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The Landscape of the 155 Pound Division (MMA not just the UFC)

Posted 12-02-2007 at 12:00 PM by

I am going to start off my blog with my favorite weight class. I am just going to rank the top guys and talk about the overall structure of the division right now. As the title says I will cover everyone I think belongs not just guys in the UFC but it will still probably be UFC biased because it is the biggest organization and is the most active within the 155 pound weight class. I will start off by ranking the top 15 or so guys and they are in my order and could easily be moved around a little. Here we go:

1. Sean Sherk
2. BJ Penn
3. Gilbert Milendez
4. Hermes Franca
5. JZ Calvacanti
6. Tatsuya Kawajiri
7. Shinya Aoki
8. Vitor Ribeiro
9. Joe Stevenson
10. Takanori Gomi
11. Frankie Edgar
12. Josh Thompson
13. Tyson Griffin
14. Clay Guida
15. Kenny Florian
16. Thiago Tavares
17. Roger Huerta
19. Spencer Fisher
20. Joe Lauzon

Okay so I went a liitle bit deeper. There are still a ton of guys who are around that area like Joachim Hansen and then there are guys like Nick Diaz who has never made 155 but 160 so I just do not consider him a 155 pounder. These are my rankings and I make no apologies about them, I have just recently started learning more about a lot of the foreign fighters and their accomplishments and I have Gomi ranked lower than most would because he has not fought in a while and I really do not think he can beat anyone I have in front of him on my list. Feel free to let me know how bad my rankings are though; I am very interested as to how other people view the 155 pound weight class.
Sean Sherk is the champ of the UFC and until anything is official I have to keep him at number one. He is probably one of the hardest guys to deal with in the weight class and has some good crudentials. With that being said he is not a finisher and Hermes Franca gave him a very good fight even though Sherk dominated in terms of judges scoring.
BJ Penn's ranking will be justified when he beats Joe Daddy IMO but at this point is based more off of skill and potential than accomplishment within the weight class.
Milendez rounds out the top three. He is undefeated and holds wins over two other guys on my list (Guida, and Kawajiri). Both of those wins are in 2006 so they are recent. He is one of the non-UFC guys who is able to stay busy with top competition and keep himself up in the rankings.
The 8 through 10 spots are kind of jumbled up. There are a lot of common matchups and things that make it hard to rank these guys. I put Kawajiri over Ribeiro because he won their last fight against each other but they are 1-1 while fighting each other. Those fights happened years ago though and could easily be considered irrelevant now. JZ just took out Ribeiro so he is obviously ahead of him. This Aoki and JZ fight is going to be big, one reason I have JZ in front of him is because I think he is going to beat up Aoki and win the fight convincingly but with Aoki's flying armbars and GoGos who knows? Number 10 is Gomi who is one on most people's list; I already tried to justify that ranking.
The final 10 spots are mostly UFC guys who are kind of on the up and up right now. There are a few big fights coming up at 155 right now: Already mentioned Aoki(7)/JZ(5) fight. Penn(2)/Joe Daddy(9), and Huerta(17)/Guida(14) are all fight who feature ranked guys on my list.
Let me know what you guys think, if you make a point that I can't argue with then I will change it up and throw some rep in your direction. I will probably just cover welterweight in my next blog unless something comes to my attention that I feel I have to cover.
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    brownpimp88's Avatar
    Pretty decent list, but it is fairly anti-foreign fighters. Gomi at #10? Wow, I know his performance against Diaz wasn't good, but don't judge him by one fight. I also feel that you have Hermes Franca a little too high.

    Regardless, good blog man, and it is good that you are going to stick to your opinion.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 12:37 PM by brownpimp88 brownpimp88 is offline
    bbjd7's Avatar
    Good blog but where is Dida bro. I mean the guy made the finals of the K-1 LW GP and beat Takaya. He has accomplished much more than a bunch of guys on your list.

    O also think you aren't giving JZ Calvancanti enough love. I mean I think he should defiantly go ahead of Franca.

    All in all though very solid blog.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 01:18 PM by bbjd7 bbjd7 is offline
    Updated 12-02-2007 at 01:21 PM by bbjd7 (Forgot JZ)
    Damone's Avatar
    Takaya is a 145'er, though, so Dida squashing him shouldn't be a huge deal, since Takaya fights great at 145.

    JZ should definitely be ahead of Franca, and JZ vs Aoki will determine the number 1 P4P.

    I'd actually put Florian ahead of Franca.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 06:18 PM by Damone Damone is offline
    kamikaze145's Avatar
    I just looked up Gomi and I guess he could go higher. I have just always thought he is really small for a 155 pounder and I do not think he would be able to take down lightweights the way he did in PRIDE over in the US because I think most UFC guys are superior wrestlers. I think Gomi is very similar to a Roger Huerta in that he is very aggressive and a little wild and he just overwhelms people, I just think a lot of guys can beat him with superior wrestling and he couldn't physically overwhelm people the way he did in PRIDE. I had no idea he beat Kawajiri though. Good argument and I wouldnt argue him being higher just IMO he is #10.
    This is kind of embarrassing for me to admit as someone who considers himself fairly knowledgable about MMA but I have not seen Dida fight and I had to look him up to figure out who he was. I will have to youtube him and learn more about him, like I mentioned I have only in the past few months started to learn about a lot of these lighter foreign fighters. Damone, I can see why you dont think Franca is that high, even in his wins he is usually losing until he pulls it off. I put him up there because of a strong performance against Sherk and he is coming off of a real good year. Thanks for the feedback everybody.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 07:41 PM by kamikaze145 kamikaze145 is offline
    bbjd7's Avatar
    To see a lot of Dida go on Dailymotion. Guy has some of the best stand up at 155 but he seems to hate the ground game.

    BTW Damone while beating up Takaya isn't that impressive it is a better win than Lauzon's best which is a win over Jens Pulver who sucks at LW lately.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 07:49 PM by bbjd7 bbjd7 is offline
    Damone's Avatar
    That's true about Pulver, bbjd7, since Takaya has looked a million times better than current Jens Pulver, and has beaten really, really solid fighters, whereas Pulver hasn't had a solid win since Penn.

    I do like Dida, and feel he's really talented. He just needs some guidance. Get out of Chute Box, because that place is an anchor.

    Meh, kamikaze145, I like Franca, but I'm not too sure about placing him so high up. He has solid wins over Varner & Fisher, so I can see him on the list, just not that high.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 08:09 PM by Damone Damone is offline
    bbjd7's Avatar
    Dida left Chute Boxe Damone he is moving up to toronto to open some gym with his brother and has talked about training with Wanderlei.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 08:12 PM by bbjd7 bbjd7 is offline
    mma17's Avatar
    Ahhh here is the list you were telling me about while cutting weight in the sauna. Very well thought out.
    Posted 12-08-2007 at 12:59 AM by mma17 mma17 is offline
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