August was a busy month in mixed martial arts with some of the best competitors in the sport picking up impressive wins.
The month began with Jose Aldo easily defending his featherweight belt against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 despite breaking his foot on the first kick he threw. The win showed he can adapt to difficult situations, as he changed his strategy and use an effective wrestling attack to stifle the Korean Zombie.
That’s why Aldo moved up one spot and now sits atop the pound-for-pound rankings.
Not many outlets have Aldo as the best fighter in MMA, but he’s the only UFC champ that hasn’t been in any trouble in the past few years.
Sure, he lost the fifth round big to Mark Hominick at UFC 129, but you must remember he was sick and had barely any energy following a draining weight cut. That’s the only time he’s looked human in the UFC or the WEC.
Georges St-Pierre was dropped with a head kick at UFC 154; Jon Jones was caught in a deep armbar at UFC 152; Cain Velasquez was caught and KO’d by JDS in their first meeting.
Aldo never seems to find himself in these types of situations and that’s why he takes the top spot.
Anthony Pettis was the biggest winner during the month as he became the new UFC lightweight champion after submitting Benson Henderson in tremendously impressive fashion at UFC 164. Not only does he find himself atop the 155-pound ranks, but he debuts on the P4P list.
Another lightweight that made an impression was Bellator champ Michael Chandler, who dismantled David Rickels at Bellator 97 on the last day of July.
Chandler has arguably become the best non-UFC fighter in MMA and has the skills to beat any UFC lightweight on any given day.
Finally, welterweight Matt Brown can no longer be denied a spot in the top 10 at 170 pounds. He stopped Mike Pyle in just 29 seconds for his sixth straight win in the UFC, five of which have been by knockout or TKO.
With that, here is what sportsnet.ca’s MMA rankings look like following an action-packed August:
Jump to: Pound-for-pound | Canadians | Women
Jump to: Heavyweight | Light heavyweight | Middleweight
Jump to: Welterweight | Lightweight | Featherweight
Jump to: Bantamweight | Flyweight
1. Jose Aldo
He has barely ever in trouble and has outclassed all of his opponents.
2. Georges St-Pierre
In terms of elite, well-rounded MMA skills, and game plans no fighter is better than GSP.
Between size and skill, he is the most dangerous fighter in the UFC.
Has a reach that confuses opponents and a constantly improving skill set.
5. Anderson Silva
One knockout loss does not diminish his absurd skill set.
6. Anthony Pettis
New UFC lightweight champ is as dynamic as they come.
7. Demetrious Johnson
The fastest fighter in MMA is quickly rising up the P4P ranks.
8. Chris Weidman
He took down a giant.
9. Joseph Benavidez
Has the skill and qualities of a UFC champion, but is missing the belt.
10. Renan Barao
Striking, grappling, finishing instinct. He’s got it all.
NOTE: Dominick Cruz would be on the list, but due to his inactivity he has been left off the list.
Honourable mention: Benson Henderson, Junior dos Santos, Urijah Faber, Pat Curran, Michael Chandler, Chad Mendes
1. Georges St-Pierre
Johny Hendricks might be his toughest test to date.
2. Rory MacDonald
Big test upcoming in Robbie Lawler.
3. T.J. Grant
Should be next in line for lightweight title shot.
4. Jordan Mein
Still no fight lined up after a TKO loss to Matt Brown in April.
5. Ivan Menjivar
Tristar bantamweight meets Norifumi (Kid) Yamamoto at UFC 165.
6. Mark Bocek
Forced out of UFC 165 injured.
7. Ryan Jimmo
Expected to face Jimi Manuwa on Oct. 26 in England.
8. Yves Jabouin
Won controversial decision over Dustin Pague in Winnipeg.
9. Mitch Gagnon
Rising 135-pounder faces Dustin Kimura at UFC 165.
10. John Makdessi
Meets Renee Forte at UFC 165.
Honourable mention: Claude Patrick, Nick Ring, Antonio Carvalho, Sam Stout, Jesse Ronson, Sean Pierson
1. Cristiane Santos
Explosive power, well-rounded offence, great defence. A scary individual.
2. Ronda Rousey
Things with Tate have gotten person during filming of TUF 18.
3. Cat Zingano
Knee injury forced her out TUF stint/fight with Rousey.
