Nordic MMA Rankings – April 2014 Update

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MMA Viking’s Official Nordic MMA rankings have been updated once again. This is the first update of 2014. We have taken into consideration all recent events including UFC, Bellator, Cage, Fight Festival, Superior Challenge, IRFA, European MMA, GCE, Cage Warriors and many other shows.

Heavyweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Christian Colombo Denmark 7-1-0
2 Yosef Ali Mohammad Sweden 3-1-0
3 new Christian Golcic Sweden 3-1-0

Dropped out: Eddy Bengtsson (inactivity), Toni Valtonen (inactivity), Marko Patteri (retirement)

Christian Colombo
Dane Christian Colombo Leads the Nordic HW Division with Win at EUMMA 6 in September

Summary: Nordic heavyweight division is still thin in number of fighters, but the top three will be back in action shortly.

Denmark’s Christian Colombo (7-1)  has gone 5-1 during last twelve months. At European MMA 6 in September the Dane took a dominant decision win over German vet Andreas Kraniotakes (17-7). Colombo is set to fight at EUMMA 9, but no opponent has been announced yet for the Dane.

Yosef Ali Mohammad (3-1) showcased his heavy hands at Superior Challenge 9 where the Swede put away Portugese Duarte Fonseca in eight seconds with a flurry of strikes. Gigantic Mohammed is exceptionally athletic for a man of his size which alone makes him one of the most interesting prospect in the Nordics considering all weight classes.

Swede Christian Golcic enters the heavyweight top ten with a dominant win at Trophy MMA 3. Aggressive Malmö Muay Thai fighter destroyed his opponent with kicks and punches in just 54 seconds.

Mohammad and Golcic will face each other at the Superior Challenge X on May 3rd in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Light Heavyweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Alexander Gustafsson Sweden 16-2-0
2 Ilir Latifi Sweden 8-3-0
3 Marcus Vänttinen Finland 24-5-0
4 Matti Mäkelä Sweden 13-11-0
5 Joachim Christensen Denmark 9-3-0

Contenders: Antti Kästämä (Fin), Magnus Strandner (Swe), Karl Albrektsson (Swe)

Gustafsson Dominates to Solidify His Title Shot
Gustafsson Dominates Manuwa to Solidify His Title Shot

Summary: Sweden’s superstar Alex “the Mauler” Gustafsson is in a league of his own at the Nordic light heavyweight division. The Swede extended his string of impressive performances at UFC London where he send British striker Jimi “Posterboy” Manuwa to oblivion with strikes in the second round.  The Mauler is now in a holding pattern as he has secured his shot later in the year at the UFC belt.

Sweden’s Ilir Latifi made his second appearance in the UFC on the promotion’s UK show eleven months after his debut in Stockholm. Latifi put French veteran Cyril Diabate on his back and finished the job on the ground with the Latifi choke at three minutes of the very first round. 

Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen’s defended his Cage light heavyweight title for the third time in 2013 in November’s Cage 24 where the Finn won a decision over Brazilian Charles Andrade. Vänttinen was set to fight at Cage 25 in February but was forced to cancel due to an eye injury that he suffered while training with Gustafsson and Latifi in Stockholm.

Swedish brawler Matti Mäkelä stays at 4th spot with latest win from Superior Challenge 9 where the Swede knocked out Italian Matteo Minonzio in the second round. Experienced Mäkelä is currently riding a three fight win streak. Mäkelä will fight 5th ranked Joachim Christensen at Superior Challenge X in May.

Danish BJJ black belt Joachim Christensen won his last fight in February at EUMMA 8 by decision over German prospect Stephan Puetz.  20 year old Swede Karl Albrektsson just won at IRFA 6.0, and is a rankings contender to look out for in the future.

Middleweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 +1 Mikkel Parlo Denmark 12-2-0
2 -1 Tor Troeng Sweden 16-5-1
3 +1 Magnus Cedenblad Sweden 11-4-0
4 -1 Mats Nilsson Sweden 11-2-1
5 Max Nunes Sweden 13-1-0

Contenders: Andreas Spång (Swe), Papy Abedi (Swe), Timo Suhonen (Fin), Jack Hermansson (Nor), Alan Carlos (Swe), Marcus Andersson (Swe)

Nilsson Came Out Swinging, But Lost in UFC Debut
Nilsson Came Out Swinging, But Lost in UFC Debut

Summary: The top five middleweights are close bunch so a single win or a loss can shuffle the whole list.

Danish tank Mikkel Parlo takes the lead with a win at Bellator 115 on 4th of April. The Dane dominated American Johnny Cisneros for three rounds and took home a a decision win.

Umeå’s Tor Troeng drops a spot due to inactivity. The Renyi gym fighter is 1-1 in the UFC with a submission win over fellow TUFer Adam Cella and a decision loss in a fight of the night versus Brazilian vet Rafael Natal at UFC FN 28. The Swede was supposed to fight at UFC 171 but shoulder injury pulled him from the fight.

Magnus Cedenblad is returning to action at UFC Berlin in end of May against undefeated Krzysztof Jotko. Jycken won his second UFC bout by submitting Jared Hamman in the first round. A win over Jotko in Berlin would lift Cedenblad to the top spot.

Sweden’s Mats Nilsson made his UFC debut on the London card where he faced UK’s rangy Luke Barnatt. Nilsson showed off his improved striking early in the fight but Barnatt’s head kick sent the Swede crashing down late in the first round.

Max “Power” Nunes took another win after dropping down to MW at ProFC 53, Russia where the Swede TKO’d Boris Miroshnichenko in the first round.  Look for Nunes to seek a BAMMA middleweight title in the near future.

Welterweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 +1 Gunnar Nelson Iceland 12-0-1
2 -1 Martin Kampmann Denmark 20-7-0
3 Nicholas Musoke Sweden 12-2-0
4 Nicolas Dalby Denmark 12-0-0
5 Andreas Ståhl Sweden 9-0-0

Contenders: Mohsen Bahari (Nor), Glenn Sparv (Fin), Morten Djursaa (Den), Bruno “BC” Carvalho (Swe), Kai Puolakka (Fin),  Juho Valamaa (Fin), David Bielkheden (Swe), Bessam Yousef (Swe), Chris Spång (Swe), Emil Weber Meek (Nor), Jonatan Westin (Swe)

Dropped out: Simeon Thoresen (Swe) and Arni Isaksson (Ice) for inactivity.

Nelson Takes Top Nordic Spot After 3rd UFC Win
Nelson Takes Top Nordic Spot After 3rd UFC Win

Summary: Nordic welterweight division is getting stronger and deeper all the time with hungry young prospects emerging from every Nordic country.

Icelandic fighting phenom Gunnar Nelson displayed his improved striking skills at UFC London where he faced Russian brawler Omari Akhmedov. “Gunni” started out patiently but suddenly stung Akhmedov with a explosive strike that sent Russian crashing down. On the ground Nelson displayed excellent top control while laying strikes on his opponent. The Icelander sealed the deal with a guillotine choke near the end of round one. Undefeated Nelson is now 3-0 in the UFC.

Martin Kampmann has been fighting in the UFC since 2006 and is still considered as one of the better fighters in the competitive weight class. Kampmann has lost his last two fights in devastating fashion. The Dane is taking some time of from fighting but looks still to return to action in the near future.

Sweden’s Nico Musoke has done a brilliant job in the UFC and gone 2-0 in his first two fights. The Swede won a decision over Brazilian Viscardi Andrade at UFC Fight Night 36 in February. Next fight for Musoke has not been announced yet.

Denmark’s next welterweight star Nicolas Dalby fought Ukranian Sergei Churilov at Cage Warriors 66 in Copenhagen. Dalby sent Churilov to sleep with a devastating head kick in the fourth round and captured the Cage Warriors welterweight belt. It’s quite safe to say that we’ll see the Dane soon in the UFC.

