Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


Sep 3, 2009
In the main event of UFC 102, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira turned in a vintage performance to take a well-appointed unanimous decision over Randy Couture. The heavyweight bout far exceeded expectations, but it was two other winners on the evening who are the real movers and shakers in this rankings edition.

Nate Marquardt has been a perennially elite fighter in MMA but without many signature victories. However, the new aggressive edge exhibited by the former middleweight King of Pancrase has led to three straight stoppages that would fit well on any highlight reel. With his 21-second, one-punch handling of previously unbeaten Demian Maia, Marquardt has gained popular support as the next challenger for Anderson Silva, who defeated him in July 2007.

It took him a whole 74 seconds longer, but Thiago Silva earned the biggest win of his career by halting Keith Jardine with punches in the first round. The quick-and-brutal potency of Silva has re-established the Brazilian up-and-comer in the light heavyweight division while helping to erase the memories of his smashing at the hands of now-champion Lyoto Machida in January.

Marquardt and Silva aren't the only fighters to have brilliant breakthrough wins recently, though.

Two weeks prior, 24-year-old Gegard Mousasi won Strikeforce's light heavyweight crown by destroying skilled veteran Renato Sobral in one minute flat. Having already established himself as an elite middleweight, the victory put Mousasi's name on the map as one of MMA's top 205-pounders.
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