Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


Mar 10, 2010
Dave Mandel/

Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko

1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 NC)
It seemed fairly straightforward that Emelianenko would stake his heavyweight supremacy against Brazilian Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce’s second CBS offering on April 17. Now, a contract squabble between Strikeforce and M-1, which represents Emelianenko, means early summer is the likely time for the bout.

2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
While he remains far from healthy, Lesnar’s diverticulitis will not ruin his fighting career. However, with the UFC heavyweight champion on the shelf at least until July, a Frank Mir-Shane Carwin interim title bout in March will determine Lesnar’s next foe when he returns to the Octagon.

3. Frank Mir (13-4)
Mir blew away Cheick Kongo in just 72 seconds at UFC 107. Now, his road to a rubber match with Brock Lesnar will run through Newark, N.J., at UFC 111 in March, when he meets the unbeaten Shane Carwin for an interim piece of the UFC heavyweight crown.

4. Cain Velasquez (8-0)
Whether one wants to call it a passing of the torch or a coming-out party, Velasquez’s performance against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 was short and brutal. In less than half a round, Velasquez destroyed one of MMA’s most historically outstanding heavyweights in easily his most impressive performance to date.

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 NC)
“Minotauro” had an army of backers who felt the former Pride and UFC heavyweight champion would put on a vintage performance against Cain Velasquez at UFC 110. However, post-fight discussion centered on whether or not Nogueira still has the physical tools to hang with young, elite heavyweights after Velasquez polished him off in a little more than two minutes.

6. Brett Rogers (10-1)
Despite the fact that Rogers was taken out by Fedor Emelianenko in November, “The Grim” will get the chance to vie for the Strikeforce heavyweight crown in May. Rogers will take on champion Alistair Overeem, who makes his long-awaited return to the promotion after capturing its heavyweight title in November 2007.

7. Junior dos Santos (10-1)
Dos Santos again illustrated why he’s one of the heavyweight division’s best young talents, as he quickly punched out veteran striker Gilbert Yvel at UFC 108. Dos Santos will take on Gabriel Gonzaga at the UFC’s debut event on the Versus network on March 21. He was originally slated to meet “Napao” at UFC 108.

8. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)
The former UFC champion has not seen action since June, when he lasted just 22 seconds against Brett Rogers. However, Arlovski has inked a deal with Strikeforce that will get him back into the cage soon. “The Pitbull” will take on Antonio Silva on May 15.

9. Shane Carwin (11-0)
Carwin still has designs on squaring off with Brock Lesnar. However, he will first need to deal with a former Lesnar foe in Frank Mir, the man he will meet at UFC 111 on March 27, with a slice of the UFC heavyweight crown on the line.

10. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)
Werdum will have to wait another couple of months to fight for MMA’s heavyweight mantle. He expected to meet up with heavyweight kingpin Fedor Emelianenko in April, but Emelianenko’s contract dispute with Strikeforce means that “Vai Cavalo” will have to sit pretty until the early summer.

Other contenders: Aleksander Emelianenko, Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, Ben Rothwell, Antonio Silva.
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