KUMITE European MMA Rankings, April 2014

20131129-214653.jpg

Sorry I’m a bit late with the rankings this month, been busy. Anyways it’s been an active month with movement in every division and a few big changes based on fighters being removed due to inactivity or bans. Check it out…

Heavyweight

1- Alistair Overeem (Holland) 37-13 UFC
2- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 14-0, Bellator def. Cheick Kongo 4/4
3- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 21-10, UFC
4- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6 UFC
5- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2 Bellator lost to Vitaly MInakiv 4/4
6- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 21-4 Bellator def. Siala-Mo Siliga 11/4 UP 1
7- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 19-1 M-1 DOWN 1
8- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 22-6 IND
9- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1 IND
10- Marcin Tybura (Poland) 10-0 M-1 def. Maro Perak 4/4 UNRANKED

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, UFC
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-1, UFC
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-5-2, Bellator
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-8, Bellator
5- Ilir Latifi (Sweden) 7-3 UFC
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, KSW
7- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, Bellator
8- Stephan Puetz (Germany) 9-1 M-1
9- Maxim Grishin (Russia) 17-6 IND
10- Mikkel Parlo (Denmark) 12-2 def. Johnny Cisneros 4/4 UNRANKED

Middleweight

1- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 50-7 Bellator UP 1
2- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, UFC lost to Tim Kennedy 16/4 DOWN 1
3- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 28-4-2, KSW
4- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-4-2 UFC
5- Frances Carmont (France) 22-8, UFC
6– Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0 UFC
7- Michal Materla (Poland) 20-4 KSW
8– Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2 M-1
9- Tom Watson (England) 16-6 UFC
10- Sultan Aliev (Russia) 11-2 IND NR

Welterweight

1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 15-3, UFC
2- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, UFC
3- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, Cage Warriors
4- Nicholas Musoke (Sweden) 12-2 UFC
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, UFC
6- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, Cage Warriors
7- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 12-0 Cage Warriors
8– Paul Daley (England) 34-12-2 BAMMA
9– Andrey Koreshokov (Russia) 15-1 Bellator
10- Karl Amoussou (France) 17-6-2 Bellator def. David Gomez 18/4 UNRANKED

Lightweight

1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 22-0, UFC def. Rafael dos Anjos 19/4
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, UFC
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 26-2 IND
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, UFC
5 – Marcin Held (Poland) 18-3 Bellator def. Derek Anderson 18/4 UP 5 
6- Ivan Buchinger (Slovakia) 26-4 M-1 def. Sergey Golyaev 4/4 UP 2
7- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, M-1 DOWN 2
8- Norman Parke (Northern Ireland) 19-2-1 UFC DOWN 2
9- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2 UFC DOWN 1
10- Mansour Barnaoui (France) 11-2 BAMMA DOWN 1

Featherweight

1- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, Bellator def. Mike Richman 4/4 UP 2
2- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC
3- Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 21-5-1 UFC
4- Marat Gafurov (Ukraine) 9-0 M-1 NR def. Lee Morrison 4/4 UNRANKED
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, Bellator
6- Daniel Weichel (Germany) 33-8, Bellator
7- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 IND
8- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1 OC
9- Niklas Backstrom (Sweden) 7-0 IND
10- Robert Whiteford (Scotland) 11-2 UFC

* Dennis Siver removed from rankings due to PED ban.

Bantamweight

1- Vaughan Lee (England) 14-9-1 UFC
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 10-0, Cage Warriors © def. James Brum 12/4
3- Ronnie Mann (England) 23-6-1 Cage Warriors UP 1
4- Cory Tait (England) 8-2 Cage Warriors UP 1
5- Timo-Juhan Hirvikangas (Finland) 8-2 Cage FC def. Tymoteusz Swiatek 5/4 UP 1
6- James Brum (England) 14-2, Cage Warriors lost to Brett Johns 12/4 DOWN 3
7- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, IND UP 1
8- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1 IND UP 1
9- Toni Tauru (Finland) 9-1-1 Cage Warriors UP 1
10- Magomed Biboulatov (France) 5-0 IND UNRANKED

