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L.A. Times April MMA Rankings

April 12, 2011 | 11:55 am

Lakb7pnc Heavyweight

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 newest season of the Ultimate Fighter featuring Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos debuted to disappointing ratings. Dos Santos and Lesnar will fight June 11 in Vancouver for the right to challenge UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez later in the year. The first round of Strikeforce's heavyweight Grand Prix then concludes June 18 with Josh Barnett facing Brett Rogers and Alistair Overeem battling Fabricio Werdum.

Light Heavyweight

1. Jon Jones

2. Rashad Evans

3. Lyoto Machida

4. Quinton Jackson

5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

6. Forrest Griffin

7. Dan Henderson

8. Gegard Mousasi

9. Thiago Silva

10. Rich Franklin

Gegard Mousasi destroyed Keith Jardine in an uncompetitive Strikeforce bout but only came away with a draw due to an illegal upkick and poor judging. There has been talk of a rematch but the bout really ought to speak for itself. Jardine showed a ton of heart but Mousasi was clearly the better fighter. Lyoto Machida will face the legendary Randy Couture April 30 at UFC 129 in Toronto.

Middleweight

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

UFC president Dana White spoke of an Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre superfight provided St. Pierre defeats Jake Shields, however UFC may instead match up Silva with top contender Yushin Okami in Brazil. Okami was the last man to record a win over Silva, but it was via a controversial disqualification. Jorge Santiago returns to the UFC in May against Brian Stann. He has gone 11-1 since being released by the UFC in 2006.

Welterweight

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. Matt Hughes

Jake Shields rides an over five year undefeated streak into a UFC welterweight title showdown with Georges St. Pierre April 30. Few fans give Shields much of a chance, but Shields' training partners seem supremely confident of his chances to score the upset. In the month's top welterweight bout, Nick Diaz scored a very exciting TKO win over Paul Daley. The back-and-forth bout showcased Diaz's crowd pleasing style.

Lightweight

1. Frank Edgar

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Gray Maynard

4. Jim Miller

5. Eddie Alvarez

6. Kenny Florian

7. Shinya Aoki

8. Anthony Pettis

9. Tatsuya Kawajiri

10. Melvin Guillard

Life isn't easy for UFC lightweight champion Frank Edgar. Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez are all gunning for his belt and there isn't an easy match in the bunch. Melendez scored the most impressive win of his career against Tatsuya Kawajiri on April 9. Eddie Alvarez was less impressive in scoring a decision win over Pat Curran, but many are unfairly discounting Curran's ability. Shinya Aoki showcased his submission ability in a quick win over Lyle Beerbohm.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Diego Nunes

4. Hatsu Hioki

5. Dustin Poirier

6. Michiro Omigawa

7. Mark Hominick

8. Bibiano Fernandes

9. Joe Warren

10. Marlon Sandro

Jose Aldo continues to reign over one of MMA's most wide open weight classes. Mark Hominick is the next challenger for his title, with Chad Mendes a likely candidate for the next title shot. Joe Warren returns to competition April 16 for Bellator against jiu jitsu star Marcos Galvao.

Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. Urijah Faber

4. Brian Bowles

5. Miguel Torres

6. Scott Jorgensen

7. Takeya Mizugaki

8. Wagnney Fabiano

9. Masakatsu Ueda

10. Eddie Wineland

Bantamweights will headline a UFC pay-per-view for the first time July 2 at UFC 132. Urijah Faber will challenge for Dominick Cruz's title. Cruz will be looking to avenge the only loss of his career, a guillotine choke defeat to Faber. Miguel Torres and Brian Bowles could be next in line for a shot at the title.

ALSO:

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

--Todd Martin

Photo: Mixed martial artist Cain Velasquez arrives at the UFC 114 after party at Studio 54 inside the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Studio 54

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