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Friday, April 24, 2009


-- World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts


Philadelphia, PA - The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) fighter rankings for the month of April debuted on ESPN.com's MMA Live on Thursday. The rankings are now available in their entirety at www.GoWAMMA.com and absent from the top ten light heavyweight rankings for the first time since their inception is former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.

Liddell was no doubt penalized by WAMMA's pollster group of 30-plus MMA media insiders for losing for the fourth time in his last five fights following his first round TKO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua during last Saturday's UFC 97 event in Montreal, Canada.

"While not unexpected under the circumstances, the concept of Chuck Liddell not being ranked as a top ten light heavyweight is still a little shocking," commented WAMMA interim Chief Operating Officer Sam Caplan. "Liddell has no doubt not fared well recently, but all of his losses were to top competitors. Randy Couture proved he still had what it took to be a top ten contender when he came out of retirement at UFC 68 and defeated Tim Sylvia at age 44. At age 39, I think it's premature to rule out one more run for Liddell."

While Liddell is out in WAMMA's 205 pound rankings, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has returned. Once ranked as high as number two before dropping out of WAMMA's rankings due an inactive period that lasted a year and a half due to multiple knee surgeries. Rua is now currently the fifth best rated heavyweight, according to WAMMA's pollster committee.

"Since coming to the UFC, many pundits have remarked that Rua has not looked like the same fighter he was while in PRIDE," began Caplan, before continuing, "However, we saw some flashes of his former greatness at UFC 97 and if Shogun is truly back then an already deep 205 pound weight class just got even deeper."

Another winner from UFC 97 has also broken into the top ten, as Cheick Kongo debuts in the WAMMA heavyweight rankings at number 10. Kongo improved to 14-4-1 and won his third consecutive fight following his second round TKO victory over Antoni Hardonk.

The fallout from UFC 97 also carried over into WAMMA's middleweight rankings, as Thales Leites' unanimous decision loss to Anderson Silva during the show's main event caused him to fall out of the top ten. In his place, former K-1 HERO's standout Yoshihiro Akiyama returns to the top ten after an extended absence. Akiyama is slated to make his UFC debut on July 11 at UFC 101 against Alan Belcher.

A rankings ascension unrelated to UFC 97 entailed Martin Kampmann debuting as WAMMA's seventh-best rated welterweight this month. Kampmann, a former middleweight, recorded a split decision victory over former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit in a nationally televised main event during UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1.

In spite of the loss, Condit remains in the top ten 170 pound WAMMA rankings, falling from seven to number nine with Dustin Hazelett falling just outside of the top ten.

WAMMA's ranking committee, which is chaired by MMAjunkie.com lead reporter John Morgan, is scheduled to convene again during the middle of the May. The next round of rankings could bring forth change at light heavyweight, with WAMMA's number one rated 205 pound fighter Rashad Evans set to defend his UFC light heavyweight title vs. WAMMA's number two light heavyweight Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in Las Vegas on May 23.

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CONTACT: WAMMA interim COO and Secretary Sam Caplan at SCaplan8@gmail.com.

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ABOUT WAMMA (www.GoWAMMA.com): WAMMA is a multifaceted fighter and fan forward organization dedicated to leading the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to unprecedented levels of integrity, legitimacy and prosperity. With the help of forward-looking MMA promotions, WAMMA has created an environment where fighters from all organizations have the opportunity to openly compete to be the one true, undisputed champion in their respective weight classes based on WAMMA's objective MMA Rankings. WAMMA's newly created Fighter Advisory Board, co-chaired by MMA legend Randy "The Natural" Couture and world renowned trainer and five-time UFC champion Pat Miletich, will offer a unique resource for fighters.