Earlier this month, the World Cup came to a close in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Germany hoisting the Cup. But here at The MMA Corner, our World Cup is just getting underway.

As a quick refresher, the concept for The MMA Corner’s World Cup is simple. We asked the question, “What if MMA had its own World Cup?” and then decided to answer that question using the outcomes of fights from the 2014 fight calendar. The MMA Corner selected fighters to comprise nine all-star teams fighting for national supremacy. The teams, which consist of five fighters each, represent the United States, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Asia and a combined team representing the rest of the world. The teams get points for every win, including extra points for a finish, but they also get points taken away for a loss. The competition will run all the way through the UFC’s big New Year’s weekend show.

First, let’s go through some housekeeping matters as far as the teams go. Team Russia now has two new members. Ali Bagautinov has been removed from the team due to his positive drug test and suspension, and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been removed from the team due to his knee injury. They have been replaced by two more UFC fighters in Rustam Khabilov and Maribek Taisumov. Alexander Gustafsson has also been removed from the “rest of the world” team due to his knee injury and has been replaced by Icelandic welterweight Gunnar Nelson. Finally, an executive decision was made to replace Tito Ortiz on Team Mexico with the first female member of the competition, World Series of Fighting women’s strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar. Now, let’s recap the results of the first month of competition.

Team USA had three big fights in July. The results were mixed. Team captain Chris Weidman earned his team three points for his decision victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175. Donald Cerrone garnered the red, white and blue five big points with his TKO victory over Jim Miller. The only setback for the USA came this past weekend when Matt Brown dropped a decision to Robbie Lawler. That brings the grand total for the United States to seven points. Jon Jones, Chad Mendes and Weidman all have big chances to earn points for their country with title fights in the coming months.

Team Brazil only had one fighter in action this month, but they got the maximum number of points available. John Lineker earned his team five big points with his third-round TKO over Alptekin Ozkilic in Atlantic City, N.J. The other four members of the team—Jose Aldo, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia—all currently have fights booked, so Brazil could be heading to the top of the rankings in no time.

Team Canada was the least active team in the first month, with zero fighters competing. But, with Rory Macdonald and many of the other team members rumored to be fighting at the UFC Fight Night event in Halifax, Canada’s fortunes could be changing.

Team Russia was one of the last to get on the board, but they did so this past Friday at Bellator’s second Summer Series show. Andrey Koreshkov earned a decision victory to win his second welterweight tournament and garner his country three points. Team Russia lost two of their biggest guns, so it will be interesting to see how the team performs from here on out.

Team Australia/New Zealand was the most active with four of their five fighters competing. Most of the fighters took to the Octagon at the Fight Night event in New Zealand. On that night, Robert Whittaker and Richie Vaculik both took decision wins for six total points, but James Te Huna and Soa Palelei’s losses brought the overall total down to only three points. Team captain and notorious fight finisher Mark Hunt will look to bring his country back to the top when he faces Roy Nelson in September.

Team Mexico is one of the early surprises of this competition. The team had two big fights and two big wins. Ray Borg choked Shane Howell unconscious for five points and Jessica Aguilar added three points with her successful World Series of Fighting title defense. Team Mexico will look to continue to rise up the ranks when Robbie Peralta steps in the cage in the coming weeks.

Team “Rest of The World”—or as I like to call them, “The Super Friends”—might have lost their team captain in Gustafsson, but they are the leaders after the first month. Conor McGregor and Gustafsson’s replacement, Gunnar Nelson, both finished their opponents in Ireland and earned their team 10 total points. UFC 178 will be a big night for this team, with McGregor and Yoel Romero both on the card.

The United Kingdom is bringing up the rear. The team’s only fight featured team captain Brad Pickett. Pickett fell to Ian McCall by decision and put his team in the hole. Michael Bisping will look to turn the team’s fortunes around when he faces Cung Le in China next month.

Just like Team Canada, Team Asia was inactive this month. They will look to get on the board at the two big Fight Night events coming up on their continent. They’ll also have a chance to add points when Yushin Okami challenges David Branch for the World Series of Fighting middleweight title.

Full Standings

Team Rest of the World- 10 points

Team Mexico- 8 points

Team USA- 7 points

Team Brazil- 5 points

Team Russia- 3 points

Team Australia/New Zealand- 3 points

Team Canada- 0 points

Team Asia- 0 points

Team United Kingdom- -1 point

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.