KUMITE MMA Awards 2013

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We asked you who you felt deserving of recognition in MMA this year and some of you replied… heres the results.

Fighter of the Year

MMA: UFC on FOX 6-Johnson vs Dodson
1st Demetrious Johnson (25%)

Mighty Mouse earned the nod by being the most active of the UFC’s champions and adding finishing ability to his already formidable skill set, with his submission of John Moraga and first round knockout of Joseph Benavidez making it look a lot like he’s cleared out the 125lb weight class in less than 18 months.

The winner of John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov awaits in the new year but for now, few can argue that Johnson is one of the most complete, technical and dominant fighters in the game.

2nd = Chris Weidman (15%)
2nd = Renan Barao (15%)

Also nominated – Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, Georges St Pierre, Jon Jones, Urijah Faber (45%)

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

1st Chris Weidman (31%)

Back to back second round stoppages of the universally acknowledged greatest fighter of all time will do a hell of a lot for your profile…

The signs were there last year as Weidman laid Mark Munoz out like none before him and the idea that here we had a wrestler with the striking nous and composure to challenge Anderson Silva has come to bear fruit in the most high profile way imaginable.

Now the figurehead of the Middleweight division, Weidman has a fearsome challenge in the shape of the souped-up Vitor Belfort to contend with in 2014.

2nd = Anthony Pettis (23%)
2nd = Cub Swanson (23%)

Also nominated – Alexander Gustafsson, Joanne Calderwood, Julianna Pena, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rustam Khabilov (23%)

Fight of the Year

1st Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (33%)

Every single fight that was nominated is worthy of the award, but I get the feeling that Jones-Gustafsson narrowly gets the nod because of it’s level of competitiveness and technical ability combined with the fact that we were a bit surprised how it ended up going down, compared to the predictable slobber knockers of the other lead contenders.

Here’s hoping we get the rematch in 2014

2nd Antonio Silva vs. Mark Hunt (26%)
3rd Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez (12%)

Also nominated – Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva, Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller, Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks (29%)

Knockout of the Year

Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva

1st Chris Weidman (vs. Anderson Silva, UFC 162) (30%)

They said it couldn’t be done. Some of the best had tried to plant a meaningful blow on Anderson’s chin and been made to look downright silly. Chris Weidman changed all that and the import of that blow has outweighed more concussive or spectacular looking knockouts…

2nd Antonio Silva (vs. Alistair Overeem) (23%)
3rd = Mark Hunt (vs. Stefan Struve) (15%)
3rd = Paul Daley (vs. Romaria da Silva) (15%)

Also nominated – Paul Daley, Vitor Belfort, Junior dos Santos (27%)

Submission of the Year

1st Anthony Pettis (vs. Benson Henderson) (30%)

Im a bit astonished to see zero votes for Rose Namajuna’s flying arm bar here, but I voted for Pettis on account of the fact that he subbed Ben Henderson (really difficult) from guard (even harder) when Pettis’s road to victory was supposed to be via his striking skills.

2nd = Josh Burkman (vs. Jon Fitch) (20%)
2nd = Urijah Faber (vs. Ivan Menjivar) (20%)

Also nominated – Kenny Robertson, Ian Entwhistle, Chael Sonnen (30%)

Performance of the Year

1st Travis Browne (vs. Alistair Overeem) (25%)

A very competitive category has been taken by a fighter who’s performance in demolishing Alistair Overeem marked his coming out as a truly top level competitor. With an impressive win over Josh Barnett since, Browne should get a title shot in 2014, although he may have to go through Fabricio Werdum first.

2nd Gilbert Melendez (vs. Diego Sanchez) (17%)
3rd Cub Swanson (vs. Dennis Siver) (12%)

Also nominated – Robbie Lawler, Urijah Faber, Cain Velasquez, Edson Barboza, Tom Watson, Mark hunt, Diego Sanchez (46%)

European Fighter of the Year

1st Alexander Gustafsson (70%)

So very nearly unseating the polarising and dominant Jon Jones earned Gus the love of Europeans and the grudging respect of the Americans, who finally acknowledge him as an elite fighter and the fact that Europeans can match Americans in a grappling battle.

