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L.A. Times December MMA Rankings

December 8, 2010 |  2:31 am

Heavyweight

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Fabricio Werdum

4. Fedor Emelianenko

5. Brock Lesnar

6. Alistair Overeem

7. Shane Carwin

8. Frank Mir

9. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera

10. Antonio Silva

It was an unspectacular month for heavyweight MMA, with Antonio Silva's win over Mike Kyle the top bout of the period. Strikeforce is planning a prominent night of heavyweight fights in January. but there isn't much on tap before that.

Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

2. Rashad Evans

3. Lyoto Machida

4. Quinton Jackson

5. Forrest Griffin

6. Jon Jones

7. Gegard Mousasi

8. Thiago Silva

9. Ryan Bader

10. Dan Henderson

There is a traffic jam in the light heavyweight division behind UFC light heavyweight kingpin Mauricio Rua. Rashad Evans has a win over Quinton Jackson and a loss to Lyoto Machida, while Machida beat Evans and lost to Jackson and Jackson beat Machida but lost to Evans. Evans has the next shot at the title. Dan Henderson moves back into the 205 pound rankings following a long stint at 185. Henderson looked impressive in defeating Renato "Babalu" Sobral.

Middleweight

1. Anderson Silva

2. Chael Sonnen

3. Yushin Okami

4. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza

5. Nate Marquardt

6. Demian Maia

7. Vitor Belfort

8. Michael Bisping

9. Hector Lombard

10. Robbie Lawler

Yushin Okami's hard fought decision victory over Nate Marquardt puts him in position to challenge the winner of February's Silva/Belfort title fight. Demian Maia wasn't able to finish Kendall Grove on the ground but he won a clear judges' decision. Robbie Lawler's brutal knockout of Matt Lindland was a reminder of his devastating punching power.

Welterweight

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Josh Koscheck

4. Jake Shields

5. Nick Diaz

6. B.J. Penn

7. Thiago Alves

8. Martin Kampmann

9. Carlos Condit

10. Paul Daley

Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck will meet for the UFC welterweight title Saturday night in Montreal. The bout should be one of 2010's top pay-per-view attractions. If Koscheck wins, he could rematch St. Pierre in Toronto next April. If St. Pierre wins, a fight against Jake Shields at that event could be on tap. B.J. Penn returned to welterweight with an impressive victory over Matt Hughes, but it remains to be seen whether Penn will continue to fight at welterweight or move back to lightweight.

Lightweight

1. Frank Edgar

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Gray Maynard

4. Eddie Alvarez

5. Kenny Florian

6. Shinya Aoki

7. George Sotiropoulos

8. Tatsuya Kawajiri

9. Evan Dunham

10. Ben Henderson

When Ben Henderson fights Anthony Pettis on WEC's final card December 16, the result will be of great importance. Not only will the winner be the last WEC lightweight champion but he will receive a UFC lightweight title shot against the winner of Frank Edgar vs. Gray Maynard. George Sotiropoulos could also be in line for a title shot if he beats Dennis Siver next year.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Bibiano Fernandes

3. Mike Brown

4. Hatsu Hioki

5. Marlon Sandro

6. Josh Grispi

7. Chad Mendes

8. Joe Warren

9. Manny Gamburyan

10. Joachim Hansen

Chad Mendes announced his presence in the featherweight division with a high profile WEC semi-main event win over Javier Vazquez. Josh Grispi and Chad Mendes are the top likely contenders to Jose Aldo's title, assuming a high profile lightweight or two doesn't move down to 145.

Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz

2. Urijah Faber

3. Joseph Benavidez

4. Brian Bowles

5. Miguel Torres

6. Scott Jorgensen

7. Takeya Mizugaki

8. Wagnney Fabiano

9. Masakatsu Ueda

10. Eddie Wineland

Longtime featherweight champion Urijah Faber could prove to be dominant at bantamweight. His WEC bantamweight debut was an impressive victory over Takeya Mizugaki. Faber's teammate Joseph Benavidez also looked great in submitting jiu jitsu standout Wagnney Fabiano.

--Todd Martin

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