UFC on FOX 6 proved to be one of the better cards in recent memory and the results saw many fighters climb the ladder in their respective divisions.
No fighter made a bigger jump than former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who TKO’d Donald Cerrone in less than three minutes and proved he is deserving of a title shot. Pettis became just the second fighter to finish the ultra durable Cerrone — the only other fighter to do so is current UFC champ and No. 1 lightweight Benson Henderson, whom Pettis has defeated.
Demetrious Johnson defended his UFC flyweight title against John Dodson and overcame adversity in doing so, as the TUF 14 champion dropped Mighty Mouse on several occasions early in their five-round fight. Johnson didn’t move up any spots on the pound-for-pound list, though, and remains only slightly ahead of Joseph Benavidez on both lists.
At featherweight, Ricardo Lamas moved to No. 4 after stopping Erik Koch with an impressive (and bloody) TKO and Pat Curran stays at No. 2 following his entertaining title defence against Patricio Friere at Bellator 85.
Cole Harbour, N.S.’s TJ Grant broke into the top 10 lightweights and cemented his spot at No. 3 on the Canadian P4P ranks after his absolute destruction of Matt Wiman, who was also on the doorstep of a top-10 spot. Also at 155 pounds, Michael Chandler climbed up a couple spots with his fantastic submission win over Rick Hawn at Bellator 85.
Gegard Mousasi sneaked into the top 10 at 205 pounds following a long layoff. Mousasi made quick work of Mike Kyle and showed off his well-rounded skill set. UFC fans will be able to see him in action in April when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson.
There were also some more shakeups at middleweight after Vitor Belfort knocked Michael Bisping out and the Brit lost his chance at a title shot.
With these things in mind, here are Sportsnet.ca’s MMA rankings for January 2013:
Jump to: Pound-for-pound | Canadians | Women
Jump to: Heavyweight | Light heavyweight | Middleweight | Welterweight
Jump to: Lightweight | Featherweight | Bantamweight | Flyweight
1. Georges St-Pierre
He is the most skilled, well-rounded mixed martial artist out there.
2. Anderson Silva
He does things other fighters can’t.
3. Jose Aldo
Almost untouchable in his division.
4. Benson Henderson
He is a stylistic matchup nightmare for all lightweights.
5. Cain Velasquez
He’s as good as anyone in MMA and he’s a champion again.
6. Jon Jones
Overcame adversity in and out of the cage in 2012.
7. Dominick Cruz
Injury problems have plagued him of late.
8. Demetrious Johnson
The fastest fighter in MMA and has skills everywhere.
9. Joseph Benavidez
The best fighter not currently a UFC champion.
10. Junior dos Santos
Has some of the best boxing in MMA and a phenomenal chin. Can he bounce back from first UFC loss?
Honourable mention: Frankie Edgar, Dan Henderson, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans
Proved again at UFC 154 why he’s the greatest Canadian in MMA.
2. Rory MacDonald
People need to stop referring to him as a prospect.
3. T.J. Grant
Had a flawless performance against Matt Wiman.
4. Ivan Menjivar
Faces Urijah Faber at UFC 157.
5. Mark Bocek
Was outmatched by Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 154.
6. Jordan Mein
Makes his UFC debut against Dan Miller at UFC 158.
7. Claude Patrick
Has been injured but recently earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
8. Ryan Jimmo
Takes on James Te-Huna on Feb. 16.
9. Yves Jabouin
Meets Johnny Eduardo in hometown of Montreal in March.
10. Nick Ring
Faces TUF 11 castmate Chris Camozzi at UFC 158.
Honourable mention: Antonio Carvalho, Mitch Gagnon, Jesse Ronson, Sean Pierson, Sam Stout, John Makdessi
1. Ronda Rousey
The first female UFC champion. Headlines UFC 157.
2. Sarah Kaufman
Competes at Invicta FC 5 in April.
3. Miesha Tate
Submitted Julie Kedzie in a Fight of the Year candidate.
