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L.A. Times February MMA Rankings

February 21, 2011 | 11:33 pm


1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Fabricio Werdum

4. Brock Lesnar

5. Alistair Overeem

6. Antonio Silva

7. Shane Carwin

8. Fedor Emelianenko

9. Frank Mir

10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

The longtime reign of Fedor Emelianenko as MMA's top heavyweight is now clearly over. His loss to Fabricio Werdum could be excused as the product of a careless mistake. However, a brutal domination and pounding at the hands of Antonio Silva was something else entirely. Strikeforce's heavyweight tournament is wide open, with Silva and Sergei Kharitonov waiting on the winners of Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers.

Light Heavyweight

1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

2. Rashad Evans

3. Lyoto Machida

4. Quinton Jackson

5. Jon Jones

6. Forrest Griffin

7. Gegard Mousasi

8. Thiago Silva

9. Dan Henderson

10. Rich Franklin

Jon Jones dispatched formerly undefeated contender Ryan Bader without too much difficulty and now will have his chance to challenge the elite of the division. An injury to Rashad Evans opened the opportunity for Jon Jones to fight Mauricio Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title in March. Many believe it will signify the coronation of a new MMA great but Jones has to justify the hype against one of the world's most talented fighters.


1. Anderson Silva

2. Chael Sonnen

3. Yushin Okami

4. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza

5. Nate Marquardt

6. Demian Maia

7. Michael Bisping

8. Hector Lombard

9. Jorge Santiago

10. Vitor Belfort

Anderson Silva provided yet another highlight reel knockout with his front kick KO of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. With that win, Silva appears on a collision course with fellow pound-for-pound great Georges St. Pierre. If GSP dispatches Jake Shields in April, GSP vs. Silva could be the UFC's biggest fight of all time. In Strikeforce, "Jacare" Souza's submission defeat of Robbie Lawler further cemented his status as the world's best non-UFC middleweight.


1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Jake Shields

4. Nick Diaz

5. Thiago Alves

6. Josh Koscheck

7. B.J. Penn

8. Martin Kampmann

9. Carlos Condit

10. Paul Daley

Nick Diaz demonstrated the mentality that has garnered him a passionate fanbase against Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Diaz was bound and determined to strike with the muay thai specialist and engaged in an exciting standup brawl. But when Santos finally took the fight to the ground, Diaz quickly caught him in a submission. It was a result that could have occurred much sooner, except the prideful Diaz seems unwilling to back down from fighting on his opponent's terms.


1. Frank Edgar

2. Gray Maynard

3. Gilbert Melendez

4. Eddie Alvarez

5. Kenny Florian

6. Tatsuya Kawajiri

7. George Sotiropoulos

8. Jim Miller

9. Shinya Aoki

10. Anthony Pettis

The migration of UFC lightweight fighters to the featherweight division is now underway with Kenny Florian and Tyson Griffin announcing their intentions to fight at 145 pounds. More moves are likely on the way. In the highest profile lightweight fight of the month, Melvin Guillard upset Evan Dunham to earn his fourth consecutive victory.


1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Diego Nunes

4. Hatsu Hioki

5. Dustin Poirier

6. Michihiro Omigawa

7. Bibiano Fernandes

8. Mark Hominick

9. Joe Warren

10. Marlon Sandro

Mark Hominick needed an impressive victory to build excitement for a Toronto title showdown with Jose Aldo. He came through with flying colors, quickly destroying George Roop with pinpoint strikes. In other key action, Chad Mendes turned in a solid workmanlike performance in a win over Michihiro Omigawa.


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

Miguel Torres picked up a one-sided win over Antonio Banuelos, but it was not the sort of win that will generate interest in future Torres fights. UFC hopes Urijah Faber will deliver a more impressive win over Eddie Wineland in the co-main event of UFC's March show in New Jersey.

--Todd Martin