Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Light Heavyweight

Aug 13, 2008
Light Heavyweight
1. Forrest Griffin (Pictures) (16-4-0)
Griffin will tell you he's not the most skilled or talented guy around. Yet his drive and determination have paid off in spades, as the poster boy for the new UFC is now the man to beat at 205 pounds. However, the real emphasis will be on defending his title in arguably the biggest and best weight class in the game. A potential rematch with Quinton Jackson (Pictures), a showdown with former champ Chuck Liddell (Pictures), an encounter with Lyoto Machida (Pictures) and tons of other challengers are on the horizon.

2. Quinton Jackson (Pictures) (28-7-0)
A well-rested, well-hydrated Quinton Jackson (Pictures) was a staple of the media events building up to the Aug. 9 UFC 87 card in Minnesota. No matter how normal things may seem for Jackson, though, the former UFC champion is still facing potentially serious legal ramifications following his July arrest.

3. Lyoto Machida (Pictures) (13-0-0)
While he won't get to fight for the light heavyweight title just yet, one more win would make Machida's claim to a title shot undeniable. Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England, will be the next hurdle for Machida, who faces fellow undefeated Brazilian Thiago Silva (Pictures) on the main card of UFC 89 in a high-stakes 205-pound affair.

4. Chuck Liddell (Pictures) (21-5-0)
After a highly anticipated clash with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was nixed, the "Iceman" suffered a nasty hamstring tear that slashed his June 7 clash with the undefeated Rashad Evans (Pictures). Thankfully, the Liddell-Evans bout is now set for Sept. 6 in Atlanta.

5. Mauricio Rua (Pictures) (16-3-0)
After injuring his knee and stumbling in his UFC debut, it seemed "Shogun" had hit rock bottom. Then, with a big fight against Chuck Liddell (Pictures) looming, disaster struck again when Rua injured the same knee that had been surgically repaired just months before. The Brazilian has said he will return this fall or winter.

6. Dan Henderson (Pictures) (22-7-0)
Following his March loss to Anderson Silva (Pictures), there was much speculation over whether Henderson would continue to campaign as a 185-pounder or head back to the 205-pound class. It's been decided: Henderson will be staying at middleweight. He’ll meet Brazilian prospect Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 in Atlanta.

7. Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) (32-8-1, 1 NC)
After a vintage Silva performance in May when he stampeded over Keith Jardine (Pictures) in 36 seconds, fans were left wanting more Silva ASAP. While they almost got their wish, an opponent couldn't be finalized for "The Axe Murderer" for the July 19 UFC Fight Night card. Fans will have to wait a little bit longer for Silva's return.

8. Keith Jardine (Pictures) (13-4-1)
After knocking off Chuck Liddell (Pictures), Jardine had the opportunity to defeat the two greatest light heavyweights in the sport's history when he entered the Octagon for his May 24 bout with Wanderlei Silva (Pictures). Instead, Jardine was brutally dispatched in 36 seconds. He’ll have a chance to bounce back against Brandon Vera (Pictures) on Oct. 18 at UFC 89.

9. Rashad Evans (Pictures) (11-0-1)
Evans slid into the biggest fight of his career, a scheduled June 7 clash with Chuck Liddell (Pictures), but he was removed from the card after injuries to Liddell and replacement James Irvin (Pictures). Luckily for Evans, he will get his crack at the former UFC light heavyweight king on Sept. 6 when the UFC heads to Atlanta.

10. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (Pictures) (5-2-0)
Sokoudjou will see action on the UFC 89 card in October from Birmingham, England. The 24-year-old Cameroonian has been done no favors by the UFC, as he'll have to back up his hype when he takes on Brazilian punisher Luiz Arthur "Banha" Cane in a fight that would seem to render scorecards unnecessary.
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