Friday, November 27, 2009

Heavyweights Ben Rothwell, Paul Buentello, Cain Velasquez and Others to Cut to Light-Heavyweight to Flee Gypsy Curse

With an apparent gypsy curse hitting the UFC's heavyweight division hard, select fighters have announced that they'll be cutting down to 205 to compete and avoid the laundry list of illnesses and injuries that have inexplicably stricken their hefty brethen. At the top of list are Ben Rothwell, Paul Buentello and Cain Velasquez, with Rothwell dropping no less than 60 pounds to make the cut-off. "It's worth it," said the Midwest-based striker. "I mean, when I heard Brock [Lesnar] was sick I didn't think anything of it. But then [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira got staph, Shane Carwin hurt his knee, Randy Couture got old, Todd Duffee got leprosy... that's when I knew something was up, and I just had to avoid it." Buentello agreed. "Yeah, when Cheick Kongo woke up and it was raining frogs in his house and Mirko Crocop was suddenly sapped of all his talent, it was clear this division is cursed. And until Dana White does whatever he needs to do to appease the gypsies, I ain't messing with no evil eye-Santeria junk. I'd rather cut down on burritos and take my chances with Lyoto Machida, thank you very much." Added Velasquez, "Aye carumba." No word yet on when these new light-heavyweights will be competing or against whom, but it's safe to say that, if the heavyweight ranks continue to fall prey illness and injury, more fighters will make the switch.

November 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings

November 27, 2009: The November 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings have been released. These rankings are independent of any single MMA media outlet or sanctioning body, and are published on multiple web sites.

In addition to the numerous MMA web sites that publish the Independent World MMA Rankings, you can also access the rankings at any time by going to

Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel. These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order: Zach Arnold (Fight Opinion); Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jared Barnes (Freelance); Jordan Breen (Sherdog); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline); Jim Murphy (The Savage Science); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Jonathan Snowden (; Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion); Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA and Head Kick Legend).

Note: Due to the fact that he has not competed in the welterweight division for over one year and has no plans to do so in the foreseeable future, Jake Shields is no longer eligible to be ranked in the welterweight division. He is, however, eligible to be ranked in the middleweight division.

Note: Due to the fact that he has moved to the light heavyweight division and has no plans to fight at heavyweight in the foreseeable future, Randy Couture is no longer eligible to be ranked in the heavyweight division. He is, however, eligible to be ranked in the light heavyweight division.

November 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on November 24, 2009

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
4. Frank Mir (12-4)
5. Shane Carwin (11-0)
6. Brett Rogers (10-1)
7. Alistair Overeem (31-11, 1 No Contest)
8. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
9. Cain Velasquez (7-0)
10. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (16-0)
2. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-4)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
5. Anderson Silva (25-4)
6. Gegard Mousasi (27-2-1)
7. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
9. Dan Henderson (25-7)
10. Thiago Silva (14-1)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
5. Demian Maia (11-1)
6. Jake Shields (24-4-1)
7. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
8. Yushin Okami (23-5)
9. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
10. Jorge Santiago (21-8)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-6)
4. Josh Koscheck (14-4)
5. Matt Hughes (43-7)
6. Dan Hardy (23-6)
7. Paulo Thiago (12-1)
8. Mike Swick (14-3)
9. Carlos Condit (24-5)
10. Marius Zaromskis (13-3)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (22-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (19-2)
4. Kenny Florian (11-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (25-5-2)
6. Diego Sanchez (21-2)
7. Gray Maynard (8-0, 1 No Contest)
8. Frankie Edgar (10-1)
9. Joachim Hansen (19-8-1)
10. Mizuto Hirota (12-3-1)

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Jose Aldo (16-1)
2. Mike Brown (22-5)
3. Urijah Faber (22-3)
4. Hatsu Hioki (20-4-2)
5. Bibiano Fernandes (7-2)
6. Raphael Assuncao (14-1)
7. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (17-3)
8. Wagnney Fabiano (12-2)
9. Manny Gamburyan (10-4)
10. Michihiro Omigawa (8-8-1)

Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2)
4. Masakatsu Ueda (10-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Damacio Page (12-4)
9. Rani Yahya (15-4)
10. Will Ribeiro (10-2)

The Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated on a monthly basis in each of the top seven weight classes of MMA, from heavyweight to bantamweight, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.

The rankings are based purely on the votes of the members of the voting panel, with nobody's vote counting more than anybody else's vote, and no computerized voting.

The voters are instructed to vote primarily based on fighters' actual accomplishments in the cage/ring (the quality of opposition that they've actually beaten), not based on a broad, subjective perception of which fighters would theoretically win fantasy match-ups.

Inactivity: Fighters who have not fought in the past 12 months are not eligible to be ranked, and will regain their eligibility the next time they fight.

Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.

Changing Weight Classes: When a fighter announces that he is leaving one weight class in order to fight in another weight class, the fighter is not eligible to be ranked in the new weight class until he has his first fight in the new weight class.

Catch Weight Fights: When fights are contested at weights that are in between the limits of the various weight classes, they are considered to be in the higher weight class. The weight limits for each weight class are listed at the top of the rankings for each weight class.

Special thanks to Eric Kamander, Zach Arnold, and Joshua Stein for their invaluable help with this project, and special thanks to Garrett Bailey for designing our logo.