Nordic MMA Rankings – January 2018

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The Nordic rankings have been updated with top-ranked fighters from or living in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.  Since 2011, MMA Viking has published the official Nordic MMA rankings used by local and international promotions.  The last rankings were published in July, check out the latest update below.

Men Rankings

Flyweight (125 lbs / 56.7 kg)

Sweden-raised Amir Albazi has won ten straight fights with his latest at Bellator 179 in drop down back to the flyweight. The UK based fighter awaits a UFC contract.  Mikael Silander has won three straight bouts all in 2017, including his latest at M-1 Challenge 82 in a strong performance against Vitali Branchuk.  He looks to raise his profile with an interim title show with the M-1 promotion next month.  Aleksi Toivonen beat Oleg Mykhayliv at Cage 40 and his Cage 39 loss is now overturned to a No Contest after three WADA violations from Oleg Lichkovakha.  Abdul Hussein has racked up recent wins at Cage 40 and Cage 41, both by first round stoppage.  Binh Son Le’s most recent outing at M-1 Challenge 82 has been overturned to a No Contest after his in-cage loss also to Lichkovakha.  Anton Larsson takes the lost spot in the rankings with inactivity from Bilal Musa.

1 – Amir Albazi, Sweden, 10-0-0 (-)
2 – Mikael Silander, Finland, 17-5-0 (-)
3 – Aleksi Toivonen, Finland, 5-0-0-1 (-)
4 – Abdul Hussein, Finland, 4-0-0 (new)
5 – Binh Son Le, Sweden, 5-2-0-1 (-1)
6 – Anton Larsson, Sweden, 3-4-0 (-)

Inactive : Bilal Musa, Harri Määttä

Bantamweight (135 lbs / 61.2 kg)

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Finn Janne Elonen-Kulmala had a tough run in 2017 with two losses and a draw, after a 11 fight win streak heading into the year.  Sirwan Kakai is nearing his return to the cage with an ACB bout following his battles with Bellator Champ Joe Warren and UFC’s Frankie Saenz.  Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas got a nice win at NFC 2 over Marc Gomez, but has continued to be inactive in MMA due to injuries.  Toni Tauru has lost 5 out of 6 bouts, including both in 2017, but ranked ahead of Akhtar that he submitted back at Superior Challenge.  Martin Akhtar just beat Samir Faiddine at Superior Challenge 16, snapping a two fight losing streak.  Fernando Flores is a bantamweight, but having challenges finding bouts here and more active at featherweight.  Look out for Jonas Magard who is on a 7 fight winning streak and a notable win away from a big jump in the rankings.

1 – Janne Elonen-Kulmala, Finland, 15-6-1 (-)
2 – Sirwan Kakai, Sweden, 12-5-0 (-)
3 – Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas, Finland, 11-3-0 (-)
4 – Toni Tauru, Finland, 11-6-1 (-)
5 – Martin Akhtar, Sweden, 10-4-0-1 (-)
6 – Fernando Flores, Sweden, 5-2 (-)
7 – Jonas Magard, Denmark, 7-3 (new)

Contenders : Viktor Gustavsson, Edris Rafigh, Delshad Morad, Hamza Bougamza, Christoffer Darre, Hannan Housmand, Martin Fouda, Jari Illikainen, Rune Bjerregaard Petersen, Joel Moya, Joni Sarkala, Kristian Skogmo, Nils Henrik Tjikkom
Inactive : Mika Hämäläinen, Shamal Tashkilot, Emil Hartsner, David Haggstrom

Featherweight (145 lbs / 65.8 kg)

Makwan Amirkhani will look to rebound from his UFC in London loss in March and should be in the octagon in early 2018.  Niklas Bäckström lost his recent bout at ACB, but retains the second spot with his win over Joni Salovaara, who snapped a two fight winning streak in his last outing at Cage 41 against Alex Gilpin.  Mads Burnell got his biggest win over TUF’s Fernando Duarte Bagordache in November giving him a UFC contract, but lost on short notice in a lightweight bout in his debut.  His UFC featherweight debut will be against Mike Santiago on January 14.  Previously undefeated Daniel Teymur suffered a loss in his UFC debut also up a weight class, and will return to action at featherweight in 2018. Undefeated Frantz Slioa hopes to be more active in the new year giving him an opportunity to improve his ranking based on just one pro bout in the last three years.