* Martin McDonough now a Flyweight

Flyweight

1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 13-2 UFC
2- Brad Pickett (England) 24-8 UFC
3- Pietro Menga (England) 11-0 FCC ©
4- Marcin Lasota (Poland) 8-0 Cage Warriors
5- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-10 UFC
6- Shaj Haque (England) 4-1 Cage Warriors def. Martin McDonough 12/4 UP 1
6- Mikael Silander (Finland) 10-3 The Cage def. Daniel Barez 5/4
7- Rany Saadeh (Germany) 6-1 BAMMA def. Mahmood Besharate 5/4 UNRANKED
8- Kairat Akhmetov (Kazakhstan) IND UNRANKED
9- Kevin Petshi (France) 5-0 IND def. Victor Balica 4/4
10- Phil Harris (England) 22-12 Cage Warriors DOWN 2

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

 

 

Advertisements

5 Rounds – Bellator vs. WSOF

20140120-214032.jpg
Recently, WSOF threw down a challenge to bellator to see who was best in a cross-promotional PPV which has been completely ignored by the scared/superior (delete according to opinion) promotion.

Given that WSOF have increasingly become a promotion who’s cards I look forward to and Bellator have gone down in my estimation, I figured it would be interesting to see how they compare when viewed objectively.

So we can tally this up as if it were a championship match, I’ve split the criteria down into five handy categories – resources, roster, reach, credibility and x-factor.

Seconds out, round one…

1- Resources

While WSOF are clearly not short of cash, sponsors, committed and talented staff etc. it’s clear that they are nowhere near what Bellator can command given they can call on the resources of Viacom.

10-8 Bellator

2- Roster

With well over ten times as many events, five years of a head start, a more active schedule and a more established brand, you can hardly doubt the fact that Bellator have a deeper roster, boasting top ten talent in most divisions.

However – what WSOF have built in a year is impressive and their roster continues to improve, snapping up some of the choice ex-UFC talent some good free agents and building up some new talent of their own.

Throw in the fact that Bellator’s roster has been losing top players for a while, either by being poached, dropped via promotional madness or just plain getting pissed off with the company (Hector Lombard, Ben Askren, Cole Konrad, their entire women’s division) and this one isn’t as clear cut as it might once have been.

Bellator have the advantage in depth, but pit the cream of each promotion’s roster against one another and it’s a coin flip…

10-9 Bellator (20-17)

3- Reach

Bellator are on a major TV channel in the US and have some international distribution deals. WSOF are also on a major channel, if not quite as far ranging but crucially, they make their shows available online for free to fans from around the world which Bellator have never done (a week’s tape delay on a channel I usually do my best never to watch? Great job guys…)

10-9 WSOF (29-27, Bellator)

4- Credibility

Once upon a time, Bellator’s tournament model would have earned them a solid win here, but of late they have displayed contempt for the format, shortening the tournaments, repeatedly giving big stars as clear a route to a title shot as they can manage and handing out title shots to folks who haven’t won tournaments out of pure expedience and favouritism.

Across the cage, WSOF have rightly fielded accusations of being a ‘low impact’ promotion, subsisting on the fading allure of stars who washed out of bigger promotions.

While there is some truth to that, you have to look at how they’ve booked those stars. Jon Fitch got a tough match on his debut and lost, Andrei Arlovski and Anthony Johnson haven’t exactly been given squash matches (even if it’s sometimes ended up that way) and Jessica Aguilar was given the hardest match that WSOF could provide.

For me, credibility is more about doing what you say you’re going to…

WSOF give you ‘fun fights, building something new’ while Bellator have sold out on their boast ‘where title shots are earned, not given.’

WSOF 10-8 (37-37)

5- X-Factor

Both promotions interest and excite me. WSOF for the new talent, the almost guaranteed knockouts from journeyman fighters , the redemption stories being acted out by more than a few of their fighters and a sense of it being something different.

Bellator holds my interest for it’s conveyor belt of new talent, and the entertainment level of their established stars.

However this is tainted but the mismatched booking, the way the promotion has sold out it’s USP by demeaning the tournaments and seemingly has no faith in the fighters and format that brought them to the consensus #2 position.

