Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

L.A. Times September MMA Rankings

September 14, 2011 | 11:51 am


Fabforum 1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Alistair Overeem

4. Brock Lesnar

5. Fabricio Werdum

6. Daniel Cormier

7. Josh Barnett

8. Frank Mir

9. Antonio Silva

10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

The two biggest fights in heavyweight MMA will take place at the end of 2011. UFC will premier on Fox with a UFC heavyweight title bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. It's wise for the company to make its network debut with a first rate main event. Then in December at UFC 141, Brock Lesnar will take on Alistair Overeem in a crucial fight for each man. Lesnar is returning from significant surgery while Overeem is making his long awaited UFC debut. Daniel Cormier surges up the ranks with a breakthrough knockout win over Antonio Silva. With elite wrestling skills and a rapidly developing striking game, Cormier is a future championship level fighter. He will face Josh Barnett in the finals of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix. Barnett advanced with a submissive win over Sergei Kharitonov. Finally, in an extremely busy month for heavyweight MMA, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira scored an upset win over Brendan Schaub in Brazil and will next rematch Frank Mir in Toronto.

Light Heavyweight

1. Jon Jones

2. Rashad Evans

3. Quinton Jackson

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Dan Henderson

6. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

7. Gegard Mousasi

8. Thiago Silva

9. Forrest Griffin

10. Rich Franklin

On September 24, Quinton Jackson will have his chance to regain the UFC light heavyweight title when he takes on Jon Jones. Jones is heavily favored by most. Mauricio Rua scored an impressive win over Forrest Griffin at UFC Rio. Rua dominated the striking and scored a quick TKO victory that sends Griffin down the rankings.


1. Anderson Silva

2. Chael Sonnen

3. Yushin Okami

4. Mark Munoz

5. Vitor Belfort

6. Michael Bisping

7. Nate Marquardt

8. Demian Maia

9. Hector Lombard

10. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza

Anderson Silva advanced his claim to being the greatest MMA fighter of all time with another masterful performance in a knockout win over Yushin Okami. The division is wide open after Silva. Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping are probably in the best position to get the next shot at Silva. Jacare plunges down the rankings after a listless performance in a loss to relatively unheralded Luke Rockhold. Jacare was unable to use much of his world class jiu jitsu and faded as the fight progressed.


1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Nick Diaz

4. Jake Shields

5. Carlos Condit

6. Josh Koscheck

7. B.J. Penn

8. Martin Kampmann

9. Rory MacDonald

10. Jake Ellenberger

Georges St. Pierre was scheduled to face Nick Diaz for the UFC welterweight title in October, but after Nick Diaz no showed a pair of press conferences hyping the event, the UFC decided to yank Diaz from the bout. Carlos Condit will receive the title shot instead. Condit isn't the personality that Diaz is, but he has a similarly exciting style and hopefully will coax an entertaining bout out of St. Pierre. Diaz now looks to face B.J. Penn in the semi-main event at the same show. This weekend, Jake Shields returns to action following his title bout loss to St. Pierre. He will take on rising contender Jake Ellenberger.


1. Frank Edgar

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Gray Maynard

4. Eddie Alvarez

5. Ben Henderson

6. Melvin Guillard

7. Clay Guida

8. Jim Miller

9. Anthony Pettis

10. Shinya Aoki

Clay Guida and Ben Henderson will fight in Anaheim at the same event as Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. If time permits, UFC would like to show the bout after Velasquez-Dos Santos to give mainstream viewers an exciting bout and the next challenger for the winner of Frank Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III. Melvin Guillard will look to win his sixth straight bout against Joe Lauzon on October 8.


1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Kenny Florian

4. Hatsu Hioki

5. Mark Hominick

6. Dustin Poirier

7. Diego Nunes

8. Joe Warren

9. Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

10. Erik Koch

Erik Koch moves into the rankings after the former number 10 Marlon Sandro suffered a spectacular knockout loss to Pat Curran in Bellator. Chad Mendes is in line to challenge the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian for the UFC featherweight title, but he didn't generate a lot of interest for that bout with a dull win in his last fight. Hatsu Hioki finally makes his UFC debut in October at UFC 137.


1. Dominick Cruz

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. Demetrious Johnson

4. Brian Bowles

5. Urijah Faber

6. Miguel Torres

7. Scott Jorgensen

8. Wagnney Fabiano

9. Masakatsu Ueda

10. Renan Barao

The "California Kid" Urijah Faber should receive a raucous reception in his home area at UFC 139 in November when he takes on Brian Bowles. Demetrious Johnson and Dominick Cruz will fight for the UFC bantamweight title October 1.

--Todd Martin

Photo: Cain Velasquez. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images.