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411 MMA Rankings 01.01.13: Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 01.01.2013





HAPPY NEW YEAR~!

Hopefully, you're feeling better on this fine day than Junior dos Santos did Saturday night. Did you see his face turned into mush? That's what happens when Cain Velasquez is healthy and has a fire driving him towards redemption. Now, with the the new champion in place, the possibilities for all new kinds of fights open up. Cain vs. Overeem? Cain vs. Werdum? JDS vs. Cormier? JDS vs. Barnett? Plus, can Stefan Struve or Mark Hunt get some love?

You can debate about the depth of this heavyweight division but as we enter 2013, it's more clear than ever, the quality at the top of this division is best now than ever before in the sport's history. Clearly, the best heavyweight group of fighters in the history of the UFC and it's only getting better once Strikeforce closes its doors in 11 days. The prospect of Josh Barnett returning and joining Daniel Cormier in a jump to the octagon adds more quality talent to the mix. Plus, I'm really hoping we get to see Barnett vs. Frank Mir at some point along the road. Not for any reason about championships, I selfishly want to see what happens when the two try to best each other on the ground in the cage.

Alistair Overeem is back in the fold and he'll fight Antonio Silva in one month, assuming he continues passing drug tests with flying colors. The Reem has wanted some of Junior dos Santos (and vice versa), but it appears if he lays waste to Bigfoot, he'll get the first crack at Cain Velasquez. TAKE MY MONEY!

Further down in the division, you'll find the Dutchman Stefan Struve and his upcoming opponent, the New Zealander Mark Hunt. The big men are preparing to compete in two months when the UFC returns to Saitama, Japan. Let me be the first to suggest that in the event Struve beats him and wins his fifth consecutive fight, the UFC should book him next against Roy Nelson and give the tall man an opportunity to avenge his loss three years ago to "Big Country."

If Mark Hunt wins, the man the UFC didn't want in the first place continues his tremendous road through this division.

Here's one last reminder of why Cain's the baddest man on the planet again. His last two opponents:





Is the REEM next?


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Here's the feedback to last week's pound for pound rankings:

From K. Bett:
When you compare level of competition you can see why people are willing to put Jon jones and GSP above Silva.
Perhaps, but Anderson Silva has the longevity over both Jones and St. Pierre.

From GeeSpotter:
Not sure why people like Hendo and Couture get so much love on these lists. I get the whole fantasy of P4P, but they're clearly not P4P against other fighters in real life at their own weight. Just look at their records. I'm sure I'll get a lot of hate for this comment from the Hendo/Couture nuthuggers, but....DAMN!
Records? So, you're part of the group who looks at Couture's numbers of wins and losses and automatically dismissed him?

The fact is both Randy Couture and Dan Henderson have won in multiple weight classes. Since that's the only actual way to distinguish people in these rankings, of course they get support.


From Brian:
I enjoyed the list. All seemed good until I got to JDS above Ben Henderson. Ben has way more skills and if he weighed what JDS does there is little doubt in my mind he would walk right through JDS.
*This was before UFC 155* - Before we saw otherwise, JDS displayed great takedown defense and a great chin. Also, we saw Henderson lose to Anthony Pettis in 2010 while nobody had been able to solve Junior's riddle.

From Jeyh:
Being his size JDS has showcased a different skill set than what Henderson as had to show at his class. Lets also not forget in the minds of many (including myself and Solomon) Henderson lost the second fight to Edgar, so he has to some been shown as beatable. I'd also move Dan H down and everybody else up. If Hendricks wins his next fight he has to be on here.
There are two fighters who we could make easy cases for having, Daniel Cormier and Johny Hendricks. Between their wrestling and striking power, they both have the potential to continue dropping opponents for a long time to come.

From TheBobHatter:
So why is Dominick off the list for not fighting for over a year when Hendo hasn't fought over a year?
Dominick's going to be out for a while. It could be over 2 years since his last fight eventually. -Jeffrey Harris

Henderson is scheduled to fight Machida in February, so he's eligible. Only fighters out of action for over a year and do not have a fight planned (or those who are suspended) are removed.



