411’s Fighter of the Month 12.10.12: November
How It Works
Each staff member picks five fighters and ranks them. I’ll assign a point value to those rankings. Points are determined as:
1st – 5
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1
The fighter with the most points is our Fighter of the Month and then new points are assigned that will go towards Fighter of the Year. Those points are:
1st – 15
2nd – 12
3rd – 9
4th – 6
5th – 3
6th – 1
1) Johny Hendricks
Destroyed Martin Kampmann and proved that he is the real #1 contender for the WW title. The only person that should have fought GSP before Hendricks was Anderson Silva, unfortunately the UFC is going through with this Nick Diaz bullshit. I mean, Hendricks only won his last five fights, while Diaz lost his last and served a commission suspension. It makes sense to Uncle Dana.
2) George St. Pierre: George St. Pierre returned from his ACL injury and pretty much picked up right where he left off. Dominating an opponent for five rounds and retaining his title via decision.
3) Tyrone Spong: Many people were hyped for the MMA debut of Tyrone Spong and for good reason. He looked like a complete beast knocking out Travis Bartlett at the WSF1 event. I can’t wait to see his next MMA fight.
4) Richard Hale: Richard Hale defeated Thiago Santos at Bellator 79 via TKO. Santos was winning the fight, but once Hale weathered the storm and knocked out a tooth, Santos did his best Bob Sap impersonation and bailed on the fight.
5) Cung Le: Knocked Rich Franklin the FUCK out in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 6.
1) George St. Pierre
GSP was coming off a layoff where he hadn’t been in the Octagon for over a year and a half. And he was going in against the interim UFC champion and former welterweight champion Carlos Condit, who had never lost a title fight in his career. Coming back from a bad knee injury, GSP got back to his old self and dominated the fate to get the victory over Condit. Condit brought the fight to GSP and connected with a solid head kick that put GSP to the mat. Showing just how good and tough he is and that he has the heart of a true champion, GSP rallied back and recover and still walked away with the W.
2) Johny Hendricks: Hendricks put together another amazing highlight reel knockout over tough welterweight gamer Martin Kampmann. Kampmann has come back from some rough beatings before, so it was extremely impressive how Hendricks used his patented left hand to once again knock out a guy in almost the exact same fashion he did Jon Fitch. Hendricks is in a position now where he is arguably the top contender at welterweight right now. But unfortunately due to matchmaking, he might not be able to get that shot for a while.
3) Joe Warren: Joe Warren is a true champion. He’s got the heart of a lion and he’s the baddest man on the planet. Warren had suffered back-to-back losses against Alexis Vila and Pat Curran, the latter of which saw him lose his Bellator featherweight title. But just like the Chumba Wumba song Tubthumping, you may knock him down but he will get up again and you will never keep him down. Owen Evinger talked a big game going into this fight. He thought he could just touch Warren’s chin and knock him out. That wasn’t the case. Warren came back and dominated the fight and got back to his winning ways officially putting the rest of Bellator and all the pretenders and poseurs on notice.
4) Cung Le: UFC’s first ever show in China featured a successful showing by Cung Le in the main event getting a quick knockout against former middleweight ace Rich Franklin. Honestly this was the opposite result I expected since Cung Le was overcoming a foot injury and it was a five round fight. Le looked incredibly patient and took his time before he dropped and finished Franklin. It looks like this old dog still has some tricks.
5) Marlon Moraes: Moraes likely wasn’t the favorite going into his fight against former bantamweight king Miguel Torres at the first ever World Series of Fighting event, but he proved his salt by bringing the fight to the former champion. The fight was surprisingly contested on the feet where Moraes had the advantage and totally outworked Torres. Moraes now gets to build his name on a big stage with a solid showing and win over Torres.
1) Johny Hendricks:
Sure, he may not get first dibs at GSP because the UFC/Georges want the bigger money fight with Nick Diaz, but you can’t have a better performance than Hendricks did against Martin Kampmann. Over the past year, he has knocked out Jon Fitch in seconds, he bested Josh Koscheck to a decision and he knocked out Kampmann in seconds. He has turned into a fighter you MUST go out of your way to watch because he’s putting top guys down on a consistent basis like few others.
2) Georges St. Pierre: Give the man credit, GSP bounced back from his ACL injury and looked as good as ever against Carlos Condit. Plus, we saw him take a huge head kick but he persevered and did not let it stop him. St. Pierre looked bigger and stronger and with two big fights in the near future (possibly) against Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva, show him the money!
3) Marcin Held: He earned a spot in the finals of the lightweight tournament by submitting Rich Clementi with a vicious toe hold. It was a back-and-forth two-round fight that was all action. Check out highlights if you can find them, you won’t be sorry.