2nd Conor McGregor (16%)
3rd Joanne Calderwood (6%)

Also nominated – Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tom Niinimaki (8%)

Scottish Fighter of the Year

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1st Joanne Calderwood (70%)

Despite Robert Whiteford becoming the first Scot in the UFC, Steven Ray winning the Cage Warriors title and Graham turner maintaining his winning streak to earn a shot at the CWFC Featherweight belt, this category was dominated by Joanne.

Extending her unbeaten record, scoring memorable knockouts on home turf and finally earning the call up to the UFC has made her stand out from her Dinky Ninja brothers. more of the same next year please!

2nd Steven Ray (24%)
3rd Ricky Burns (6%)

Promotion of the Year

1st Ultimate Fighting Championship (40%)

Well, it just is, isn’t it? nice to see Cage Warriors and Invicta getting a good few votes though.

2nd Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (36%)
3rd Invicta Fighting Championship (16%)

Also nominated – First Fighting Championship, BAMMA (8%)

Promoter of the Year

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1st Dana White (64%)

It’s almost a default category, as with the UFC’s resources, Dana can afford to piss people off left and right and still be THE MAN. That said, I love the guy because he’s one of the few business figureheads who really seems to talk about their sports franchise with genuine affection.

2nd Shannon Knapp (36%)

Booker of the Year

1st Joe Silva (UFC 155 lbs and over) (46%)

I wish I had Joe Silva’s problems. ‘Which pair of elite level fighters, under exclusive contract to us will I pair up for this card or that card?’ must make for such a shitty work day.

Still, it’s acknowledged that Silva does a great job, often dragging surprisingly competitive matches from seemingly mismatched opponents and fun bouts from dull fighters.

2nd = Sean Shelby (UFC 145lbs and under) 23%
2nd = Ian Dean (CWFC) 23%

Also nominated – James Green (FFC), Scott Cutbirth (RFA) – 8%

Media Source of the Year

1st MMA Fighting (35%)

I’m a little amazed that anyone nominated BJPenn.com or the like, but MMA Fighting is a worthy victor here, combining timely, accurate news and insightful, informed opinion with some of the best added value in MMA journalism via the MMA Hour.

2nd MMA Junkie (23%)
3rd Your MMA (15%)

Also nominated – Inside MMA, BJPenn.com, Bleacher report, Bloody Elbow (27%)

Media Personality of the Year

1st= Ariel Helwani & Chael Sonnen (23% each)

This result amused me, as if Ariel and Chael are a double act (casting Ariel as the Jimmy Hart to Chael’s Ric Flair) but in their respective roles as reporter/interviewer and studio analyst they add a potent mix of personality and insight to whichever broadcast they appear on.

2nd= Tommy Toe Hold (15%)
2nd= Bas Rutten (15%)

Also nominated – Josh Palmer, Karen Bryant & Kenny Florian (24%)

Hero of the Year

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1st Georges St-Pierre (42%)

Defends his title twice in two of the biggest and most anticipated bouts of the year, then chooses to step away from the sport while at the top. Classy.

Throw in the fact that he backs a charity to help bullied schoolchildren and has always been the very picture of the modern professional mixed martial artist and a class act to the very end under incredible pressure and GSP more than deserves this award.

2nd= Mark Hunt (16%)
2nd= Joanne Calderwood (16%)

Also nominated – Joe Lauzon, Junior dos Santos & Urijah faber (26%)

Villain of the Year

1st Chael Sonnen (17%)

In the finest tradition of Ric Flair, Chris Jericho and pantomime villains since the dawn of time, Chael Sonnen is the guy we love to hate.

He tells lies, while also telling hard truths. He calls people names and makes ludicrous demands and threats. He presses the buttons of folks who are minded to be offended and makes himself and anyone associated with him a bigger star than they were before he started talking.

Keep up the good work, Sir.

Also nominated – Ronda Rousey, Conor MacGregor, Miesha Tate, Jon Jones, Frank Mir, Michael Bisping, Alistair Overeem, Vitor Belfort, Johny Hendricks, Kim Winslow

Warrior of the Year

1st= Diego Sanchez & Mark Hunt (25% each)

For services to blood donation, for willingly putting your bodies on the line in the name of our entertainment, for continuing to throw down despite broken bones, for refusing to sink to your knees and let the end come…we salute you.

