Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Heavyweight

May 19, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Fedor Emelianenko
Heavyweight

1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 NC)
“The Last Emperor” will return for Strikeforce on June 26, defending the sport’s heavyweight mantle against Brazilian jiu-jitsu stud Fabricio Werdum. However, Alistair Overeem has quickly become the opponent of choice for Emelianenko following the dynamic Dutchman’s destructive handling of Brett Rogers on May 15.

2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
While we do not know exactly how Lesnar will look in his return to the cage after his bout with diverticulitis, we do know his foe. Come July 3, he will take on Shane Carwin to unify both halves of the UFC heavyweight mantle in what should be a blockbuster match for the promotion.

3. 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.

4. Shane Carwin (12-0)
It took almost four minutes -- an eternity by his usual standards -- but at UFC 111 in Newark, N.J., Carwin blew off Frank Mir’s doors in the first round to claim the UFC interim heavyweight title. However, the real championship will be contested July 3, when Carwin meets Brock Lesnar.

5. Frank Mir (13-5)
Mir entered his March 27 bout with Shane Carwin as a slight betting favorite. However, he looked none the part in the cage, as Carwin bashed him with left hands in the clinch and decimated the former UFC champion to take the promotion’s interim title. With it, he took Mir’s chance for a rubber match with Brock Lesnar.

6. Junior dos Santos (11-1)
With five stoppages in five bouts inside the Octagon, dos Santos has thrust himself into the UFC heavyweight title mix. “Cigano” might have the opportunity to cinch a title shot for late 2010 when he meets “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson at UFC 117 on Aug. 7 in what should be an entertaining heavyweight tilt.

7. Alistair Overeem (33-11, 1 NC)
It took nearly two and a half years for Overeem to return to the U.S. and defend his Strikeforce heavyweight title. Fortunately for fans, Overeem’s performance was worth the wait, as the Dutchman mauled Brett Rogers in the first frame and solidified himself as the most attractive opponent outside of the UFC for Fedor Emelianenko.

8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 NC)
“Minotauro” had an army of backers who felt the former Pride Fighting Championships and UFC heavyweight titleholder 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.

9. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)
Fans are already looking past Werdum and crossing their fingers for a clash between Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem later this year. However, the Brazilian standout will have his day in the cage with the sport’s heavyweight kingpin when he collides with Emelianenko on June 26 in San Jose, Calif.

10. Antonio Silva (14-2)
Ever since he ran roughshod over heavyweights in Europe back in 2005, onlookers expected greatness from Silva. On May 15, “Bigfoot” finally took a step toward those expectations, as he soundly outboxed former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski to a unanimous decision and recorded the most significant win of his career.

Other contenders: Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson, Brett Rogers, Ben Rothwell.

* With their respective May 15 losses to Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva, the previously eighth-ranked Brett Rogers and ninth-ranked Andrei Arlovski fall to the contenders list.
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