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How soon is too soon?

img10578744.jpg I’m preparing to update my rankings and I’m torn about how to rank Eddie Alvarez. As a welterweight, he was very good. As a lightweight, he looks great. At 155-160 lbs., I think Alvarez is a top five caliber fighter. He just needs more wins.

But I am wondering whether or not he has enough wins right now to be top 10. Sure, it’s only been two fights at 155 for Alvarez, but the two wins were against high caliber opponents. Andre “Dida” Amade is no joke and we all know how good Joachim Hansen is.

His standup has been excellent and he’s really starting to show his outstanding wrestling skills.  As it stands, I’m leaning towards moving Alvarez into my top ten. But is that the Philly in me talking?

In turn, I’m thinking about dropping Mitsuhiro Ishida out of the top ten in order to make room for Alvarez. It will be a steep drop, but the loss to Caol Uno has to have an adverse effect on his ranking. Uno at one point was a top five lightweight in the world. But prior to this weekend’s win, I didn’t consider him top 15.

Obviously, I’m looking for some honest feedback.

26 COMMENTS
  • nicklovesmma says:

    I think that Eddie Alvarez should be #10 in the top ten lightweights Sam. I watched both of his DREAM fights an he proved he is tough and he can hang with good competition. I think anything higher than 10 isn’t fair to other fighters on the list until he fights one or two more top 10-12 type guys at 155.

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  • Matt McEwen says:

    If you think he’s a top 5 talent and has two quality wins at lightweight, then how couldn’t you rank him?

    Whenever I do rankings (which is rarely, since I think they are far too arbitrary) I put an emphasis on talent ahead of “big wins”, within reason of course.

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  • Jester says:

    Alvarez should definately break into the top 10 after that performance. But I wouldn’t worry about justifying it….if/when he beats Kawajiri in the next round, everyone will have him in their top ten!

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  • Nick says:

    Sam, this is Nick from myspace. My personal Opinion, Eddie needs to win this tournament to break into the top 10. A fight of the year candidate against Hansen and smashing an over-hyped Amade shouldn’t be enough to bust into the top ten. This is the same situation that BJ Penn was in with the division. Everyone knows he is top 2 in the division, but without enough wins at the weight class, he is hovering around 9-10 on most rankings. If eddie wins even just his next match, you have an argument for top ten.

    On another note, any word on Andrei Arlovski? He shows up on some adreneline card advertisements and some he does not. Is he still with the UFC or not?

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Nick, do you mean Affliction or Monte Cox’s Adrenaline MMA? If you mean Adrenaline MMA, can you please tell me where I can find that ad? Thanks.

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  • Nick says:

    Oh as far as ishida dropping off, I firmly agree with you there. The lightweight division is way to stacked, too much talent behind him to keep him in the top ten. He should have to fight his way back on.

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  • Nick says:

    My bad it was the affliction card, not the adreneline card. His name popped up on it on the bloodyelbow.com. I will try to post the pic here, if it doesn’t post, the link is below. let me know if you hear anything.

    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/story/2008/5/10/115414/240

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  • Jeremy says:

    Looking at the Lightweight rankings currently on the site, you have Ishida 4th, and Hansen 10th. I think I could easily slot Alvarez into Hansen’s spot at 10. I tend to think if you want to be in the top 10 you have to beat someone in the top 10. Beating Hansen and Dida prior to that should get him in there, especially replacing Hansen. Ishida slips a few spots but I would keep him in the top 10 still.

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  • davestein says:

    With your current ranking of Hansen at 10, you can’t justify keeping him there after a loss, as hard fought as it was. It was a loss, and not a fluke single punch, a slip or freak injury. He was beaten, literally.
    If he drops off the top 10, which he must, the guy who knocked him off, has better reason than anyone else to move onto that list.

    Ishida belongs there, but drops a bit, and, while you are fiddling around, I think Calvacante drops a bit and Aoki deserves to be moved up.

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  • William W. says:

    If Sherdog can have Sherk, Stevenson, and Florian in their top 10, I can’t see any reason why Alvarez shouldn’t be in there. He has beaten two top fighters in his last two bouts. That is more than those three UFC guys have done in the last year combined.

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  • paddiosf says:

    I watched that Alverez/Hansen fight online and he looks good but I have to agree with a previous comment that he needs to win this Dream Tourney to be in the TT LW’s..I still think his ground skills are alittle unproven especially against the Top Ground guys in the game…

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  • Fujin says:

    Ishida is too streaky and one dimensional to be in any top 10.

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  • Tony Evinger says:

    Who cares how you do your LW rankings since they are so screwed up to begin with. The rankings so heavily favor the whole ex-Pride/Shooto fighters that it is a joke.

