Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

L.A. Times May MMA Rankings

May 24, 2011 |  9:30 am

Photo: Jon Jones. Credit: Neil Davidson / Associated Press / Canadian Press 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

In a month where there was a lot more drama outside MMA competition than in it, many divisions were rocked by unfortunate injuries and postponements. Brock Lesnar's career is again in jeopardy following a recurrence of diverticulitis. While it is a tough break for the sport's biggest box office attraction, the replacement bout at UFC 131 of Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos is a more exciting stylistic matchup. Either Carwin or Dos Santos will receive the next UFC heavyweight title shot against Cain Velasquez.

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

A UFC light heavyweight title fight between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones was postponed because Jones was thought to need surgery. It turned out Jones didn't, but Evans was already scheduled for an interim fight with wrestling standout Phil Davis. Now, Evans needs to get through Davis to receive a hotly anticipated grudge title bout with Jones. In the most prominent 205 pound fight of the month, Lyoto Machida knocked out Randy Couture with a leaping front kick reminiscent of The Karate Kid.


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

Top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen won't get another shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva any time soon after the California State Athletic Commission voted to uphold a suspension that will prevent him from coaching on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter. The title picture after August's title fight between Silva and Yushin Okami is unclear, which could open up an opportunity for charismatic British star Michael Bisping.


1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Nick Diaz

4. Jake Shields

5. Thiago Alves

6. Josh Koscheck

7. B.J. Penn

8. Martin Kampmann

9. Carlos Condit

10. Matt Hughes

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre showed heart and determination in working through an eye injury to defeat Jake Shields via unanimous decision in Toronto, but he didn't earn a lot of style points in the process. St. Pierre once again implemented a conservative gameplan and extended by far the longest streak of title defenses without a finish in UFC history.


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. Ben Henderson

A planned UFC 130 lightweight title fight between Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard was postponed when both fighters suffered injuries. Maynard and Edgar will likely fight in the early fall. Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez have been mentioned as future potential challengers for the belt. Ben Henderson moves back into the top 10 with a hard fought win over tough Canadian Mark Bocek.


1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Diego Nunes

4. Hatsu Hioki

5. Dustin Poirier

6. Mark Hominick

7. Michihiro Omigawa

8. Bibiano Fernandes

9. Joe Warren

10. Marlon Sandro

Even in defeat, Mark Hominick turned in a starmaking performance in a UFC featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo. Aldo dominated the fight early and badly damaged Hominick's face, but Hominick kept coming and closed the fight impressively. He showed he belonged against the top 145 pound fighter. Quietly, Bellator Fighting Championships has built an impressive featherweight division with Joe Warren, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Marlon Sandro and Joe Soto.


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

Urijah Faber will get his shot at the UFC bantamweight title in early July, but it will be difficult for him to solve the puzzle that is Dominick Cruz's style. Cruz's fluid, movement based striking has been extremely effective in recent bouts. If Faber falters, Miguel Torres could be next in line.


Brock Lesnar forced out of UFC 131 because of diverticulitis

L.A. product Charlie Valencia fights for love of the sport

--Todd Martin

Photo: Jon Jones. Credit: Neil Davidson / Associated Press / Canadian Press