2nd Joe Lauzon (16%)

Also nominated – Travis Browne, Rosi Sexton, Nate Diaz & Cain Velasquez (34%)

Social Media Personality of the Year

1st Conor McGregor (33%)

How to stay relevant when injured for a year? Easy, call out your entire weight class, well known fighters from other weight classes and if necessary, their entire camp, country and extended family.

Demean their skills, talk trash that no-one could reasonable ever back up and generally get user everybody’s skin so they can’ wait for you to come back, whether it is to see you succeed or fail.

Well played.

Also nominated – Miesha Tate, Tim Kennedy, Pat Barry, Dan Hardy, Cat Zingano, War Machine, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen

Talker of the Year

1st Chael Sonnen (75%)

As covered earlier, Chael excels when he speaks (you’d almost forget he’s a fighter really) whether it’s breaking down a fight as an analyst or selling his upcoming fight/book/TV appearance. Nobody comes close.

Also nominated – Conor MacGregor, War Machine & Nate Diaz

Card of the Year

1st – UFC 166 (Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III) (30%)

In a year of insanely stacked cards, the trilogy fight between the two best heavyweights in the world was always going to stand out. Backed up by great matches (Melendez-Sanchez, Eye-Kaufmann) and a bucketload of knockouts and it was always going to be one remembered at the end of the year.

2nd = UFC 168 (Chris weidman vs. Anderson Silva II, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 2) (20%)
2nd = UFC 162 (Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman) (20%)

Also nominated – UFC Fight Night Sonnen vs. Shogun, UFC 165, Jones vs. Gustafsson, UFC 167 St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks, UFC Fight Night Stann vs. Silva (30%)

Official of the Year

1st Herb Dean (66%)

When it’s time for the big matches, you always breathe a sigh of relief to see Herb, Marc or John in the middle of the cage.

2nd Marc Goddard (25%)
3rd Big John McCarthy (9%)

Now, go and tune into Cage Warriors 63 to see Steven Ray retain his Lightweight belt and Graham Turner win the Featherweight title.  It’s 2014 and the Scots are coming!

UFC 168 Results & Thoughts

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The big year end card is in the books and I’m left thoroughly dazed by an incredible night of fights that delivered in all areas yet still leaves me feeling a bit hollow.

The undercard delivered in spades as Robbie Peralta came back from two rounds down to knock out Esteven Payan, as William Patolino put on a clinic of technique while Bobby Voelker showed the meaning of heart by wearing most of his blood on the outside without appearing to care.

We had back and forth wars, knockouts, submissions, the great career of Chris Leben being ended by Uriah Hall and third from the top, Travis Browne underlined his status as the next big thing at heavyweight with a first round knockout of Josh Barnett.

With Cain Velasquez injured and putative no.1 contender Fabricio Werdum in the wind, I’d say we have to see Browne-Werdum in Spring to see who welcomes the champ back.

All of this was so much stage setting for our self-hyping pair of title bouts – I’ve never recalled a UFC event which boasted two bouts of such gravitas.

First up, we had Ronda Rousey defending her belt against old rival Miesha Tate with the full promotional weight of a TUF season and their extant feud behind them.

For the first time ever, Rousey was taken into the second round, but she also showed improved striking and proved she had a bit of a chin as she bloodied Tate and took a few solid blows herself, while continuing to display the stunning judo throws that have become her trademark.

Tate reversed a whole lot on the ground as Ronda showed more variety, at one point going for a triangle towards the end of the second round. Tate’s plan was clearly to drag Ronda into deep water and that was exactly what happened, even if she wasn’t managing to dominate.

Into the third and Ronda was up 20-18 on my scorecard but was in ever more unfamiliar territory… until the third frame played out almost exactly like the first round of most of her other fights. From the bell, she rushed Tate, threw her and worked for an armbar, earning the tap at 58 seconds… of the third round.

Rousey retains, doesn’t shake Tate’s hand, earning the boos of all the easily led folk who drank the TUF kool-aid (since when did honesty and being true to yourself become a heel gesture) but did complement her opponent.

Great main event, right there…

…Except the night wasn’t over.

Anderson Silva entered first, looking to reclaim his belt (weird) before stopping twice on the way to the cage, seemingly to collect his thoughts. Was it nerves, mind games or did he suddenly remember he left the gas on?

Chris Weidman didn’t seem overawed and promptly took the first round, even managing to rock Anderson and swarm before being dragged into guard.

