Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Light Heavyweight

Oct 31, 2008
Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

Forrest Griffin
1. Forrest Griffin (16-4-0)
The sport's unlikely 205-pound king will make the first defense of his UFC title against fellow “Ultimate Fighter” winner Rashad Evans at UFC 92 on Dec. 27. While a fight against Chuck Liddell may have been promotionally more appealing, the Evans matchup has given a previously unthinkable validation to the UFC and the TUF brand as a whole.

2. Quinton Jackson (28-7-0)
While his legal troubles are not completely dead yet, the former UFC champ is moving on and in a major way. No tune-up fights are in order for Jackson, who will return Dec. 27 at UFC 92 for a third meeting with archrival Wanderlei Silva, who has brutally stopped the Memphis native twice.

3. Rashad Evans (12-0-1)
There is little left to be said for Evans' thrilling knockout of Chuck Liddell. Evans has successfully vaulted himself to elite light heavyweight status with what may be the KO of 2008, and he will now get his chance to challenge for the UFC 205-pound title against Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 on Dec. 27.

4. Lyoto Machida (13-0-0)
Unfortunately, Machida's slated October bout with Thiago Silva fell apart due to Silva injuring his back. However, Machida will have his big chance to convince all doubters and UFC brass that he is the undisputed top challenger to the light heavyweight title on an even bigger stage. He'll meet Silva on Super Bowl weekend in Vegas at UFC 94.

5. Chuck Liddell (21-6-0)
While still a dangerous and bankable fighter, Liddell's planned run to a second UFC light heavyweight championship was brutally thwarted by Rashad Evans in their Sept. 6 encounter. Liddell still has considerable superfight potential, but he may never get another chance to be UFC light heavyweight king.

6. Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1, 1 NC)
Silva has two vicious stoppages of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on his resume. However, if "The Axe Murderer" wants to restore his status as a top-of-the-top light heavyweight, he'll need to get a third victory over his rival on Dec. 27 when they meet again at UFC 92.

7. Keith Jardine (14-4-1)
After an up-and-down UFC tenure, "The Dean of Mean" was in a do-or-die scenario Oct. 18 against Brandon Vera. Jardine took a razor-thin split decision and avoided being pushed any farther down the ladder in a stacked UFC light heavyweight division.

8. Thiago Silva (13-0-0)
A back injury postponed an October bout with Lyoto Machida, but fortunately the battle of undefeated fighters is still a go. In the biggest fight of his career, Silva will have a massive stage when he meets his fellow Brazilian at UFC 94 on Jan. 31.

9. Luis Arthur Cane (9-1-0)
MMA's pool of young and talented light heavyweights just got deeper. Cane's Oct. 18 stoppage of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou gave the Brazilian banger his ninth stoppage in nine victories and thrust him into the mix in one of MMA's richest divisions.

10. Vladimir Matyushenko (21-3-0)
After injury threatened to retire him, Matyushenko has resuscitated his career in a major way. The 37-year-old Belarusian has put together eight straight wins in a late career surge, and he will look to make it nine if his slated rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira makes January's rescheduled Affliction card.

*Formerly eighth-ranked Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou falls outside the top 10 with his Oct. 18 loss to Luis Arthur Cane.
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