    Does anyone actually think a guy like Joe Stevenson would have any trouble with at least 7 out of Caplan’s top ten? Stevenson is maybe the third best LW in the UFC, and he would destroy a guy like Ishida with no problem.

    I just don’t understand how these guys are continuously ranked in the top ten by numerous sources simply because they only fight each other. If the problem was just with Caplan, I would understand, since his anti-UFC bias is obvious, as he cashes his paychecks from CBS/ProElite, which is trying to compete. But it is much more than just him, and it just seems nobody wants to recognize that the center of the LW division has shifted, and it is no longer as it was in 2005.

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  • Anomsdno says:

    Just letting your know that you are wrong about DREAM.3.

    Also, whoever wins the DREAM LWGP should be ranking #1 in lightweights. Period.

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  • Eddie at 155-160 is a beast period

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  • johnegorham says:

    I think Eddie proved he belongs at least ranked at 10th u r going to hear it here kawajiri is no match for Eddie while at 170 Eddie beat some pretty good fighters Arron Riely, Derrick Noble now that he is in the 155 160 weight class he is only getting better and he belongs 10th at the least he will win the Dream you heard it here.

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  • mo says:

    it’s a good question. his lack of fighting top guys in the weight class has been mostly out of his control, and i think he has shown enough to be in it. Put him in for now, and if something changes take him out next month. at the least you can help get him some notoriety and attn., and i certainly think you have an argument for putting him in there. Compare him to other guys in similar situations, would you consider Mike Bisping in the top 15 MW’s? he has looked good there so far, i think same for Eddie and don’t feel guilty throwing him in the top 10

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  • truth says:

    He’s bringing a level of athletics and energy into the ring/cage like GSP. He’s main even material.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    Where do you have BJ ranked? I’m sure highly, as would I, but doesn’t have a ton of fights at lw recently.

    Alvarez looked freaking scary against Hellboy, who is very highly ranked in most cases. Sure he has room to improve, but he is definitely a top 10 right now.

    The rankings aren’t of all-time fighters or most experienced, they are usually what have you done for me lately. And he has done enough, imo.

    #1 NO, but certainly ok with a top 10 ranking right now.

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  • Zack says:

    Eddie’s got to be top 10. For an MMA fighter he has great boxing – especially his footwork and head movement – and his wrestling looks almost as good as someone like Tyson Griffin. He’s very active on the ground, always looking to pass guard or get the dominant position and shows great submission defense/escape. He’s seriously game, has great cardio, and can take a punch, as we’ve seen from the first two GP fights. The only thing he might be lacking is well-rounded Muay Thai striking, but it may only appear that way because his boxing is so good and he doesn’t need anything else (plus the headkick on Hellboy was pretty nice).

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  • john w says:

    eddie is a force at 155 he beat a guy that has a wins over jz and gomi and is still only 24 see you in delaware at combat in the cage ps bring me a free tshirt for my expert opinion lol!

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  • Pontus says:

    He shouldn’t be top ten just yet.. beating Dida and then beating Hansen shouldn’t make him top ten.

    Hansen is getting alot of hype but if you look at his record he hasn’t performed that
    well in his last fights. He’s 4-5 in his last 9 fights with his wins being over worldbeaters like Boku, Miyata, Ireland and Azerado.

    In a deep division like the lightweights there ought to be better candidates for the top ten other than Alvarez if he really is top ten we will soon find out instead of rushing him there based on hype.

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  • TFK says:

    Right now Eddie should be Top 5, and when he wins the whole thing, he should be number 1.

    TFK

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  • Kogepan says:

    Yeh, Alvarez top 5. He just BEAT a top five guy in Hansen.

    The TUF guys get too much credit for fighting amongst themselves. I can’t see how guys like steveson gets credit for beating punks like guillard, pellegrino. And Florian is way overrated for beating Lauzon (untested beginner), an injured Din Thomas (out of ufc), alvin robertson (can), washed up mishima.

    I’d leave Ishida at the bottom end of the top 10, probably 9 or 10. I mean the guy has fought 3 times since News Years Eve, and he had a big victory over Melendez. I doubt there will be ANY UFC fighters who will fight 3 times all of 2008.

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  • Drew says:

    1. BJ
    2. Gomi
    3. Melendez
    4. Aoki
    5. JZ
    6. Sherk
    7. Alvarez
    8. Hansen
    9. (t) Huerta and Florian

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  • yenny says:

    Sam,
    same thought came to my mind when I saw his fight with Hansen. Since rankings aren’t really a science or often controversial… I’ll say Alvarez could be thrown in any of the currently ranked top 10 fighters and be very competitive if not win

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