10-10 Draw

Final Score

47-47 DRAW

So, in the final reckoning what should on the books have been an easy win for Bellator is a drawn contest, with WSOF’s freshness, openness and fun combining with the sense of Bellator being jaded, corrupt and increasingly uninteresting to pull the upstart promotion level.

In my eyes, that is practically a win for WSOF, and I reckon with a draw in a title match the only thing we can do is have a rematch, say at the end of the Summer?

Bellator at the Crossroads (or, the problem with tournaments)

20130924-220147.jpg

In the past few days, Bellator have been receiving a metric fucktonne (that’s slightly less than an imperial fuckton but more comparable to other measurements of internet bile, being exactly ten times later than a trollocaust) of criticism for their decision to award Pat Curran an immediate title rematch with Daniel Straus for the Featherweight title despite there being two tournament winners, Patricio Freire and Frodo Khasbulaev waiting for a shot.

 

This is even more rage inducing as a year ago, Curran narrowly beat Freire via split decision, leading to many calls for a rematch, but Bellator then stuck with the format, compelling Freire to re-enter the tournament. The Freire-Curran match was MUCH closer and more entertaining that Curran-Straus, yet Freire (never mind Khasbulaev & Straus) is the guy left feeling undervalued by the company.

 

I’ve seen quote a few respected MMA journalists opining that this criticism is an example of how the tournament format is holding Bellator back and they should dispense with the format if they intend to truly compete with the UFC.

 

To me, thats an insane notion.

 

Bellator attained #2 status on being markedly different from the UFC, scouting wider, growing their own stars and being slavishly devoted to the understandable, promotable concept that title shots are earned through tournaments, not just awarded willy nilly as in most promotions.

 

That is an idea which works brilliantly in sport, as shown with the major soccer tournaments, Wimbledon and even in contact sports with the enduring success of kickboxing tournaments (K-1, Glory) and the much beloved PRIDE FC grand prix events.

 

Of course, Bellator have had troubles with the format, with injuries delaying tournaments and scheduled title shots or a lack of tournaments compelling a champion to go years without defending their belt

 

Hector Lombard is a great example. He was the Bellator champion for 2 1/2 years between 2009 and 2011 and between his title win and leaving the company for the UFC he fought ten times, only five of them under the Bellator banner and only once in defence of his title.

 

Now, tournaments seem to have become an annoyance to Bellator’s brain trust, with them preferring to give relatively big names like Eddie Alvarez and Pat Curran rematches for the belt without the indignity and uncertainty of having to go through a tournament first.

 

I understand that. They want to compete with the UFC by keeping their most bankable stars in main event/title matches. Thats understandable, and it’s the M.O. of almost every promotion on the planet.

 

However, it sells out their unique selling point, effectively shits on the rest of their roster, devaluing their tournaments and effectively shooting themselves in the foot.

 

Bellator need to grow stars and they do that via the tournaments. Now, if a tournament win doesn’t lead to a title shot and there is nobody in the tournaments who is already considered a bit of a star, then what’s the point?

 

What made Pat Curran a star? Winning a tournament, losing a close fought title match and then winning another tournament to go and win the title. What made Alvarez a star? Winning a tournament and then defending his belt against tournament winners.

 

The same is true of Mike Chandler, Ben Askren, Hector Lombard – fighters who made their name via Bellator’s transparent and compelling platform.

 

The fact that Bellator have fighters who they built up via the tournaments who are now considered by the promotion to be exactly the guys they want in main events is a testament to the success of the format.

 

The problem with tournaments, isn’t that they restrict a promotion’s booking, that they can be delayed by injuries or that they can result in champions having nobody to defend their belt against or just as likely having a backlog of challengers…

 

…it’s that promotions so easily lose faith in them.

 

Fans understand injuries, they understand champion vs. tournament winner, they will wait for the RIGHT match and rail against a fighter cutting to the front of the queue, reeking as it does of murky back room deals, favouritism and hypocrisy.

 

Tournaments provide a narrative, a structure, a credibility that the usual (UFC-esque) model of MMA promotion just doesn’t have.

