Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Middleweight

Dec 27, 2009
Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com

Anderson "The Spider" Silva
Middleweight

1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
Anderson Silva's cryptic elbow injury still continues to give the middleweight king problems. However, "The Spider" is now pencilled in for an April return, where he is expected to headline an international UFC event against fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort.

2. Nate Marquardt (29-8-2)
As Dan Henderson's negotiations with Zuffa have decayed, the highly appealing Marquardt-Henderson bout has fallen by the wayside. Instead, Marquardt will meet another outstanding wrestler on Feb. 6 at UFC 109 when he takes on Chael Sonnen.

3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
Henderson was MMA's most high-profile free agent for a moment. Now, he is one of the major drawing cards for Strikeforce, where he will make his promotional debut next April in a middleweight affair against Jake Shields, with the Strikeforce title up for grabs on CBS.

4. Demian Maia (11-1)
After his deflating loss to Nate Marquardt in August, Maia will return to action at UFC 109 on Feb. 6. In opposition, the BJJ world champion will find himself against another savvy grappler in former IFL champion Dan Miller.

5. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
Vitor Belfort has been left in the lurch for quite some time. After being tabbed as the next UFC middleweight title challenger following his September plunking of Rich Franklin, an Anderson Silva elbow injury has continued to stall a date for a meeting between the two Brazilians. Now, the pair is expected to contest the UFC middleweight crown in April.

6. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
Quietly having knocked off a string of strong competitors, Sonnen has been granted his moment to prove he's a serious middleweight contender rather than an opportunistic wrestler. The Team Quest product is slated to take on Nate Marquardt in a bout with major UFC title implications Feb. 6 at UFC 109.

7. Jake Shields (24-4-1)
On Strikeforce's first CBS venture in October, Jake Shields earned the promotion's middleweight title with a five-round points win over Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Strikeforce's second live network venture in April will see the Cesar Gracie product enter his first title defense as an underdog, as he takes on Pride and UFC veteran Dan Henderson.

8. Yushin Okami (23-5)
The fervor for Okami to be granted a UFC middleweight title shot has likely died following the Japanese export's unanimous decision loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 104. It'll be a long road back to acclaim for the polarizing Okami.

9. Mamed Khalidov (20-3-1)
In the biggest bout of his career, the star-child of Poland's MMA scene came through in the clutch by halting Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago in the first round. Unfortunately, the non-title status of the bout meant that Khalidov's breakthrough win didn't come with a belt.

10. Jorge Santiago (21-8)
The slipper finally fell on Santiago's muscular 9-0 run with nine stoppages, as the Brazilian's shaky chin was again exposed by hot Polish prospect Mamed Khalidov on Nov. 7. Santiago's Sengoku middleweight title was not at stake in the bout, therefore complicating the promotion's middleweight scenario.

Other contenders: Yoshihiro Akiyama, Paulo Filho, Robbie Lawler, Dan Miller, Kazuo Misaki.
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