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MMA For Real's First Edition Of North Carolina/South Carolina Pro/Amateur Rankings

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The goal of MMA For Real is to establish some type of ranking system for fighters in the Carolina's, both professional and amateur. The MMA scene in this region continues to grow and such a system could have some value for fans, fighters and matchmakers alike. This list represents fighters from this area that actively compete close to home and those that are fighting outside of this region. There will inevitably be fighters that are currently between the amateur and professional ranks that are not yet represented within these rankings. There will also be fighters that are very talented but haven't been active enough recently to reflect in the list. We will highlight at least a few fighters in each weight class. We realize that compiling a ranking like this is very subjective so we have attempted to talk with several managers, fighters and other folks from around the Carolina's. We'd like to hear feedback from others and would like the continued help of the MMA community across the region to help improve the rankings and make them as accurate as possible.  We expect to update these rankings once per month due to the frequency that a lot of these fighters schedule fights.  Check out the rankings after the jump!

Professional Rankings

 (Heavyweight)

Name Record State Age Opponent's Win %
1. Keith "Bad Newz" Bell 1-0 NC 30 0%
2. Steven Banks 6-3 SC 29 57.4%
3.  Joshua Lenig 1-3 NC 27 75%

*Also take note of: Clifton Bishop (3-1) NC; 27-years-old

(Light Heavyweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Rodney "Sho Nuff The Master" Wallace 9-2 NC 28 69%
2. Lew "The Titan" Polley 10-3 NC 28 55.3%
3.  Tomar "T-Bo" Washington 4-0 SC 32 24.5%

(Middleweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Nissen Osterneck 7-3 SC 29 64.3%
2. Roger "The Leprechaun" Carroll 8-3 NC 27 62.2%
3. Josh Eagans 3-1 SC 21 53.3%

(Welterweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Jake Whitfield 3-1 NC 24 62.1%
2. Dustin Chovanic 5-1 SC 31 32.3%
3. Derrick Kennington 5-1 SC 26 50.9%

*Also take note of: Will Estes (1-0) NC 24-years-old; Steve Montgomery (0-1) SC 19-years-old; Allen Greenway (0-1) NC 26-years-old

(Lightweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. "ElDingoLoco" Joseph Carroll 3-2 NC 26 70.6%
2. Chris Clodfelter 9-6 NC 30 43.1%
3. Jason Palacios 8-6 NC 26 60.2%

*Also take note of: Keith "The Rockstar" Richardson (2-1) SC 25-years-old; Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (1-0) is a kickboxing champion from SC that could end up becoming a legit MMA lightweight; Jason Hicks (1-0) SC 28-years-old

**Note: Most observers and we at MMA For Real acknowledge that NC native Spencer Fisher is clearly deserving of the top spot in the lightweight division. Given that he is currently fully engaged in the work that he is doing at his gym in Illinois, for the purposes of this compilation we have decided to focus on fighters that currently have direct connection to the regional scene currently.

(Featherweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. "The Wild Card" Jarrod Card 12-3-1 NC 30 55.9%
2. Jon Owens 7-2 NC 29 50.9%
3. Byron Bloodworth 4-1 NC 26 44.4%

*Also take note of: Jim Carey (3-0) NC and has yet to be taken out of the 1stround; Justin Dalton (6-3) 19-years-old; Jerrod Sanders (1-0) NC30-years-old is a dangerous wrestler and could be a real talented pro at featherweight. Dave Linder (3-2) SC 29-years-old

(Bantamweight)

 

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Preston "Butch" Marks 4-1 NC 27 71.4%
2. Brandon Garner 7-1-1 NC 28 51.9%
3. Tim Goodwin 4-2 SC 26 64.7%

*Either way I chose to rank the top two spots here, it would have been especially controversial. Most observers of the fight game here in the Carolinas regard both Marks and Garner as being two of the most talented fighters around. Our hope is that this is a matchup that can be made sometime in 2010 (provided both fighters get by their next opponents). Both fighters are very talented and train with quality camps. This is a fight that both sides likely want and the fans would enjoy tremendously.