 

Bellator have spent over a year trying to get away from the model that brought them to the dance, shortening tournaments to two fights instead of three, placing big name fighters in situations where they are clearly intended to progress (Emanuele Newton is one of my heroes of 2013 for twice upsetting Bellator’s preferred story of Mo Lawal cruising to the gold), and offering big stars rematches for titles that weren’t earned through the tournament format.

 

Combine that with the reversal of their policy to not sign former name UFC stars as Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson and Cheick Kongo being signed in 2013 and their nonsensical decision to cut their women’s divisions just as WMMA starts drawing and it all seems a little reactionary, a little desperate…

 

There is a cautionary tale here – if there is a big dog in an entertainment industry, you don’t compete by imitating everything about them because you will inevitably come across as a cheap knock-off.

 

Look what happened to WCW when they started trying to win back the Monday Night Wars with increasingly car crash TV, trying to out-Attitude the WWF.

 

Yeah, that company doesn’t exist anymore, it’s name an a byword for failure, hubris and waste.

 

If I was Bellator, I would stick with the tournament format, but eliminate the problems of yesteryear by using their now greater TV footprint, budget and schedule.

 

Basically, if you have a champion in a division, you run a tournament in that division. If a champion leaves the company or is injured, the two backed-up tournament winners face off for the (interim) belt.

 

If there are no fit challengers, the champion should have to spend no more than one season on the shelf as a new challenger will and could easily face a former champion in a non-title main event ‘super fight.’ The key phrase there is NON TITLE.

 

This model allows Bellator to produce an ongoing stream of episodic television, building stars and eliminating any concept of a glass ceiling or favouritism.

 

Perhaps they could arrange their PPVs around their TV schedule, with mid-season and end-of-season pay per views, with the tournament finals, perhaps some title bouts (although these should be sprinkled through the free TV cards as well) and even some one-shot big stars, who are ‘above’ the tournaments but are worth the buck to add meat to the PPV card.

 

WWE have been doing exactly this with some success for over twenty years…

 

As things stand, by promoting fallen UFC stars over home grown talent, devaluing their tournaments gaining bad press via disputes with fighters, releasing dominant champions and playing fast and loose with their own stated booking conditions – not to mention running scared of World Series of Fighting’s challenge to a cross-promotional pay per view, Bellator are starting down the barrel of irrelevancy, apathy and a demise that could come faster and more completely than you might imagine.

 

I’d prefer not to see that. The MMA world is big enough for variety, for more big companies, indeed MMA NEEDS Bellator and it’s formerly distinct nature on the scene. they could so easily be the Yin to the UFC’s Yang and be a major, credible and well received player on the MMA scene for the foreseeable future.

 

They just need to take a step back, cut away the more parochial elements of their broadcast, go back to basics and promote events on the model they first came to the dance with, but taking advantage of their greater profile.

 

Then again, I’m not Bjorn Rebney or a Viacom executive, just an idealistic blogger watching on from afar…

 

Would YOU sign Ben Askren?

20130222-163222.jpg

Ben Askren finds himself in a strange predicament. He’s undefeated, a champion, finished his last two fights and is broadly ranked as a top ten welterweight – but Bellator don’t want to keep him and the UFC don’t seem to want him either.

The reasons for this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Despite Askren’s flawless record, he remains a relatively one dimensional martial artist, winning his fights via exemplary wrestling and even his TKO stoppages tend to come from volume of strikes against an opponent who can’t improve their position, rather than any truly impressive striking or power.

In short – he’s a bit dull for anyone other than a committed wrestling afficionado.

This is by no means a rule for wrestlers in MMA as a legion of fighters – notably including Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Michael Chandler, Johny Hendricks – have all added dynamic striking to the positional advantage that wrestling gives them and hence have earned their share of highlight reel KO victories.

Does a lack of appeal for the casual or ‘just bleed’ fans make a top level fighter actively unattractive to top promotions?

Is it right that big promotions pass on a successful fighter just because he’s not as fun as he might be? Isn’t this a sport, where athletic achievement is what matters most?