Thank you for all the comments and MMA debate it's always welcomed and appreciated.





Rankings From One Year Ago
01.31.12


1. Junior dos Santos

2. Cain Velasquez

3. Alistair Overeem

4. Frank Mir

5. Josh Barnett

6. Daniel Cormier

7. Shane Carwin

8. Fabricio Werdum

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

10. Antonio Silva

11. Cheick Kongo

12. Cole Konrad

13. Roy Nelson

14. Fedor Emelianenko

14. Travis Browne






411's MMA Ranking Rules

- Which fighters are eligible for these rankings? They must meet the following qualifications: fight at least once in the past 365 days or if they have not, be officially scheduled for an upcoming fight.

- A fighter serving a disciplinary suspension will not be ranked. They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded. This includes fighters who may disregard their suspension locally to fight overseas.

- If a fighter appears on just one single ballot, and in the top ten, five points will be deducted to balance between other fighters who may be ranked lower, but appear on a greater amount of ballots.

- Want to complain about a fighter's ranking in the comments section? Please include an objective reason why you despise the list, and try your best to bring the rest of us to your way of thinking.

* denotes statistical tie



411's Official MMA Rankings


Heavyweight Division



1) Cain Velasquez (11-1)


Height: 6'2

Weight: 242

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Brock Lesnar - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez - October 23, 2010

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez - February 20, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: After 25-minutes of action Saturday night, it sure seems like his knockout loss last year was more of a 'once in a blue moon' type of result, rather than a statement about Cain's skills. What we witnessed at UFC 155 was nothing short of amazing as Cain's constant threats broke Junior dos Santos' cardio and then smashed his face. It appeared as though JDS lost his wind while trying to defend takedown after takedown in the first round and then Cain went to town.

It was the type of performance that made you recall all the hype around Cain from years ago and the beatings he put on Big Nog, Brock Lesnar and Antonio Silva. Now, we can add dos Santos to that list.




2) Junior dos Santos (15-2)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 243

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012

- vs. Frank Mir - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Win via TKO (punches)- UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Shane Carwin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Nobody had ever seen JDS take a beating like he did Saturday night. His face, a bloody and bruised mess, he took a ton of punches to the head. To his credit, he never went out cold but you can debate whether that's a positive for his long term abilities. Junior declared he'd come back and regain the title after the loss, but it doesn't appear like he'll get an immediate rematch. Instead, potential options for his next opponent may include Daniel Cormier, Antonio Silva, and a real wildcard, Josh Barnett.




3) Alistair Overeem (36-11)


Height: 6'5

Weight: 266

Birthday: May 17, 1980

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Brock Lesnar - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem - December 30, 2011

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Todd Duffee - Win via KO (punches) - K-1 Dynamite!! 2010 - December 31, 2010

- vs. Brett Rogers - Win via TKO - Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery - May 15, 2010

- vs. Kazuyuki Fujita - Win via KO (knee) - K-1 Dynamite!! 2009 - December 31, 2009

- vs. James Thompson - Win via submission (guillotine choek) - DREAM 12 - October 25, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Antonio Silva - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

Comment: The Reem is back! His suspension ended last week and he has already applied for a new fighter's license with the state of Nevada. He'll fight Big Foot in February and whether or not he gets a title shot with a win remains to be seen. Overeem and JDS have not been the best of pals in recent months, going out of their way to talk trash about one another. Of course, if Alistair looks like a million bucks demolishing Silva in four weeks, it may be too difficult to skip him in the title picture.




4) Daniel Cormier (9-0)


Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Barnett - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via KO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Jeff Monson - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Devin Cole - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine - January 7, 2011

- vs. Soa Palelei - Win via submission (strikes) - Xtreme MMA 3 - November 5, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Dion Staring - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Seffiedine - January 12, 2013

Comment: There was Cormier cornering Cain Saturday and helping him become champion again. If you turn the focus to Daniel now, he has a big decision to make in the coming months. Will he or won't he? Drop down to light heavyweight, that is. It seems like he'd have no problem cutting the weight and he would be a major threat to Jon Jones.

