Cruiserweight: 2013: Jun 24-30

#6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk took a big risk by taking on very impressive undefeated prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev in Chakhkiev’s backyard in Moscow, Friday, but came out on top in a very strange fight.  Chakhkiev looked beastly for the first few rounds, busting the Polish contender up in the first 3 and dropping him in the 3rd.  It looked nearly over.  I still gave the Russian the next two rounds, but Wlodarczyk began holding his own about that time.  In what had been another close round in the 6th, Wlodarczyk knocked the Russian down in the closing seconds with a very short left out of a clinch (similar to the Tony Thompson punch that dropped David Price).  He dropped him again with about 10 seconds left in the 7th, this time with a three-punch combo that had Chakhkiev a bit off balance.  A little bit more than halfway through the 8th, Chakhkiev again went down from a pair of looping slaps to the side of his head as he came in leaning forward.  A few seconds after the action resumed, Wlodarczyk caught him with a dynamite and perfectly-timed left hook as Chakhkiev leaned in to throw a right hook that never got there.  This was the heaviest of the 4 knockdowns, and prompted referee Daniel Van de Wiele to stop the contest without a count.  In the flow of the action, I thought Chakhkiev had merely lost his will to stand and just sort of submitted to all of the knockdowns.  Watching the knockdowns in isolation, I think he just has a mediocre chin and got caught with some good shots while he was tiring.  In any case, it’s a big comeback win for Wlodarczyk.


Still, no changes to the rankings, as Wlodarczyk is still stuck behind the massive resume and good recent win of Marco Huck.


Dan’s Top 20 (weeks in current position-weeks in top 10 (if applicable)-weeks in top 20)
Champ: None
1) Guillermo Jones (6-6-6)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- TKO11 #1 Denis Lebedev
Next Fight: Unknown
Jones wants to fight Wladimir Klitschko (he said the same a couple years ago), while Lebedev is asking for a rematch.
2) Yoan Pablo Hernandez (41-157-157)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- W*(UD12) vs. #20 Troy Ross
Next Fight: Unknown
Hernandez pulled out of his scheduled 2/2 fight with Eric Fields with a fractured hand.
3) Troy Ross (41-41-73)
Last Fight: 9/15/2012- L*(UD12) vs. #1 Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Next Fight: Unknown
Quote from Ross’s Twitter: “If the right opportunity arises I will fight again.”  That sounds more like a semi-retired fighter than the guy that just outfought the division’s #1 contender.  Here’s hoping he starts hunting for good fights like a starving mountain man any second now.
4) Denis Lebedev (6-177-177)
Last Fight: 5/17/2013- L (TKO11) vs. Guillermo Jones (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Lebedev hopes to return on the Klitschko-Povetkin undercard in early October, which seems a bit quick given how ugly his eye looked after his last fight.  He is hoping for a rematch with Jones, too.  He has also parted from his promoter.
5) Marco Huck (3-342-342)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #7 Firat Arslan
Huck will make a mandatory defense in a rematch against Firat Arslan on September 14.
6) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (6-418-418)
Last Fight: 6/21/2013- TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Wlodarczyk showed tremendous determination in first weathering a storm, and then rapidly breaking down a strong young challenger in his own backyard in Chakhkiev.
7) Firat Arslan (6-59-102)
Last Fight: 4/27/2013- UD10 Varol Vekiloglu (UNR)
Next Fight: 9/14/2013- vs. #5 Marco Huck
See Huck’s notes, above.
8) Ola Afolabi (3-224-224)
Last Fight: 6/8/2013- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck
Next Fight: Unknown
9) Danny Green (4-33-186)
Last Fight: 11/21/2012- UD12 Shane Cameron (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Green has been helping an Australian UFC fighter prepare for an upcoming fight, but still no word on whether he plans to fight again.
10) B.J. Flores (4-4-157)
Last Fight: 10/6/2012- TKO2 David McNemar (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Flores’ fight with Nuri Seferi appears to have been off very quickly after it was apparently made.  No word on his next move.
11) Giacobbe Fragomeni (4-241)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- W*(SD12) vs. #13 Silvio Branco
Next Fight: Unknown
There is some speculation that Masternak might try to lure Fragomeni out of his mandatory shot at Wlodarczyk with a higher monetary offer that might put Masternak in the same position with a victory.
12) Silvio Branco (4-67)
Last Fight: 12/15/2012- L*(SD12) vs. #12 Giacobbe Fragomeni
Next Fight: 7/6/2013- vs. Juho Haapoja (UNR)
Looks like Branco’s moving on from the Fragomeni series, and will be fighting Finnish gatekeeper Juho Haapoja in Italy on 7/6.
13) Alexander Alekseev (4-128)
Last Fight: 2/22/2013- UD12* Garrett Wilson (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
Alekseev barely squeaked by after building an early lead against Wilson, but it’s still an improvement from his previous fight.
14) Mateusz Masternak (4-65)
Last Fight: 4/13/2013- TKO9 Sean Corbin (UNR)
Next Fight: 8/24/2013- vs. Unknown Opponent
Masternak returns on August 24, but no other details are available.
15) Francisco Palacios (4-117)
Last Fight: 9/22/2012- L(U12) vs. #7 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Next Fight: Unknown
Palacios has been trying to convince Antonio Tarver to fight him, but is behind held back in all of his pursuits by having Don King as a promoter.
16) Thabiso Mchunu (4-33)
Last Fight: 11/10/2012- TKO5 #20 Danie Venter
Next Fight: 8/3/2013- vs. Eddie Chambers (UNR)
Mchunu is being treated as a stepping stone f0r the cruiserweight ambitions of recent heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, and the two will do battle in that context on NBC Sports Network come August 3.
17) Dmytro Kucher (4-52)
Last Fight: 3/21/2013- UD12 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (UNR)
Next Fight: 7/13/2013- vs. Ilunga Makabu (UNR)
A clash of good-looking prospects is on tap for July 13, as Kucher will meet Junior Makabu in Monaco.
18) Enad Licina (4-157)
Last Fight: 6/15/2013- KO3 Marcel Zeller (UNR) (at HW)
Next Fight: Unknown
Licina has now fought two generic weak opponents in a row.  No idea if he plans to be a serious contender ever again or not.  His only significant win in the last 5 years is now roughly 4 1/2 years old.  That means he’ll fade to obscurity if he doesn’t beat someone worth beating in the next half-year or so.
19) Grigory Drozd (4-33)
Last Fight: 12/17/2012- UD12 Jean-Marc Monrose (UNR)
Next Fight: Unknown
20) Pawel Glazewski (4-4)
Last Fight: 2/23/2013- UD10 Bartlomiej Grafka (UNR) (at LHW)
Next Fight: 6/29/2013- vs. Hadillah Mohoumadi (UNR) (at LHW)
Glazewski’s opponent for 6/29 will be Hadillah Mohoumadi, the super middleweight fringe contender. 


THE WEEK AHEAD: Russian gatekeeper Valery Brudov returns to the ring for the first time in 16 months against, strangely, a 1-0 fighter in Sergey Gorokhov.  That will be Thursday in Pskov, Russia.

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