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 themselves 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, both updated on the Monday immediately following every UFC event.
UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Melendez
Greg Persson: The top tier of the UFC Welterweight division saw a new entry in light of the results of UFC on Fox 7. Now occupying our #10 spot in the welterweight division is Matt Brown, who’s impressive TKO of Jordan Mein was his fifth consecutive win with four finishes included.
Brown replaces Josh Koscheck who is on back to back losses. Koscheck’s competition has been stronger than Brown’s, however his lone victory in 2012 over unranked Mike Pierce was not enough to keep him in the top ten in a very strong division. The margin between Brown and Koscheck is razor thin and it is likely that Koscheck will return to the list in the near future.
Steve Jeffery: The Hammer MMA Radio previously had challenger Gilbert Melendez ranked #5, a spot significantly lower than most of our contemporaries in the official UFC rankings group. This wasn’t due to any lack of respect for Melendez as a fighter, but because he hadn’t been in the UFC trenches fighting the Gray Maynard’s, Anthony Pettis’ and Jim Millers’ of the world, and we thought it was worth waiting to see how he handled himself on the big stage.
By going toe-to-toe for five full rounds with UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson and losing a close, somewhat controversial split decision, Melendez clearly proved enough in his loss to fit in at the #2 spot in our Rankings. He’s only below the last man to definitively beat the champ.
Meanwhile, Melendez’s long-time rival Josh Thomson upset the former #1 contender Nate Diaz. Finishing Diaz was a huge statement, and earns Thomson his new #4 spot in the rankings. That loss knocks Diaz down to #5, right above the last two men that he defeated.
Greg Persson: For the bantamweights, TJ Dillashaw rides his four consecutive wins to the #10 spot. His latest TKO of Hugo Viana sealed his entry into the Hammer’s rankings. Ivan Menjivar falls off the list after losing two of his last three fights.
Menjivar’s last four wins are of a similar level of competition to the fighters in Dillashaw’s streak, but as Dillashaw currently has more momentum, he is The Hammer’s choice for #10 right now.
Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of the media outlets voting did not agree, and TJ Dillashaw did not crack the overall top ten.
Steve Jeffery: The UFC Flyweight division continues to be a difficult one to sort out. With only eleven fighters currently signed, any single win or loss can have a huge effect on the hierarchy, regardless of the men involved. So while it may seem unfair that Darren Uyenoyama had to fight top-ranked Joseph Benevidez, it was a great opportunity for him with a potentially huge reward.
Uyenoyama is a dangerous fighter on the ground, but his stand-up looked amateurish compared to Benevidez’s finely honed striking game. More importantly he had no ability in getting the fight to his comfort zone on the ground. While there is no shame in anyone losing Benevidez, Uyenoyama looked completely out of his depth for the entirely of the match.
Due to the low depth in the Flyweight division, an upset win would have catapulted Uyenoyama to the top of the rankings. The loss unfortunately bumps him down below Phil Harris, who recently had a win over Ulysses Gomez. Luckily for Darren, he’s in a division where beating absolutely anyone in his next fight would help his standing dramatically.
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, 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.
The Hammer MMA Radio continues to bring unparalleled, independent coverage of all things MMA to fans of the sport and they always bring you straight goods and the last word, and we at LWOS are pleased to be partners with them.
photo credit: Teamleaks.com