MMA Light Heavyweight Rankings

A lot has changed since the last time the rankings were out. Not so much with the top of the rankings, but the bottom half got jumbled up with the addition of a couple of newcomers. We have a couple of risers and a few fallers, one fighter falling as much as four spots. Yes, four. Some even fell completely off the list. 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)
- W – Lyoto Machida [KO, punch]
- L – Lyoto Machida [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Chuck Liddell [TKO, punches]
**Next Fight – Rashad Evans

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)
- L – Mauricio Rua [KO, punch]
- W – Mauricio Rua [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Rashad Evans [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Quinton Jackson

Machida is looking to get back on the winning track when he takes on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 123. Not quite the opponent I’d want to get back on the winning track with, but should he win, he’ll probably get another shot at the Light Heavyweight title.

3. Rashad Evans (15-1-1)
- 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)
- L – Rashad Evans [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Keith Jardine [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Wanderlei Silva [KO, punch]
**Next Fight – Lyoto Machida

I said the last time I ranked the 205ers that Rampage is one or two wins from getting another shot at the title. But, it looks like he’ll only have to defeat Lyoto Machida to get that shot. Rampage has lost to both Shogun and Evans, and it would be an easy sell to have him look for revenge should he get past Machida.

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

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. Now that he’s healed up, I look forward to his fight with Rich Franklin.

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

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. He probably won’t have to worry about that in his next fight against Brandon Vera, but it needs to be addressed for the future.

7. Rich Franklin (25-5-0, 1 NC) [+2]
- W – Chuck Liddell [KO, Punch]
- L – Vitor Belfort [TKO, Punches]
- W – Wanderlei Silva [Decision, Unanimous]
**Next Fight – Forrest Griffin

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. Now that it seems he’s done with the catchweight nonsense, and with his knockout victory over UFC Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell, Franklin is probably two wins away from one last title shot.

8. Ryan Bader (12-0) [NEW]
- W – Antonio Rogerio Nogueira [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Keith Jardine [KO, Punch]
- W – Eric Schafer [Decision, Unanimous]
**Next Fight – Jon Jones

That’s right, with his win over “Lil’ Nog,” Ryan Bader has vaulted up into the Top 10. He’s been impressive in every fight and is undefeated. He’s a great wrestler with some serious power, a killer combo in today’s MMA. I think his next scheduled fight with Jon Jones is ridiculous, but it should be explosive.

9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4) [-4]
- L – Ryan Bader [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Jason Brilz [Decision, Split]
- W – Luiz Arthur Cane [TKO, punches]
**Next Fight – Unknown

He beat Brilz, I guess, but in the eyes of many he lost. Maybe it just wasn’t his night. Fighters have those. But it sure didn’t look like he won. Then he followed that up with a loss to TUF 8 winner, Ryan Bader. I don’t know who his next fight will be against, but he needs to win and win convincingly.

10. Jon Jones (11-1) [NEW]
- W – Vladimir Matyushenko [TKO, Elbows]
- W – Brandon Vera [TKO, Elbow and Punches]
- L – Matt Hamill [DQ, Illegal Elbows]
**Next Fight – Ryan Bader

Another newcomer, and he’s a beast. I almost want to put him right under Ryan Bader. And speaking of Bader, did I say that I think them fighting is ridiculous? Because it is. Both guys are the future of the division. Having them fight now is stupid. Anyways, Jones should also be undefeated. He smashed Matt Hamill in both rounds before the disqualification.

Just a bit outside: Gegard Mousasi, Rafael Calvacante, Muhammed Lawal, Randy Couture

MMA Light Heavyweight Rankings, v.3 is a post originally from: SportsNickel.com - In Sports We Trust

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