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411 MMA Rankings 02.19.13: Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 02.19.2013





It's Tuesday and welcome to your weekly helping of the 411 MMA Rankings, where each week our writers lay out the best fighters in the world in a specific weight class. With 10 days left in the month of Cupid, we check back in to see how the heavyweight division shakes out in wake of one particular big man eating a large portion of humble pie not too long ago.

Alistair Overeem was not too pleased with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the build up to their fight at UFC 156 earlier this month and by the time his night was over on February 2, he was the one seeing stars. We haven't seen The REEM knocked out like that in years and the loss cost him a title fight with Cain Velasquez. Now, Alistair will have to stop Junior dos Santos in May to likely earn himself his first UFC title shot, which seems a whole hell of a lot easier said than done. Meanwhile, it's Bigfoot Silva getting the next crack at Velasquez on that same card in May and he'll get another shot at the American Kickboxing Academy fighter. Good luck!

More recently ahead for us is the UFC's return to Japan early next month and where the giant Stefan Struve will take on the massive Mark Hunt. Neither man may be nearest to a potential shot at the gold, but this match-up is practically guaranteed to produce fireworks in some form or fashion. Whether it's Struve submitting the New Zealander or Hunt blasting the Dutchman into next week, it's safe to say their fight is not lasting the full 15-minutes it is scheduled for.

Nearly two months to the day, Daniel Cormier makes his UFC debut against Frank Mir on Fox in front of millions of viewers. While the former Olympian has his eyes set on light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, a win over one of the most successful UFC heavyweights of all-time would go a long way in establishing Daniel in front of this new audience. Plus, he'll have another opportunity this year to call out Jon Jones in public and if it's one thing we've learned in recent years, using your interview time to build interest in your fights can net you profitable match ups.

Ironically, Mir was a grappling coach on Jon Jones' staff for The Ultimate Fighter when they filmed last year, with the episodes airing right now every Tuesday on FX.


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Rankings From One Year Ago
03.27.12


1. Junior dos Santos

2. Alistair Overeem

3. Cain Velasquez

4. Frank Mir

5. Josh Barnett

6. Daniel Cormier

7. Fabricio Werdum

8. Shane Carwin

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

10. Antonio Silva

11. Travis Browne

12. Mark Hunt

13. Cole Konrad

14. Stefan Struve

15. Brendan Schaub






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)


Birthday: July 28, 1982

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:

- vs. Antonio Silva - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: It's official, heavyweight champion Velasquez will attempt to make his first successful defense of the gold on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas when he goes up against Bigfoot for the first time in a year. Their original bout last May was a complete one-sided beat down with Antonio Silva displaying a crimson mask full of blood by the time the fight was stopped. Is there any reason to believe Cain will fall this time? I don't see it.




2) Junior dos Santos (15-2)


Birthday: January 30, 1984

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:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: Also confirmed for May's UFC 160 is a number one contenders bout pitting former champion dos Santos against Alistair Overeem. On paper, this looks like an amazingly positive match-up for the Brazilian. After all, he won't have to worry about the REEM shooting for double legs at a nonstop pace. Plus, JDS punches land like bricks and Overeem's gas tank is always questionable. If he is to get a rematch with Cain Velasquez after losing in December, he must go through Alistair and he'll be the betting favorite going into the fight, no doubt about it.




3) Daniel Cormier (11-0)


Birthday: March 20, 1979

Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dion Staring - Win via TKO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Seffiedine - January 12, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Frank Mir - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

Comment: Finally, Cormier finds himself in the octagon beginning in two months, after completing his obligation to Strikeforce last month. His first fight in the UFC will come against Frank Mir, a match-up that was originally scheduled in November for Strikeforce. With a win, there's a good chance Cormier will drop down to light heavyweight in an effort to challenge Jon Jones at some point. With Velasquez holding court at the top of this division, his friend and training partner Cormier does not seem to have a long term place at heavyweight in the UFC.