1 – Makwan Amirkhani, Finland, 13-3 (-)
2 – Niklas Bäckström, Sweden, 11-3-0-1 (-)
3 – Mads Burnell, Denmark, 8-2-0 (+1)
4 – Daniel Teymur, Sweden, 6-1-0 (+1)
5 – Frantz Slioa, Sweden, 5-0-0 (+1)
6 – Joni Salovaara, Finland, 18-10-0-2 (-3)

Contenders : Mathias Lodahl, Michel Ersoy, Rafael Macedo, Mohammad Badadivand, Matteus Lahdesmaki, Rasul Khataev, Juuso Halme, Bjarki Omarsson
Retired : Rami Aziz, Thomas Hytten, Tom Niinimäki

Lightweight (155 lbs / 70.3 kg)

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David Teymur had a breakthrough performance beating Lando Vannata at UFC 209 and followed this up with a win over Krakkar Klose at UFC 218.  Damir Hadzovic is coming off his devastating knee KO win over former Bellator champ Marcin Held at UFC in Sweden.  Reza Madadi has suffered two straight losses, however his near win over undefeated Joaquim Silva on short notice was impressive.  Teemu Packalen was KO’d by top prospect Marc Diakese in London in is recovering from knee surgery.  Anton Kuivanen rebounded from two straight stoppages with his win over Tetsuya Yamada at Cage 38 and will return from injury at Cage 42 in February.  Alexander Jacobsen lost his Cage Warriors title shot versus Chris Fishgold in October, snapping his impressive eight fight winning streak.  Both Aleksi Mäntykivi and Soren Bak are getting their seven and 8 rankings for their recent run of wins in Nordics most stacked weight class.

1 – David Teymur, Sweden, 6-1 (-)
2 – Damir Hadzovic, Denmark, 11-3 (-)
3 – Reza Madadi, Sweden, 14-5 (-)
4 – Teemu Packalen, Finland, 7-2 (-)
5 – Anton Kuivanen, Finland, 24-10 (-)
6 – Alexander Jacobsen, Norway, 8-2 (-)
7 – Aleksi Mäntykivi, Finland, 11-4 (new)
8 – Soren Bak, Denmark, 10-1 (new)

Contenders : Jani Salmi, Joachim Tollefsen, Simon Skold, Niko Puhakka, Arman Popal, Jani Ridasmaa, Thor Palsson, Niko Myllynen, Kennet Mattsson, Patrik Pietila, Kim Thinghaugen, Jonathan Svensson, Aleksi Savolainen, Tuukka Repo, Patrik Kapanen, Dilmurod Movlonov, Birgir Tomasson, Danny Mathiasen
Inactive :Guram Kutateladze, Antti Virtanen, Aleksi Nurminen, Mattias Rosenlind
Retired : Martin Svensson, Mikael Nyyssönen

Welterweight (170 lbs / 77.1 kg)

_MG_8967Gunnar Nelson suffered a controversial loss foul prone Santiago Ponzinibbio in his last bout in July and will look ahead to 2018 against top-10 ranked opponents.  Emil Weber Meek will look to build off his Jordan Mein win in his UFC debut and looks toward the top spot as he faces Kamaru Usman on January 14.  Swede David Bielkheden has won eight straight bouts, including his Superior Challenge title defense against Anton Radman.  Nicolas Dalby will return to action in 2018 to help settle his place in the rankings after two loses in 2016.  Jonathan Westin (with a win over Juho Valamaa) is ranked five as he awaits an opportunity to show what he can do.  Juho Valamaa, with three straight wins, beat Zebastian Kadestam at Superior Challenge 15 giving him the last spot in the rankings.