4) Rich Hale: In the heavyweight semifinal, Rich was this close to being finished by Thiago “Watch Your Grapefruits” Santos, only to recuperate and be the one winning by knockout. He’s usually giving up so much size because he’s a tall heavyweight who could fight at light heavyweight (but he enjoys his food too much). Even so, he retains his power and is now up against Alex Volkov to become the second Bellator heavyweight champion.
5) Anthony Johnson: Who forgot about Rumble? No longer. When the debut show for World Series of Fighting was over, it was Anthony Johnson who was the star. Without the issue of weight cuts bothering him at light heavyweight, he displayed the damning power we’ve seen in spurts throughout his career. D.J. Linderman found out the rough way as he face planted and needed to be woken up.
1) Georges St-Pierre:
After being out of action since the 1980s, GSP returned and looked very impressive against a very game Carlos Condit. He looked so impressive; I am actually excited about him defending his title against guys who have fought their way into title contention, like Johny Hendricks. Unfortunately, GSP will probably fight someone less deserving like Nick Diaz because the UFC hasn’t quite figured out how to balance sport vs. entertainment when it comes to title shots. Despite all that, GSP didn’t look like he’d lost a step at all, and even overcame a bad spot where he was put down by a head-kick.
2) Johny Hendricks : He cemented himself as the #1 contender to GSP’s title with a spectacular performance against a very tough Martin Kampmann. Folks can try to downplay his wins as much as they want, but he’s knocked out both Jon Fitch and Kampmann, and outwrestled both Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce. I don’t know who else the UFC expects him to beat at this point, but his wins over Koscheck, Fitch, and Kampmann, already make him more qualified for a title shot than Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves, Jake Shields, or B.J. Penn ever were.
3) Cung Le: Cung is at an interesting point in his career; he’s a little too old to make a serious run for the title, especially with his commitments in Hollywood, but his last win over Rich Franklin combined with the limited number of serious contenders for Anderson Silva’s title means he could conceivably be two wins away from a title shot. I’m not at all predicting Cung will ever get a title shot or even win another fight in the UFC, but he’s worthy of being mentioned (at least today) when we talk about the Middleweight landscape. That’s pretty cool for a guy in his 40s.
4) Andrey Koreshkov : Lyman Good, is an absolute beast, but Andrey handled him with relative ease. For 15 minutes, Good was out-struck, out-countered, and at times even out-grappled. I kept waiting for Lyman to get a takedown and finally start implementing his gameplan, but it never happened. I honestly think that with the correct gameplan, Andrey can take Ben Askren’s title from him, and perhaps even finish the Olympiad.
5) Richard Hale : When I first watched Thiago Santos fight, I thought he might be a fighter to be reckoned with, and perhaps even challenger the former champ. Well, I have no idea where that guy went, because Richard Hale pretty much walked through him and made it look easy. Aside from getting rocked early in the fight, Hale easily handled the much bigger Santos and finished him with strikes in the first round.
1) Johny Hendricks:
Everyone went into the Hendricks/Kampmann fight thinking it was a real pick ‘em kind of fight. It was thought that the fight would be close and competitive for its duration. Well Johny Hendricks didn’t want to hear none of that. He marched across that cage and fired his wrecking ball left hand right into Martin Kampmann’s face to leave no doubt who the next rightful challenger to the UFC welterweight title should be.
2) Georges St. Pierre: He wasn’t inactive for quite as long as say…George Foreman, but after what seemed like an eternity GSP came back and proved his dominance with a one sided decision victory over a very game Carlos Condit. Great fighters don’t always fight great with circumstances like GSP had, but he came through like a true champion.
3) Andrey Koreshkov: This young man impressively beat Lyman Good without a whole lot of resistance to win Bellator’s welterweight tournament. He showed a complete toolbox against the veteran Good and the only thing he didn’t accomplish was finishing him. Not bad for a kid who could only legally by beer as of last year though.
4) Cung Le: In a fight the majority of the world believed he would lose and end his UFC career Cung Le threw it in everyone’s faces, particularly that of Rich Franklin, with a stunning one punch KO of the former middleweight champion. A sweet and much needed victory for a guy who may not have many more fights in him.
5) Tyrone Spong: Spong was everything you’d hoped he would be in his MMA debut. He showed off his world class kickboxing and turned out Travis Bartlett’s lights with a straight right hand that’s a contender for KO of the year. Don’t expect it to be the last highlight reel moment we see from Spong.
