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KJ Power Rankings - August

By Staff | Knuckle Junkies

Welcome to the first-ever KJ Power Rankings.

On a monthly or bi-monthly basis depending on the amount of action the staff at will analyze and brood over the top professional fighters in the area and will then rank them 1 thru 10.

The purpose of the rankings is to conglomerate all of the pro fighters, no matter the weight class or gender, who call St. Louis home (sorry Michael Chandler, Justin Lawrence, Barb Honchek, and others) and to have a little fun in process.

The voting panel for the KJ Power Rankings include; writers Brett Auten, Matt Frazier, and Debo along with photographers Jim Range, Sara Levin and Chris Oth.

The algorithm the voters are given to choose their top ten is as follows: Bad Assness (overall talent level, skill, and accomplishments) + Coolness (national buzz, overall notoriety) + What-have-you-done-for-me-lately (momentum) + good olfashioned voter bias.

Fighters are given 10 points for a first place vote, nine points for a second place vote, and so on while the overall point total will determine the top 10.

For the complete voting breakdown, along with first place votes and On the bubble fighters, see the very bottom.

And away we go:
1. Tyron Woodley (11-2)
This UFC welterweight is considered one the top up-and-coming fighters in his division, currently ranked 16th in the world in this ultra-stacked divisionTwood made his UFC debut in Febuary with an explosive, 36-second knockout of Jay HeironHe is coming off a close, split decision loss to Jake Shields in June.
2. Josh Sampo (9-2)
The Gremlin is ranked No. 3 in the world when it comes to flyweights (over the likes of Ian McCall and John Dodson), according The St. Charles MMA product is the current CFA flyweight champion Scored a big win over Alexis Villa in January and is slated to return to action in October.
3. Alp Ozkilic (8-1)
The Turkish delight is considered the 8th best flyweight in the world, according to A teammate and training partner of Sampos at SCMMA Alp is having a torrid 2013 and is poised to make a run at the KJ Pro Fighter of the Year awardAlp has won in devastating fashion against Josh Robinson and Antonio Banuelos, the latter of which coming in 30 seconds into the first round on AXS-TV.
4. Adam Cella (5-1)
This Finneys MMA welterweight gained national attention as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen earlier this yeara dynamic striker, Cella earned his way into the TUF house with a slick submissionhe rebounded from his one and only UFC fight (a loss to Tor Troeng in April) to win in June in devastating fashioned when he flat lined Justin DeMoney in the main event of SFC: Uprising.
5. Zach Freeman (7-1)
The Altar Boy is considered one of the best lightweights in MissouriSuper powerful with a great wrestling and submission game ..Freeman, out of St. Charles MMA, started the year with a tremendous victory over Rob Washingtonhe suffered the first loss of his career in July when Jake Lindsey knocked him out in the first round at Titan FC: 25 in June.
6. Lance Benoist (6-2)
This three-time UFC welterweight is one of the most creative and vicious finishers to ever come out of the St. Louis-area He started his pro career with five, first-round finishes before making his UFC debut with a Fight of the Night victory over Matt Riddle in 2011..Benoist, out of SCMMA, has lost two straight, to Seth Baczynski and Sean Pierson (both in 2012) and is currently on the shelf due to a broken leg, having to pull out of a fight against Paulo Thiago.
7. Matt Ricehouse (6-1)
Ricehouse tallied five fights for Strikeforce..a jiu-jitsu wizard, Ricehouse is considered one of the most versatile fighters in the MidwestHe has not fought since Aug. 2012 when he lost his first fight of his career, a short-notice bout against Bobby Greenhe is likely to make the drop from lightweight to featherweightThe St. Charles MMA founding father was named the 2012 River Front Times MMA Fighter of the Year.
8. Jake Collier (7-1)
A two-ton powerhouse of a middleweight from Cuba, MO., who has won four straightA dynamic striker with obvious KO power, racking up four of them during his career He earned a signature win in 2012 with a unanimous decision win over Cully Butterfielda broken hand that occurred during his May, 2013 win over Quartus Stitt may have him on the shelf for the rest of the year.
9: Luigi Fioravanti (23-11)
Fioravanti has nine UFC fights under his belt and is a BJJ black belt under mastermind Ricardo LiborioThe Italian Tank relocated to St. Louis from Florida two years agoThe welterweight/middleweight is coming off a first-round submission of Edwin Aguilar in May in California.
10: Chris Heatherly (5-1) & Eric Irvin (6-3)
Irvin, out of Destruction MMA, has had success at several weight classes, most notably featherweight and lightweight A powerhouse wrestler with bear-like strength, Irvin is also varied in that he has multiple wins via TKO and submissionHe lost to UFC vet Charlie Brenneman on the road in January but rebounded to win a decision over Adam Ward in June.
Heatherly, from Fit or Fight/Berger MMA, is one of the most popular and talented up-and-coming pros in the regionHe suffered his first defeat recently, losing to Candian Alex Garcia in Canada.

Total points with first place votes in ()
Woodley 53 (4)
Sampo 49 (1)
Alp 48 (1)
Cella 33
Freeman 26
Benoist 24
Ricehouse 20
Collier 14
Fioravanti 11
Irvin & Heatherly 9
On the bubble: Andrew Sanchez, EJ Brooks, Rob Washington, Alex White