4. Sarah Kaufman
Will make her UFC debut against Jessica Eye at UFC 166.
5. Miesha Tate
Will get a second crack at Rousey on Dec. 28 at UFC 168 after TUF 18.
6. Sara McMann
Pulled out of scheduled bout with Kaufman.
7. Jessica Eye
Tough 125-pounder set for UFC and bantamweight debut against Kaufman.
8. Leslie Smith
Looked great against Jennifer Maia at Invicta FC 6.
9. Alexis Davis
Picked up a solid win in her UFC debut against tough veteran Rosi Sexton.
10. Michelle Waterson
“The Karate Hottie” became the Invicta FC atomweight champ in April by beating Jessica Penne just over one year after having a child.
Honourable mention: Liz Carmouche, Marloes Coenen, Jessica Aguilar, Joanne Calderwood, Tara LaRosa, Claudia Gadelha, Shayna Baszler, Jessica Penne
1. Cain Velasquez
Looks to put stamp on JDS trilogy.
2. Junior dos Santos
Wants his belt back after big KO of Mark Hunt.
3. Fabricio Werdum
Avenged his 2006 loss to Big Nog by submitting him in Brazil.
4. Daniel Cormier
His UFC 166 bout against Nelson could be his last at heavyweight.
5. Antonio Silva
Still a dangerous contender.
6. Travis Browne
Coming off big KO of Overeem after withstanding huge body shots.
Looked impressive in win over Mir at UFC 164.
8. Stipe Miocic
Executed a perfect game plan against Nelson at UFC 161.
9. Frank Mir
Lost to Barnett by TKO; some thought it was an early stoppage.
10. Roy Nelson
Cormier is next for Big Country.
Honourable mention: Ben Rothwell, Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Stefan Struve
1. Jon Jones
Headlines another Toronto event against Gustafsson in September.
2. Glover Teixeira
Meets Ryan Bader next.
3. Phil Davis
A win over Machida at UFC 163 was the biggest of his career.
4. Alexander Gustafsson
Finally gets a title shot; meets Jones at UFC 165.
5. Lyoto Machida
Dropping to middleweight.
6. Gegard Mousasi
Looking at possibly moving back down to middleweight.
7. Rashad Evans
Talk of a possible bout with Sonnen has surfaced.
8. Dan Henderson
Headlines a Brazil card against Vitor Belfort next.
9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Injury forced him out of UFC 161 fight with Shogun.
10. Chael Sonnen
Submitted Shogun quickly to the surprise of many.
Honourable mention: Mauricio Rua, Thiago Silva, Ryan Bader, Muhammed Lawal, James Te-Huna
1. Chris Weidman
Shocked the world and is the new champ.
2. Anderson Silva
Showboating cost him at UFC 162.
3. Vitor Belfort
Meets Hendo at 205 next.
4. Ronaldo Souza
Meets Okami in Brazil.
5. Michael Bisping
A bout with Munoz is set for Oct. 26 in England.
6. Luke Rockhold
Meets Boetsch at UFC 166.
7. Yushin Okami
In for a tough test against Jacare.
8. Mark Munoz
A win over Bisping puts him close to a title shot.
9. Alan Belcher
Recovering from eye injury suffered at UFC 159.
10. Constantinos Philippou
Meets Francis Carmont at UFC 165.
Honourable mention: Tim Kennedy, Tim Boetsch, Ronny Markes, Andrew Craig
Agreed to VADA testing for bout with Hendricks at UFC 167.
2. Johny Hendricks
Looks to take GSP’s belt on Nov. 16.
3. Carlos Condit
Battered Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27.
4. Rory MacDonald
Win over Lawler could earn him a title shot.
5. Demian Maia
Faces Jake Shields on Oct. 9.
6. Robbie Lawler
A win over MacDonald would likely mean a title shot.
7. Jake Ellenberger
Didn’t do much of anything against MacDonald.
8. Mike Pierce
The most underrated welterweight. Will welcome Rousimar Palhares to the division.
9. Tarec Saffiedine
Outgoing Strikeforce champ will look to end Brown’s streak in his first UFC fight.
10. Matt Brown
Six straight wins earns him a top-10 spot for the first time.
NOTE: Nick Diaz would be in the top 10 though he says he is currently retired.