1) Georges St-Pierre
Georges came back after his lay off to reclaim his spot as the number 2 fighter in the world with a fight of the year candidate with Carlos Condit. GSP was able to out perform Condit, even coming back from being rocked for the first time since Matt Serra took the title from him all those years ago. While I question the Diaz fight that has been made, I can’t take anything away from this performance and an awesome return to the cage.
2) Johny Hendricks : The rightful number one contender at welterweight, Johny Hendricks blasted through Martin Kampmann to show that he’s quickly become one of the elite 170lb fighters in the world.
3) Rafael Dos Anjos: For a card as “light” as UFC 154 was on paper, it really needed a great opening fight and to be honest, I really enjoyed watching Rafael Dos Anjos and Mark Bocek go at it. Dos Anjos completely dominated the Canadian and while he isn’t near the top of the tree, it has done him a lot of good and will likely remain a main card fighter as a result.
4) Cung Le : Cung Le is nearly done in this game, Rich Franklin likely is anyway, but the fact Cung was able to pull a knockout of the year candidate out of a fight that could have been a train wreck merits a spot on this list.
5) Richard Hale : Wow. What’s beast Richard Hale looked against Thiago Santos. A minor hiccup in the first round aside, this is the perfect blueprint for anyone taking on a bigger, stronger fighter.
He’s the second or third best fighter in the word (depending on who you ask) and he proved it in the month of November 2012. The man came back from a pretty severe injury and did all but finish one of the best fighters at 170lbs. What can one say, he’s pretty darn amazing.
2) Johnny Hendricks: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He knocked out Martin Kampman in under a minute and by all rights is the number one contender at 170lbs. Unfortunately most of the known world doesn’t know what a Johnny Hendricks is nor does he capture the attention of people by being a douche bag so he’s been snubbed yet again for his rightful title shot. Oh Hendricks, you poor bastard. Hey, after January 12th I’m sure Nate Marquardt will still have the worthless Strikeforce Welterweight belt. You can fight him for that if you must fight for a belt while waiting for GSP to take on more interesting but less deserving opponents.
3) Cung Le : Huzzah for Cung Le, you’re mostly relevant in the UFC Middleweight division! But seriously folks, Cung Le KO’ed Rich Franklin like a boss and finally had the highlight reel finish we’ve been waiting for. Who the hell knows what they’ll do with him next but at least Zuffa got their money’s worth out of him.
4) Tyrone Spong: He came, he saw and knocked the BUCGAW out of Travis Bartlett. I love it and I want to see more of it! Unfortunately Spong’s next fight will be in his native sport of kickboxing so we’ll see what there is to see for this man’s MMA career later on down the line in 2013.
5) Richard Hale: Hale did in one fight what Eric Prindle was never able to without some form of crotch play, finish the BIG MONSTER! That’s right, Richard Hale is well on his way to becoming Bellator’s second HW champ and he did it by taking out Mr. Mashed Potatoes himself. Well done Sir!
1) Georges St Pierre
Taking top spot for November is the welterweight kingpin himself, the legendary Georges St Pierre. GSP had endured a torturous 19 months spent out of action, and many thought Carlos Condit was a genuine dark horse going in to this bout. GSP, however, endured a brutal head kick that almost cleaned his clock, and embroiled himself in a veritable Fight of the Year contender – winning four of five rounds in the process. GSP showed little ring rust as he set about his task, and even though he failed to get the finish, few were able to question the quality of this performance – GSP, we WERE impressed!
2) Johny Hendricks: Failing to finish Martin Kampmann has cost countless fighters in the past. Johny Hendricks was determined he wouldn’t fall into that bracket, and achieved his goal by blasting the Dane with his fearsome left hand. Hendricks is proving he has power enough to end the nights of even the most resilient welterweights, and that is bad news indeed for future opponents – chief among them, Georges St Pierre!
3) Cung Le: Going in to the UFC’s first ever show in China, the smart money certainly seemed to be behind Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin. Le, despite beating a gun shy Patrick Cote relatively easily in his second UFC outing, has shown his age despite his outstanding striking skills. With a gas tank that borders on empty the minute a fight enters the second round, most thought all Franklin had to do was avoid the early KO as Wanderlei Silva had done before him, turn the heat up in the second and third, and cruise to a comfortable win. If only things had been that simple… instead, a beautifully timed one-punch KO send Franklin crashing to the canvas, and Le leaping for joy. Macau seemed to enjoy it too!