On the other hand, MMA is a solo sport, an entertainment sport where fans pay to watch compelling fighters over and above any attachment to tournament, promotion or championship.

From a purely financial PoV, you can have dull footballers who are regarded as top level and even beloved by their own club’s fans, but that’s because football is marketed more on established competitions and local/hereditary loyalty.  There is room for one part of the machine to be all graft so long as others have that highlight reel cutting edge and/or as long as the team wins…

Dana White has advised Askren to go to WSOF and there are a bundle of interesting fights for him there – Steve Carl, Josh Burkman, Jon Fitch, Gerald Harris, Aaron Simpson and Jorge Santiago could all provide compelling challenges, but wouldn’t bouts against Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim, Gunnar Nelson, Josh Koscheck, Mike Pierce etc. be even more so, and surely it’s best to have such a talent in house than potentially evolving into a megastar elsewhere?

Dana clearly doesn’t see dollar signs or at the very least, value for money in Askren as things stand but he’s signed fighters with far less evident upside and shouldn’t the UFC have the ‘elite level’ fighters where possible, even if they aren’t all as much fun as their more flamboyant peers?

In any case, I ask you – would YOU sign Ben Askren?

European MMA Rankings, November 2013

20131129-214653.jpg

Following an offhand Twitter comment from Cage Warriors’ Paul Dollery, we thought that European rankings might be a fun thing to have a crack at, being definitely more interesting (and more work) than UFC or world rankings (which are in some divisions almost the same thing.)

We’ve assembled these rankings based on a ‘what have you done for me lately’ premise, rewarding good form over reputation, largely concentrating on a fighter’s record over the last three years.

Wins by stoppage, over name opposition in bouts of consequence are weighted most heavily, with a narrow, competitive loss to a quality fighter often being worth more than three wins over horridly outclassed opposition.

For us, is who you fight and how that matters most, not the cold win/loss record…

Let’s get into it…

Legend –

The information at each fighter record is
#Ranking- Fighter Name (Nation) overall record, record in last three years, promotion (biggest/most recent wins)

Heavyweight

1- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 13-0, 10-0 Bellator (Alexander Volkov, Ryan Martinez)
2- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6, 5-2 UFC (Stipe Miocic, Pat Barry)
3- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2, 5-2 Bellator (Matt Mitrione, Pat Barry, Shan Jordan)
4- Alistair Overeem (netherlands) 36-13, 3-2 UFC (Brock Lesnar)
5- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 20-10, 5-2 WSOF (Mike Kyle, Mike Hayes)
6- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 19-4, 10-2 Bellator (Rich Hale, Vinicious Spartan, Brett Rogers)
7- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1, 10-2 IND (Mirko Filipovic, Jeff Monson, Dion Staring)
8- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 18-1, 5-0 IND (Stave Economou, Dave Huckaba)
9- Magomed Malikov (Russia) 7-2, 5-2 M-1 (Jeff Monson, Aleksandr Emelianenko, Alexey Oleinik)
10- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 21-6, 4-1, IND (Andrei Arlovski)

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, 5-1 UFC (Shogun Rua, Thiago Silva)
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-0, 5-0 UFC (Ryan Jimmo, Cyrille Diabate)
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-4-2, 9-0-1 Bellator (Christian M’Pumbu, Emanuel Newton, Zelg Galesic, Travis Wiuff)
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-7 , 10-2 Bellator (Renato Sobral)
5- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-3-2, 4-0-1 UFC (Mike Kyle, Ovince St-Preux) *returning to Middleweight in February,
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, 5-1 KSW (Goran Reljic, Houston Alexander, Rameu Thierry Sokoudjou)
7- Victor Nemkov (Russia) 19-4, 10-1 M-1 (Vasily Babich)
8- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, 7-0 Bellator (Zelg Galesic)
9- Jason Jones (Netherlands) 20-10, 5-1 BAMMA (Max Nunes, Tatsuya Mizuno, Przemyslaw Mysiala)
10- Cyrille Diabate (France) 19-9, 3-2 UFC (Chad Griggs)