In the second, Anderson seemed to open up, started firing off his leg kicks – always a terrifying weapon – which had seen his greatest success in their first fight. Then it happened… Anderson threw a stinging left leg kick which Weidman checked with his knee and Anderson’s shin broke in truly gruesome fashion.

Anderson fell back, the ref stepped in and it was indisputably over, yet strangely unresolved.

Sadly, the lasting image of UFC 168 will not be Weidman holding the belt aloft in glorious and validating victory but Anderson Silva lying on his back, reaching for his ruined leg and screaming in abject agony.

It wasn’t meant to end this way, and I’ll expand upon that another time. For now, suffice to say that UFC 168 was one of the best UFC cards in recent memory, delivering from the start to the second from last kick.

Feuds were settled, ladders were climbed and we enter 2014 with the UFC short their two long time banner guys and with a new and undisputed sheriff in the Middleweight division. Interesting times.

Full Results

Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva to retain middleweight title viaTKO (injury) – Round 2, 1:16
Ronda Rousey def. Miesha Tate to retain women’s bantamweight title via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 0:58
Travis Browne def. Josh Barnett via knockout (knee and elbows) – Round 1, 1:00
Jim Miller def. Fabricio Camoes via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:42
Dustin Poirier def. Diego Brandao via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:54

Uriah Hall def. Chris Leben via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Michael Johnson def. Gleison Tibau via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:32
Dennis Siver def. Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
John Howard def. Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00

William Macario def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Robert Peralta def. Estevan Payan via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:12

Bonus Winners – £75k

Fight of the Night – Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Knockout of the Night – Travis Browne
Submission of the Night – Ronda Rousey

UFC Special Presentation – 28th December 2013

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Just before tonight’s massive end of year show, UFC 168, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is making a special announcement via their YouTube channel. UFC officials are being very tight lipped about the contents of the presentation, however, it seems most likely that it will be concerning the new digital network that the promotion is planning to launch. Catch the presentation below at 3pm PST/11pm GMT.

Five Reasons Why Brock Lesnar Coming Back To MMA Would Be Good

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You’ve heard the rumours, that one time UFC Heavyweight champion and multi time WWE figurehead Brock Lesnar might be coming back to the UFC.

Lesnar is a marmite figure in MMA, some folks loving the pro wrestling crossover and his abrasive attitude while some folks loathe his dabbling in ‘fake fighting’ and his lack of respect for all manner of MMA sacraments.

I’ll be honest here – I might not be the MMA fan I am today if Brock hadn’t set sail for the sport midway through the last decade, if he hadn’t moved to the UFC. Brock’s first fight with Frank Mir was one of the three things that moved MMA from something I was aware of, but concentrating on other things to the centre of my attention.

So of course, I’m quite down with Brock stepping into the Octagon again – so long as he’s healthy and taking it all seriously, of course – but let’s take a step back and look at why Brock taping up again is good for everyone.

Money

However you slice it, Brock is Money. His four UFC title fights make up four out of the top six grossing UFC pay per views ever and his headlining tilt with Alistair Overeem weighs in at no.15.

Any PPV he stars in, is going to have a serious bump in buys and that’s good for everyone… and not just because it will make Dana & the Fertittas a bit more insanely wealthy.

Spread the Spotlight

The UFC is expanding into new markets and new weight classes and it’s a sad fact that the worthiest flyweight or soon to arrive women’s straw-weight bout doesn’t draw the same mainstream media interest or PPV buys as a

I can’t help but think that tying a Bantamweight or lower title fight to a co-main event featuring Brock would help spread the attention to the undervalued and arguably worthier lower weight classes.

Fill the Gap

Alongside Brock at the top of the UFC’s list of biggest grossing stars is Georges St-Pierre and he’s just stepped away from the sport for an indeterminate time.

Aside from Anderson Silva – who needed Chael Sonnen to help him break a million buys and who’s career is definitely in its final phase anyway – the remaining headliners are relatively untested or haven’t exactly set the buy rates rocketing as buys have generally drooped over the last few years.

The return of Brock might take some of the pressure off of Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo and whoever ends up on top at Welterweight and Bantamweight to draw in the short term.

Depth

Let’s face it, the UFC’s heavyweight division isn’t the deepest, especially considering that Daniel Cormier and possibly Roy Nelson are headed for 205, Velasquez, Hunt and probably others are injured and Bigfoot is suspended for the next while.

