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411 MMA Rankings 12.03.13: Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 12.03.2013





Four weeks remain in 2013 and we officially close out the year as far as the heavyweight class is concerned. It's Tuesday and welcome to the 411 MMA Rankings, each week throwing out the best 15 fighters in the world.

One thing you may notice checking out the (literally) biggest fighters in the sport today is quantity AND quality have been sacrificed as things stand. Sure, there's the dominant champion in Cain Velasquez as he vanquished his biggest rival in October, Junior dos Santos. But, what now? Undefeated former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier has dropped down to light heavyweight, Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem will fight for their jobs in February, Stefan Struve's career is in jeopardy due to his heart and then there's the top three contenders: Fabricio Werdum, Travis Browne and Josh Barnett.

The latter two will compete at the end of the month at UFC 168 in the best heavyweight match-up possible outside of a championship fight. Meanwhile, Werdum appears to be the next contender, but you can never guarantee those things thanks to injuries, schedules, negotiations and a plethora of other variables. With Werdum, at least you can never count the man out because after his earth shattering win over Fedor Emelianenko over three years ago, you would be a fool to do so.

Looking in the short-term, Friday (North America time) in Australia, there's a UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1 with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Mark Hunt headlining the card. The two are buddies and fellow American Top Team fighters, but they've sorted out their feelings long ago. Odds are one of the hefty guys will be knocked out because that's a ton of power to be tossed around inside the octagon.

Now, let's see how the rest of the division shakes out.

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Rankings From One Year Ago
11.06.12


1. Junior dos Santos

2. Cain Velasquez

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Fabricio Werdum

5. Frank Mir

6. Josh Barnett

7. Stefan Struve

8. Antonio Silva

9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

10. Travis Browne

11. Stipe Miocic

12. Shane Carwin

13. Mark Hunt

14. Roy Nelson

15. Cheick Kongo





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 (13-1)


Birthday: July 28, 1982

Height: 6'2

Weight: 242

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. JDS 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Cain has had about as dominant a pair of wins over a fighter some considered the best in the world, but most believe is at worst the second top dog in the sport. Have we seen such a thing in any other division? I'm not even certain any other division has had any similar kind of context. Maybe Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn in 2010, but even then, neither win was dominant.




2) Junior dos Santos (16-3)


Birthday: January 30, 1984

Height: 6'4

Weight: 243

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. JDS 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Mark Hunt - Win via KO (spinning heel kick and punches) - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: For his own good, I hope JDS never steps inside an octagon with Cain Velasquez again...

By the way, if you're wondering why the pic above is of a celebratory JDS from another time, haven't we seen him battered and bloody enough (you savages!)?




3) Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1)


Birthday: July 30, 1977

Height: 6'4

Weight: 242

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 wins:

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC on Fuel: Werdum vs. Nogueira - June 8, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




>

4) Josh Barnett (33-6)


Birthday: November 10, 1977

Height: 6'4

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Frank Mir - Win via TKO (knee) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Travis Browne - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013




>

5) Travis Browne (15-1-1)


Birthday: July 17, 1982

Height: 6'7

Weight: 255

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - Win via KO (front kick) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Win via KO (elbows) - UFC TUF: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale - April 13, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Josh Barnett - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013



>

6) Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-5)


Birthday: September 14, 1979

Height: 6'4

Weight: 263

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Mark Hunt - UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot - December 7, 2013




7) Alistair Overeem (36-13)


Birthday: May 17, 1980

Height: 6'5

Weight: 266

Birthday: May 17, 1980

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Travis Browne - Loss via KO (front kick) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Frank Mir - UFC 169: Cruz vs. Barao - February 1, 2014





8) Stipe Miocic (10-1)


Birthday: August 19, 1982

Height: 6'4

Weight: 245

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson - June 15, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - UFC on FOX 10 - January 25, 2014




9) Frank Mir (16-8)


Birthday: May 24, 1979

Height: 6'1

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Barnett - Loss via TKO (knee) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

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

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - UFC 169: Cruz vs. Barao - February 1, 2014





10) Mark Hunt (9-8)


Birthday: March 23, 1974

Height: 5'10

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via KO (spinning heel kick and punches) - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

- vs. Stefan Struve - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Antonio Silva - UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot - December 7, 2013





11) Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7)


Birthday: May 18, 1979

Height: 6'1

Weight: 257

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Shawn Jordan - WIn via KO (punches) - UFC 166 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Dave Herman - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 162 - July 6, 2013

- vs. Travis Browne - Loss via KO (elbows) - TUF 17 Finale - April 13, 2013

- vs. Ben Rothwell - WIn via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

- vs. Ednaldo Oliveira - WIn via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 142 - January 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Stipe Miocic - UFC on FOX 10 - January 25, 2014

Comment: Wrecking guys since returning to the UFC about two years ago, Gonzaga gets an opportunity against a top-10 heavyweight when he fights Miocic next month. A win and Gonzaga makes an interesting match-up for any of the guys in the top five, don't you agree?




12) Roy Nelson (19-9)


Birthday: June 20, 1976

Height: 6'0

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. JDS 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Stipe Miocic - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson - June 15, 2013

- vs. Cheick Kongo - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Vitaly Minakov (13-0)


Birthday: February 6, 1985

Height: 6'3

Weight: 249

Currently fighting with: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alexander Volkov - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 108 - November 15, 2013

- vs. Ryan Martinez - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 97 - July 31, 2013

- vs. Ron Sparks - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 96 - June 19, 2013

- vs. Vladimir Starcencov - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 79 - November 2, 2012

- vs. Fabiano Scherner - Win via KO (punch) - Fight Nights: Battle of Desne - September 17, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: The new Bellator champion makes his debut in the 411 MMA Rankings following his win over Alex Volkov about two weeks ago. Improving on his undefeated record, the four-time world sambo gold medalist will soon (if he has not already) begin preparations for his first title defense -- when he meets Cheick Kongo.




14) Antonio "Minotauro" Rodrigo Nogueira (34-8-1, 1 NC)


Birthday: June 2, 1976

Height: 6'3

Weight: 231

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - Loss via submission (armbar) - UFC on Fuel: Werdum vs. Nogueira - June 8, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15) Damian Grabowki (19-1)


Birthday: May 12, 1980

Height: 6'1

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: M-1 Global

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Kenny Garner - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - M-1 Challenge 44 - November 30, 2013

- vs. Tadas Rimkevicius - Win via TKO (strikes)- M-1 Challenge 39 - May 23, 2013

- vs. Stav Economou - Win via decision (split) - MMA Attack 3 - April 27, 2013

- vs. Dave Huckaba - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 67 - May 4, 2012

- vs. Eddie Sanchez - Win via submission (Kimura) - MMA Attack 2 - April 27, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: The pride of Poland makes his mark, assuming one of the spots in this month's rankings. Currently on a six-fight win streak, he's the reigning M-1 Global heavyweight champion and his only loss as a professional came against Cole Konrad three years ago in Bellator.





Closing Comments: Sergei Kharitonov, Alexey Oleinik, Andrei Arlovski, Cheick Kongo and Brendan Schaub received additional votes.





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