>

4) Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-4)


Birthday: September 14, 1979

Height: 6'4

Weight: 263

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: WOW! The emotion that poured out of Silva after knocking out Overeem earlier this month will be on the most memorable scenes in the sport for the entire year. Thanks to events beyond the UFC's control, Silva becomes the #1 contender and gets his rematch with Cain Velasquez in the spring. If he should lose, this will be his last title shot for as long as Cain remains champion and he will have to have a completely 180-degree turn of a performance compared to his UFC 146 fight. Can Bigfoot find a way to bring down Velasquez? Taking punches and hoping to land a KO blow in the late rounds probably won't work for him this time, but who knows, maybe lightning will strike twice for the Brazilian in 2013.




5) Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1)


Birthday: July 30, 1977

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





6) Alistair Overeem (36-12)


Birthday: May 17, 1980

Height: 6'5

Weight: 266

Birthday: May 17, 1980

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Antonio Silva - Loss via KO (punches) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: Despite the fact that Overeem was winning the first two rounds before he was knocked out in the third against Bigfoot, he has not looked that bad since he was knocked out by Sergei Kharitinov in Japan over five years ago. Alistair did not respect Silva's striking, keeping his hands down throughout the bout and by the time he had almost no stamina left in the final round, he was a sitting duck. After a year out of action due to a positive drug test, this was not the return most expected from the former Strikeforce and Dream champion. What's worse, if the REEM should lose his second fight in a row in the spring, what's left for him in the UFC? He would never get a shot at the championship if that happens and may be in line to fight guys like Roy Nelson, Travis Browne and company later this year.



>

7) Josh Barnett (32-6)


Birthday: November 10, 1977

Height: 6'4

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: Free Agent

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nandor Guelmino - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Barnett closed his Strikeforce career with a win despite being ill with the flu. Since then, the UFC has offered him a contract but according to Barnett's manager, the offer was rejected. UFC president Dana White has said Josh would have been booked to fight Junior dos Santos in May if he signed, but that spot has since gone to Overeem. As for where Barnett may sign, your guess is as good as mine. Bellator does not appear to have much interest and that leaves the World Series of Fighting as the next significant American promotion and they likely cannot afford him. Perhaps he'll return to Asia later this year.




8) Frank Mir (16-6)


Birthday: May 24, 1979

Height: 6'1

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: 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:

- vs. Daniel Cormier - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

Comment: Mir will have spent 11 months on the sidelines between fights leading up to his return in April. After losing to JDS, things do not get much easier with Daniel Cormier stepping into the cage opposite Frank. For this fight, he's spending a few weeks working with the folks down in New Mexico's Greg Jackson/John Winkeljohn camp.




9) Stefan Struve (25-5)


Birthday: February 18, 1988

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: Just short of two weeks before these two sluggers tee off on one another in Japan. Struve is looking for his fifth consecutive UFC win, something only Velasquez and dos Santos have managed to do over the past several years (among heavyweights).

Plus, here's a belated happy birthday to the Skyscraper who turned 25-years-old yesterday.




10) Roy Nelson (18-7)


Birthday: June 20, 1976

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:

- vs. Cheick Kongo - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013





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


Birthday: June 2, 1976

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)


Birthday: March 23, 1974

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)


Birthday: July 17, 1982

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:

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - TUF: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale - April 13, 2013

Comment: Browne is back from his torn hamstring injury and will seek to start a new win streak in the UFC beginning with Gabe Gonzaga in April on FX. Gonzaga has won his past two fights in the UFC with chokeholds but Browne has not spent too much time on his back which would lead you to believe these big fellas are going to brawl.




14) Stipe Miocic (9-1)


Birthday: August 19, 1982

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)


Birthday: May 17, 1975

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:

- vs. Roy Nelson - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013




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

Shane Carwin is not eligible to be ranked because he has not fought in over one year and thanks to an injury, is not scheduled to compete in the near future. If he returns to MMA, he'll be eligible again when his next fight is signed and officially planned.





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