Fight Sport Magazine Rankings

Damn you Chuck - trying to deceive all by reading old news!!!!

Chuck had the most consistent wins over quality competition in the last few years, that's how he became number 1. He was on a 6 or 7 fight win streak against good, if not neccesarily top, fighters. You asked if Chuck beat a top 5 fighter, he beat Randy Couture twice who was the number 1 when he beat both Chuck and Tito. At the time Wand was fighting Japanese 185lbers and Shogun was working his way up.

As you said, because of the different orgs, the top fighters rarely fight each other. We looked at Ring magazines rankings as they are the very best, the only way for a new Ring champion to be crowned is if the top guy fights the no 2 or No 3, which is incredibly rare in MMA so a champ system is almost impossible right now.

I'm having some trouble with your points about Serra and Sherk. You're saying that Serra should go straight in at No 1 because he beat GSP but Sherk shouldn't even be top 10 even though he beat Diaz and Florian.


" He was on a 6 or 7 fight win streak against good, if not neccesarily top, fighters."

During his 7 fight win streak he won 4 rematches, beat a MW, and guy with a losing record.  His 7 fight wins streak was against 5 fighters.  Also how in the world was Randy number 1 when Chuck beat him?  Randy's biggest LHW win ever was against Chuck who was certainly not #1 when Randy beat him.

This during a time when Wandy KO'd Rampage 2x (who clowned Chuck 2x), and also beat Yoshida, Arona, and Fujita, while going 12-2 with 1 loss coming to a super HW and the other against Arona who he immediately avenged.

Shogun went 12-0 at LHW during the same period with KO wins over Arona, Rampage, and Overeem (2x), and a decisive decision win over Lil Nog.

Chuck was not the most consistent, nor did he have the most quality wins.  Not even close.

"You're saying that Serra should go straight in at No 1 because he beat GSP but Sherk shouldn't even be top 10 even though he beat Diaz and Florian."

Diaz was not top 10 when Sherk beat him (he was losing 4 in a row at that point), and Florian was not even top 20 when Sherk beat him and Sherk didn't look impressive in either fight.  Until Sherk fights someone in the top 10 he obviously can not be ranked there.  He doesn't get to be # 5 for beating Florian who was probably ranked 25th or so.

GSP was the undisputed #1 when Serra absolutely destroyed him in the one area of the fight that GSP was assumed to have a clear advantage.  This is the one largely unified division in all of MMA, and again if it is a fluke that Serra is on top of the pile, it will self correct in his next fight.  If he beats Hughes nobody will argue his #1 ranking.

Pretty simple,  Serra destroyed the #1 to become the #1.  Sherk beat two guys outside the top 10 and as a result stayed outside the top 10.  I'm not sure why you are trying to make a comparison between Sherk and Serra. 

Here is a better comparison from your rankings.  You have Sherk higher for decisioning 2 unranked guys than you have Sok who violently KO'd 2 top 5 guys.  That's decidedly fan boy, and not based on anything the least beat rational.

You also have Randy ranked higher than Sok or Gonzaga when Randy is 1-2 in his last 3 HW fights and 5-5 in his last 10, his only HW win coming over Sylvia who you had ranked 6th at the time... yet Sok beats 2 top 5 LHW's and doesn't crack the top 5.  Gonzaga goes 8-1 including 8 stoppages and a violent KO against the #3 HW and he is below Randy who you ranked #5 based on 1 decision win against a guy outside your top 5. 

So Randy who is 1-2 in his last 3 HW fights (his 1 win coming in a decision over #6) is higher than Gonzaga who went 8-1 with a 8 Subs/KO's and a KO over #3.  Please explain that in any way other than "I like Randy better".

You have Nate M. magically in the top 5 for beating Lister who was not top 10?  How does that work?

