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Los Angeles Times' May MMA Rankings

May 10, 2010 | 11:55 am

Fedor_300 Heavyweight

1. Fedor Emelianenko

2. Brock Lesnar

3. Cain Velasquez

4. Shane Carwin

5. Junior Dos Santos

6. Frank Mir

7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

8. Alistair Overeem

9. Fabricio Werdum

10. Brett Rogers

Russian Fedor Emelianenko continues to reign as the heavyweight division's longtime kingpin, although questions remain about the opposition he has faced in recent years. A pack of rising UFC stars follow him in the rankings. Carwin and Lesnar fight for the UFC title in July, while Dos Santos and Velasquez wait in the wings for their opportunity.

Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

2. Lyoto Machida

3. Rashad Evans

4. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

5. Forrest Griffin

6. Thiago Silva

7. Jon Jones

8. "King Mo" Lawal

9. Gegard Mousasi

10. Rich Franklin

Shogun Rua completed his remarkable career turnaround by knocking out previously unbeaten Lyoto Machida. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has always unfairly been trapped in the shadow of his twin brother Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Anderson Silva is missing because fighters are only ranked here at one primary weight class, while Quinton Jackson is missing because he hasn't fought in a full year.

Middleweight

1. Anderson Silva

2. Jake Shields

3. Chael Sonnen

4. Nate Marquardt

5. Dan Henderson

6. Vitor Belfort

7. Demian Maia

8. Robbie Lawler

9. Yushin Okami

10. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Chael Sonnen is Anderson Silva's next challenger, and hopefully it will make for a better fight than Silva's last few middleweight title defenses. Jake Shields will likely be moving to the UFC's welterweight division soon, so he is more on the radar of Georges St. Pierre than Anderson Silva. While 39-year-old Dan Henderson struggled against Shields, don't count him out yet as a fighter.

Welterweight

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Thiago Alves

4. Josh Koscheck

5. Nick Diaz

6. Paulo Thiago

7. Dan Hardy

8. Matt Hughes

9. Carlos Condit

10. Paul Daley

Fitch and Alves have the most impressive resumes behind the great Georges St. Pierre, but they lost so convincingly to the welterweight champion that it would be hard for UFC to market a rematch. Koscheck fought St. Pierre relatively competitively at UFC 74 and will coach opposite St. Pierre on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter.

Lightweight

1. Frank Edgar

2. B.J. Penn

3. Gilbert Melendez

4. Eddie Alvarez

5. Gray Maynard

6. Kenny Florian

7. Tatsuya Kawajiri

8. Shinya Aoki

9. Tyson Griffin

10. Gesias Calvancante

Other divisions may produce more big money fights, but this is the sport's best and deepest division. UFC's lightweight division alone is filled with upper echelon talent. But high caliber fighters can be found all over, from Dream's Tatsuya Kawajiri and Shinya Aoki to Strikeforce's Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson to Bellator's Eddie Alvarez and Roger Huerta to WEC's Ben Henderson and Jamie Varner.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Urijah Faber

3. Bibiano Fernandes

4. Manny Gamburyan

5. Mike Brown

6. Takeshi Inoue

7. Hatsu Hioki

8. Rafael Assuncao

9. Josh Grispi

10. Marlon Sandro

With Jose Aldo destroying Mike Brown and Urijah Faber, it would seem difficult to find real threats to his WEC championship reign. Then again, many thought the same thing about Lyoto Machida and B.J. Penn. Manny Gamburyan is next in line, but his 12 second knockout to 9-9 Rob Emerson doesn't inspire great confidence.

Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. Brian Bowles

4. Miguel Torres

5. Takeya Mizugaki

6. Wagnney Fabiano

7. Scott Jorgensen

8. Masakatsu Ueda

9. Damacio Page

10. Rani Yahya

Dominick Cruz looked impressive in taking Brian Bowles' WEC title. Joseph Benavidez and Bowles will likely have to wait for their next title opportunity because they lost to Cruz already. Scott Jorgensen is in line for the next shot, but he could have trouble dealing with the speed of Cruz.

--Todd Martin

Photo: Fedor Emelianenko in 2008. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times.

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