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 411mania » MMA » Columns

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411 MMA Rankings 12.31.13: Middleweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 12.31.2013






Happy New Year!

It's Tuesday morning and in the MMA community, all attention is on the start of Anderson Silva's road to recovery following his broken leg on Saturday night. You never think of the seemingly simplistic move as being that dangerous, but then something like that happens and freaks everyone out. Whether Silva chooses to retire or return to action at some point in time, the fact is 2014 will be a year free of Anderson. The UFC has not seen that since 2005, the year before he debuted in Las Vegas by knocking out Chris Leben. All too ironically, we perhaps saw the end of Leben's UFC career this past weekend, too, as he was battered by Uriah Hall.

Right now, it seems like the UFC in particular is feeling more loss than ever before with retirements, a sabbatical, a catastrophe and injury. Let's hope the new year brings more pleasant times for the men and women of the sport.

As for Chris Weidman, yes, the champion's reign has gotten off to as unique a start as anyone could have imagined. The knockout in July, the checked kick days ago, there are plenty of people who still doubt the man. Of course, there are others who have already anointed him as arguably the best fighter in the world as of right now. While the fact is somewhere in the middle, he continues to improve with each fight he takes. That trend must continue for him to maintain the championship because he's set to fight Vitor Belfort next year. The poster boy for testosterone replacement therapy has not fought for the 185-pound title since he was kicked in the face by Anderson Silva almost three years ago. Most recently, he's been tearing through both middleweights and light heavyweights and is undoubtedly the most impressive challenger (if you disregard the TRT cloud, of course).

In two weeks, Luke Rockhold returns to the octagon, looking for his first UFC win when he meets Costa Philippou on Fox Sports 1. But, the biggest middleweight fight scheduled right now is undoubtedly the main event clash in February pitting Lyoto Machida against Gegard Mousasi. While 'dream fight' is too strong a phrase, this match-up has been the type that's been talked about for years, but has never been even considered a realistic option until recently. Machida, the favorite, moves right into the title picture with a win while Mousasi, the underdog, will likely score one of the biggest upsets of 2014 should he come out on top.


Be safe this evening!




RANKINGS FROM ONE YEAR AGO

(12.04.12)


1. Anderson Silva

2. Chris Weidman

3. Michael Bisping

4. Tim Boetsch

5. Luke Rockhold

6. Vitor Belfort

7. Mark Munoz

8. Alan Belcher

9. Brian Stann

10. Jacare Souza

11. Yushin Okami

12. Hector Lombard

13. Cung Le

14. Mamed Khalidov

15*. Tim Kenne

15*. Alexander Shlemenko






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.





411's Official MMA Rankings: Middleweight Division


Middleweight Division (185 pounds)




1) Chris Weidman (11-0)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: June 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Anderson Silva - Win via TKO (injury) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- vs. Anderson Silva - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Mark Munoz - Win via KO (elbow and punches) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

- vs. Demian Maia - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 2012

- vs. Tom Lawlor - Win via technical submission (D'arce choke) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Chris Weidman is indeed still the man at 185-pounds. He dismissed Anderson Silva again, this time as a result of checking the Brazilian's leg kicks. It was a game plan Weidman and his coaches developed in their camp and it worked as they expected. Looking ahead, it appears Vitor Belfort will be his next challenger and we'll have to see whether Weidman can continue his impressive ways against "The Phenom."




2) Anderson Silva (33-6)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: April 14, 1975

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via TKO (injury) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via KO (punches) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Stephan Bonnar - Win via TKO (knee and punches) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via TKO (knee and punches) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen - July 7, 2012

- vs. Yushin Okami - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: The lasting image from UFC 168 (above) is not of a highlight reel knockout or even of Anderson Silva dancing about, but the legendary middleweight writhing in pain. His strategy to batter the champion's legs with kicks backfired as his leg snapped. He immediately was taken to a local hospital in Las Vegas where he underwent successful surgery. Recovery time is about six months and if he's interested, training may be able to commence by next fall. Certainly, it seems as though 2015 would be the earliest Anderson Silva could think about returning to action if he so chooses.

Nobody can fret if he decides he's done enough that he settles on retirement and focuses on spending more time with his family and other pursuing other options. Either way, 2013 proved to be a rough year for the best two fighters in the world as we saw Georges St. Pierre choose to take an extended break from competition and now with Silva, 2014 will miss both.




3) Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (19-3, 1 No Contest)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: December 7, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Yushin Okami - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader - September 4, 2013

- vs. Chris Camozzi - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Ed Herman - Win via submission (Kimura) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

- vs. Derek Brunson - Win via KO (punch) - Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman - August 18, 2012

- vs. Bristol Marunde - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey - March 3, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Francis Carmont - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014




4) Vitor Belfort (24-10)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: January 4, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via KO (head kick) - UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson - November 9, 2013

- vs. Luke Rockhold - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Michael Bisping - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via submission (americana) - UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort - September 22, 2012

- vs. Anthony Johnson - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Vitor has had a hell of a 2013. Three fights, three knockout wins (including becoming the first man to KO Dan Henderson). Plus, he closes this year as the new number one contender in the middleweight division. While most of the discussion surrounding Belfort is of testosterone replacement therapy and the validity of the treatment in MMA, it doesn't seem to bother UFC brass (or U.S. athletic commissions for that matter) one bit.




