The first Nordic rankings of 2017 have arrived and it is a Nordic mix of top ranked fighters with Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden having a top ranked fighter. Since 2011, MMA Viking has published the official Nordic MMA rankings used by local and international promotions.
Flyweight (125 lbs / 56.7 kg)
Finn Mikael Silander is your top ranked flyweight, winning his last 6 of 8 bouts. Hulk was set to face Binh Son Le in a quality Nordic matchup that would help sort the rankings at Cage 38, but the Swedish fighter pulled out due to injury. Keep an eye on the undefeated Aleksi Toivonen that is climbing the ranks and Bilal Musa to rebound from his two losses (including one to Binh Son Le) soon.
Bantamweight (135 lbs / 61.2 kg)
Top ranked Janne Elonen-Kulmala is on an 11 fight win streak… yes, you read that right. Jamba’s quality wins, including James Pennington, put him at the head of the pack here. Sirwan Kakai is back training in Stockholm and looking to rebound from three straight losses against top ranked fighters, including Bellator Champ Joe Warren and UFC’s Frankie Saenz. Undefeated Amir Albazi has climbed the ranks with his 8 victories all coming by stoppage. Another quality win for the Prince could get the call to the big show soon. Toni Tauru got back on track with a dominating win over Geje Eustaquio in December, ending a three fight losing streak. Dynamite ranks above Martin Akhtar –he is on an impressive 5 fight winning streak– with his win over him back in 2014. Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas finally got back into the cage after a two year layoff, but lost a split decision to a tough Khalid Taha in November.
1 – Janne Elonen-Kulmala, Finland, 15-4-0
2 – Sirwan Kakai, Sweden, 12-5-0
3 – Amir Albazi, Sweden, 8-0-0
4 – Toni Tauru, Finland, 11-4-1
5 – Martin Akhtar, Sweden, 9-3
6 – Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas, Finland, 10-3-0
Contenders : Mika Hämäläinen, Edris Rafigh, Fernando Flores, Abdul Hussein, Viktor Gustavsson
Inactive : Shamal Tashkilot, Emil Hartsner
Featherweight (145 lbs / 65.8 kg)
Makwan Amirkhani is the number one ranked featherweight as he sets his eyes on his fourth UFC win in a row at the UFC in London in March. Niklas Bäckström secured a solid win over Joni Salovaara at Cage 37 to get the second ranking. Salovaara won two bouts before losing a Swede to secure the third slot. Tom Niinimäki re-enters the rankings with his win over UFC vet Jonathan Brookins at Euro FC 1, but time will tell where he belongs or if he will stay in the game. Mads Burnell got his biggest win over TUF Fernando Duarte Bagordache in November and enters the rankings at number five. Daniel Teymur is undefeated and should jump in the rankings with a quality win in 2017.
1 – Makwan Amirkhani, Finland, 13-2-0
2 – Niklas Bäckström, Sweden, 11-2-0-1
3 – Joni Salovaara, Finland, 16-9-0-2
4 – Tom Niinimäki, Finland, 22-8-1
5 – Mads Burnell, Denmark, 8-1
6 – Daniel Teymur, Sweden, 5-0
Contenders : Mathias Lodahl, Rafael Macedo, Rami Aziz, Mohammad Badadivand, Rasul Khataev, Michel Ersoy, Arman Popal, Juuso Halme
Lightweight (155 lbs / 70.3 kg)
Reza Madadi is back on top of the rankings with a quality win over Yan Cabral in May, Mad Dog’s first in the Octagon since 2013. Teammate David Teymur has won his two UFC bouts by TKO and has a big opportunity versus Lando Vannata at UFC 209. Teemu Packalen submitted Thibault Gouti in his first round blitz in the Octagon last February. Damir Hadzovic lost his UFC debut to Mairbek Taisumov and Finn Anton Kuivanen looks to rebound from two straight stoppages to round out the top five. Redline MMA’s Guram Kutateladze enters the ranks with four straight wins, including one over Joachim Tollefsen.
1 – Reza Madadi, Sweden, 14-4
2 – David Teymur, Sweden, 5-1
3 – Teemu Packalen, Finland, 7-1-0
4 – Damir Hadzovic, Denmark, 10-2-0
5 – Anton Kuivanen, Finland, 22-8-0
6 – Guram Kutateladze, Sweden, 7-2
Contenders : Aleksi Mäntykivi, Soren Bak, Jani Salmi, Alexander Jacobsen, Joachim Tollefsen, Jani Ridasmaa, Niko Myllynen, Kennet Mattsson, Mikael Nyyssönen, Simon Skold, Kim Thinghaugen, Jonathan Svensson, Aleksi Savolainen, Patrik Pietila
Inactive : Antti Virtanen, Aleksi Nurminen, Mattias Rosenlind
Retired : Martin Svensson
Welterweight (170 lbs / 77.1 kg)
Gunnar Nelson still rules the welterweights. Gunni’s submission win over Albert Tumenov shows that the Mjolnir that has won 6 of 8 in the Octagon still hasn’t reached his potential. Emil Weber Meek is new to the rankings with a shocking win over Rousimar Palhares at Venator FC 3 and a UFC debut win over Jordan Mein. Swede David Bielkheden is showing he still has it as he put away UFC vet Luis Ramos for his sixth consecutive win. Rounding our the rankings are Nicolas Dalby and Juho Valamaa who are are all coming off losses, and Jonathan Westin who jumps into the rankings with his six fight winning streak.
