Friday, March 2, 2007

LA Times MMA Rankings

By Todd Martin

It was a turbulent month for MMA rankings, particularly following Pride's Second Coming show. Three top five fighters were upset, and two of them were upset by fighters from a different weight class. The trend is likely to continue in 2007 as UFC signs top fighters from other organizations and matches them against UFC's best.


1. FEDOR EMELIANENKO 15-0 in Pride, and he certainly hasn't earned that record against soft opposition.

2. MIRKO CRO COP Croatian's style is custom made for the U.S. audience, and he became a star almost instantaneously upon arrival.

3. ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA The skills of "Minotauro" are undeniable, but he lacks compelling future matchups in Pride.

4. JOSH BARNETT Did an excellent job on commentary at Pride's Second Coming show.

5. TIM SYLVIA This is the most important year of his career. Wins over Randy Couture and Mirko Cro Cop could turn him into a genuine star and pay-per-view draw.

6. FABRICIO WERDUM Will be joining training partner Cro Cop in UFC, but he faces stiff competition in his first fight against Andrei Arlovski.

7. BRANDON VERA "The Truth" is in a state of limbo as he waits for his long-term contract situation to be resolved.

8. ANDREI ARLOVSKI A win over Werdum would provide a natural back story for his inevitable fight with Cro Cop.

9. SERGEI KHARITONOV Won at Second Coming, but didn't look particularly impressive.

10. JEFF MONSON A fight with Aleksander Emelianenko would settle debate over who belongs in this spot.

RISING: TONY BONELLO Undefeated Australian fighter holds submission victories over four Pride or UFC veterans.

FALLING: JAMES THOMPSON "The Colossus" followed important victory over Hidehiko Yoshida with another setback against powerful novelty Butterbean.

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