5) Lyoto Machida (20-4)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: May 3, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mark Munoz - WIn via KO (head kick) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz - October 26, 2013

- vs. Phil Davis - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via decision (split) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

- vs. Ryan Bader - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera - August 4, 2012

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014





6) Luke Rockhold (10-2)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: October 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Vitor Belfort - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Tim Kennedy - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy - July 14, 2012

- vs. Keith Jardine - Win via TKO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine - January 7, 2012

- vs. Jacare Souza - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Paul Bradley - Win via TKO (knees) - Strikeforce Challengers: Kaufman vs. Hashi - February 26, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Costa Philippou - UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou - January 15, 2014





7) Michael Bisping (24-5)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: February 28, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alan Belcher - Win via technical decision (unanimous) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- vs. Vitor Belfort - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

- vs. Brian Stann - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort - September 22, 2012

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 2012

- vs. Jason Miller - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC TUF 14 Finale - December 3, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





8) Yushin Okami (29-8)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: July 21, 1981

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jacare Souza - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader - September 4, 2013

- vs. Hector Lombard - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel TV 8: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

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

- vs. Buddy Roberts - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2 - August 11, 2012

- vs. Tim Boetsch - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 25, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





9) Mark Munoz (13-3)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: February 19, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Loss via KO (head kick) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz - October 26, 2013

- vs. Tim Boetsch - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via KO (elbow and punches) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

- vs. Chris Leben - Win via TKO (corner stoppage) - UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz - November 5, 2011

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: With the exception of his decision loss to Yushin Okami, in his career when Munoz loses, he is put down in devastating fashion. Matt Hamill and Machida knocked him out with head kicks while Chris Weidman battered him with elbows. Munoz is now going to go back to training once he gets clearance from doctors and will try to return in more impressive fashion than he did over the summer.




10) Tim Kennedy (17-4)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: September 1, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rafael Natal - Win via KO (punch) - UFC Fight For The Troops 3 - November 6, 2013

- vs. Roger Gracie - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Trevor Smith - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

- vs. Luke Rockhold - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy - July 14, 2012

- vs. Robbie Lawler - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson - July 30, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Amazingly, Tim Kennedy fought and knocked out Rafael Natal last month in spite of his torn quadriceps. While he's recovering, he was quick to call out (via Twitter) Michael Bisping and the Brit seemed more than willing to accept the challenge.




Bellator 109 Alexander Shlemenko vs. Doug Marshall

11) Alexander Shlemenko (49-7)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: May 20, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Doug Marshall - Win via KO (body punch) - Bellator 109 - November 22, 2013

- vs. Brett Cooper - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 98 - September 7, 2013

- vs. Maiquel Falcao - Win via KO (strikes) - Bellator 88 - February 7, 2013

- vs. Anthony Ruiz - Win via decision (unanimous) - League S-70: Russian Championship Final - August 11, 2012

- vs. Minowaman - Win via TKO (strikes) - SFL 2 - April 7, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Brennan Ward - Bellator - TBA

Comment Shlemenko earned his 49th career pro win with a devastating body shot to Doug Marshall last month. The Bellator champion now sets his eyes upon the latest tournament winner in the form of Connecticut native Brennan Ward.




12) Francis "Limitless" Carmont (22-7)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: October 11, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Costa Philippou - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- vs. Lorenz Larkin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- vs. Tom Lawlor - Win via decision (split) - UFC 154 - November 17, 2012

- vs. Karlos Vermola - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC on Fuel - July 11, 2012

- vs. Magnus Cedenblad - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC on Fuel - April 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Jacare Souza - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014




13) Gegard Mousasi (34-3-2)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: August 1, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ilir Latifi - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Mousasi vs. Latifi - April 6, 2013

- vs. Mike Kyle - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

- vs. Ovince St. Preux - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal - December 17, 2011

- vs. Hiroshi Izumi - Win via TKO (strikes) - DREAM 17 - July 16, 2011

- vs. Keith Jardine - Draw (majority) - Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - April 9, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2013

Comment: Mousasi is BAAACK at 185-pounds and is set to take on Machida in about six weeks.




14) Mamed Khalidov (28-4-2)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: July 17, 1980

Currently Fighting With: KSW

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ryuta Sakurai - Win via submission (triangle choke) - KSW 25 - December 7, 2013

- vs. Melvin Manhoef - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - KSW 23 - June 8, 2013

- vs. Kendall Grove - Win via submission (achilles lock) - KSW 21 - December 1, 2012

- vs. Rodney Wallace - Win via KO (punch) - KSW 19 - May 12, 2012

- vs. Jesse Taylor - Win via submission (kneebar) - KSW 17 - November 26, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Khalidov remains the best middleweight based in Europe, winning his eighth consecutive fight over the past three years with a submission over Ryuta Sakurai. The victory "avenges" a draw the two fought to in 2010, the last time Khalidov failed to win a bout.




15*) Tim Boetsch (17-6)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: January 28, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. C.B. Dolloway - Win via decision (split) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Mark Munoz - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Constantinos Philippou - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012

- vs. Hector Lombard - Win via decision (split) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




15*) Constantinos "Costa" Philippou (12-3, 1 No Contest)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: November 29, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Francis Carmont - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- vs. Tim Boetsch - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012

- vs. Riki Fukuda - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Court McGee - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann - March 3, 2012

- vs. Jared Hamman - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Luke Rockhold - UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou - January 15, 2014







Closing Comments: Alan Belcher, Brad Tavares and Vyacheslav Vasilevsky received additional votes.

Again, Happy New Year and have a safe celebration no matter what you may do this evening.





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