1 – Gunnar Nelson, Iceland, 15-2-1
2 – Emil Weber Meek, Norway, 9-2-1-1
3 – David Bielkheden, Sweden 23-12
4 – Nicolas Dalby, Denmark, 14-2-1
5 – Juho Valamaa, Finland, 12-4
6 – Jonatan Westin, Sweden, 10-2
Contenders : Andreas Stahl, Oliver Enkamp, Mohsen Bahari, Håkon Foss, Zebaztian Kadestam, Fernando Gonzalez, Morten Djursaa, Diego Gonzalez, Thomas Robertsen, Jussi Halonen, Thomas Jessing
Inactive : Nicholas Musoke, Niclas Danielsson, Mohammed Abdallah, Kai Puolakka, Simeon Thoresen, Niclas Danielsson
Middleweight (185 lbs / 83.9 kg)
Jack Hermansson and Magnus Cedenblad are ahead of the pack here at middleweight, as both fighters had solid winning streaks before suffering losses in their latest UFC outing. The Joker was riding a 9 fight run before getting caught by Cezar Ferreira in Brazil. Both Swedes have a quality win over Scott Askham in the Octagon, but we give the nod here to the Frontline Academy fighter for his more active schedule and longer winning streak. Max Nunes is always knocking on the UFC’s door with his impressive 17 win and 3 loss record and has two straight wins to secure the third slot. Mikkel Parlo has been a staple of the middleweight division but inactive over the last few years with injuries, and only fight of 2016 was a loss to Chris Honeycutt. Sadibou Sy has won his last four out of five, with his only loss coming from a one in a million spinning backfist at SFN 1. Glenn Sparv looks like he may just settle in at middleweight as the big Finn beat TUF 16 fighter James Chaney at Reign in Power last November.
Contenders : Papy Abedi, Alan Carlos, Victor Cheng, Alexander Bergman, Andrius Ordoyan, Mikkel Kasper, Zvonimir Kralj, Eero Kosomo, Matias Rantala, Mika Kuronen
Light Heavyweight (205 lbs / 93 kg)
The light heavyweight king Alexander Gustafsson remains the number one ranked fighter and inches toward another title shot in 2017. A solid win over Jan Blachowicz in September gives the Swede confidence going against the world’s best again. Ilir Latifi had his three-fight winning streak stopped in an instant as a knee from Ryan Bader KO’d the sledgehammer. Joachim Christensen has been impressive in his two fight UFC run so far, and uppercut his way to his first Octagon win over Bojan Mihajlovic. Kenneth Bergh got two wins in 2016 to improve to a 5 win and 0 loss record, while Karl Albrektsson got his first loss as part of the Rizin World Grand Prix against Valentin Moldavsky.
1 – Alexander Gustafsson, Sweden, 17-3
2 – Ilir Latifi, Sweden 12-5-0-1
3 – Joachim Christensen, Denmark, 14-4
4 – Kenneth Bergh, Norway, 5-0
5 – Karl Albrektsson, Sweden, 5-1
6 – Saku Heikkola, Finland, 7-6-1
Inactive : Herdem Alacabek
Heavyweight (265 lbs / 120.2 kg) +
Christian Colombo has had mixed results in the UFC so far, with a draw in his debut and a submission loss back in November. But Godzilla should have a good opportunity to win at the UFC in Denmark when the Octagon lands in Copenhagen this May. Yosef Ali Mohammad sits and number two with his KO over Nick Barno who is number three. Finn Toni Valtonen made a return to the cage and got himself a win at NFC 1 last May, while Miika Mehmet was unsuccessful in his return suffering KO in the first round at FNF 12. Taking up the last spot is Frontline Academy’s Andreas Lagaard who will make his debut in March.
1 – Christian Colombo, Denmark, 8-2-1
2 – Yosef Ali Mohammad, Sweden, 7-3
3 – Nick Barno, Denmark, 3-1
4 – Toni Valtonen, Finland, 27-15
5 – Miika Mehmet, Finland, 3-5
6 – Andreas Lagaard, Norway, 0-0
Inactive : Marcus Vanttinen
Strawweight (115 lbs / 52.2 kg) or Lower
Time will tell if Celine Haga‘s latest bout in Invicta will result in a win or a loss, but as it stands now, nobody can take away the solid performance and four fight winning streak heading into the bout against Amy Cadwell Montenegro. Iceland’s first pro female fighter Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir got a solid win over Invicta vet Ashley Greenway in September to grab the second spot. Minna Grusander has a solid start to her pro career with two wins after winning the IMMAF Amateur World Championships. Iman Darabi got back on the winning track with a win this last September at BOB 2016. Vuokko Katainen dropped to strawweight for her last outing, where she lost to Viviane Pereira in Brazil.
Retired : Anna Elmose
Inactive : Tina Lahdemaki, Veera Nykanen
Flyweights (125 lbs / 56.7 kg) & Bantamweight (135 lbs / 61.2 kg) +
Pannie Kianzad has now dropped two straight fights after starting off her career with 8 straight wins, but gets the top spot with her solid run to the Invicta title shot. Sexy Scramble has wins over other ranked fighters Lina Lansberg, who will not lose any ground for her loss to top Cristiane Justino, and Maria Hougaard. Suvi Salmimies has battle her way to three close wins to turn around her career, where she had three losses in a row. Eeva Siiskonen looks to recovery from injury and get back into the cage in 2017.
1 – Pannie Kianzad, Sweden, 8-2
2 – Lina Lansberg, Sweden, 6-2
3 – Suvi Salmimies, Finland, 6-3-1
4 – Maria Hougaard-Djursaa, Denmark, 5-7
5 – Eeva Siiskonen, Finland, 5-4-2
6 – Camilla Hinze, Denmark, 1-2
Inactive : Linn Wennergren
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 and not opinions regarding what fighter would win in a match-ups or an athlete’s potential is the main criteria for the rankings.