Top MMA News – Canadian Lightweight Rankings – March 2010
Welcome to the Lightweight Rankings – the most volatile division in this round of Top MMA News rankings. The two top Canadians at 155 stayed put. Both Mark Bocek and Sam Stout had outanding performances in UFC fights since our last rankings – Bocek defeated Brammer, while Stout outclassed Joe Lauzon.
Other than the top two positions, the remainder of the division is in turmoil. Josh Russell, Jordan Mein, Martin Grandmont, and Trevor Wright all exited the top ten, while Kurt Southern, John Makdessi, Ryan Machan, and Brad Cardinal all make their first appearance on the list.
Why so much turnover? Unranked fighters had big wins over ranked guys, the Quebec triumvirate of De Lorenzi, Ricci, and Makdessi continue to impress, and Chris Horodecki had a poor showing in the WEC. It just shows that Lightweight is the deepest division in Canada. As this list of fighters continues to shape itself, one big win can move you up a lot, while one mistake and you can be out. Never mind the fact that hot prospects like Mark Holst, Jose Rodriguez, Gavin Neil, and Jason MacKay are just waiting for one of these guys to slip!
Please yell if you think we made an error or feel free to compliment if you think these are half decent. Here we go!
Top 10 Canadian Lightweight Rankings
1. Mark Bocek (8-2) – Previous Rank (1) – This Nova Uniao Black Belt remains the top Canadian Lightweight. At the TUF 10 Finale, Bocek showed his top BJJ skills and earned $25,000 for his Submission of the Night over Joe Brammer – his third consecutive Rear Naked Choke victory in the UFC. Now 4-2 in the Octagon, Bocek will face Jim Miller on the main card of UFC 111. Next Fight: vs Jim Miller at UFC 111 on March 27.
2. Sam Stout (15-5-1) – Previous Rank (2) – Like Bocek, Stout won a nice bonus in his last UFC fight. His dominant victory over Joe Lauzon earned him a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Stout utilized his sprawl and fantastic standup to beat J-Lau. That makes two victories in a row for Stout who also beat Matt Wiman at UFC 97. Next Fight: vs Jeremy Stephens at UFC 113 on May 8.
3. Guillaume De Lorenzi (7-1) – Previous Rank (6) – De Lorenzi did not fight since beating Lindsey Hawkes as his WRECK MMA fight with Mark Holst fell through. How does he move up? Well, the previous #3, 4,and 5 ranked fighters all lost, De Lorenzi moves up in their place. De Lorenzi is strong as a bull, he takes you down and pounds you out. He will hope to do just that to Ryan Machan in his Ringside title fight in April. Next Fight: vs Ryan Machan at Ringside on April 10.
4. Chris Horodecki (13-2) – Previous Rank (3) – Unfortunately this Ontario fighter was on the receiving end of a Knockout of the Night at WEC 45. Horodecki looked rusty after his six month layoff and Anthony Njokuani beat him badly in the standup. Horodecki was outmatched on fight night and ran into a Njokuani head kick in his first trip to the WEC. The Polish Hammer will be back to fight in the WEC again. At this time, there is no scheduled bout. Next Fight: vs TBD
5. Ryan Machan (10-3) – Previous Rank (NR) – Machan moves up more rungs on the Lightweight ladder than any other fighter thanks to his victory at MFC 23. Although Kajan Johnson was controlling the bout, it was Machan who finished off the previously ranked #4 Lightweight. Once Machan slammed his way out of an Arm Bar attempt, Machan quickly submitted Kajan Johnson for another big win on his record that already included Gavin Neil, Brad Cardinal, and Simon Marini. Now Machan is taking another big step up with a fight against Guillaume De Lorenzi in a nice bit of matchmaking by Ringside. Next Fight: vs Guillaume De Lorenzi at Ringside on April 10.
6. Brad Cardinal (8-5) – Previous Rank (NR) – The Rumble in the Cage Lightweight champion beat the previously ranked #8 fighter Trevor Wright to win his belt. Cardinal has been on a 4-o run for the last two years since losing to Yves Jabouin (WEC Featherweight) and Ryan Machan (#5 Lightweight). Those four victories have all come against tough opposition including Kurt Southern. Next Fight: TBD.
7. Mike Ricci (5-0) – Previous Rank (9) – Mike Ricci is Bellator bound! Ricci took a step up against a ranked opponent in his last fight and improved his record to a perfect 5-0 with his decision win over Jordan Mein, who was previously ranked #10. Ricci snuck into the top 10 last time around. This time he showed that he belongs in Canada’s top Lightweights (even though he fought Mein at Welterweight). Now he needs to show that he belongs with the top Lightweights in the world with his Bellator Lightweight tournament appearance in 2010. Next Fight vs TBD at Bellator.
8. Kajan Johnson (15-11-1) Previous Rank (4)- Ragin’ Kajan drops four spots due to his loss to Ryan Machan. After going 10-1-1 in his previous twelve fights, its unfortunate that he took a loss as it appeared that he was heading to the big time. Now Kajan has focused on his training and was recently promoted to a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is hungry for a win and his next opponent is Richie Hightower, who beat his Revolution teammate Jordan MacKay. Despite his recent loss, Top MMA News still expects big things from this Revolution Fight Team member. Losses happen in MMA and Kajan knows how to rebound from them. Next Fight: vs Richie Hightower at MFC 25.
9. John Makdessi (6-0) – Previous Rank (NR) –Top MMA News took some heat for not ranking John Makdessi last November. Our response then? John’s a great kickboxer who is beating some lower ranked MMA Lightweights. Beat a tougher opponent and we will rank you! Well…The Bull came to Winnipeg this past weekend and impressed over 2000 people, including three Top MMA News staff members, with his devastating stoppage of Lindsey Hawkes. Our response now? Rank him number nine and give other Lightweights a warning – just because you have a height and reach advantage over Makdessi, do not think you can stand and trade with the Bull – you will get the horns! Next Fight: vs TBD
Just out of Top 10:
Martin Grandmont (PR #7) (10-5)
Mark Holst (7-1) – Next Fight vs Corey Hill at XKL on March 20, then vs Samuel Guillet at WRECK April 16
Josh Russell (PR #5) (3-1)
Trevor Wright (PR #8) (4-1)
Jordan Mein (PR #10) (12-7) – Next Fight vs Andrew Buckland at Pure March 12
Jose Rodriguez (5-0)
Gavin Neil (7-1)
Jason MacKay (9-2)
Simon Marini (7-2) – Next Fight vs Louis-Philippe Carle at WRECK April 12
Not Considered Due to Inactivity:
Kultar Gill (9-8)
Jason Tatlow (8-3)
Tim Jensen (6-1)
Blake Fredrickson (15-4-1)
Dave Scholten (7-4)
Nelson Akawui Riquelme (4-1)
Stephane Dube (7-3)