You have Aoki atop the LW ranking and Sakurai who recently beat him in 7th, and you use beating Hansen as an excuse to put Aoki on the top, when Hansen was not at the top, and Sakurai beat him as well.  And what does Aoki beating Black who was not in the top 10 have to do with anything at the top of the WC rankings?  Sakurai is obviously ranked higher than Aoki, yet you have Aoki #1 and Sakurai #7.

"the only way for a new Ring champion to be crowned is if the top guy fights the no 2 or No 3, which is incredibly rare in MMA so a champ system is almost impossible right now"

It's not incredibly rare, although it doesn't happen as often as it should.  Ring's rankings allow for someone to be number 1 without being named the champion, and this makes sense in the WC's where the top guys need to fight.

Gomi fought pretty much the whole top of the LW food chain.

Every top 5 HW has fought another top 5 HW, and with the exception of Gonzaga, they all have multiple fights against other top 5 fighters.

Hughes fought both the #2 and #1 contenders, Penn fought the Champion and the #1 contender.  Diego fought Karo and Kosh, Kosh is about to fight GSP.

Only MW and LHW are less clear, but with Chuck beating everyone in the UFC with ease, and getting repeatedly stopped by Rampage who was getting beaten like a rag doll by Silva and Shogun we have some fights to make an educated ranking with.

MW is the most up in the air WC, because a lot of the top guys have wins over each other, and a lot of the top guys have not fought yet.

*edit for spelling

Randy became number top 5 in June 2003 when he beat Chuck and Number 1 in September of the same year when he beat Tito. At the time none of the top fighters were fighting each other and the division was a mess. Chuck had beaten Babalu, Suloev, Mezger, Randleman, Bustamante, Monson.

During the same period Silva was fighting undersized Japanese opponents, the only fights he had against top fighters were Cro Cop who had only just started in MMA and Sakuraba who, despite being a legend, was another undersized Japanese opponent.

Shogun was fighting guys like Babalu (a loss) Eric Wanderlei, Cyborg.

Arona didn't fight for nearly 2 years at that time, Rampage was up there with wins over Igor, Murilo and Randleman.

I don't see how anyone other than Randy could have been the top guy at that time.

Randy and Wanderlei were the two top guys after Wanderlei won the tournament (I don't have the full ranking history here to check exactly who was where which month) Silva then went back to alternately beating up oversized Japanese fighters and beating real contenders. Keeping himself in the top 5 but not neccesarily number 1. Chuck in the meantime beat Ortiz, Randy twice, Horn (a bulked up middleweight and not a top contender I agree) Babalu (who at the time was on a good winning streak and was widely considered a top fighter) and a loss to Hunt.

Shogun took the top spot at one point, but his inactivity due to his injury saw him drop to second behind Chuck.

Rampage in the meantime had a few unimpressive performances and almost dropped out of the top ten, his win over Eastman did little to see him climb the rankings as Eastman was never a top contender and Rampage didn't look impressive in it. (Rampage has since climbed 4 or 5 places thanks to his win over Chuck but these rankings are from May 1)

As for your Sherk and Sok comparison. Should Sherk's performances at WW be totally ignored? He was a top contender in that weight category for years, should he have to start from scratch because he's changed weight category? especially when the Japanese based fighters have been fighting between the two weight categories. I don't think so, but I'm interested in what you think.

Sok has looked great in his two fights, but Arona has been consistently near the top for years, should he drop down for one loss when he beat Wanderlei not so long ago?

At HW, the only thing that's sure right now is that Fedor's number 1, and there's even people arguing about that. We may have been overzealous with Randy, he probably is ranked too high, I guess it's hard not to think of his as a top contender with all that he has achieved and it's tough not to be impressed with what he did against Sylvia, especially when nobody expected it.

We didn't know what to do with Gomi to be honest, he's still probably the top guy but got whupped on by a non contender again (same happened against Aurelio) so we had trouble leaving him at the top.

Then we thought about Sakurai, since losing to Gomi he's fought guys who are nowhere near the top, how can he be number 1?