4. Sara McMann
Is unbeaten, impressive and improving.
5. Jessica Aguilar
Has won nine of ten fights.
6. Jessica Penne
Became Invicta FC atomweight champion in October.
7. Marloes Coenen
Submitted Fiona Muxlow at DREAM 18.
8. Megumi Fujii
Coming off second career loss.
9. Jessica Eye
Choked Gurgel unconscious at Bellator 83.
10. Zoila Gurgel
Coming off submission loss to Eye.
Honourable mention: Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis, Tara LaRosa, Amanda Nunes, Shayna Baszler, Germaine de Randamie, Julie Kedzie, Ayaka Hamasaki
Note: Cristiane (Cyborg) Santos is not on the list due to her failed drug test and subsequent one-year suspension.
1. Cain Velasquez
Redeemed himself and won his title back from JDS.
2. Junior dos Santos
Got caught early and never recovered at UFC 155.
3. Fabricio Werdum
Will coach TUF Brazil 2 against Big Nog then fight him.
4. Daniel Cormier
Faces Mir at UFC on Fox in April.
5. Alistair Overeem
Wanted a title shot but gets Bigfoot instead.
6. Antonio Silva
Nearly decapitated Travis Browne, now looks to do the same to Overeem.
7. Shane Carwin
Knee injury forced him out of TUF 16 finale bout vs. Big Country.
8. Frank Mir
Will Welcome Cormier to the UFC.
9. Roy Nelson
KO’d Matt Mitrione after Carwin pulled out.
10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Not the same Big Nog as years past but will give Werdum a test.
Honourable mention: Travis Browne, Stefan Struve, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Stipe Miocic
1. Jon Jones
Will defend his belt against Chael Sonnen after stint as TUF 17 coach.
2. Rashad Evans
Returns against Lil Nog at UFC 156.
3. Dan Henderson
Luckily didn’t need surgery on his injured knee, meets Machida next.
4. Lyoto Machida
Takes on Hendo at UFC 157.
5. Phil Davis
Was to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 but Griffin pulled out.
6. Alexander Gustafsson
Will welcome Mousasi to the UFC in April.
7. Glover Teixeira
Outclassed Rampage on FOX.
8. Mauricio Rua
Was outdueled by Gustafsson on prime time TV.
9. Ryan Bader
Made quick work of Vladimir Matyushenko on Jan. 26.
10. Gegard Mousasi
Makes long awaited UFC debut April 6 in Sweden.
Honourable mention: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Thiago Silva, Quinton Jackson,
1. Anderson Silva
Fights on another frequency than most in the UFC.
2. Hector Lombard
We saw the real Lombard with his KO of Rousimar Palhares.
3. Vitor Belfort
Finished Bisping with a swift kick and follow-up shots.
4. Chris Weidman
Recovering from shoulder surgery.
5. Michael Bisping
KO’d by Belfort and missed out on a title shot.
6. Luke Rockhold
Recovering from injury but will return in 2013.
7. Ronaldo Souza
Owned Ed Herman at Strikeforce’s final event.
8. Yushin Okami
Outmuscled Belcher at UFC 155. Faces Lombard next.
9. Alan Belcher
Was held down by Okami and couldn’t do anything about it.
10. Constantinos Philippou
Still improving but win over Boetsch was big.
Honourable mention: Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann, Rousimar Palhares
Note: Chael Sonnen was No. 2 but has since moved up to the 205-pound division.
Meets Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal.
2. Carlos Condit
Looking to beat MacDonald for a second time.
3. Nick Diaz
Gets his chance against GSP in enemy territory.
4. Johny Hendricks
Planked Kampmann at UFC 154. Gets Ellenberger next.
5. Rory MacDonald
Battered BJ Penn on FOX and got desired rematch Condit.
6. Demian Maia
Faces Fitch at UFC 156.
7. Jon Fitch
Would be huge if he can beat Maia.
8. Martin Kampmann
Got caught by a perfect Hendricks punch.