Umeå’s highly regarded prospect Andreas “Real Steel” Ståhl finally signed with the UFC. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait a bit longer for his UFC debut as an injury scratched him from his scheduled bout with Alex Garcia at UFC FN 33.

Norwegian striker Mohsen Bahari is on the edge of the top 5 with a decision victory over Sweden-based Bruno Carvalho at Cage Warriors 66.

Lightweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Anton Kuivanen Finland 20-7-0
2 +2 Ayub Tashkilot Denmark 11-3-0
3 +2 Juha-Pekka Vainikainen Finland 20-8-1
4 new Damir Hadzovic Denmark 8-2-0
5 -2 Niko Puhakka Finland 28-14-0

Contenders: Fernando Gonzalez (Swe), Ott Tõnissaar (Est), Diego Gonzalez (Swe), Kennet Mattson (Fin), Teemu Packalen (Fin), Mikael Nyyssönen (Fin)

Dropped out: Reza Madadi for inactivity.

Anton Kuivanen
Kuivanen Returning to the Cage Soon

Summary: Finnish veterans fill the top five together with the Danish up-n-comers. There is serious potential in the contender section too we’ll probably see new entries to the top five in the near future.

UFC vet Anton Kuivanen moves to the lead as Madadi drops out due to not fighting for 12 months. The Finn was getting ready at American Top Team in Florida for a fight at Cage 26 in early April but unfortunately a rib injury sidelined the Finn for weeks. Kuivanen is set to fight next at Helsinki Fight Night in June.

Dane Ayub “Zap” Tashkilot climbs a spot with a hard fought decision win over Estonian Ott Tonissaar at EUMMA 8. 

Finnish veteran Juha-Pekka Vainikainen got back on track at Cage 25 where the hard hitting Finn knocked out Spain’s Pedro Morcillo in the second round, and took it up to the next level beating German TUF veteran Nordin Asrih at Cage 26 by decision.

New entry on the lightweight ranking is Denmark’s Damir Hadzovic who impressed at Cage Warriors 66 by knocking out UFC veteran John Maguire in the first round.

Finnish vet Niko Puhakka has healed from his back injury and returned to action in February at M-1 45 where lost by decision to high level Ukranian Alexander Butenko.

Featherweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 +1 Tom Niinimäki Finland 21-5-1
2 Akira Corassani Sweden 12-3-0
4 +1 Niklas Backström Sweden 7-0-0-1
4 -1 Joni Salovaara Finland 13-6-0
5 new Martin Svensson Sweden 13-5-0

Contenders: Greger Forsell (Fin), Makwan Amirkhani (Fin), Rami Aziz (Swe), Matteus Lähdesmäki (Fin), Tommi Marttinen (Fin), Jorgen Matsi (Est)

Dropped out: Joachim Hansen for inactivity.

Tom_Niinimaki_2
Tom Niinimäki impressed in his UFC debut at TUF 18 Finale when he outgrappled Rani Yahya to a decision win

Summary: Nordic featherweight division is a shark tank at the moment with an army of hungry young fighters working their way up the ladders.

Featherweight king Tom Niinimäki made most of his UFC debut as he surprisingly outgrappled the ADCC champion to a decision win. Niinimäki went 3-0 in 2013 with wins over Rani Yahya, Chase Beebe and Walel Watson. The Finn is currently training in Florida at Blackzillians gym where he sharpens his skills before the second UFC bout.

New Jersey based Akira Corassani’s bout with Maxico Blanco at TUF 18 Finale ended in the first round after a illegal knee strike from Blanco. Corassani takes another big step up in competition by facing Dustin Poirier at TUF ‘Nations’ Finale.

Niklas Backström crushed German prospect Max Coga with strikes in 15 seconds at Europa MMA in March. Next step for the undefeated Swede is probably signing with the UFC.

Finland’s Joni Salovaara dropped a decision loss to American up-n-comer Adam Ward after a tough battle at Cage 25.

Sweden’s Martin Svensson enters the rankings with a decision win over English veteran Robbie Olivier at Cage Warriors 66.

Bantamweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas Finland 9-2-0
2 +1 Toni Tauru Finland 9-1-1
3 -1 Sirwan Kakai Sweden 9-2-0
4 David Haggström Sweden 7-2-1
5 Janne Elonen-Kulmala Finland 9-4-0

Contenders:  Mika Hämäläinen (Fin), Emil “Megahertz” Hartsner (Swe), Martin Akhtar (Swe), Tuomas Grönvall (Fin), Mohammad Badadivand (Swe)

Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas celebrates
Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas celebrates

Summary: Hirvikangas and Tauru strengthen their position in the ranking with quality wins. Nordic bantamweight  is a competitive  division as there is tons of potential also in the contender section.

Three time ADCC Euro champ Tipi Hirvikangas is the leader of the pack. The skilled Finn is riding a four fight win streak. Latest win came at Cage 26 where Hirvikangas TKO’ed Polish prospect Tymoteusz Swiatek (12-2) in the first round with strikes from the mount.

Finland’s Toni Tauru climbs to second place with an impressive performance at Cage Warriors 66. The Finn dominated Sweden’s Martin Akhtar on the ground and finished job with a rear naked choke late in the first round. Tauru has won his last nine bouts with last six ending to a submission.

Sirwan Kakai has been inactive since he lost to Taichi Nakajima at Pancrase 252 in September of 2013. Kakai, who splits his time between GBG MMA in Gothenburg, Sweden and American Top Team in Florida, will fight at the Zone 13 on April 26th next.

Swede David Haggström hasn’t fought since the decision loss to Englishman Brett Johns at Cage Warriors 59.

Finland’s Janne “Jamba” Elonen-Kulmala has been on fire lately and racked up four consecutive wins in six months. Latest victory came at Cage 25 where Jamba choked out Swiss Vinko Roditi in the first round.

Flyweight Rankings

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Mikael Silander Finland 10-3-0
D7K_3828
Silander Wins Again at Cage 25

Finnish flyweight prospect Mikael “Hulk” Silander won his last fight by Hulk smash in February at Cage 25 where the Finn’s powerful slam made Spaniard Tony Caizedo tap out in pain. Silander won again versus another Spaniard in Dani Barez at Cage 26.

WOMEN Rankings (All Weight Classes)

Rank Change Name Country Record
1 Katja Kankaanpää Finland 8-1-1
2 Pannie Kianzad Sweden 4-0-0
3 Tina Lähdemäki Finland 5-0-0
4 Maria Hougaard Djursaa Denmark 5-4-0
5 new Lina Akhtar Länsberg Sweden 2-1-0

Contenders: Elina Nilsson (Swe), Eeva Siiskonen (Fin), Linn Wennergren (Swe), Iman Darabi (Swe)

Dropped out: Margaret Aase (Nor), Lina Eklund (Swe),  due to inactivity

Killer Bunny's Next Bout Likely with Invicta
Killer Bunny’s Next Bout Likely with Invicta

Summary: Finland’s Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää keeps her top spot while the competition in the women’s ranking is getting tighter. At Invicta FC 7 the Finn suffered her first career defeat in the hands of Scottish Joanne Calderwood who won the fight by decision.

Pannie Kianzad hovers at second place with a big win over Russia’s tough Milana Dudieva at Pro FC 50 in October. Undefeated “Banzai” will fight at Superior Challenge X in May.

Rising Finnish talent Tina Lähdemäki had a great run in 2013 with three wins in three fights. At Cage 24 Lähdemäki submitted experienced Spaniard Karla Benitez and improved her record to perfect 5-0.

Denmark’s Maria Hougaard Djursaa took home a notable win at EUMMA 7 where she submitted tough German Alexandra Buch in the first round and took her second win of the year.

Lina Akhtar Länsbarg enters the rankings with a dominant TKO win over England’s Emma Delaney at Cage Warriors FC 66.

More information regarding MMA Viking’s ranking criteria and previous rankings.