Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Friday, October 16, 2009
October 16, 2009: The October 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 www.IndependentWorldMMARankings.com.

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); Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion), Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).

Note: Joachim Hansen, who was previously ineligible to be ranked due to 12 months of inactivity, has regained his eligibility to be ranked as a result of his recent return to competition.

October 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on October 13, 2009

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (12-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Shane Carwin (11-0)
6. Brett Rogers (10-0)
7. Randy Couture (16-10)
8. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 No Contest)
9. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
10. Fabricio Werdum (12-4-1)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)
2. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3)
6. Forrest Griffin (16-6)
7. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1)
8. Dan Henderson (25-7)
9. Thiago Silva (14-1)
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Yushin Okami (23-4)
5. Jorge Santiago (21-7)
6. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
7. Demian Maia (10-1)
8. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
9. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 No Contests)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
5. Josh Koscheck (13-4)
6. Matt Hughes (43-7)
7. Mike Swick (14-2)
8. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
9. Carlos Condit (23-5)
10. Marius Zaromskis (12-3)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (22-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (17-2)
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. Mike Brown (22-4)
2. Urijah Faber (22-3)
3. Jose Aldo (15-1)
4. Hatsu Hioki (20-3-2)
5. Leonard Garcia (13-4)
6. Bibiano Fernandes (7-2)
7. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (16-3)
8. Wagnney Fabiano (12-2)
9. Raphael Assuncao (14-1)
10. Mackens Semerzier (4-0)

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 (9-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Damacio Page (12-4)
9. Rani Yahya (14-4)
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.


Thursday, October 08, 2009
More Bad Than Good at Dream 11 in Japan; and Junie Browning Gets Arrested After More than a Year of His Behavior Being Rewarded
by Ivan Trembow

I have been a bit puzzled by the online reaction to a couple of things related to the recent Dream 11 event in Japan.

Apparently, Shinya Aoki was somehow protected and it was somehow a crime for him to get time to recover after getting kicked in the groin. Really? The instant replays used a reverse camera angle from which you couldn’t actually see Joachim Hansen's foot hit Aoki's groin, but if you go back and look at the original camera angle as it happened live, it’s clear as day that he was kicked in the groin.

Are fighters not supposed to get a break to recover when they get kicked in the groin? The fact that Hansen kicked Aoki twice in the head after kicking him once in the groin doesn’t change the fact that Aoki was kicked in the groin.

Also, the Bibiano Fernandes vs. Hiroyuki Takaya fight was apparently a Fight of the Year candidate. Really? I didn’t come away from the fight with that feeling at all. I thought it was a good fight, but a Fight of the Year candidate? No way.

Apparently following in the footsteps of C.B. Dollaway, Joe Warren lost by submission and then tried to claim that he didn't tap out, even though it certainly appeared that he did (with his fingers). Even if, hypothetically, Warren hadn't tapped at all, his arm was in such a position that the referee would have been completely justified to stop the fight at that moment by technical submission, because otherwise Warren could have suffered a major arm/elbow injury.

On the whole, there was far more bad than good with this event. The "good" was the Aoki-Hansen fight and the Featherweight Grand Prix.

The "bad" was the embarrassing mismatches given to Kazushi Sakuraba and Tatsuya Kawajiri, as well as the awful Hong-Man Choi vs. Ikuhisa Minowa fight and the predictably one-sided fight between Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Bob Sapp (although at least the Sokoudjou-Sapp fight didn’t appear to be a badly-worked pro wrestling match with a pre-determined ending, which is more than I can say for Sapp’s previous fight in the Super Hulk Tournament against Minowa).

I know that this "Super Hulk Tournament" crap is the key to Dream's success in the ratings on Japanese TV, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. The same could be said of EliteXC putting Kimbo Slice in fight after fight on major events, and I didn’t support that, either.

Junie Browning Gets Arrested After More than a Year of His Behavior Being Rewarded
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting the sad news that infamous Ultimate Fighter 8 contestant Junie Browning tried to harm himself by overdosing on anti-anxiety medication, and then attacked three nurses after he was taken to the hospital.

Browning was arrested and charged with battery on a health care provider, and he was shortly thereafter released by the UFC. Browning's coach, Shawn Tompkins, has subsequently said in interviews that Browning was not merely trying to "harm" himself by overdosing, but was actually "trying to take his own life."

The UFC did not release Quinton Jackson after he endangered numerous pedestrian's lives in a Monster Truck in July 2008; nor did the UFC release Jon Koppenhaver when he was convicted of assault for punching and choking a man unconscious (Koppenhaver was only released after his comments about the late Evan Tanner); nor has the UFC released repeat criminal Josh Neer (who should be serving a prison sentence right now instead of fighting on the main card of a PPV event in two weeks).

The fact is, committing a serious crime doesn't usually cause a fighter to be released by the UFC, so it's much more likely that the attempted suicide aspect of Browning's incident is the primary factor behind the UFC's decision to release Browning from his contract.

As you may recall, Browning repeatedly became drunk and violent in the fighters' house during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 8. During the filming of TUF 8, Browning threw a glass at Kyle Kingsbury; got into a poolside scuffle with Ryan Bader; jumped over the Octagon fence and went after Efrain Escudero in an aggressive manner immediately after Escudero defeated Shane Nelson in an NSAC-sanctioned match; threw a glass at Shane Primm's head; and threw two punches at Primm.

Fighters have been kicked off of The Ultimate Fighter for doing far less in the way of rule-breaking, but Browning was not kicked off of the show or released by the UFC for any of these incidents, nor did the UFC release him when he was eliminated from the TUF 8 lightweight tournament in a one-sided fight.

Instead, Browning was rewarded by the UFC, which gave him the one and only main card fight on the live finale that involved TUF 8 contestants who were not tournament finalists.

I wrote about the UFC's decision to reward Browning for his behavior at the time in the following article: Sleazeball Promoters and Trash TV: What The Ultimate Fighter Has Become.

Browning's own coach on TUF 8, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir, said at the time, "Putting him on the main card, it does reward his behavior. It shows people that if you act like a moron or idiot, you'll get face time. That equals money, so it's creating a shortcut, and they don't have to invest as much time into fighting... I realize that Spike has to sell TV time, and I understand that's part of the whole game, but as far as me as a martial artist, I find it an insult."

Rather than being released by the UFC at any of the aforementioned times, hitting rock bottom, and realizing that he needed help with his addictions, Browning was rewarded every step of the way. It's sad that it took an arrest and an attempted suicide for the UFC to finally stop rewarding Browning's behavior. Hopefully, Browning will now get on the road to recovery.

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