Think on it this way. Soa Palelei has the 3rd best active win streak in the division, with 2 wins in a row behind champion Cain Velasquez and no.1 contender, Fabricio Werdum. That’s a shallow pool.

Brock adds another body to that pool, and one that shakes the division up a bit, bridging the gap between the elite, the constant midcarders and the new fighters were not sure if we care about yet.

Trilogy

Brock sits on a 0-2 streak. At the moment, his nemesis Frank Mir sits on a 0-3 streak which could easily be made 0-4 at the hands of Alistair Overeem on February first.

Given the unfinished business between Lesnar and Mir, their trilogy fight would be main or co-main event material despite a combined run of 0-6. It would draw and possibly transform what could have been a weak or so-so card into PPV gold.

Neither man are in title contention at the moment and a fight against each other is by far the most logical and compelling option if Brock is indeed returning. It would also draw a line under one of the most remarkable MMA rivalries of recent years and we all like closure, yeah?
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Assuming Brock is healthy and committed, I’d love to see him come back for a run. The trilogy fight against Frank Mir would draw huge money and interest and bouts against Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt, Bigfoot Silva or a rematch with. Overeem would be plenty marketable.

Tie those fights to worthier but less drawing bouts and Brock could potentially increase the star power of all around him. Get a million folk watching Brock-Mir 3 and a good portion of them are likely to experience Demetrious Johnson vs. John Lineker or Rose Namajunas vs. Joanne Calderwood for the first time and discover a whole new kind of MMA to be in love with.

Hell, if Brock slaps a few wins together, a rematch with Cain Velasquez for the title would be huge. I seriously doubt he’d win and I’m sure that the very suggestion he ever get a high profile fight, let alone a title shot will be met with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from many fans.

Hey, I think it would be fun and if it draws more eyes to the sport and gets even one more person interested in the women’s straw weights or the flyweights then it’s a worthy endeavour indeed.

KUMITE European MMA Rankings, December 2014

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It’s been a busy month of MMA, and while it’s not yet finished we’ll account for the results of CWFC 63 and UFC 168 in the January rankings.

Remember, we’ve got a Fear The Fighter t-shirt up for grabs for one respondent to our Annual awards so get over here and make your votes known!

Theres been a fair few significant fights and almost as many gross personal oversights corrected from the first set of rankings.  Let’s get into it and see if you agree with this month’s offering…

Heavyweight

1- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 13-0, Bellator
2- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 21-10, WSOF – UP 3 – def. Andreas Kraniotakes 29/11
3- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6, UFC – DOWN 1
4- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2, Bellator – DOWN 1
5- Alistair Overeem (netherlands) 36-13 – DOWN 1
6- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 19-1, IND – UP 2 – def. Kenny Garner 30/11
7- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 19-4, Bellator – DOWN 1
8- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 21-6, IND – UP 2 – def. Jerome le Banner 21/12 (GLORY)
9- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1, IND – DOWN 2
10- Magomed Malikov (Russia) 7-2, M-1 – DOWN 1

Note: Sergei Kharitonov has advanced due to a non-MMA win at GLORY13, but in my view it’s all combat sports…

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, UFC
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-0, UFC
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-4-2, Bellator
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-7, Bellator
5- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-3-2, UFC (*returning to Middleweight in February,
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, KSW
7- Victor Nemkov (Russia) 19-4, M-1
8- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, Bellator
9- Jason Jones (Netherlands) 20-10, BAMMA
10- Cyrille Diabate (France) 19-9, UFC

Note : No ranked fighters active in last month.

Middleweight

1- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, UFC
2- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 28-4-2, KSW – UP 2 – def. Ryuta Sakurai 7/12
3- Frances Carmont (France) 22-7, UFC – DOWN 1
4- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 49-7, Bellator – DOWN 1
5 – Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0, 7-0 UFC
6 – Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2, 13-1 M-1
7 – Michal Materla (Poland) 19-4, 6-1 KSW
8 – Tom Watson (England) 16-6, 3-2 UFC
9 – Ramazan Emeev (Azerbaijan) 11-2, 8-0 M-1
10 – Andrey Koreshkov (Russia) 14-1 IND – NE – def. David Gomez 14/12

Note: Niko Musoke drops out, replaced by Koreshkov

Welterweight

1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 14-3, UFC
2- Martin Kampmann (Denmark) 20-7, UFC
3- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, UFC
4- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, Cage Warriors
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, UFC
6- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, Cage Warriors – UP 3
7- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 11-0 Cage Warriors – UP 3
8 – Paul Daley (England) 34-12-2 BAMMA – NE – def. Romario da Silva 14/12
9 – Jim Wallhead (England) 25-8, BAMMA – NE – def. Florent Betorangel 14/12
10 – Aslambek Saidov (Poland) 15-3 KSW – NE – def. Daniel Acacio 7/12

Note: Andrey Koreshokov now ranked at middleweight, John Hathaway & Rashid Magomedov unranked due to inactivity.

