Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Heavyweight

Aug 10, 2007
HEAVYWEIGHT (265-205)

1. Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) (26-1-0, 1 NC)
Easiest fighter to rank atop the polls in any division; the Russian is the most sought after free agent the sport has seen. Reigning PRIDE heavyweight champion Emelianenko is equal parts athleticism, brawn, brains, heart and skill -- a combination some have called the finest MMA has ever seen. His pace has slowed some with the demise of PRIDE, but suitors such as the UFC and K-1 have gone after his services. The only loss of his career was brutally erased when Fedor dismantled Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (Pictures) in April 2005. There is no timetable for his return to the ring. Fedor last fought in April, armbarring undersized American Matt Lindland (Pictures) as Russian President Vladimir Putin watched from ringside in St. Petersburg, Russia.

2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) (30-4-1, 1 NC)
Following a stellar career in PRIDE, where he owned the heavyweight title before Fedor showed up, Nogueira is now in the UFC, having recently out-pointed Heath Herring (Pictures) for the third time. Outside of Fedor, Nogueira might be the best heavyweight in the history of MMA, and one could make the case that regardless of what the Russian does, "Minotauro" will be regarded as the finest BJJ-based heavyweight the sport has seen.

3. Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) (8-1-0)
Napao is a perfect example of the fact that it doesn't take long to get your shot at glory in MMA. Piggybacking a stunning high-kick knockout of Mirko Filipovic (Pictures), Gonzaga faces UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture (Pictures) Aug. 25 for a shot at the belt. A dangerous grappler, Gonzaga showed he's more than capable of finishing a fight with his fists or his feet, making him utterly dangerous each time he steps into the octagon.

4. Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) (22-5-2)
The Croatian striker is coming off a stunning loss to Brazilian Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures), who knocked Filipovic out cold with a high kick. "Cro Cop" made his UFC debut in February of this year and looked sluggish against an overmatched Eddie Sanchez. However Filipovic has generally risen out of the ashes and appears to be utilizing a serious training in advance of his Sept. 8 fight with French kickboxing Cheick Kongo (Pictures).

5. Josh Barnett (Pictures) (20-5-0)
Barnett had one of the busiest years ever in 2006. Fighting seven times against quality -- even world-class -- opposition, Barnett went 5-2. Despite splitting a pair of decisions with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures), and suffering yet another loss to Mirko Filipovic (Pictures), Barnett showed that he remains one of the sport's brightest prospects, and stands as America's best heavyweight. The fight-loving grappler captured the UFC heavyweight crown at the age of 24 before making his way overseas and eventually into PRIDE. Currently a free agent, Barnett would be a great acquisition for any promoter.

6. Randy Couture (Pictures) (15-8-0)
The Natural retired from competition after taking his third loss at 205 to Chuck Liddell (Pictures). But a year later he saw an opportunity to face Tim Sylvia (Pictures) for the UFC heavyweight strap and he jumped at it. Heavyweight was the division in which Couture rose to prominence, capturing the crown twice before doing it a third time against The Maine-iac in March. The 44-year-old wrestler turned MMA Hall of Famer defends his crown Aug. 25 against Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures).

7. Tim Sylvia (Pictures) (23-3-0)
Sylvia had an opportunity to become a star if he could defeat Randy Couture (Pictures) in March. Instead, he was dropped with the first punch and never recovered as Couture swarmed him for 25 minutes. The 6-foot-8 Sylvia is a counter puncher who carries a pretty stiff jab and heavy right hand. His decent-enough takedown defense has saved him against the likes of Jeff Monson (Pictures), but Couture was a whole different animal. Currently Sylvia is battling a case of staph infection that made its way around the heavyweight's Bettendorf, Iowa gym.

8. Andrei Arlovski (Pictures) (11-5-0)
The Belarusian former UFC heavyweight champ has won two in a row since losing consecutive fights to Tim Sylvia (Pictures). A knockout of Marcio Cruz (Pictures) and a decision against Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) have Arlovski part of the UFC heavyweight title picture again. An athletic fighter with proficient boxing and powerful leg-locks, Arlovski is an intimidating heavyweight when he decides to be aggressive. As the UFC heavyweight division continues to expand, Arlovski will surely have an opportunity to move up the list.

9. Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) (9-3-1)
Werdum has a tendency to under-perform, but he is a dangerous BJJ stylist and has shown an ability to survive on the feet. In his UFC debut in April, Werdum lost a unanimous decision against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski (Pictures). A training partner for "Cro Cop," Werdum is reportedly getting ready to join Brazil's Chute Boxe academy.

10. Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures) (11-3-0)
Matched against a heavyweight who will stand in front of him, or isn't a good enough grappler to get the fight on the floor, the brother of the No. 1-ranked Fedor has enough power and fast enough hands to finish a lot of fighters. But against the upper echelon he has always struggled, losing to Fabricio Werdum (Pictures), Josh Barnett (Pictures) and Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) -- the only ranked fighters he's faced. Emelianenko submitted the inexperienced Jessie Gibson on July 21 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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