The hosts of The Hammer MMA Radio have been contributing to the UFC’s Official Fighter Rankings since its inception earlier this year. While the UFC have confirmed that these rankings may not necessarily impact their matchmaking, the three of us still put a lot of thought into our selection process at the conclusion of each event. Following each event we will be breaking down our thought process on a few of the relevant divisions right here at Last Word On Sports.
You can find our updated Rankings, as well as the overall UFC Rankings at http://www.ufc.com/rankings, all updated on the Monday immediately following every UFC event.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 Finale
Steve Jeffery: After their uneventful previous fight back in 2010, it’s unlikely that many were excited to see Nate Diaz rematch Gray Maynard as the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. Regardless it was still solid matchmaking, as both Diaz and Maynard were recent title contenders coming off of big knockout losses.
In the end it was Nate Diaz who turned his ship around with a violent first round stoppage. We previously had Maynard a couple of spots higher than Diaz at #4, but couldn’t move Diaz quite that high due to his recent knockout loss to Josh Thomson.
Maynard continues to slide down the rankings, and while losses to guys of the caliber of Frankie Edgar, TJ Grant, and Nate Diaz isn’t the end of the world, it may be best for Maynard to face someone a bit further down the food chain next time out.
Steve Jeffery: The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale had three women’s fights, the most yet for any UFC card. In addition to season tournament winner Julianna Pena, a couple of the more impressive women from the season also had a chance to get their first UFC victories.
Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington had wins over overmatched opponents and already seem ready for top ten level fights in the relatively shallow UFC Women’s Bantamweight division.
Julianna Pena’s tournament wins over Shayna Bazler, Sarah Moras and Raquel Pennington are arguably more impressive than what the women at the bottom end of the top ten have accomplished recently, but as most of those fights are not considered official on her record, we have decided to wait until after her next fight to consider her as a top ten fighter.
Steve Jeffery: While there were no important Welterweight fights this week, we finally decided to do something about Tarec Saffiedine.
Saffiedine has been on our top ten list since the Official UFC Rankings began. This was due to his upset win over Nate Marquardt, who was at the time top ten ranked, to win the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. Saffiedine has since been inactive for almost one year, and in that time the value of a win over Marquardt has somewhat fallen.
The plan was to wait until Saffiedine fought #7 ranked Jake Ellenberger in January 2014 to see where Saffiedine really stands in the UFC Welterweight division, but an injury has replaced Ellenberger with Hyn Gyu Lim, currently a fighter that beating proves nothing. So we’re joining most of the rest of the rankings team and bumping Saffiedine off of the list, and putting the streaking Matt Brown in his place.
The Hammer MMA Radio has featured interviews with some of the biggest names in MMA over the years, including Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Sean Sherk, Mark Coleman, Renan Barao, Rory MacDonald, Brendan Schaub, Mark Bocek, Nate Diaz, Mark Hominick, Martin Kampmann, Johny Hendricks, and many more, all of which are archived at http://www.thehammermma.com.
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