Honourable mention: Martin Kampmann, Tyron Woodley, Josh Burkman, Ben Askren, Dong Hyun Kim, Thiago Alves, Erick Silva, Rick Story
1. Anthony Pettis
Won the UFC title after submitting Henderson at UFC 164.
2. Michael Chandler
Smashed David Rickels in 44 seconds at Bellator 97 to remain unbeaten. Has looked unbeatable.
3. Benson Henderson
Suffered his first UFC loss against Pettis.
4. TJ Grant
Had to pull out of UFC 164 title bout against Henderson. SHould fight Pettis next.
5. Gilbert Melendez
Meets Diego Sanchez at UFC 166.
6. Josh Thomson
Became the first fighter to finish Nate Diaz with strikes.
7. Eddie Alvarez
Resolved the issues with Bellator; rematch with Chandler set for Nov. 2 PPV event.
8. Gray Maynard
TJ Grant made him look silly at UFC 160.
9. Pat Healy
Looks to continue hot streak at UFC 165 against Nurmagomedov.
10. Khabib Nurmagomedov
At 20-0 a win over Healy would put him in title shot conversation.
Honourable mention: Rafael dos Anjos, Evan Dunham, Gleison Tibau, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal, Jamie Varner, Edson Barboza, Melvin Guillard
1. Jose Aldo
Is superb in all facits of MMA.
2. Pat Curran
Defends his title against Daniel Straus on Bellator’s PPV card.
3. Chad Mendes
Completely outclassed Clay Guida at UFC 164.
4. Ricardo Lamas
Title shot or No. 1 contender bout is next for him.
5. Chan Sung Jung
Likely will be on the shelf a long time after UFC 163 loss to Aldo.
6. Cub Swanson
Finished Siver impressively at UFC 162.
7. Frankie Edgar
snapped a three-fight losing streak against Charles Oliveira at UFC 162.
8. Dustin Poirier
Beat Koch in a great fight at UFC 164.
9. Eric Koch
10. Dennis Siver
Came up short against Swanson.
Honourable mention: Nik Lentz, Hacran Dias, Diego Nunes, Hatsu Hioki, Patricio Friere, Rani Yahya
1. Dominick Cruz
Hopes to return after a series of knee surgeries.
2. Renan Barao
Defends interim belt against Wineland at UFC 165.
3. Urijah Faber
Beat Alcantara on Aug. 17.
4. Michael McDonald
Submitted Pickett brilliantly at UFC Fight Night 26.
5. Raphael Assuncao
Looked terrific against Vaughan Lee; faces Dillashaw next.
6. Eddie Wineland
Title tilt with Barao was delayed but will go on in Toronto.
7. Yuri Alcantara
Looked good early against Faber.
8. Brad Pickett
Youngster McDonald is a tough out for the Englishman.
9. T.J. Dillashaw
Currently on a great streak of impressive stoppage wins.
10. Bibiano Fernandes
Meets Soo Chul Kim at ONE FC 11.
Honourable mention: Eduardo Dantas, Mike Easton, Ivan Menjivar, George Roop, Scott Jorgensen, Takeya Mizugaki, Erik Perez
1. Demetrious Johnson
Looked fantastic in defending his belt against Moraga.
2. Joseph Benavidez
Win over Jussier da Silva in September could earn him rematch with Mighty Mouse.
3. Ian McCall
Got his first UFC win at UFC 163.
4. John Dodson
Welcomes Montague to UFC in October.
5. John Moraga
Gave Johnson a tough test in title tilt.
6. Darrell Montague
Finally makes his UFC debut at UFC 166.
7. Jussier da Silva
Faces a huge challenge against Benavidez.
8. Tim Elliott
Dominated Gaudinot in exciting fashion.
9. John Lineker
Has looked fantastic of late; stopped Jose Maria Tome at UFC 163.
10. Louis Gaudinot
Lost to Elliott at UFC 164 after long layoff.
Honourable mention: Chris Cariaso, Ulysses Gomez, Jose Maria Tome, Mamoru Yamaguchi, Rambaa Somdet, Yasuhiro Urushitani
MMA rankings are subjective, and ultimately have no real bearing on how fights should or do play out, but they inevitably get fans talking about the sport and its best fighters. Send your thoughts and arguments to @MikeyJ_MMA.