A further indicator of what the MMA landscape might look like in the future: the UFC served up three events in seven days on two continents. MMA fans’ schedules were taxed, but the week-long, 35-fight rush also did considerable good in fleshing out the best of the best in the sport.
Anthony Pettis was pegged as a future superstar early in his MMA career, but no one could have imagined the storybook climax to his ascent in the cage. After injuring his knee and pulling out of a slated Aug. 3 featherweight title bout with Jose Aldo, Pettis was able to slip in for a concussed T.J. Grant to take on rival Benson Henderson for the lightweight crown in his hometown of Milwaukee. His sudden, first-round armbar win to capture the UFC crown legitimized Pettis as MMA’s top 155-pounder and also signaled his emergence as a pound-for-pound stalwart.
A whole gamut of highly ranked commodities -- Carlos Condit, Josh Barnett, Glover Teixeira, Ronaldo Souza, Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez -- scored impressive knockout wins over top-10 foes during the violent week to announce their own championship candidacies.
It was not all sunshine and rainbows for MMA’s decided elite: Donald Cerrone and Hatsu Hioki both tripped, dropping decisions to Rafael dos Anjos and Darren Elkins, respectively. As a result, they exited the Sherdog rankings.
After such an intensive rush of MMA, you would think folks could catch a breather. Instead, the remainder of September offers us four Bellator cards and a UFC pay-per-view with a combined three title fights. Make sure to get your beauty sleep, fight freaks.
Continue Reading » MMA Heavyweight Rankings