Lightweight

1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 21-0, UFC
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, UFC
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 25-2 Bellator
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, UFC
5- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, M-1
6- Norman Parke (Norther Ireland) 19-2 UFC
7- Steven Ray (Scotland) 14-4 Cage Warriors ©
8- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2 UFC
9- Ivan Buchinger (Slovakia) 24-4 Cage Warriors – UP 1
10- Mansour Barnaoui (France) 11-2 BAMMA – NE – def. Colin Fletcher 14/12

Note: Marcin Held removed in favour of Barnaoui & Buchinger
Anton Kuivanen and Curt Warburton also in close contention for ranking after big wins in December.

Featherweight

1- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC
2 – Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 21-5-1 UFC – UP 2 – def. Rani Yahya 30/11
3- Dennis Siver (Germany) 21-9, UFC – DOWN 1
4- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, Bellator – DOWN 1
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, Bellator
6- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 IND
7- Graham Turner (Scotland) 23-7 Cage Warriors
8- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1 OC
9- Chris Fishgold (England) 10-0 Cage Warriors – NE – def. Olivier Pastor 7/12
10 – Akira Corassani (Sweden) 12-3, UFC

Note: Akira Corassani’s win over Maximo Blanco doesn’t advance his ranking due to it’s DQ nature, but it does hold his place, as Niklas Backstrom is replaced at 9 by Chris Fishgold following his win over Olivier Pastor.

France’s Tom Duquesnoy also came very close to being ranked following his KO win over James Saville.

Bantamweight

1- Brad Pickett (England) 23-8, UFC
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 8-0, Cage Warriors ©
3- James Brum (England) 14-2, Cage Warriors
4- Ronnie Mann (England) 23-6-1 Cage Warriors – NE
5- Timo-Juhan Hirbokangas (Finland) 8-2 Cage FC – DOWN 1
6- James Pennington (England) 9-1 Cage Warriors
7- Martin McDonough (Wales) 11-4, Cage Warriors
8- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, IND
9- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1 IND
10 Ruslan Abiltarov (Ukraine) 15-4-1 IND

Note: For some inexplicable and unforgivable reason, I had neglected to rank Ronnie Mann last month. David Santacana drops out due to a loss, while I felt Ruslan Abiltarov deserved the no.10 spot more than Cory Tait.

Flyweight

1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 12-2 UFC
2- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-9 Cage Warriors ©
3- Phil Harris (England) 22-11 UFC
4- Pietro Menga (England) 10-0 FCC ©
7- Paul Marin (Romania) 7-3, Cage Warriors – UP 2 – 2 def. Specer Hewitt 13/12
8- Shaj Haque (England) 4-1 Cage Warriors – UP 2 – def. Mark Connor 7/12
5- Mikael Silander (Finaland) 8-3 IND
6- Paul McVeigh (Northern Ireland) 19-8 Cage Warriors
9- Chris Miah (England) 5-0 IND – NE
10- Rany Saadeh (Germany) 5-1 BAMMA – NE

Note: Chris Miah & Rany Saadeh replace Steve McCombe and Scott Pooley at 9 & 10 due to me doing more research this month.

Women’s P4P

(Due to the less developed state of Women’s MMA we’re ranking our top ten female fighters from across the weight classes – we hope to expand this section in future.)