Kawajiri, since losing to Gomi beat Hansen and 3 guys who are nowhere near the top and lost to Melendez.

Melendez has fought one top guy who he beat by decision.

Ishida just lost to Gomi.

Aoki is the only one with consistent wins over quality competition, he's had 8 wins since his loss to Sakurai over varying levels of competition.


Maybe Gomi should still be number 1.

"Should Sherk's performances at WW be totally ignored?"

From a ranking standpoint for the most part yes, and he NEVER beat anyone at WW who was in the top 10 anyway, nobody ever!  Every time in Sherk's career that he has stepped up and fought top 10 guys he lost.  You can't climb into the top 10 by beating guys who are not in the top 10, and always getting beat by guys in the top 10.  Seriously the biggest win of Sherk's career is his win over Diaz who was not top 10, and his wins over Karo when Karo was too young to legally fight.   You can't justify moving Sherk to 5 off of the back in time machine win over a then unranked Diaz at a different weight. 

"Then we thought about Sakurai, since losing to Gomi he's fought guys who are nowhere near the top, how can he be number 1?"

You should look at who you have atop your WW rankings and apply the same criteria then.  GSP has not fought anyone since his loss, and Hughes has 1 win over a guy "nowhere near the top" since his loss.  Sakurai loses to the undisputed #1 and you move him nearly out of the rankings.  GSP gets destroyed by Serra... and stays #1?  Again are you just making up the rules as you go along?

So Sakurai who has beaten a whose who of LW's is #7 because he lost once to the then undisputed #1, but Arona who is 1 and 3 in his last 4 fights only drops to # 5 for that?  Give me a break.  How is Sakurai possibly behind Sherk or Aoki? 

Sakurai loses to Gomi and drops almost totally out of the rankings, even though he has been BY FAR the most consistent LW, and has BY FAR the most consistent big wins (save possibly Gomi)... and he is # 7 for one loss... but Sherk beats a guy ranked around 25 and becomes #5.

...and GSP gets totally and utterly destroyed by Serra, GSP is shown to have no business in the ring with Serra, and GSP is magically still #1 and Sakurai is pushed nearly out of the top 10, and a guy Sakurai just clowned is #1.  Give me a break.  There is no ryhme or reason to your rankings.  You clearly just put who you want, where you want.  You argue both sides of the exact same arguement based on who you have where in various weight classes.  I've honestly never seen so much hypocrisy in a publication in my life.  Seriously there is no way to even consider Sakurai below Aoki, it's laughable.  Aoki is magically #1 for beating a guy who was not ranked, and a guy who was probably at the bottom of the top 10 when he beat him.

Sherk has never beat a top 10 fighter at any weight class, and has never beat a top 20 fighter at LW and he is number 5, that is ridiculous.  BJ's win last night over Pulver is bigger than any win in Sherk's career at any weight, does he magically become #4 now?  Of course not.

Sok has more big wins, and in more impressive fashion in his last 2 fights than Sherk has in his whole career and Sherk is higher in your rankings than Sok.  Sok coming off multiple KO wins over top 5 competition is ranked behind a guy he just clowned... and that guy is 1-3 in his last 4.  That's fandom gone wrong.

"Melendez has fought one top guy who he beat by decision."

That is one more top 5 guy than Aoki.

"Maybe Gomi should still be number 1."

With the fight with Diaz being called a NC that is a viable option.  He is certainly above Aoki.   If you choose to consider the Diaz win valid then Diaz is #1.  If you choose to penalize Gomi for the loss and penalize Diaz for the NC then Sakurai is #1 (since Sakurai was #2 before Diaz fought Gomi).  Aoki, is likely a fight or two from proving he deserves the #1 ranking, but he sure as shit is not #1 right now.  Sakurai won't make 155lbs, and Aoki likely gets the wins he needs to become #1.  He does not have them as of right now.

"Shogun took the top spot at one point, but his inactivity due to his injury saw him drop to second behind Chuck."