9. Jake Ellenberger
Looks to regain contender status with win over Hendricks.
10. Mike Pierce
If a couple controversial decisions went his way he’d be in the title picture.
Honourable mention: Tarec Saffiedine, Ben Askren, Nate Marquardt, Dong Hyun Kim, Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves, Erick Silva, Mike Pyle
1. Benson Henderson
Meets Melendez on April 20 on Fox.
2. Anthony Pettis
Put away Cerrone and showed why he deserves a title shot.
3. Nate Diaz
Dominated by Bendo but showed his toughness.
4. Gilbert Melendez
Earned an immediate title shot since moving over from Strikeforce.
5. Gray Maynard
Injury forced him out of a UFC 155 bout with Joe Lauzon.
6. Michael Chandler
Submitted Rick Hawn at Bellator 85 in impressive fashion.
7. Donald Cerrone
Was no match for Pettis at UFC on FOX 6.
8. Jim Miller
Bloodied Lauzon in a complete performance.
9. Eddie Alvarez
Should be in the UFC soon but in a legal battle with Bellator.
10. TJ Grant
Dismantled Matt Wiman improving to 4-0 at lightweight.
Honourable mention: Rafael dos Anjos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Joe Lauzon, Jamie Varner, Matt Wiman, Evan Dunham, Gleison Tibau
1. Jose Aldo
Headlines UFC 156 against Edgar.
2. Pat Curran
Beat Patricio Freire at Bellator 85 with beautiful combinations.
3. Chad Mendes
KO’d Yaotzin Meza with ease at UFC on FX 6.
4. Ricardo Lamas
TKO’d Koch in bloody fashion.
5. Chan Sung Jung
Closing in on a title shot in a stacked division.
6. Frankie Edgar
Got an immediate title shot when he made the drop to 145.
7. Dustin Poirier
Will face Swanson at UFC on FUEL TV 7.
8. Eric Koch
Coming off first career stoppage loss.
9. Cub Swanson
Meets Poirier in London in February.
10. Dennis Siver
Forced to withdraw from bout against Swanson.
Honourable mention: Nik Lentz, Diego Nunes, Hatsu Hioki, Patricio Friere, Rani Yahya, Hacran Dias, Darren Elkins, Clay Guida
1. Dominick Cruz
His return was pushed back after a setback in his knee’s rehab.
2. Renan Barao
Will defend interim belt against McDonald in February.
3. Urijah Faber
Takes on Menjivar at UFC 157.
4. Brian Bowles
Only career losses to Cruz and Faber.
5. Michael McDonald
Will fight Barao for interim strap.
6. Eddie Wineland
His striking was on point against Pickett.
7. Brad Pickett
Was a half step behind Wineland at UFC 155.
8. Ivan Menjivar
Performed brilliantly at UFC 154. Faber is next
9. Bibiano Fernandes
Finished the year by choking Yoshiro Maeda unconscious at DREAM 18.
10. Scott Jorgensen
Earned Submission and Fight of the Night at UFC on FOX 5.
Honourable mention: Raphael Assuncao, Mike Easton, Eduardo Dantas, Takeya Mizugaki, Erik Perez
1. Demetrious Johnson
Fought like a true champion against Dodson.
2. Joseph Benavidez
Meets McCall at UFC 156.
3. John Dodson
Nearly became UFC champ after dropping Mighty Mouse more than once.
4. Ian McCall
In tough against Benavidez.
5. Jussier da Silva
Was unsuccessful in his UFC debut.
6. John Moraga
2-0 in the UFC with two great stoppages.
7. Darren Uyenoyama
Has possibly the most dangerous ground game in the division.
8. Darrell Montague
Only loss at flyweight was to McCall.
9. Tim Elliott
Has won nine of his last 10.
10. John Lineker
Looked great against Yasuhiro Urushitani in Macau.
Honourable mention: Chris Cariaso, Ulysses Gomez, Jose Maria Tome, Louis Gaudinot, 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.