4) Andrey Koreshkov: It’s hard to know what to expect from fighters coming out of Russia (as well as Europe and Brazil) when they sport these ‘amazing’ records – sometimes you end up with a Renan Barao, destroying everything in his path, and sometimes you get an Alexander Sarnavskiy, eliminated from a Bellator tournament quarter final in disappointing fashion. Fortunately for Bellator, Andrey Koreshkov look 100 % legit as he beat Jordan Smith, Marius Zaromskis, and Lyman Good to clinch the welterweight tournament title. A Bellator mainstay, Good has been unlucky in the past and was keen to earn a rematch with Ben Askren – but Koreshkov shattered those dreams, out-pointing him across the scorecards to take a deserved win.
5) Rafael dos Anjos: Rafael dos Anjos is really picking up a lot of momentum, with wins over George Sotiropolous, Kamal Shalorus, Anthony Njokuani, and now Mark Bocek. Bocek, a top 15 lightweight, was bested all hands down by dos Anjos, who may very well be knocking on the doors of the 155 lb elite in the near future.
Honorable Mention: Rafael dos Anjos – (4 points)
5th Place Tyrone Spong – (6 points)
4th Place – Richard Hale and Andrey Koreshkov – (7 points)
3rd Place – Cung Le – (16 points)
Defeated Rich Franklin in the first UFC main event in China…
2nd Place – Johny Hendricks – (35 points)
Destroyed Martin Kampmann and had supposedly earned a title shot…
411’s Fighter of the Month for NOVEMBER – George St. Pierre – (37 points)
Returned at UFC 154 with a victory and performed like he had never left.
2012 Year-End Standings
Here are the updated standings below…
A NEW RULE FOR 2012 is as follows: if a fighter ranked on the yearend list LOSES a fight they will lose 5 points. Also, after much discussion, if a fighter is suspended by an athletic commission, they lose any points accumulated.
Remember to come back net month for the next edition of 411’s Fighter of the Month!
Ronda Rousey – 30pts.
Anderson Silva – 30pts.
Ben Henderson – 27pts.
Jon Jones – 24pts.
Georges St. Pierre – 15pts.
Demitrious Johnson – 15pts.
Junior Dos Santos – 15pts.
Jose Aldo – 15pts.
Eddie Alvarez – 12 pts.
Johny Hendricks – 12pts.
Stefan Struve – 12pts.
Nate Diaz – 12pts.
Chris Weidman – 12pts.
Alexander Gustafsson – 12pts.
Pat Curran – 12 pts.
Daniel Cormier – 9pts.
Jon Fitch – 9pts.
Cung Le – 9pts.
Lyoto Machida – 9pts.
Renan Barao – 9pts.
Michael McDonald – 9pts.
Carlos Condit – 7pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to GSP)
Rashad Evans – 7pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Jon Jones)
Demian Maia – 6pts.
Matt Wiman – 6pts.
Cain Velazquez – 6pts.
Donald Cerrone – 6pts.
Nate Marquardt – 6pts.
Luke Rockhold – 6pts.
Anthony Pettis – 6pts.
Richard Hale – 6pts.
Andrey Koreshkov – 6pts.
Martin Kampmann – 4pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Johny Hendricks)
Jake Ellenberger – 4pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Martin Kampmann)
Chael Sonnen – 4pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Anderson Silva)
John Dodson – 3pts.
Brad Pickett – 3pts.
Attila Vegh – 3pts.
The Korean Zombie – 3pts.
Ryan Jimmo – 3pts.
Rory MacDonald – 3pts.
Tim Boetsch – 3pts.
Tyrone Spong – 3pts.
Rafael Dos Anjos – 1pt.
Antonio Rogrigo Nogieira – 1pt.
Glover Teiveira – 1pt.
Michael Bisping – 1pt.
Alan Belcher – 1pt.
Siyar Bahadurzada– 1pt.
Mark Hunt – 1pts.
Kazou Misaki – 1pt.
Karl Amoussou – 1pt.
Eduardo Dantas – 1 pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Tyson Nam)
Joseph Benavidez – 1pts. (Deducted 5 points for loss to Demitrious Johnson)
Miesha Tate – (-2 pts.) (Deducted 5 points for loss to Ronda Rousey)
Jim Miller – (-2 pts.) (Deducted 5 points for loss to Nick Diaz)
Lloyd Woodward – (-2 pts.) (Deducted 5 points for loss to Rick Hawn)
Vitor Belfort – (-4pts.) > (Deducted 5 points for loss to Jon Jones)
Joe Lauzon – (-4pts.) (Deducted 5 points for loss to Anthony Pettis)
UFC Contracted Fighters are represented in BLUE.
Strikeforce Contracted Fighters are represented in RED.
Japanese Contracted Fighters are represented in MAROON.
Bellator Contracted Fighters are represented in GOLD.
Other Fighters are represented in BLACK.