Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Light Heavyweight

Jun 29, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio Rua (19-4)
With Rashad Evans’ win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the stage appeared set for Rua’s first UFC light heavyweight title defense. However, a knee injury the Brazilian suffered in his May 8 win over Lyoto Machida necessitated knee surgery -- his third during his UFC tenure -- that will postpone a match with Evans till late this year.

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

3. Rashad Evans (15-1-1)
Over a year of build-up, smack talk and bad blood culminated at UFC 114 on May 29, and it was Evans who reigned supreme over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. His unanimous decision win was not a thrilling one, but it established Evans as the top contender to champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

4. Quinton Jackson (30-8)
Jackson did not look dreadful against Rashad “Suga” Evans on May 29, but he certainly lacked the energy and strategy his opponent showed. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great bouts for Jackson in the UFC, provided he wants them.

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

6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
In a fairly unpopular verdict, “Minotoro” won a split decision over Jason Brilz at UFC 114 in May. The win seems to have done more for the public perception of Brilz than Nogueira, who many had pegged as a sure UFC title contender.

7. Muhammed Lawal (7-0)
Still riding high after his April upset of Gegard Mousasi -- a victory in which he took the Strikeforce light heavyweight title -- “King Mo” is due for his first title defense this summer. No opponent has been named yet, but Lawal will put his strap on the line for the first time Aug. 21 when Strikeforce heads to Houston.

8. Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1)
Following his disappointing April loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion will return to action at Dream 15 on July 10. Mousasi will face UFC veteran Jake O’Brien in the semifinals of a four-man 205-pound tournament.

9. Thiago Silva (14-2)
After a disappointing decision loss to Rashad Evans in January and a back injury to boot, Silva looks healthy and ready for action. The Sao Paulo slugger will return to the Octagon on Aug. 7 at UFC 117, where he will take on the gritty Tim Boetsch.

10. Rich Franklin (28-5)
Most people expected Franklin to best a faded Chuck Liddell when they squared off at UFC 115 on June 12. However, few saw Franklin leveling Liddell -- and with a broken left arm no less. After the rousing knockout win, “Ace” will find himself firmly in the UFC’s 205-pound mix when his arm heals.

Other contenders: Ryan Bader, Randy Couture, Jon Jones, Vladimir Matyushenko, Renato "Babalu" Sobral.

* With his May 29 loss to Cyrille Diabate, the formerly 10th-ranked Luis Arthur Cane falls outside of the top 10.
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