst many MMA pundits, but undoubtedly Velasquez has a ton of talent and also quite a bit to prove when he takes on Frank Mir at UFC 146 with the winner being next in line for a UFC Heavyweight Championship opportunity.
8: Rashad Evans
MMA record: 17-1-1
Next fight: April 21,2012 vs. Jon Jones
In terms of frustration, few fighters have gone through the hurdles that Rashad Evans has had over the last few years. After losing his UFC Light Heavyweight title to Lyoto Machida, his only loss to date, Evans has had his share of injury problems but is finally back to a level where he can be considered one of the best in the world. With wins over Phil Davis, Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz in his last three bouts, Evans is set for a grudge match against former training partner Jon Jones in order to recapture the Light Heavyweight title, a win that will be tough to come by considering Jones recent domination of the division.
7: Alistair Overeem
MMA record: 36-11-1
Next fight: May 26,2012 vs. Junior dos Santos
Arguably the best striker in the heavyweight ranks, Overeem has been a champion throughout several promotions and made an impact in his UFC debut sending Brock Lesnar into retirement with a first round TKO. While he may lack his experience in the UFC, the Dutch fighter hasn’t lost a fight in over four years and could very well be the next UFC Heavyweight Champion.
6: Dominick Cruz
MMA record: 19-1
Next fight: July 7,2012 vs. Urijah Faber
The class of the bantamweight division, Cruz has appropriately been dubbed the dominator and dismantled several high end contenders in the WEC. His first bout in the UFC saw him avenge his only professional loss to date as he won a unanimous decision over Urijah Faber in the summer of 2011. With the contest winning fight of the night honours and the record square at a win a piece between the pair, a victory in the third bout will go a long way into cementing Cruz’s legacy.
5: Junior dos Santos
MMA record: 14-1
Next fight: May 26,2012 vs. Alistair Overeem
Has run roughshod over the UFC heavyweight division holding wins over Cain Velasquez, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin, Fabricio Werdum and Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic. The impact of his first round KO victory over the previously unbeaten Velasquez for the Heavyweight Championship sent shockwaves through the division but will face a tough test next in Overeem.
4: Georges St-Pierre
MMA record 22-2
Next fight: Undetermined
While his talent has never been in question the future of Canada’s greatest martial artist is very much up in the air at the moment. While St-Pierre is currently recovering from an ACL tear he suffered during training, one can only wonder if St-Pierre will once again reach the dominating heights that were seen early in his career. Based on pure ability however, he is still one of the best in the world but needs to show more of a killer instinct upon return.
3: Jose Aldo
MMA record 21-1
Next fight: Undetermined
The Brazilian is a mixed martial arts specimen and hasn’t tasted defeat in almost seven years. Aldo’s quickness and agility may very well be the best in the MMA world and he has devastating power for a featherweight. A potential bout with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has been discussed and considering Aldo’s dominance over the division thus far, a challenge like Edgar might just be what the weight class needs.
2: Jon Jones
MMA record: 15-1
Next fight: April 21,2012 vs Rashad Evans
The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has dominated all competitors that have been put in his path. With a DQ loss to Matt Hamill as the only blemish on his record(Jones pummeled Hamill and controlled the fight), the New York native has yet to be really tested which is impressive considering he has fought the likes of Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua who have all been world champions at one point or another. With an unorthodox fighting style and a significant reach advantage over many of his opponents, the supremely talented Jones has already reached the pinnacle heights of the MMA world and at only 24 years of age is indeed the future of the business.
1: Anderson Silva
MMA record: 35-4
Next fight: June 16,2012 vs Chael Sonnen
Considered the best mixed martial artist of all time by UFC president Dana White, Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been the class of the sport for the last several years. With remarkable striking and ground abilities, Silva holds a UFC record 14 straight victories and nine consecutive title defences of his middleweight championship with many ending in spectacular fashion either by submission or knockout. A second victory against Chael Sonnen(the only man to really push Silva to the limit in his UFC career thus far) in Brazil would cement Silva as the greatest fighter in the world.
Honourable mentions: Dan Henderson(UFC, Light Heavyweight), Gilbert Melendez(Lightweight, Strikeforce) Frankie Edgar(Lightweight, UFC).
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Friday night, John Alessio goes for his tenth win in his last elevin fights, taking on Ryan Healy for the Score Fighting Series.
A couple of days before the main-event 155lbs fight, I got a chance to chat with John about the fight, cutting weight, a potential return to the UFC in Calgary and a potential return to Vancouver:
Follow me on Twitter @roho590
Friday, March 9th, 2012
Friday, March 2nd, 2012
On this edition, Rob, Geoff and special guest Arda Ocal of “Aftermath” on The Score chat about RAW, the build towards WrestleMania 28, their favourite military wrestlers. Meanwhile, Rudy Blair speaks with 7-time WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus about her new movie “Bounty Hunters”.
Follow the team on Twitter: @TopTurnbuckle
Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Up and coming female fighter Alexis Davis makes her return to the cage, Saturday night, when she takes on Victoria’s Sarah Kaufman for a crack at the Strikeforce Women’s 135lbs title.
From Port Colbourne, Ontario, Davis is making the province proud, with wins over the likes of Amanda Nunes and Julie Kedzie.
Saturday she tries to avenge the first loss of her career against the former champ, Kaufman.
Davis joined Sportsnet Tonight with Roger Lajoie on Sportsnet 590 The Fan recently. Take a listen.