1- Joanne Calderwood (Scotland) 8-0 Invicta FC – UP 2 def. Katja Kankaanpaa 7/12
2 – Marloes Coenen (Netherlands) 21-6 Invicta FC – DOWN 1
3 – Katja Kankaanpaa (Finland) 8-1-1 Invicta FC – DOWN 1
4- Rosi Sexton (England) 13-4 IND
5- Milana Dudieva (Russia) 8-3 ProFC
6- Maria Hoegaard Djursa (Denmark) 5-4 IND
7- Shiela Gaff (Germany) 10-6-1 UFC
8- Pannie Kianzad (Sweden) 4-0 IND
9- Aisling Daly (Ireland) 12-5 Cage Warriors
10- Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland) 4-0 IND

European National Rankings
(Each ranked fighter scores points for their nation, with a no.1 ranking earning 10 points, down to a 10 ranking earning 1 point. This is just for fun.)

1 – Russia – 110 pts
2 – England – 104 pts
3 – Finland – 32 pts
4= Ireland – 28 pts
4 = Poland – 28 pts – UP 2
6 – Netherlands – 26 pts – DOWN 2
7 – France – 22 pts – UP 1
8 – Sweden – 19 pts – UP 1
9= Denmark – 17 pts – UP 1
9= Scotland – 17 pts

Please give your opinions on the rankings in the comments, especially by noting fighters I haven’t ranked but you think I should have – I’m doing this as much to increase my own knowledge as any thing else.

A KUMITE Festive Message

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, God jul, Felice Navidad, Blessed Yuletide or whatever sentiment you prefer at this time if year to all our buddies, readers and folks who unwarily clicked this link.

This is a time of year for appreciating what matters most and making resolutions for the year to come. We’ve been a bit quiet of late due to an outbreak of having a real life and seeing as this looks unlikely to abate (I’m to be blessed with a son in the new year) posts will be less frequent, but hopefully a lot more poignant and positive going forward. A less is more sort of thing.

At this time of year, when we are consumed with the giving and getting of gifts, with eating and spending more than we should it’s worth remembering that in the midst of this deluge of plenty, the best way to appreciate life and to improve yourself as a person and/or martial artist is often to step back and concentrate on fewer things that really matter, rather than spreading yourself too thin or accumulating wealth and stuff so you can sit atop your possessions like a old, fat dragon guarding it’s hoard.

Bruce Lee said “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” and that is cracking advice for pretty much everyone, ever.

My personal mission for 2014 is (in this order) to provide the best home for my family, get fit, start on the road to a blue belt and get some creative satisfaction from writing or music (preferably both, but the is only so much time in the day and sleep is so nice…)

Finding something insightful to say about MMA and then desperately whoring for hits EVERY DAY doesn’t really compare to that little list of important, fulfilling, self actualising stuff.

That said, we’re not going away and Ross will still post news and does best to love tweet events while I’ll throw up the occasional article/rant when I can.

At the moment, I’m intending to continue with our monthly rankings, and the notion of periodic updates of my attempts to lose weight and not suck at jiujitsu seems appropriate but I’m not nailing myself down to anything more structured beyond that.

Aside from all that, there is some MMA stuff happening over the next week or so…

… First, we have UFC 168: Rematch A Go-Go with Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate on top of a strong undercard featuring a Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne, Dustin Poirer vs. Diego Brandao, Gleison Tibau vs. Michael Johnson and a pile of reliably entertaining fighters like Jim Miller, Jon Howard, Robbie Peralta, Bobby Voelker etc.

It’s gonna be awesome.

THEN, on New Year’s Eve we have Cage Warriors 63 with two Scots in world title fights as Steven Ray defends his lightweight belt against Ivan Buchinger and Graham Turner gets his shot at Jim Alers Featherweight belt.
We are unbelievably pumped for that one, and a better start to the Hogmanay celebrations could not be imagined.

We’ll have our European rankings up on Saturday morning and please remember to vote in our year end awards because if I don’t get enough submissions I’m damn well not buying a t-shirt for a prize.

Bah humbug.

In any case, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, we have some awesome fights to look forward to and we wish you all the best for the rest of the holidays and for 2014.

KUMITE MMA AWARDS 2013 VOTING – WIN A T-SHIRT!

After our first full year, we’re looking for YOUR opinions on who made waves in 2013.

So, if you want a particular fighter or promotion to get the props you feel they deserve, get involved and make your voice heard!

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As an additional incentive for you to vote, we figured we’d offer a T-shirt up to one of our respondents, and thought that the Fear The Fighter ‘Stop Bullying’ shirt was the most righteous – so please, fill in the voting form and give us your e-mail address for a chance to win (and give vicariously to a worthy charity in the process.)