Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NY/NJ MMA rankings -April '07

Here are my latest NJ/NY MMA rankings, based on my observations of events from the last year. People who have fought in the UFC are ineligible to appear on this list (thereby excluding people like Matt Serra, Pete Sell, Luke Cummo, Frankie Edgar, Sherman Pendergarst, etc). Also, people under contract by the IFL are precluded (thereby excluding Dante Rivera, Andre Gusmao, Shane Ott, etc.). If I left someone out, forgive me. This area has traditionally been short on bigger guys, hence the few names in light-heavyweight and heavyweight classes.


*Jim Miller –the best lightweight in New Jersey right now. CFFC champ with nonstop and relentless grappling and ever-improving striking. He went the distance with Frankie Edgar before Edgar graduated to the UFC. He and Deividas Taurosevicius are without question the best two in this weight class.

*Deividas Taurosevicius –the second-best lightweight in New Jersey right now. Another fantastic grappler with strong striking, he recently subbed some dude in an IFL prelim. He and Jim Miller would have little problem beating the rest of the 155-pounders in the Garden State.

*Tim Troxell –he went from amateur to pro without a hitch, and has been dominating opponents with an aggressive and solid jiu-jitsu game. I think he’s moving down to 145, though.

*Kevin Roddy –smooth submission grappler who’s dangerous both on top and from the guard. Not the best striker, but that’s not his bread and butter.

*James “Binky” Jones –seasoned veteran and slick grappler, Binky has really stepped up his performance lately. He’ll be taking on Team Quest’s Ian Loveland at the next Ring of Combat, having made it to the final round of the Tournament of Champions.

*Honorable mention: a) Al Buck –great striker who recently lost his CFFC lightweight belt to Jim Miller (although there’s no shame in that). b) Brian McLaughlin –good jiu-jitsu fighter and Sportfighting champ; is fighting Carmine Zocchi at 170 at the upcoming ROC show.


*Tamdan McCrory –strong grappler and strong striker, who, despite not having a lot of experience, has been kicking more-experienced fighters’ asses. Currently a champ at CFFC.

*Chris Ligouri –even though he’s a UFC vet, that fight was years ago, so I’m throwing him back on the rankings. Chris is a great striker, but his wrestling and jiu-jitsu is even better. He’s been around a long, long time, and he’s definitely the best welterweight in New Jersey right now. He’s currently the Reality Fighting champ.

*Greg Soto –unstoppable takedowns mixed with ground-and-pounding fury. No one has been able to withstand Greg’s punishment so far. No one.

*Doug Gordon –athleticism plus an ever-improving sub-game. Gordon has fought at light-heavyweight and middleweight, and recently won at welterweight against a tough Tom Gallicchio.

*Phillipe Nover –well-rounded grappler and heavy-handed striker, he made it to the final round of the Ring of Combat Tournament of Champions by subbing Jay Coleman.

*Honorable mention: a) Tom Gallicchio –he’s coming off two sub losses, but Tom is a strong wrestler and ground-and-pounder. b) Jay Coleman –insanely heavy hands with a solid wrestling game; he has a knack for knocking out wrestlers. He’s taking the injured Nover’s place at the up-coming Ring of Combat show. c) Rich Ashkar –strong wrestler and submission fighter.


*Marc Stevens –great wrestler and ground-and-pounder. He defeated Landon Showalter by ref stoppage at the last Ring of Combat to advance to the final round of the tournament.

*Dan Miller –probably the best middleweight in New Jersey right now, he’s used flawless grappling to earn (and keep) the CFFC belt. If Dante Rivera wasn’t an IFL fighter right now, a match-up between the two of them would be a must in determining who was king.

*Alexis Aquino –good boxing and great grappling, Aquino has cut a swath through the 185-pounders. If anyone has earned at shot at Dan Miller, it’s him – although I don’t see him winning that match-up. Still, he’s proven to be game as hell.

*Mike Massenzio –another great wrestler who’s insanely athletic. This Reality Fighting champ ain’t a finisher, but few have been able to stop him from grinding out the win.

*Lyman Good –a dangerous striker who fights at 175 (I’m not sure he could cut that extra five pounds and make welterweight), Lyman is the best MMA fighter TSK has competing right now. He took out Renzo black belt Julio Cruz at the World’s Best Fighter show – mostly because Cruz was foolish enough to want to duke it out with him. Lyman’s facing Ring of Combat champ James Gabert at the up-coming ROC show.

*Honorable mention: a) Jose Rodriguez –the perennial slugger and submission fighter, Jose has been around a long time. He just lost to Dan Miller at the last CFFC show, but he’s still tough as hell. b) Nissim Levy –good grappler and good boxer; his fight was a loss to Alexis Aquino, but a well-conditioned Levy can beat most of the middleweight out there


*John Doyle –more heart than technique, John is a ground-and-pounder who simply outlasts everyone. He’s a Combat in the Cage/Extreme Challenge champ.

*Tim Boetsch –high-level wrestling mixed with an unabashed willingness to strike, Tim is a Reality Fighting champ and USKBA champ. His only two MMA fights were against a very-skilled Hazem Ibrahim, but Tim has established himself as one of the best light-heavyweights with those performances.

*Hazem Ibrahim –still a tough positional grappler and brawler, despite losing twice in a row to Tim Boetsch.

*Josh Rhodes –the best light-heavyweight in New Jersey, Josh has got knockout-power in his hands and enough wrestling skill to stay on his feet and use them. Currently the CFFC champ, he’s probably the only 205-pounder around who could take on the rest of the top guys in his weight class and beat them all.

*Honorable mention: Lamont Lister –scrappy fighter who’s happy throwing down, but can grapple if he needs to. He’s lost to Josh Rhodes, and lost as a heavyweight, but he’s still a bad dude.


*Jon Murphy –the best of the heavyweights, Jon has subbed a Renzo brown belt (Carlos Cline) and knocked out a UFC vet (Sherman Pendergarst). He’s dangerous, and can end a fight at any time.

*Honorable mention: a) Glen Sandull –former Reality Fighting champ who used to have a fearsome wrestling game, but hasn’t had time to train properly last I heard. b) Carlos Cline –he’s been around a while, but has never really been able to dominate as much as he should have; he was kicking Jon Murphy’s ass for two rounds before Jon tapped him out with a kneebar

Fighter X

For those of you who guessed that Fighter X is Laura D'Auguste, you are correct. Please bring your ticket stubs to the second window to claim your prize.

Laura should be meeting with Renzo Gracie personally any day now, and the two will discuss whether or not she'll be a good fit for the Gracie team.