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L.A. Times September MMA Rankings

Brock Heavyweight

1. Brock Lesnar

2. Cain Velasquez

3. Junior Dos Santos

4. Fabricio Werdum

5. Fedor Emelianenko

6. Alistair Overeem

7. Shane Carwin

8. Frank Mir

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

10. Antonio Silva

It was an uneventful month for heavyweight MMA. Fedor Emelianenko remains a difficult fighter to rank. It's hard to put him above Fabricio Werdum given he just lost to the accomplished Werdum. Likewise, it's hard to put Werdum above Junior Dos Santos since Dos Santos scored a decisive knockout win over Werdum. Dos Santos, in turn, is behind UFC champion Brock Lesnar and number 1 contender Cain Velasquez. Thus, Emelianenko sits strangely at number 5. Don't bet against him returning once more to the top of the division.

Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

2. Lyoto Machida

3. Rashad Evans

4. Quinton Jackson

5. Forrest Griffin

6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

7. Thiago Silva

8. Jon Jones

9. Gegard Mousasi

10. Rich Franklin

Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante defeated "King Mo" Lawal to knock Lawal out of the rankings. Cavalcante, with a bad recent loss to Mike Kyle, doesn't quite claw into the top 10. Mousasi is missing the Strikeforce gold, but he does have the most impressive resume of any 205 pound fighter not in the UFC.

Middleweight

1. Anderson Silva

2. Chael Sonnen

3. Jake Shields

4. Nate Marquardt

5. Dan Henderson

6. Yushin Okami

7. Jacare Souza

8. Demian Maia

9. Vitor Belfort

10. Cung Le

Jacare Souza moves up in the middleweight rankings with a hard fought decision victory over the tough Tim Kennedy. Fellow jiu jitsu ace Demian Maia wasn't able to submit Mario Miranda at UFC 118, but he did pick up a dominant decision win. UFC will be giving Chael Sonnen an immediate rematch against champion Anderson Silva in early 2011.

Welterweight

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Josh Koscheck

4. Nick Diaz

5. Thiago Alves

6. Dan Hardy

7. Martin Kampmann

8. Matt Hughes

9. John Hathaway

10. Paulo Thiago

The latest season of the Ultimate Fighter begins airing this month with Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre as coaches. Jon Fitch and Jake Shields will wait in the wings to see what happens in the Koscheck-St. Pierre bout.

Lightweight

1. Frank Edgar

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Gray Maynard

4. B.J. Penn

5. Eddie Alvarez

6. Kenny Florian

7. Shinya Aoki

8. George Sotiropoulos

9. Tatsuya Kawajiri

10. Evan Dunham

Like Fedor Emelianenko, B.J. Penn finds himself on the outside looking in at a division he once dominated. Penn lost decisively in his rematch with Frank Edgar and doesn't have an obvious path back to the UFC lightweight title as long as Edgar retains the belt. Gray Maynard utilized his wrestling to defeat Kenny Florian and now will challenge Edgar for the UFC championship.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Urijah Faber

3. Bibano Fernandes

4. Manny Gamburyan

5. Hatsu Hioki

6. Mike Brown

7. Marlon Sandro

8. Josh Grispi

9. Rafael Assuncao

10. Takeshi Inoue

A weak featherweight division will get weaker when Urijah Faber relocates to 135 pounds. The problem is that much of the world's best true featherweight talent is competing at lightweight in the UFC. Hatsu Hioki submitted Jeff Lawson at World Victory Road while most of the other top 145 pound fighters did not compete this month.

Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz

2. Brian Bowles

3. Joseph Benavidez

4. Miguel Torres

5. Scott Jorgensen

6. Takeya Mizugaki

7. Wagnney Fabiano

8. Masakatsu Ueda

9. Damacio Page

10. Eddie Wineland

Dominick Cruz defeated Joseph Benavidez to retain his WEC bantamweight title. Brian Bowles, Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres would all like to take the title from Cruz, but next in line could be Scott Jorgensen, who scored another victory over Brad Pickett.

-- Todd Martin

Photo: Brock Lesnar. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press

 
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