Boxing/MMA

MMA Light Heavyweight Rankings

| by Sports Nickel

A lot has changed since the last time the rankings were out. Especially since five of the top six fighters were all in action in the last month. We have a couple of risers and a few fallers, one fighter falling as much as five spots. Yes, five. Big whoop, wanna fight about it? I didn’t hear anyone say anything about Alistair Overeem moving up five spots in the Heavyweight Rankings, so deal with it. The colored numbers represent the movement of fighters, if they indeed had any. Red means dropped and green…well, I’m sure I don’t have to explain that, do I? Perhaps some controversy, perhaps not. Why don’t you keep reading and find out? So without further ado, my Top 10:

Disagree with my rankings? Let me know. Maybe you’ll be able to persuade me (not likely.)

1. Mauricio Rua (19-4) [+2]
- W – Lyoto Machida [KO, punch]
- L – Lyoto Machida [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Chuck Liddell [TKO, punches]
**Next Fight – Rashad Evans

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Rematch? There sure was one, but this time there was no doubt who won. Rua knocked out Machida with the quickness. No one saw that coming. So now Rua awaits Rashad “Lay & Pray” Evans. That fight should be interesting if Rua can keep it standing. Rashad is back to his boring ways so this will look exactly like Rampage/Evans.

2. Lyoto Machida (16-1) [-1]
- L – Mauricio Rua [KO, punch]
- W – Mauricio Rua [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Rashad Evans [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Machida has lost. Stop the presses. It’s not that he lost, he was viciously KOed. I think he didn’t fight his fight though. He looked like he was pressing the action and that’s not how he fights. The punch that knocked him down before the KO was in the back of the head though. Just saying. Not that Rua wouldn’t have won, but that punch is semi-illegal. Definitely illegal when on the ground, but when standing the refs let it slide. I wonder who the UFC has in line for the once undefeated fighter.

3. Rashad Evans (15-1-1) [+1]
- W – Quinton Jackson [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Thiago Silva [Decision, Unanimous]
- L – Lyoto Machida [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Mauricio Rua

Boring. Rashad is back to being boring. I really didn’t want to put him ahead of Quinton but he did win, technically, so here he is at #3. I really hope MMA changes the scoring system because wrestlers have way too much power. You can bet he’ll implement the same gameplan when facing Shogun next. Lay & Pray.

4. Quinton Jackson (30-8) [-2]
- L – Rashad Evans [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Keith Jardine [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Wanderlei Silva [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Not a bad loss to Rashad, as that was the only way he could’ve lost to Evans. Rampage went to fight and Evans went to wrestle. That coupled with cage rust probably cost Jackson the fight. No biggie. He’ll ring up a couple more wins and then get a shot at the title. I hope it is Evans simply because I want to see the knock out we were all waiting for.

5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-3) [+1]
- W – Jason Brilz [Decision, Split]
- W – Luiz Arthur Cane [TKO, punches]
- W – Dion Staring [Submission, triangle choke]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Moving up by default. He beat Brilz, I guess, but in the eyes of many he lost. Still, he hasn’t lost in forever and he’s looked good in all his fights except this last one. Maybe it just wasn’t his night. Fighters have those. Maybe Dana can put together the Griffin/Nogueira matchup that was supposed to take place at UFC 114 in late September.

6. Forrest Griffin (17-6) [+1]
- W – Tito Ortiz [Decision, Split]
- L – Anderson Silva [KO, punch]
- L – Rashad Evans [TKO, punches]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Forrest is always a fan favorite. I find it ironic that his loss to Tito was a Split Decision and his rematch he won via Split Decision. I actually think he won the first time and lost this second one, but oh well. As long as he showed up, because that fight with Anderson Silva was ugly. I won’t even revisit it. Forrest has heart and can take a heck of a beating. Hopefully he recovers from the shoulder injury quickly and at 100% because I always enjoy his fights. Maybe he’ll get “Lil’ Nog” when he returns.

7. Thiago Silva (14-2) [+1]
- L – Rashad Evans [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Keith Jardine [KO, punch]
- L – Lyoto Machida [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Ryan Bader

Thiago has some serious power. He nearly beat Rashad when Rashad had a lapse in judgement and tried to stand and trade with him. His only loss before Evans was to eventual champion, Lyoto Machida, where Lyoto dropped the hammer as the bell sounded in the first round. If he could work on his takedown defense he would be complete. I hope he’s been working on it, because Ryan Bader is a great wrestler.

8. Muhammed Lawal (7-0) [+2]
- W – Gegard Mousasi [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Mike Whitehead [KO, punch]
- W – Mark Kerr [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Unknown

“King Mo” has been on a tear since he entered the MMA arena. He’s ended every fight by some form of KO except one. Impressive at the very least. And his once punch destruction of Mike Whitehead vaulted him to number 10 on this list. Then he drew MMA phenom Gegard Mousasi and dominated that fight. Not in every aspect, but he did take Mousasi down at will and did some damage to him. If Mo can work on his stamina he’ll become a force in the 205 division.

9. Rich Franklin (25-5-0, 1 NC)
- L – Vitor Belfort [TKO, punches]
- W – Wanderlei Silva [Decision, Unanimous]
- L – Dan Henderson [Decision, Split]
**Next Fight – Chuck Liddell

Rich Franklin is the UFC’s go-to man. If someone falls out and they need a headliner, they call up Rich. That’s good and all, but I think it has hurt his career some. He takes fights on short notice and he takes catchweight fights when he’s trying to start a new run at 205. I hope the UFC stops with the catchweight nonsense and finally let’s him do his own thing at light heavyweight, and it looks like they have. Franklin has stepped in for Tito Ortiz and will fight Chuck Liddell at UFC 115.

10. Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1) [-5]
- L – Muhammed Lawal [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Gary Goodridge [TKO, punches]
- W – Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou [TKO, strikes]
**Next Fight – Unknown

This guy is amazing. He fights at 185, 205 and even a couple at heavyweight. That’s insane. What’s even more remarkable is that he’s only 24 years old. He’s going to be around for a long time and I believe it’s only a matter of time before we see him fighting for the UFC. All that being said, he really needs to work on his takedown defense. King Mo took him down whenever he wanted. It almost looked like Mousasi let him to tire him out, but Gegard never capitalized on Mo’s lack of conditioning because he was tired himself because all of the takedowns sapped his energy as well. Maybe he’ll rebound at DREAM.15.