Middleweight

1- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, 4-2 UFC (Alan Belcher, Brian Stann)
2- Frances Carmont (France) 22-7, 9-0 UFC (Costa Phillipou, Lorenz Larkin, Tom Lawlor)
3- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 49-7, 11-0 Bellator (Doug Marshall, Brett Cooper)
4- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 27-4-2, 7-0 KSW (Melvin Manhoef, Kendall Grove, Jesse Taylor)
5 – Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0, 7-0 UFC (Andrew Craig)
6 – Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2, 13-1 M-1 (Trevpr Prangley)
7- Michal Materla (Poland) 19-4, 6-1 KSW (Kendall Grove, Matt Horwich)
8- Tom Watson (England) 16-6, 3-2 UFC (Stanislav Nedkov, Jack Marshman)
9- Ramazan Emeev (Azerbaijan) 11-2, 8-0 M-1 (Mario Miranda)
10- Nicolas Musoke (Sweden) 11-2, 7-1 UFC (Alessio Sakara) *returning to Welterweight 

Welterweight

1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 14-3, 4-1 UFC (Nate Marquardt)
2- Martin Kampmann (Denmark) 20-7, 3-3 UFC (Jake Ellenberger, Thiago Alves, Rick Story)
3- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, 3-0 UFC (Jorge Santiago, Damarques Johnson)
4- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, 8-1-1 Cage Warriors (Che Mills, Gael Grimaud)
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, 6-1 UFC (TJ Waldburger)
6- Andrey Koreshokov (Russia) 13-1, 12-1 Bellator (Lyman Good, Marius Zaromskis)
7- John Hathaway (England) 17-1, 3-0 UFC (John Maguire, Pascal Krauss)
8- Rashid Magomedov (Russia) 12-1, 6-0 IND (Alexander Yakovlev)
9- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, 10-2 Cage Warriors (Jesse Taylor, Bruno Carvalho)
10- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 11-0 7-0 Cage Warriors (Morten Djursaa)

Lightweight

1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 21-0, 12-0 UFC (Pat Healy, Gleison Tibau)
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, 6-1 UFC (Jorge Masvidal)
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 25-2 Bellator (Ricardo Tirloni, Marcus Davis)
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, 4-2 UFC (George Sotiropolos)
5- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, 8-1 M-1 (Daniel Weichel)
6- Norman Parke (Norther Ireland) 19-2, 5-0 UFC (Jon Tuck, Colin Fletcher)
7- Steven Ray (Scotland) 14-4, 10-3 Cage Warriors © (Jason Ball, Sean Carter)
8- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC (Francisco Trinaldo)
9- Marcin Held (Poland) 16-3, 6-2 Bellator (Rich Clementi)
10- Ivan Buchinger (Slovakia) 24-4, 8-2 Cage Warriors (Jason Ball, Diego Gonzalez)

Featherweight

1- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC (Ivan Buchinger, Max Holloway)
2- Dennis Siver (Germany) 21-9, 4-2 UFC (Diego Nunes, Nam Phan)
3- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, 11-1 Bellator (Mike Richman, Marlon Sandro)
4- Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 20-5-1, 6-0 Cage FC (Walel Watson, Chase Beebe)
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, 6-1-1 Bellator (Mike Richman)
6- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 7-2 IND (Olivier Pastor, Chase Beebe)
7- Graham Turner (Scotland) 23-7, 7-1 Cage Warriors (Nad Narimani, Fouad Mesdari, Nathan Beer)
8- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1, 8-2 OC (Joni Salovaara, Olivier Pastor)
9 – Niklas Backstrom (Sweden) 6-0, 4-0 IND (Sergeio Greicho)
10 – Akira Corassani (Sweden) 11-3, 2-1 UFC (Robbie Peralta)

