Germany-based MMA media outlet GroundandPound.de have been the team producing and hosting the European MMA Top Ten for many years. Now with a team covering mainland and Eastern Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia, they publish their rankings update every month.
To be eligible, you have to have fought on European soil within the last twelve months, hence why there are often big name UFC or Bellator fighters that are not in the rankings.
Each month, we’ll be focusing on where the fighters from the UK and Ireland stack up.
As the UK’s most trusted and respected rankings source, YourMMA.tv has input in the Euro Top Ten, but with a panel of our own, subjective opinions can differ so there is not always a direct translation.
One of the shallowest divisions in the UK and Ireland, there are no fighters currently featuring in the European Top Ten. Eastern Europe and Russia are the driving forces in this division in the region.
Our undisputed number-one light-heavyweight, Jimi Manuwa, is in at the second spot in the European rankings, only placing behind top Swede Alexander Gustafsson, who was expected to get a UFC title shot with a win over Gegard Mousasi in Stockholm – it’s worth noting that this update was prior to the UFC On Fuel 9. Gustafsson was forced to withdraw through injury, but should be back in action soon.
London-based Swede Max Nunes gets the ninth spot, with his unbeaten 10-0 record. Nunes is number-three behind Linton Vassell in our latest update, although that was a hot subject of debate on our own panel. Should the win streak keep moving forward, there’s no doubt he is putting a lot of pressure on ‘The Swarm’ and his second position.
The only UK representative in the top ten is Tom ‘Kong’ Watson, our #2, with Michael Bisping not having fought in Europe in the last twelve months. Watson got a big bump with a solid win over Stanislav Nedkov in February.
Cage Warriors fighters Mats Nilsson, who faces Brit Chris Scott at Cage Warriors 53 at the weekend, is at number ten, so a win for Scott would certainly put him in contention.
SBGi man Gunnar Nelson of Iceland, but a regular visitor to Ireland’s SBG, is at number two behind Siyar Bahadurzada, but then a slew of UK and Ireland’s finest make up the bulk of the rankings here.
The longstanding welterweight trio of Dan Hardy, John Hathaway and Paul Daley have the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively, whilst holding #1 (Hathaway), #2 (Hardy) and #3 (Daley) in our UK rankings.
Che Mills follows at six, with Jimmy Wallhead at seven. However, Your MMA have these in a different order – Wallhead at four and Mills at five. There isn’t much to pick between the pair though, who actually fought back in late 2009, with Wallhead taking a close decision.
Irish CWFC champion Cathal Pendred stands at number eight, and number six with Your MMA, whilst John Maguire makes the final tenth spot, #7 in the UK and Ireland.
Welterweight has long been a deep division in the UK and Ireland, and this shows the strength of it throughout the continent.
In another deep division here, four Brits make up part of ther European Top Ten. Despite a recent UFC cut, Paul Sass is at number three behind Reza Madadi and Alexander Sarnavskiy.
Perennial contender Rob Sinclair is at number six, whilst likely future adversary Curt Warburton is at eight. Your MMA has Warburton edging Sinclair at three and four respectively, with increased activity levels and a fine win streak.
Northern Ireland’s TUF winner Norman Parke is at number nine, following a great showing in The Smashes.
Bearing in mind that this update was prior to the weekend’s UFC card in Sweden, Your MMA’s number-one from Ireland, Conor McGregor, stands at number four. You can likely expect him further up following a great KO victory over Marcus Brimage.
Scot Rob Whiteford stands at #5 following a big win over Martin Svensson, with his Dinky Ninja teammate Graham Turner at #7. Your MMA has the more experienced Turner one above Whiteford at #3 and #4, being active and putting together four wins since September, in which time Whiteford has just had the single, albeit big, win.
Former UFC fighter Jason Young has the #8 spot, and it’ll be interesting to see how he is matched up domestically.
UFC stars Brad Pickett and Vaughan Lee take the first and second spots respectively, given their showings on the biggest stage.
Our #4 James Brum also holds the same spot in Europe, though he comes behind Bellator’s Ronnie Mann in our rankings, and Sirwan Kakai in Europe.
A trio of great fighters fill up the latter spots of the Euro Top Ten – Ireland’s Paddy Holohan (#7), Wales’ Martin McDonough (#9) and Scot James Doolan (#10). Doolan has fifth place with Your MMA, Holohan is in seventh and McDonough is in ninth.
Owen Roddy (Your MMA’s #8) doesn’t feature in Europe despite a great performance against Wilson Reis, although he is admittedly without a win at the weight.
The UK has the busiest flyweight scene on the continent by far, and this is reflected in the European Top Ten. UFC star Phil Harris has the top spot, and Irishman Neil Seery is at three. They are our #1 and #2 respectively.
Undefeated Salford fighter Pietro Menga holds the #4 spot, and is third with Your MMA. Giorgio Andrews, also undefeated, is at five, but he is seventh in the UK and Irish rankings, showing a shift in opinion.
Kris Edwards (#6), Scott Pooley (#9) and Mark Platts (#10), all feature in the top ten, and are fourth, fifth and sixth with Your MMA.
UK and Irish Fighters In The Euro Rankings
March 2013: 30/80
Percentage of UK and Irish Fighters In The Euro Rankings
March 2013: 37.5%
March 2013: 2 (Phil Harris and Brad Pickett)
The Euro Top Ten comes courtesy of www.groundandpound.de.
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