Shogun was injured 2/26/06 and fought 9/10/06, Chuck didn't fight between 2/04/06 and 8/26/06 (because of injury).  Chuck was inactive a week longer, and during the exact same time period as Shogun, and this is your excuse for jumping Chuck over Shogun?  Seriously are you making this up as you go along?

Chuck wouldn't have been #2 anyway (he was behind Wandy, Arona, Lil Nog) for Shogun to drop behind, but if he was then why didn't Chuck drop for his period of inactivity after injury (the same period Shogun didn't fight)?  Why hasn't Sherk who has no business in the top 10 to begin with dropped for his period of inactivity after injury?  Sherk has not fought in over 8 months, his period of inactivity will be roughly 1.5 months longer than Shogun's.

And how the hell are Arlovski and Werdum ahead of Sylvia?  Sylvia beats Arlovski twice, Arlovski comes back with a lackluster win over a guy ranked below Sylvia and magically both he and Werdum jump over Tim?  Give me a break. 

Werdum is below Tim, loses to a guy below Tim, and jumps Tim in the rankings?  Good luck explaining that.

How can Gonzaga possibly be below Couture? 

Couture is 1-2 in his last 3 HW fights, his biggest win coming over Sylvia.  Gonzaga is 8-1, his last win a one sided mauling of the #3 guy and he is several places below Couture?  Randy is getting a lot of fan points there!

your magazine = good, your rankings = clueless.  They are in all honesty the worst attempt at rankings I have ever seen. 

I understand these ranking are from may...
But these don't make sense..

How can Liddell be ranked Higher than Rua, henderson, Silva, Arona, Sokoujou, Nog,and Rampage -- He hasn't beat any of them!!!

Meanwhile, Nog, Rampage, Henderson, Rua, Arona have all fought each other... How can they rank him top 5, when he never beat anybody in the top 5?

"How can they rank him top 5, when he never beat anybody in the top 5?"

Because they magically made Randy #1 when Chuck beat him (although they don't consider beating #1 a valid criteria for being #1 in any other WC).

As near as I can tell you get 5 or 10 bonus places in these rankings for being a UFC posterboy.

GSP destroyed in last fight magically #1.

Lidell destroyed by Rampage, has 7 fights that are meaningless to the top of the rankings magically #1.

Couture, 1-2 in his last 3 HW fights and 5-5 in his last 10 magically ahead of a guy who is 8-1 in his career and just destroyed the #3 HW.

Sherk no top 20 LW wins in his entire career, no top 10 wins at any WC in his entire career magically #5.

Arlovski loses 2 times to Sylvia, wins a lackluster decision against a guy who was ranked below Sylvia and magically THEY BOTH jump over Sylvia.

Kosh easily beats Diego in a one sided fight and magically Diego is ranked right ahead of Kosh.

Sakurai 7-1 in his last 8 (his one loss coming against the undisputed #1), and he is magically behind Sherk who has never had a meaningful win from a top 10 rankings standpoint at any weight class in his entire career.

Sakurai goes from #2 to #7 for getting beat by #1... meanwhile #1 Hughes loses to #2 GSP and only drops to #2, and new #1 GSP gets clowned at his own game by Serra and stays #1.

Sok, is the only guy with 2 wins over top 5 LHW's this year (and he KO'd both of them, one an Olympic boxer), and he is not top 5.

Aoki is magically #4 at WW because he beat the same #10 guy twice.

Hendos win at LHW is used to justify his ranking at MW.

Sherk's fight with Diaz is put in the back in time machine to help justify Sherk's unfounded magical top 5 LW ranking.

They are not rankings, they are a list of who the list maker likes or thinks is best (or maybe some of both).

Smac1, some of your points are valid and I will definitely take them into consideration, I knew when I put these up there would be a lot of criticism as very few people can agree on who's best, and who has beaten top guys plus most of the top fighters haven't fought each other.