Bantamweight

1- Brad Pickett (England) 23-8, 4-3 UFC (Mike Easton, Yves Jabouin)
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 8-0, 8-0 Cage Warriors © (David Haggstrom)
3- James Brum (England) 13-2, 9-2 Cage Warriors (Olivier Pastor, Moktar Benkaci)
4- Timo-Juhan Hirbokangas (Finland) 8-2, 7-1 Cage FC (Niko Gjoka, Artemij Sitenkov)
5- David Aranda Santacana (Spain) 9-0, 3-0 IND (Olivier Pastor, James Doolan)
6- James Pennington (England) 9-1, 7-1 Cage Warriors (Kris Edwards, James Doolan)
7- Martin McDonough (Wales) 11-4, 6-2 Cage Warriors (Alex Enlund, Stee McCombe)
8- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, 5-1 IND (Jose Luis Zapater, James Doolan)
9- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1, 3-2 IND (Artemij Sitenkov, James Doolan)
10- Cory Tait (England) 7-2, 5-2 UCMMA (Spencer Hewitt, Nathan Beer)

Flyweight

1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 12-2, 10-2 UFC (Tim Elliot)
2- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-9, 5-1 Cage Warriors © (Mikael Silander)
3- Phil Harris (England) 22-11, 3-2 UFC (Ulysses Gomez, Neil Seery)
4- Pietro Menga (England) 10-0, 10-0 FCC © (Artemij Sitenkov)
5- Mikael Silander (Finaland) 8-3, 7-3 IND (Wade Choate)
6- Paul McVeigh (Northern Ireland) 19-8, 2-2, Cage Warriors (Paul Marin)
7- Paul Marin (Romania) 6-3, 6-3 Cage Warriors (Shaj Haque)
8- Shaj Haque (England) 3-1, 3-1 Cage Warriors (Kris Edwards)
9- Steve McCombe (Northern Ireland) 19-21-1, 6-7 IND (Scott Pooley)
10- Scott Pooley (England) 6-4-1, 3-1 SnA (Kris Edwards, Martin McDonough)

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- Marloes Coenen (Netherlands) 21-6, 3-2 Invicta FC (Romy Ruyssen, Liz Carmouche)
2- Katja Kankaanpaa (Finland) 8-0-1, 5-0-1 Invicta FC (Aisling Daly)
3- Joanne Calderwood (Scotland) 7-0, 7-0 Invicta FC (Asjley Cummins, Sally Krumdiack)
4- Rosi Sexton (England) 13-4, 3-2 UFC (Aisling Daly, Roxanne Modafferi)
5- Milana Dudieva (Russia) 8-3, 3-2 ProFC (Danielle West, Sheila Gaff)
6- Maria Hoegaard Djursa (Denmark) 5-4, 3-0 IND (Alexandra Buch)
7- Shiela Gaff (Germany) 10-6-1, 3-3 UFC (Jennifer Maia, Aisling Daly)
8- Pannie Kianzad (Sweden) 4-0, 4-0 IND (Milana Dudieva)
9- Aisling Daly (Ireland) 12-5, 4-4 Cage Warriors (Jessica Eye)
10- Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland) 4-0, 4-0 (Julia Berezikova)

In the interests of amusement, I decided to tally up the totals per nation, awarding points in reverse order (10pts for a first place ranking, 1pt for a 10th place ranking) just to see which nation in Europe is the most awesome at MMA right now.

European National Rankings

1 – Russia – 119 pts
2 – England – 92 pts
3 – Finland – 34 pts
4 = Ireland – 28pts
4 = Netherlands – 28pts
6 = Poland – 25pts
7 = Sweden – 21 pts
8 = France – 20 pts
9 = Scotland – 16 pts
10 = Denmark – 15 pts

We here at Kumite welcome our new Russian overlords…

Results Burst – FFC4, RFA11, Bellator 109

20131123-095706.jpg
Last night was a very active Friday in terms of MMA cards that attracted our notice, so here’s a quick run down of the events and a few observations on the happenings…

First Fighting Championship 4
Alona Hotel, Motherwell

Closest to our heart, FFC4 saw Scotland’s fastest rising MMA promotion put on their biggest show yet, with a mixture of professional and C-Class amateur fights and an added incentive as the fighter deemed to have given the ‘Per4mance of the Night’ wins a trip to Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA to train with Team Curran, home to familiar names like Jeff & Pat Curran, Felice Herrig, Bart Palaszewski and others.