1 – Gunnar Nelson, Iceland, 16-3-1 (-)
2 – Emil Weber Meek, Norway, 9-2-1-1 (-)
3 – David Bielkheden, Sweden 25-12-0 (-)
4 – Jonatan Westin, Sweden, 10-2-0 (+1)
5 – Juho Valamaa, Finland, 15-4-0 (+1)
6 – Zebaztian Kadestam, Sweden, 9-4-0 (new)

Contenders : Nicholas Musoke, Oliver Enkamp, Andreas Stahl, Mohsen Bahari, Olli Santalahti, Håkon Foss, Fernando Gonzalez, Morten Djursaa, Diego Gonzalez, Thomas Robertsen, Jussi Halonen, Thomas Jessing,Dmitrijs Homjakovs, Mikko Ahmala, Rostem Akman, Quinten De Vreught, Stefan Ydstie, David Rosmon, Gard Olve Sagen, Diego Björn Valencia, Frodi Vitalis Hansen
Inactive : Nicolas Dalby, Niclas Danielsson, Mohammed Abdallah, Kai Puolakka, Simeon Thoresen

Middleweight (185 lbs / 83.9 kg)

Jack Hermansson won two of three bouts in 2017 in fights that all ended in the first round.  He will look to rebound from a loss in Brazil in October.  Glenn Sparv has won four fights in a row since moving up to middleweight and will look to make it five at RFC in February.  Sadibou Sy is ranked number thre and has won his last five out of six, including his recent stoppage at Superior Challenge 16.  Papy Abedi loss at Superior Challenge 15 after a two year layoff, and will look to return to the cage after he recovers for injury.  Victor Cheng is back in the rankings even after his near victory in battling for the Cage Warriors belt back in October. Alexander Bergman secured wins at both Superior Challenge 14 and 15 as he moves into the rankings.

1 – Jack Hermansson, Sweden/Norway 16-4 (-)
2 – Glenn Sparv, Finland 16-4 (+3)
3 – Sadibou Sy, Sweden 6-2 (+1)
4 – Papy Abedi, Sweden, 10-4 (+2)
5 – Victor Cheng, Sweden, 11-3 (new)
6 – Alexander Bergman, Sweden, 6-2 (new)

Contenders : Andrius Ordoyan, Mikkel Kasper, Henri Lintula, Matias Rantala, Mika Kuronen
Inactive : Alan Carlos, Mikkel Parlo, Magnus Cedenblad

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs / 93 kg)

The light heavyweight king Alexander Gustafsson remains the number one ranked fighter with his impressive stoppage over Glover Teixeira at UFC Stockholm.  Ilir Latifi is coming off his most impressive win over Tyson Pedro back in September to lock up the second ranking.  Joachim Christensen lost his three bouts include two in the UFC, but is set for a fresh 2018 with bouts to be announced soon.  His win over Max Nunes (two losses in 2017), gives him the third spot.  Kenneth Bergh got the biggest win of his career, stopping Norman Paraisy at CWFC 84, extending his undefeated run to six.  We rank Marcus Vänttinen at number 6, but hard to tell where the Finn should lie without a win since 2013.  Although he does have a win over Christensen, the timing of the win puts him a bit below the Dane.  Herdem AlacabekKarl Albrektsson, and Marthin Hamlet Nielsen are top prospects that are just a solid win away for getting into the mix.

1 – Alexander Gustafsson, Sweden, 18-4 (-)
2 – Ilir Latifi, Sweden 13-5-0-1 (-)
3 – Joachim Christensen, Denmark, 14-7 (-)
4 – Max Nunes, Sweden 17-5 (-)
5 – Kenneth Bergh, Norway, 6-0 (-)
6 – Marcus Vanttinen, Finland, 24-7 (new)

Contenders : Herdem Alacabek, Karl Albrektsson, Marthin Hamlet Nielsen, Zvonimir Kralj, Saku Heikkola

Heavyweight (265 lbs / 120.2 kg) +

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Christian Colombo was stopped in his last UFC bout in Brazil and his octagon record is now at one draw and two losses, but “Godzilla” plans on getting some wins in 2018.  Yosef Ali Mohammad still sits at number two with his KO over Nick Barno in 2016 who is number three.  While Yosef has been inactive in 2017, the “True Dane” is the more active fighter and had two wins and one loss in 2017.  Toni Valtonen made a return to the cage and got himself a win at NFC 1 last May, before losing his next bout at M-1 in August.  Junior Karanta Fatty looked set to jump in the rankings after his nine second KO at Cage Warriors 86, but lost just two months later by submission to end the year at one win and one loss.  Frontline Academy’s Andreas Lagaard lost his pro MMA debut back in March sits at the sixth spot.

