Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Light Heavyweight

May 19, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio Rua (19-4)
It was one of most anticipated rematches of all time, but on May 8 in Montreal, Rua made sure the judges would play no role in his second encounter with Lyoto Machida. Less than four minutes into the bout, “Shogun” punched Machida out of consciousness, acquired the UFC light heavyweight crown and re-emerged as the sport’s preeminent 205-pound fighter. The Brazilian will now await the winner of the May 29 showdown between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans.

2. Lyoto Machida (16-1)
In the span of two bouts with Mauricio Rua, Machida went from a seemingly unbeatable enigma to simply another deposed UFC light heavyweight champion. Machida could not escape the first round in the Rua rematch on May 8 and was brutally finished off in front of the Bell Centre crowd in Montreal.

3. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
As expected, Jackson’s bite from the acting bug has healed, and he has decided to head back to the fight game. “Rampage” will square off with Rashad Evans at UFC 114 on May 29, finally wrapping up the 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

4. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
In the UFC 108 headliner, Evans did enough to outpoint Thiago Silva but underwhelmed onlookers. More will be expected come May 29, when the former light heavyweight king gets his date with rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114.

5. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
Griffin was booked for a big-time bout with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114, but a shoulder injury forced the original “The Ultimate Fighter” winner off the card. Shoulder problems continue to be an ongoing concern for the former UFC light heavyweight champion, who had surgery in late 2007.

6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
Nogueira was scheduled to square off with Forrest Griffin at UFC 114 in a bout that could have done wonders for his stature and profile. Due to Griffin’s shoulder injury, “Minotoro” will get a less appealing assignment, as he meets tough Nebraskan wrestler Jason Brilz on May 29.

7. Muhammed Lawal (7-0)
Ever confident, “King Mo” showed open contempt for those who felt he was too inexperienced to take the Strikeforce light heavyweight title from Gegard Mousasi. On April 17, he validated his pre-fight talk, as he pounded on Mousasi for 25 minutes en route to capturing the title.

8. Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1)
With a 15-fight winning streak dating back three and a half years, Mousasi was expected to use his well-rounded skills and experience to best Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal on April 17. Instead, Mousasi spent the bout on his back and had his title taken by the upstart wrestling star.

9. Thiago Silva (14-2)
Recovered from a back injury and coming off his decision loss to Rashad Evans in January, Silva will return to action at UFC 117 on Aug. 7. When the Octagon touches down in Oakland, Calif., the Brazilian banger will meet Tim Boetsch, who has not fought in the UFC in more than a year.

10. Luis Arthur Cane (10-2, 1 NC)
Cane was blown out in less than two minutes in November, when he met Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. His return to the Octagon will present another major challenge on the feet. Come UFC 114 on May 29, “Banha” will meet dangerous French striker Cyrille Diabate, who makes his UFC debut.

Other contenders: Ryan Bader, Randy Couture, Rich Franklin, Jon Jones, Vladimir Matyushenko.
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