Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


Jul 23, 2010
File Photo:

Brock Lesnar

1. Brock Lesnar (5-1)
Big-time heavyweight bouts seldom deliver, but Lesnar’s July 3 title defense against Shane Carwin did just that. In addition to likely pulling significant PPV numbers, Lesnar’s rousing second-round submission comeback showed he is not just a hulking frontrunner. The win set up what will likely be Lesnar’s biggest test to date when he defends against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 on Oct. 23.

2. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1)
Werdum improbably seized the biggest moment of his career on June 26. It took the grappling star just 69 seconds to end Fedor Emelianenko’s seven-plus-year reign over the heavyweight division. Whether Werdum’s next bout is a rematch against Emelianenko or former victim Alistair Overeem, his win will remain a massive moment in MMA history.

3. Fedor Emelianenko (31-2, 1 NC)
All good things come to an end. It was March 2003 when Emelianenko upset Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to take MMA’s heavyweight mantle, and 87 months later, it took Fabricio Werdum just 69 seconds to force “The Last Emperor” to tap and concede that top spot. The next step for Emelianenko remains unclear, but the heavyweight landscape has definitely changed.

4. Cain Velasquez (8-0)
The July 3 matchup between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin was especially interesting for Velasquez, who was already tabbed to face the winner. Now, Velasquez will face the tallest task of his young career when he challenges Lesnar for the heavyweight throne at UFC 121 in October.

5. Shane Carwin (12-1)
For five minutes, it looked like Carwin was en route to taking the UFC heavyweight title from Brock Lesnar. However, the second round revealed the cardio shortcomings many forecasted for the mammoth Coloradan, who was hapless against Lesnar’s top game before succumbing to an arm-triangle choke.

6. Frank Mir (13-5)
In December 2008, Mir notched the biggest win of his MMA career, shocking the world by clobbering Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and stopping him in the second round. The onus will be on Mir to prove it was no fluke, as he rematches “Minotauro” at UFC 119 on Sept. 25.

7. Junior dos Santos (11-1)
With five stoppages in five bouts inside the Octagon, dos Santos finds himself right in the UFC heavyweight title mix. “Cigano” might cinch a title shot for the latter stages of 2010 at UFC 117 on Aug. 7, when he meets “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson in what should be an entertaining heavyweight tilt.

8. Alistair Overeem (33-11, 1 NC)
The next big bout for Overeem became obscured in just 69 seconds. Originally thought to be the most attractive opponent for Fedor Emelianenko, the shocking defeat of “The Last Emperor” -- and the Russian’s potential rematch with Fabricio Werdum -- leaves no clear path for Overeem.

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 NC)
After his December 2008 destruction at the hands of Frank Mir, Nogueira claimed a staph infection had crippled his performance. The MMA world should gain some insight as to whether or not Nogueira’s illness was formative when the former Pride heavyweight champion meets Mir in a rematch at UFC 119 on Sept. 25.

10. Antonio Silva (14-2)
Since he ran roughshod over heavyweights in Europe back in 2005, onlookers expected heavyweight greatness from Silva. On May 15, “Bigfoot” finally took a step toward those expectations, soundly outboxing Andrei Arlovski to a unanimous decision and recording the most significant win of his career.

Other contenders: Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson, Brett Rogers, Ben Rothwell.
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