Houston Fighters Making Waves on the National Scene

Written By: Barry Laminack

If you are not familiar with FightMatrix, it’s a website dedicated to ranking fighters world wide using a computerized scoring system to rank fighters. In fact, from their own website they describe it as follows, “The rankings presented are computerized and provided by the FightMatrix ranking system, which utilizes a comprehensive MMA fight database to provide objective rankings. Please note, that these rankings ONLY contain fighters who have had at least one professional fight some time in the 450 days prior to the ranking date.”

Recently it was brought to our attention that some Houston area fighters where starting to move up these rankings on a national and international level, so we wanted to take a peek and see how our guys are doing.

All told, Houston has 8 fighters ranked in the top 100 in their weight class in the United States. We expect that number to climb as Houston area fighters begin to face tougher competition in the months ahead.

Here is a breakdown of what we found:

US Rank World Rank Name Record
Flyweight
7 32 Chad Robichaux 11-0-0
Bantamweight
61 122 Steve Garcia 4-3-0
Lightweight
69 125 Daniel Pineda 12-7-0
78 150 Carlo Prater 25-10-1
Welterweight
79 154 Mike Bronzoulis 11-2-1
82 161 Brian Melancon 5-1-0
Light Heavyweight
79 165 Jon Kirk 16-7-0
119 250 Jarred Taylor 5-8-0
Heavyweight
58 109 Sam Hoger 10-4-0

When asked how it felt being ranked so high, Mike Bronzoulis said, “It’s awesome man. I was excited about it. Brian and I both know we can beat several guys on that list. I plan on cracking the top 20 before the year is over.”

Bronzoulis also talked about his fellow Paradigm teammate Brian Melancon being ranked as well, “I’m so proud of him. We’ve worked out for 5 years now and I know he’s going to continue to move up! In fact, I think a lot of Houston guys will be making a name for them selves in the other classes and there are some other good welterweights here in Houston who could be on this list. It’s just a matter of time before more Houston guys crack the list in all the weight classes.”

Brian Melancon was also excited about the news. “It feels good to get some recognition for the hard work I’ve been putting in. Its definitely not the highest number I want to be ranked at so I’m looking forward to moving up. I hope my next fight is a national ranked guy higher than me so I can keep moving up the ladder.”

Melancon also said that he was really proud of his teammates Bronzoulis and [Carlo] Prater for being ranked so high.

The highest ranked Houstonion on the list is Gracie Barra North Houston’s Chad Robichaux who is ranked 7th in the US among all Flyweights. A natural Bantamweight, Robo cracked the Flyweight rankings after dropping to 131 to face Humberto DeLeon at Strikeforce: Houston back in August 2010.

When asked his thoughts on the rankings Robo said, “It drives me to be number 1. I want to challenge myself by fighting the best at 135 and I’m looking forward to doing that in April.” [TCD will have more on that later]

Congratulations to all those that are ranked. We’ll keep an eye on this going forward and update you as the national rankings change.