Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Heavyweight

Jul 9, 2008
1. Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) (27-1-0, 1 NC)
Following the collapse of his deal with M-1 Global, Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) 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 now ready to be delivered. 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 cross over into stardom. Nogueira will now get the TUF treatment in the coming months as he goes head-to-head with Frank Mir (Pictures) in coaching the eighth season of the UFC's reality series. "The Ultimate Fighter 8" will serve as the build-up vessel to Nogueira's first title defense against the former champ.

3. Randy Couture (Pictures) (16-8-0)
Unfortunately, no news is bad news for Randy Couture (Pictures), who continues his legal two-step with the UFC in hopes of securing a bout with Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) outside the Octagon. As the drama continues to boil over, one has to wonder just how much time "The Natural" 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 heavyweight force, two-time UFC champion Tim Sylvia (Pictures) has chosen Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) as 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.

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 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. "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. However, unfortunately for Werdum, most of the discussion has been over referee Dan Miragliotta's debatable stoppage in the bout rather than Werdum's victory.

7. Josh Barnett (Pictures) (22-5-0)
After drawing some criticism for inactivity in the post-Pride period, Barnett has 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 figures to be a date with former foe Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) on Affliction's July 19 card. Rizzo came out the victor with a sizzling KO in a fantastic clash between the two in February 2001.

8. Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) (9-3-0)
Gonzaga polished off Justin McCully (Pictures) in less than two minutes at UFC 86 on July 5, easily snatching the submission victory. However, to regain his hype and stature in a the division, more will be required of the talented Brazilian in the future.

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

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 alike are looking 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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