We’re hoping to have a full report from our on-site man, Iain Grant later on but in the meantime, here’s the results, blatantly stolen from the twitter feed of Mr Staf Lach (@StefLachHack)

Chris Bungard def. Tom Richard by TKO1
Anton Murray def. Steven Galloway by SUB1 (armbar) to become amateur Light Heavyweight Champion
Mark Duncan def. Kevin Brooks by SUB3 (Rear Naked Choke) – Duncan wins Per4mance of the. Night
Johnny Brown def. Stephen Tipping by SUB1 (guillotine)
Tony Chan def. Khaled Jasser by SUB1 (armbar)
Andy Cairns def. Darren Kinloch by SUB2 (armbar)
Harry ‘Junior’ McDonald def. Alan Savage by SUB1 (RNC)
Ronnie Pringle def. Kieran Collins by unanimous decision
Robbie Brown def. Craig Devine by SUB2 (triangle)
Kev McAloon def. Lee Kinnell by SUB1 (armbar)
Jason McKnight def. Scott Drummond by SUB2 (RNC)
Chilekwa ‘Chi Chi’ Ngosa def. Gregg Currie by unanimous decision

Oh yeah and there were some kinda notable cards over in America last night too…

Resurrection Fighting Alliance 11

Notes- Former Bellator champion Zach Makovsky continues to rebuild his status with a dominant win over Matt Manzanares to become the new RFA Flyweight champion (succeeding Sergio Pettis, now with the UFC) and Chinzo Machida, older brother to former UFC champion, Lyoto made his US debut with a brutal KO on Brian Wood.
Results

• Zach Makovsky def. Matt Manzanares via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – for vacant RFA flyweight title
• Raoni Barcelos def. Tyler Toner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Lucas Rota def. Vinnie Lopez via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:33
• Chinzo Machida def. Brian Wood via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 4:53
• Andrew Sanchez def. Todd Meredith via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:51
• Scott Ingram def. Danny Mainus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Bellator 109

A title match, two tournament finals including one big upset, plus big wins for two top Europeans on the undercard. Nice work Bellator…

MAIN
• Alexander Shlemenko def. Doug Marshall via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:28 – for Bellator middleweight title
• Rick Hawn def. Ron Keslar via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:55 – Season 9 welterweight tournament final
• Will Brooks def. Alexander Sarnavskiy via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) – Season 9 lightweight tourney final
• Terry Etim def. Patrick Cenoble via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)

PRELIMINARY
• Mike Bannon def. Ahsan Abdulla via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 1:51
• Blagoi Ivanov def. Keith Bell via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:59
• Goiti Yamauchi def. Saul Almeida via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:04
• Bubba Jenkins def. Ian Rammel via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:38
• Brent Primus def. Brett Glass via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:20
• Lester Caslow def. Jay Haas via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 2:44

Bellator 109 – Shlemenko vs. Marshall

20131121-130945.jpg
We’ve not talked overmuch about Bellator recently, largely due to being a bit horrified at a chunk of their actions (reducing tournament size, low balling fighters, releasing undefeated champions, giving title shots to guys who haven’t won tournaments…) but we have to say, this Friday’s card is a cracker.

Headlined by Alexander Shlemenko making the first defence of his Middleweight title against knockout machine Doug Marshall, supported by two tournament finals, it’s the deepest card they’ve put on in a while.

At lightweight Alexander Sarnavskiy faces Will Brooks for the right to face Eddie Alvarez for his recently regained strap, while at Welterweight Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar are set to collide with the prize of a match for the vacant belt against previous tourney winner Douglas Lima.

Yeah, the prize there is to be the guy the would probably have been ground out by Ben Askren, way to add value to your fighters/belts/promotion!

Further down the card we have English standouts. Michael Page and Terry Etim as well as undefeated Bulgarian, Blagoi Ivanov in bouts that might well affect our European rankings next week.

Obviously, Sarnavskiy and Shlemenko will feature there as well.

Anyways, despite our issues with Bellator in recent times, we like to give credit when a fight card is so promising. We’ll definitely be checking out the prelims on spike.com and videos of the main card on Saturday morning.