Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


Nov 25, 2009
Dave Mandel/

Fedor Emelianenko

1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 NC)
In his big introduction to the North American audience, Emelianenko showed off his opportunistic and explosive skills, brutally thwarting previously unbeaten Brett Rogers in the second round of their Nov. 7 Strikeforce/M-1 Global matchup. Nearly five and a half million watched "The Last Emperor" in primetime on CBS.

2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
The initial news of Lesnar's enigmatic illness seemed hopelessly grim, but the MMA world -- and Dana White especially -- can breathe a sigh of relief. Lesnar's case of diverticulitis has been managed, and the UFC heavyweight champion should return to action in roughly six months.

3. Frank Mir (12-4)
Most of the attention Mir has received lately has stemmed from talks of a superfight with middleweight ace Anderson Silva. Instead, the real next fight for Mir will come at UFC 107 in December, when he takes on French hitter Cheick Kongo.

4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 NC)
Nogueira is another heavyweight who had a scary brush with illness. His slated Jan. 2 bout with unbeaten prospect Cain Velasquez was scuttled when it was revealed the former Pride heavyweight king had a severe staph infection that had entered his bloodstream. There is no timetable yet for Minotauro's return.

5. Brett Rogers (10-1)
Rogers' spirited effort against heavyweight ruler Fedor Emelianenko on Nov. 7 seems to have done more for perceptions of his heavyweight future than his 22-second demolition of Andrei Arlovski did. Since the defeat, Rogers has made the lofty claim that he won’t lose again.

6. Josh Barnett (24-5)
Barnett's appeal in front of the California State Athletic Commission regarding his positive steroid test was set for Oct. 26. However, with his legal team still awaiting additional lab results, Barnett was granted a second extension. His case will now be heard Dec. 8.

7. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)
He knocked off the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson in the recent past, but those accomplishments now seem like distant memories for Arlovski. “The Pitbull” has been smashed in his last two outings against Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers, and conversation now centers on the fragile chin that has betrayed him again.

8. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
“Cigano” emerged as a serious heavyweight threat by battering Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic on Sept. 19. In order to earn his contender’s stripes, he will have to take out another Brazilian known for his win over Filipovic -- Gabriel Gonzaga -- at UFC 108 on Jan. 2.

9. Cain Velasquez (7-0)
Velasquez was expected to graduate to elite heavyweight competition as 2010 rang in with a main event bout against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 108. However, Nogueira's nasty staph infection has left Velasquez without an opponent.

10. Shane Carwin (11-0)
Though undoubtedly happy to hear that he may be able to face Brock Lesnar down the line, Carwin's next step is uncertain. Lesnar figures to be on the shelf until well into 2010, and the MMA world likely won't want to wait that long to see the unbeaten Carwin in action again.

Other contenders: Aleksander Emelianenko, Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, Ben Rothwell, Fabricio Werdum.
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