Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Heavyweight

Dec 19, 2010
File Photo

Cain Velasquez
Heavyweight

1. Cain Velasquez (9-0)
It is not new knowledge that Velasquez will make the first defense of his UFC heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos in 2011. However, following UFC 124 in Montreal, UFC boss Dana White revealed that he was partial to the idea of having the Velasquez-dos Santos bout take place on April 30 at UFC 129 in Toronto.

2. Brock Lesnar (5-2)
Following his lopsided loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October, the next step for Lesnar remains unclear. UFC President Dana White started laying the groundwork for a rubber match with rival Frank Mir in the media, but fans and pundits alike were quick to skewer the bout, forcing White to publicly rethink the matchup. For now, Lesnar remains without a dance partner.

3. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1)
On Aug. 18, Werdum underwent surgery and had 27 loose bone fragments removed from his left elbow. Now physically cleared to resume his training, the author of this year’s most significant upset now targets a return to action in the first quarter of 2011. He hopes to secure a fight outside of Strikeforce before meeting either Alistair Overeem or Fedor Emelianenko in a rematch.

4. Fedor Emelianenko (31-2, 1 NC)
It appears that Emelianenko is almost -- emphasis on “almost” -- set to face off with Antonio Silva in February. The potential bout would bring to an end a lot of haggling between Emelianenko’s promoter, M-1 Global, and Strikeforce’s premium cable platform, Showtime.

5. Junior dos Santos (12-1)
Dos Santos had a fantastic 2010 campaign that earned him a crack at the UFC heavyweight title. His date with Cain Velasquez remains unconfirmed, but it could land in Toronto for UFC 129, if UFC boss Dana White is to be believed about his desire to see the fight happen at the Rogers Center.

6. Shane Carwin (12-1)
Carwin was scheduled to face “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson at UFC 125 on Jan. 1. However, due to ongoing spinal problems, he opted for surgery. After a successful procedure, the Colorado native looks to get back into training sometime in early 2011.

7. Frank Mir (14-5)
A former UFC heavyweight champion, Mir has his work cut out for him if he plans to regain the crown. In March, he is tentatively scheduled to take on hard-charging prospect Brendan Schaub in a high-stakes heavyweight bout that could get Mir back into the title hunt or see him usurped by another young lion.

8. Alistair Overeem (33-11, 1 NC)
Overeem’s biggest accomplishment of the year did not come in MMA. On Dec. 11, Overeem won the K-1 World Grand Prix in impressive fashion, besting Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki and K-1 legend Peter Aerts in the final. Now, “The Demolition Man” awaits the announcement of an opponent for “Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010” on New Year’s Eve.

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 NC)
Back in December 2008, Nogueira was taken out by Frank Mir in lopsided fashion. He was scheduled for a chance at redemption against Mir at UFC 119 on Sept. 25, until a hip injury struck, forcing “Minotauro” from the fight and onto the surgeon’s table.

10. Antonio Silva (15-2)
In what was expected to be a one-sided beatdown, Silva suffered a major scare against Mike Kyle on Dec. 4, as he was knocked down and nearly stopped in the first round. However, “Bigfoot” took control in round two, pounding out Kyle and potentially setting up a February tilt with Fedor Emelianenko.

Other contenders: Josh Barnett, Cole Konrad, Roy Nelson, Ben Rothwell, Brendan Schaub.
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