Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Heavyweight

Jun 19, 2008
1. Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) (27-1-0, 1 NC)
Following the collapse of his deal with M-1 Global, Emelianenko seems to have landed right in the money-laden laps of Affliction, Donald Trump and others with a bout against Tim Sylvia (Pictures) on July 19. Hopefully this signals the beginning of a new era for MMA's "Last Emperor."

2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) (31-4-1, 1 NC)
Some have questioned whether any UFC heavyweight, especially the battle-tested Brazilian, can crossover into stardom. Nogueira will now get the TUF treatment in the coming months as he goes head-to-head with Frank Mir (Pictures) as coaches of the eighth season of the UFC's reality series in the build-up to his first title defense against the former champ.

3. Randy Couture (Pictures) (16-8-0)
Unfortunately, no news is bad news for Couture, who continues his legal two-step with the UFC in hopes of securing a bout with Emelianenko outside the Octagon. As the drama continues to boil over, one has to wonder just how much time "The Natural," turning 45 this week, has left to make this mega-bout happen.

4. Tim Sylvia (Pictures) (24-4-0)
Suddenly free from the organization that nurtured him into a two-time champion, Sylvia chose Emelianenko for his first bout outside the UFC in nearly three years. An upset win over the sport's premier heavyweight would certainly go a long way toward erasing the memory of his collapse against Nogueira at UFC 81 last February.

5. Andrei Arlovski (Pictures) (12-5-0)
Arlovski finally came out and announced what was the worst-kept secret in the entire sport, as he is now official for Affliction's July 19 offering. "The Pitbull" will take on Ben Rothwell (Pictures), and look to break the Miletich product's 13-fight win streak.

6. Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) (11-3-1)
Werdum solidified his place in the heavyweight division with his first-round stoppage of Brandon Vera (Pictures) on June 7. Unfortunately for Werdum, most of the discussion has been over referee Dan Miragliotta's debatable stoppage rather than Werdum's victory.

7. Josh Barnett (Pictures) (22-5-0)
After drawing some criticism for inactivity in the post-Pride period, Barnett returned to action in Sengoku, and knocked off a quality opponent in longtime training partner Jeff Monson (Pictures) on May 18. Next on tap for MMA's proudest catch wrestler: a date with former foe Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) on Affliction's July 19 offering. Rizzo came out the victor with a sizzling knockout in a fantastic clash between the two in Feb. 2001.

8. Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) (8-3-0)
In desperate need of a win after back-to-back disappointments against Randy Couture (Pictures) and Fabricio Werdum (Pictures), Gonzaga figures to be a favorite heading into his July 5 bout with Justin McCully (Pictures) at UFC 86.

9. Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) (23-6-2)
After a lingering elbow injury forced him out of a grappling bout with Ralek Gracie (Pictures) on June 15, it is uncertain what's next for Filipovic. However, proposed matches with fellow K-1 standout Jerome LeBanner (Pictures) or with the recently victorious Alistair Overeem (Pictures) would certainly be upgrades over March's slaughter of Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures) at Dream 1.

10. Ben Rothwell (Pictures) (29-5-0)
On a 13-fight win streak, Rothwell will finally get the step up in competition both he and fans have looked forward to. Rothwell will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (Pictures) on July 19 as part of Affliction's much-hyped debut card.
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