In the interim, he'll compete on the final Strikeforce show in less than two weeks against Dion Staring, who he should beat.




5) Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 242

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 wins:

- vs. Mike Russow - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2 - June 23, 2012

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Win via submission (triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum - June 26, 2010

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers - November 7, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - TUF Brazil 2 Finale - June 8, 2013

Comment: Dana White said recently that Werdum would become the top contender if he defeats Nogueira in June.



>

6) Josh Barnett (31-6)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Sergei Kharitonov - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Brett Rogers - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Geronimo dos Santos - Win via TKO (strikes) - Impact FC 1: The Uprising - July 10, 2010

- vs. Mighty Mo - Win via submission (Kimura) - DREAM 13 - March 22, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Nandor Guelmino - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

Comment: There's still no word one way or the other about Barnett's future after Strikeforce. Logic says the history between him and UFC brass would likely prevent them from having a positive working relationship. Of course, Josh usually plays by his own rules and is not one to be a fan of keeping in line with his mouth shut. I hope they work out whatever beef may still be around because there are plenty of fights left for him with UFC fighters. A rematch with Nogueira, fights with Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, and others are all bouts I'd love to see.




7) Frank Mir (16-6)


Height: 6'1

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: Strikeforce & UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via submission (Kimura) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machia - December 10, 2011

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via KO (knee) - UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop - September 25, 2010

- vs. Shane Carwin - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





8) Stefan Struve (25-5)


Height: 6'11

Weight: 247

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Stipe Miocic - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Lavar Johnson - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger - February 15, 2012

- vs. Pat Barry - Win via submission (triangle armbar) - UFC on Versus: Cruz vs. Johnson - October 1, 2011

- vs. Travis Browne - Loss via KO (superman punch) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Mark Hunt - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

Comment: Finally, if all goes properly, Struve and Hunt will fight come March in Japan.



>

9) Antonio "Big Foot" Silva (17-4)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 263

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Travis Browne - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Silva - October 5, 2012

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via KO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Win via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva - February 12, 2011

- vs. Mike Kyle - Win via TKO (punches) - Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 - December 4, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013





10) Roy Nelson (18-7)


Height: 6'0

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Matt Mitrione - Win via KO (punch) - UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale - December 15, 2012

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Frank Mir - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown






11) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1)


Height: 6'3

Weight: 231

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Frank Mir - Loss via submission (Kimura) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Brendan Schaub - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez - February 20, 2010

- vs. Randy Couture - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira - August 29, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - TUF Brazil 2 Finale - June 8, 2013





12) Mark Hunt (8-7)


Height: 5'10

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cheick Kongo - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Ben Rothwell - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Chris Tuchscherer - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch - February 27, 2011

- vs. Sean McCorkle - Loss via submission (armbar) - UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop - September 25, 2010

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - Loss via submission (armbar) - Dream 9 - May 26, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Stefan Struve - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013




>

13) Travis Browne (13-1-1)


Height: 6'7

Weight: 255

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Antonio Silva - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Silva - October 5, 2012

- vs. Chad Griggs - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

- vs. Rob Broughton - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Stefan Struve - Win via KO (superman punch) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Cheick Kongo - DRAW (unanimous) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured (hamstring)





14) Stipe Miocic (9-1)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 245

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Stefan Struve - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Shane del Rosario - Win via TKO (elbows) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Phil De Fries - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger - February 15, 2012

- vs. Joey Beltran - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Bobby Brents - Win via submission (leg kicks) - NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 7 - June 4, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown






15) Cheick Kongo (18-7-2)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 230

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Shawn Jordan - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Mark Hunt - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Matt Mitrione - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Pat Barry - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC on Versus: Kongo vs. Barry - June 26, 2011

- vs. Travis Browne - Draw (unanimous) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




Closing Comments: Alexander Volkov and Ben Rothwell received additional votes.

Alistair Overeem returned to our rankings because his suspension expired last week and even though he has not fought in over one year, he is scheduled to fight Antonio Silva in February.

Shane Carwin lost his eligibility because he has not fought in over one year and thanks to his latest injury, he will continue to be out of action for the foreseeable future.





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