1 – Christian Colombo, Denmark, 8-3-1 (-)
2 – Yosef Ali Mohammad, Sweden, 7-3 (-)
3 – Nick Barno, Denmark, 5-2-0 (-)
4 – Toni Valtonen, Finland, 27-16 (-)
5 – Junior Karanta Fatty, Sweden, 2-1 (new)
6 – Andreas Lagaard, Norway, 0-1 (-)

Inactive : Miika Mehmet

Women Rankings

Strawweight (115 lbs / 52.2 kg) or Lower


It’s tough to see how the top three women should be ranked here, but for now we will give it to Celine Haga has won four of her five last bouts against more experienced opponents, with the only loss a controversial one in her Invicta Debut.  Iceland’s undefeated Sunna Davidsdottir has an impressive three wins in Invicta to give her the second spot, including two in 2017. Minna Grusander has a three fight winning streak, with her only loss of her career against Syuri Kondo (now in UFC) at Pancrase 284 and lost in a hard fought decision.  Iman Darabi won last September at BOB 2016, but has not been in action since.  Tiia Kohtamaki lost to Grusander in her pro debut and moved up to flyweight for a decision loss in her second outing.

1 – Celine Haga, Norway, 10-14  (-)
2 – Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir, Iceland, 3-0 (-)
3 – Minna Grusander, Finland, 5-1 (-)
4 – Iman Darabi, Sweden, 3-2 (-)
5 – Tiia Kohtamaki, Finland, 0-2 (+1)

Retired : Anna Elmose
Inactive : Vuokko Katainen, Tina Lahdemaki, Veera Nykanen

Flyweights (125 lbs / 56.7 kg)

Cornelia Holm won her pro debut against Diana Filipa at Cage Warriors 87. The Swede ‘Connie Future’ hit two milestones by first winning her first pro MMA bout and hitting the flyweight weight class for the first time.  The two and three ranked Swedish fighters faced off in their pro debuts at Superior Challenge 16, with Malin Hermansson winning a split decision over Gabriella Ringblom giving her the second ranking.  Finn Anna Hyvärinen got a win this year thrusting her into the rankings following her pro debut back in 2013.

1 – Cornelia Holm, Sweden, 1-0 (new)
2 – Malin Hermansson, Sweden, 1-0 (new)
3 – Gabriella Ringblom, Sweden, 0-1 (new)
4 – Anna Hyvärinen, Finland, 1-1 (new)

Bantamweight (135 lbs / 61.2 kg) +

Pannie Kianzad holds the top spot, even though the former Invicta title challenger has dropped two straight fights against top ranked fighters.  “Sexy Scramble” now stops in to face Sarah Kaufman at Invicta FC 27 in January.  Lina Lansberg lost to Aspen Ladd in her last UFC bout in October at UFC FN 118 in her last outing.  Maiju Suotama is back in action and won two victories in 2017 and looks ramped up to keep climbing the ranks. Suvi Salmimies lost her last bout at Cage 40 by decision, after beating Evelina Puidaite at NFC 2 in May.  Bea Malecki won her pro debut by rear-naked choke in the USA and enters the rankings.

1 – Pannie Kianzad, Sweden, 8-2 (-)
2 – Lina Lansberg, Sweden, 7-2 (-)
3 – Maiju Suotama, Finland, 8-3 (new)
4 – Suvi Salmimies, Finland, 7-5-1 (-1)
5 – Bea Malecki, Sweden, 1-0 (new)

Inactive :  Eeva Siiskonen, Maria Hougaard, Camilla Hinze, Linn Wennergren

Criteria
A fighter can be ranked if he/she was raised in or is permanently living in one of the Nordic countries (Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden).  Fighters are listed as inactive if they have not fought a professional MMA within a year or currently have a bout booked.  Quality of recent wins, not opinions regarding what fighter would win in a match-ups or an athlete’s potential, is the main criteria for the rankings.

For more information regarding MMA Viking’s ranking criteria and full listing of previous rankings.

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