That said, you have a bit of a bias towards Pride.

Out of interest, can you post your top 10.


I'll work on it. I get criticized on here for being a UFC shill frequently, so I don't think I buy the PRIDE Bias.


1) Fedor

2) Nog

3) Gonzaga

4) Cro Cop

5) Barnett


7) Sylvia

8) Arlovski

9) Werdum

10) ? Aleks, Monson, Kharitonov... maybe more.


1) Shogun

2) Hendo

3) Rampage

4) Sok

5) Chuck

6) Wandy

7) Arona

8) lil Nog

9) Tito

10) Nakamura or Evans

2-4 and 5-7 can be rearranged in just about any order, it's down trivialities.

MW Don't want to touch it too confusing.


1) Serra

2) GSP

3) Hughes

4) Kosh

5) Diego

6) Karo

7) Fitch

8) Shields

9) Aoki

10) Kikuchi

8-10 are open to a lot of debate. The top of the order is very straightforward.

1) Sakurai

2) Gomi

3) Melendez

4) Kawajiri

5) Aoki

6) Shaolin

7) Ishida

8) Hansen

9) Kid

10) Stevenson

9 and 10 I really don't know what to do with (think of Kid and Stevenson as intuitive place holders), and Shaolin could probably be plugged in anywhere from 5 down to 8.

With all the chaotic upsets lately it's become almost impossible to set up a logically consistent order that stretches out over 10.

I would say that at this point you really can't definitively rank more than the top 2 or 3 in all of the weight classes (and sometimes not even that).

For me the most important rule of thumb is that to enter the top ten, you must almost always first beat someone in the top ten. (For instance, that's why I disagree with putting Monson in the top ten. Yes, he looked really impressive against Fujita and that was his best win ever - but still, Fujita was not a top-ten HW.)

But occasionally, when there aren't really ten better alternatives (usually because of a spate of recent losses within the top ten or inactivity), someone might be able to scrape in by default, even without any top-ten wins ever - like Fitch and maybe Rashad.

Also, putting on a tough, competitive performance in a loss against a top-ranked guy should not hurt you too much in the rankings, and should often actually be worth more than a dominant win over an unranked no-name.

But again, at this time, it is almost impossible to find ten guys in any weight class who have all had at least one top-ten win and not also suffered a devaluing upset loss.

You can say that there are reasonable candidates who belong somewhere within a top ten, but there is no reasonable consistency to justify adamantly arguing over which specific numerical spots, aside from maybe the top 2 or 3.

For example at HW, Fedor and Nog have to be #1 and #2, and we can all probably agree that CC and Barnett have enough previous accomplishments to merit staying in the top ten, and that Randy and Gonzaga with their big wins now deserve to enter the top ten.

But exactly where inside that top ten should they each place? Forget about it.

I almost wish MMA rankings would do something like smac1 did and just add a qualifier like "2-4 and 5-7 can be rearranged in just about any order."

Something like:

  1. Fedor

  2. Nog

candidates for 3-9. Barnett, Cro Cop, Sylvia, Arlovski, Werdum, Randy, Gonzaga

candidates for 10-12. Aleksander, Kharitonov, Hunt


Thanks for that.

They're pretty interesting and some of which I (personally) think are more accurate than the FightSport ones. But I'm not the only person who contributes to our rankings.

I think FightSport have different criteria for rankings than you do but other than that we're mostly on the same page. We don't immediately give someone the top spot for a single win over a guy who has been consistently good (Serra, Sok) because we put more emphasis on consistency than you do. Kosh vs Diego is another good example, Diego was Kosh's best opponent by far whereas Diego has wins over Parisian and Diaz

You've spent a lot of time on here criticizing how high we put Randy, then you put him just one spot lower?

You're right about MW, the Pride GP was supposed to sort everything out, instead it just added confusion.


hdale, NO Chuck was number 1 before getting KO'd by Rampage. These rankings are from May 1.