Hammer MMA Radio – Official UFC Rankings Breakdown (November 11th, 2013)

The hosts of The ammer 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.

UFC Fight For The Troops 3 / UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson


Steve Jeffery: Dan Henderson has not had a great year.  Fourteen months ago he was coming off of a win in one of the greatest fights in MMA history and booked to face Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight Championship.  An unfortunately timed injury set him back, and instead of a shot at the title, he began a three fight losing streak instead.  Henderson (now 43 years old) has been defying time for awhile now, but that time may be at an end.

This latest loss to Vitor Belfort (who was just visiting the Light Heavyweight division for one fight while waiting for the Middleweight title picture to clear up) is the third former champion in a row to defeat Henderson, and the first to ever actually finish him.  While there’s no shame in any fighter to lose to the likes of Machida, Evans and Belfort, these losses are part of an undeniable trend that continues to drag Henderson down the rankings.

Vitor Belfort on the other hand may have had a big win at Light Heavyweight but his clear intention to be considered a Middleweight title contender made us keep him in that division, as seen below.

Steve Jeffery: Tim Kennedy had a career-defining moment at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.  The former Army Ranger headlined an event on an army base, went into the fight already injured, watched all of the other former soldiers fall short in their own matches, and was clearly losing the first round decisively until he came out of nowhere with a brutal knockout punch at the end of the round.

Kennedy received a deserved standing ovation from the crowd, and it was all part of a feel good moment that will be part of his story from here on out.  While Kennedy has now made the overall consensus UFC top ten, wins over Roger Gracie and Rafael Natal are still not enough for The Hammer to include him over a guy like Tim Boetsch (who may be on a losing streak, but also has notable top ten wins over Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard).  Kennedy did clearly earn himself a shot at a ranked fight next though.

As noted above, Vitor Belfort became the first person to finish Dan Henderson, and there remains no reason for him not to meet the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva winner following their December 28th UFC Middleweight Title fight.


Steve Jeffery: UFC Fight For The Troops 3 had some very sensible matchmaking in the Women’s Bantamweight division with #5 ranked former soldier Liz Carmouche facing #6 ranked Alexis Davis and #8 ranked Amanda Nunes facing #9 ranked Germaine De Randamie.

Carmouche and Davis were both coming off of wins over overmatched opponents in their previous fights, and the winner would be in a good position in the title hunt while we wait for Rousey and Tate to rematch, and also for Cat Zingano to heal.

Davis dominated the standup against the tough Carmouche, and as a result they switch places in the rankings. Davis is now 2-0 in the UFC and looked better this time against a stronger opponent. If Zingano can’t return on time, then Davis may be the best choice to fight for the title in 2014. Amanda Nunes also looked good in victory, but her opponent was not as solid (De Randamie is only ranked at the moment due to a lack of depth), so their own ranks will remain the same as before their fight.

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, Patrick Cote, 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.

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