MMA Rankings: Middleweights shuffle while others hold steady

Tuesday June 23rd, 2009

Though there was no shortage of fights over the past four weeks,'s mixed martial arts rankings remain fairly stable as a packed couple of months near.

Three divisions -- light heavyweight, featherweight and bantamweight -- remain unchanged, as do our pound-for-pound list.

Middleweight saw the most upheaval. Robbie Lawler's loss at a catch-weight to the welterweight Jake Shields pushed him from No. 4 down to the ninth spot, ahead of Chael Sonnen, who squeaked into the poll. Nick Diaz gained serious consideration after dominating Scott Smith, but didn't quite make the cut. And Frank Trigg, having signed with the UFC to fight at 170 pounds, was removed.

Other changes include Brett Rogers, who entered the heavyweight top 10 after running through Andrei Arlovski. Though he lost at middleweight against TimKennedy, Nick Thompson lost his No. 10 spot at welterweight to veteran Hayato Sakurai (anticipate a significant shuffle at 170 pounds by the time summer passes). Mike Swick nearly debuted in the welterweight rankings, but I think he needs to defeat a ranked competitor to get there.

Another fighter who is just inches from cracking the rankings is Diego Sanchez, who is fresh off his Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale win over Clay Guida. But with such a crowded field at lightweight, Sanchez could use another couple of victories to supplant Sean Sherk or Frank Edgar.

One final note, in previous polls I included fighters' nationalities next to their names. We'll get back to that at some point, but for this month at least I wanted to showcase their records. Unlike boxing, where it seems a fighter needs a stellar record through at least 20 fights to get mentioned among the 10 best in a specific weight class, you'll notice MMA has no such requirement.


1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 NC)2. Josh Barnett (24-5)3. Frank Mir (12-3)4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-5-1, 1 NC)5. Brock Lesnar (3-1)6. Randy Couture (16-9)7. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 NC)8. Shane Carwin (11-0)9. Brett Rogers (10-0)10. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)

Others receiving consideration: Jeff Monson, Ben Rothwell, Mirko Filipovic, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos

Light Heavyweight

1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)2. Rashad Evans (13-1-1) 3. Quinton Jackson (30-7) 4. Forrest Griffin (16-5) 5. Dan Henderson (24-7)6. Mauricio Rua (18-3)7. Keith Jardine (14-5-1)8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)9. Luiz Cane (10-1, 1 NC)10. Renato Sobral (32-8)

Others receiving consideration: Rich Franklin, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva


1. Anderson Silva (24-4) 2. Yushin Okami (23-4)3. Nate Marquardt (28-8-2) 4. Dan Henderson (24-7) 5. Jorge Santiago (21-7) 6. Thales Leites (14-2) 7. Vitor Belfort (18-8) 8. Demian Maia (10-0) 9. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 NC) 10. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)

Others receiving consideration: Nick Diaz, Yoshiro Akiyama, Paulo Filho, Michael Bisping, Hector Lombard


1. Georges St. Pierre (18-2) 2. Jon Fitch (18-3, 1 NC) 3. Thiago Alves (16-3) 4. Jake Shields (23-4-1) 5. Matt Hughes (43-7) 6. Paulo Thiago (11-0) 7. Josh Koscheck (12-4) 8. Martin Kampmann (15-2) 9. Carlos Condit (22-5) 10. Hayato Sakurai (35-8-2)

Others receiving consideration: Mike Swick, Jay Hieron, Brock Larson, Dan Hardy, Nick Thompson


1. B.J. Penn (13-5-1)2. Shinya Aoki (20-4, 1 NC) 3. Joachim Hansen (19-7-1) 4. Kenny Florian (11-3)5. Eddie Alvarez (18-2)6. Tatsuya Kawajiri (24-5-2) 7. Josh Thomson (16-2, 1 NC) 8. Gray Maynard (7-0, 1 NC) 9. Frank Edgar (10-1) 10. Sean Sherk (33-4-1)

Others receiving consideration: Satoru Kitaoka, Gesias Calvancante, Takanori Gomi, Diego Sanchez, Tyson Griffin


1. Mike Thomas Brown (22-4)2. Urijah Faber (22-3) 3. Wagnney Fabiano (12-1) 4. Hatsu Hioki (19-3-2) 5. Jose Aldo (15-1) 6. Dokonjonosuke Mishima (19-6-2) 7. Takeshi Inoue (16-3) 8. Leonard Garcia (12-4) 9. Rafael Assuncao (13-1) 10. Marlon Sandro (14-0)

Others receiving consideration: Joe Warren, Joe Soto, Josh Grispi, Bibiano Fernandes, Norifumi Yamamoto


1. Miguel Torres (37-1) 2. Brian Bowles (7-0) 3. Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2) 4. Takeya Mizugaki (11-3-2) 5. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2) 6. Will Ribeiro (10-2) 7. Damacio Page (11-4) 8. Dominick Cruz (13-1) 9. Rani Yahya (14-4) 10. Joseph Benavidez (10-0)

Others receiving consideration: Yoshiro Maeda, Manny Tapia, Eduardo Dantas, Chase Beebe, Marcos Galvao


1. Fedor Emelianenko2. Georges St. Pierre 3. Anderson Silva4. Miguel Torres5. Lyoto Machida6. Mike Thomas Brown7. Rashad Evans8. Quinton Jackson9. B.J. Penn10. Urijah Faber

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