Amateur Rankings

(Heavyweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Jeremy "The Pain Train" Holm 8-0 NC 29 59.9%
2. Chris Sutton 3-0 NC 21 40%
3. Robert "Havoc" Smith 2-0 NC 26 40%

*Also take note of: Marlone Smith (6-1) 33-years-old; Drew Stewart (2-1) 23-years-old

(Light Heavyweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Kelly Anundson 8-0 SC 25 NA
2. Ricky "The Sniper" Rainey 3-0 NC 26 40%
3. Daniel Skipper 2-0 NC 28 40%

(Middleweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Derek Brunson 2-0 NC 26 50%
2. Adam "Ad Bad" Dehart 9-5 NC 21 65.6%
3. Chris Crawford 4-2 NC 25 56.8%

*Also take note of: David Griffin (3-1) SC; 29-years-old; Jeff Hunt (2-0) NC; 25-years-old

(Welterweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Tim Marcum Jr. 4-0 SC 22 70.6%
2. Travis Ferrell 5-1 SC 26 64.3%
3. Micah Lail 9-4 NC 26 59.6%

*Also take note of: Colby Watson (5-1) NC 21-years-old; Joshua Leonard (6-1) NC 26-years-old; Ryan Brunke (3-1) SC 26-years-old; Blaine Thomas (9-5) 20-years-old; Chris Kirkpatrick (3-0) 21-years-old

(Lightweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Jacob "Brick" Allman 7-0 NC 24 55.9%
2. David "Colt "45" Howell 7-0 NC 21 56.4%
3. Jordan Rinaldi 5-1 NC 22 50%

*This is, without question, the division with the deepest pool of amateur talent in the region. There are too many talented guys for me to list. Having said that, also take note of:  Troy Dollar (8-0) NC 29-years-old; Amos Collins (5-0) SC 32-years-old; Kevin Forant (4-1) NC 28-years-old; George Hickman (2-0) 24-years-old; Kurtis Cloward (7-3) 24-years-old; Robert Shanor (5-2) 19-years-old; Sebastian Wodjack (3-0) 33-years-old; Jeff Loken (5-1) 20-years-old; Too many other talented fighters to count. With multiple guys turning pro soon, this division will be wide open.

(Featherweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Nate "Bruiser" Davis 4-1 NC 24 57.7%
2. Casey "Full Speed" Johnson 7-1 NC 21 51.7%
3. Matthew Coakley 4-1 NC 22 62.4%

*Also take note of: Chris Cain (6-2) SC 22-years-old; Chris Burns (3-1) NC 22-years-old; Kevin Hulin (4-3) NC 20-years-old

(Bantamweight)

Name Record State Age Opponents Win %
1. Matthew "Spiderman" Tran 5-0 NC 24 52.4%
2. Keith Hulin 4-1 NC 20 50%
3. Tim McNamara 2-0 NC 27 NA

*Also take note of: Jesus Ortega (2-0) NC 22-years old

Special thanks goes out to Rich Wyatt for gathering all these stats and doing almost all of the legwork on this project.  Also, special thanks go out to all the managers and fight promoters that helped with their suggestions and information.  Again, we look forward to hearing YOUR opinions.  Rankings are SUBJECTIVE so nobody will ever get it 100% right, but we aim to do so.  Now, for you managers and fight promoters.  We will depend heavily on you to keep us updated on when your guys are fighting so we can keep our stats current.  That way these rankings can be as accurate as possible.  Ultimately, we hope these rankings will shed light on the best available talent in the Carolina's while also assisting promotions in putting on fights that the fans want to see.  You may ask how you can do that.  It's pretty simple and some fighters and managers have already done this.  Simply click here and officially join the community here at www.mmaforreal.com and create your username to join in the discussion/debates we have, to post when you'll be fighting next, to post your own video blogs leading up to fights, and whatever else you think will add to the site.