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411 MMA Rankings 01.28.14: Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 01.28.2014





Welcome all to the latest 411 MMA Rankings, as we shine a light on the big boys who make up the heavyweight division. We can all easily decipher the fact that this division is easily the thinnest in the sport in 2014. While we will close the book on January today with this list, that doesn't necessarily mean there is nothing to get excited about.

Travis Browne had a statement win last month as he destroyed Josh Barnett with elbows that have now become a calling card. Grapplers try to take him down, they eat elbows, they go to sleep. Ironically, depending on if he can maintain his success, his next two fights would be against submission artist Fabricio Werdum and wrestler extraordinaire/UFC champion Cain Velasquez. There are worst skill sets to have if you're fighting those men in 2014 if you're Browne.

Looking to the immediate future, Saturday night will prove especially troublesome for either Alistair Overeem or Frank Mir. The loser, if they wish to continue pursuing the sport, may find themselves in a Bellator tournament before the summer. While this match-up would have been epic had it taken place around 2009 or 2010, this happening in 2014 must suffice.

So naturally, with a division so thin, it makes perfect sense for a UFC star to get busted for performance enhancing drugs (again). Bigfoot Silva was popped following his war with Mark Hunt last month and will not see the octagon for several months. All you can do is shake your head by now.

To attempt to send you off on a more pleasant note, is anyone genuinely curious to see who Junior dos Santos will fight in 2014? While he may have lost much of the luster he had due to the two horrific losses to Velasquez, he remains arguably the next best fighter in the division. Perhaps they will match him up against an up-and-comer like Stipe Miocic. Frankly, I don't see much else worth pursuing unless Overeem ends up toppling Mir this weekend.


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Rankings From One Year Ago
01.01.13


1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior dos Santos

3. Alistair Overeem

4. Daniel Cormier

5. Fabricio Werdum

6. Josh Barnett

7. Frank Mir

8. Stefan Struve

9. Antonio Silva

10. Roy Nelson

11. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

12. Mark Hunt

13. Travis Browne

14. Stipe Miocic

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.



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





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





>

3) Travis Browne (16-1-1)


Birthday: July 17, 1982

Height: 6'7

Weight: 255

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Barnett - Win via KO (elbows) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Fabricio Werdum - UFC on Fox - April 19, 2014

Comment: Browne leaps into the top 3 fresh off his impressive showing at UFC 168. He knocked out Josh Barnett in the first round with his wicked elbows as the former UFC champion was trying to get the fight to the ground. Now, the big Hawaiian is all set to fight Fabricio Werdum in the spring with a title fight waiting in the wings for the winner.




4) 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:

- vs. Travis Browne - UFC on Fox - April 19, 2014





5) Stipe Miocic (11-1)


Birthday: August 19, 1982

Height: 6'4

Weight: 245

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Thomson - January 25, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Miocic outlasted Gabriel Gonzaga over the weekend, his second consecutive decision win over a dangerous and multitalented opponent. But, his spot in the top five this month does seem a bit premature, right? After all, his biggest win to date remains the Roy Nelson fight from last summer. Perhaps it says more about the depth of the division in 2014, but all the more power to the 31-year-old for taking advantage of what he can. Next up, he should definitely see a big fight: Junior dos Santos?



>

6) Josh Barnett (33-7)


Birthday: November 10, 1977

Height: 6'4

Weight: 240

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Travis Browne - Loss via KO (elbows) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: You do not normally see Josh Barnet dominated like he was in Las Vegas last month. It was an uneasy sight, no doubt.




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: Barao vs. Faber - February 1, 2014

Comment: Alistair and Mir are squaring off on Saturday and between them, they're a combined 0-5 in their last five fights. Somebody may be cut come Superbowl Sunday (we can argue whether Mir should ever be cut by the UFC) and labeled well over the hill. For the REEM, the fact he has not won a fight in over two years, since he stopped Brock Lesnar (who went into that fight knowing it was his final MMA bout), is incredible. On paper, he should stop Frank Mir who doesn't boast an outstanding chin and whose big threat is on the ground.



8) 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: Barao vs. Faber - February 1, 2014

Comment: Did you ever think it would come to this? Frank Mir, the most successful UFC heavyweight in company history, is facing the first four-fight losing streak of his career. If he can score the upset in Las Vegas, his hometown, it may be the most emotional such outcome since Tito Ortiz blasted Ryan Bader some years ago.




9) Mark Hunt (9-8-1)


Birthday: March 23, 1974

Height: 5'10

Weight: 264

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: The awesome Bigfoot/Hunt fight will not be remembered as fondly in history due to the giant's drug test failure. The result of the fight is meaningless now.




10) 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





11) 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





12) 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:

- vs. Cheick Kongo - Bellator - April 14, 2014





13) Stefan Struve (25-6)


Birthday: February 18, 1988

Height: 6'11

Weight: 247

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mark Hunt - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Struve appears to be on the road to recovery from an enlarged heart and valve troubles to the extent that a return to fighting is possible. He wants to fight again but this is a story that is not even close to concluding anytime soon.




14) Cheick Kongo (18-7-2)


Birthday: May 17, 1975

Height: 6'4

Weight: 230

Currently fighting with: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Peter Graham - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 107 - November 8, 2013

- vs. Mark Godbeer - WIn via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 102 - October 4, 2013

- vs. Roy Nelson - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Vitaly Minakov - Bellator - April 14, 2014





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



Closing Comments: Brendan Schaub, Sergei Kharitonov and Gabriel Gonzaga received additional votes.

Daniel Cormier was removed from our heavyweight rankings due to the fact he has dropped down to light heavyweight.

Antonio Bigfoot Silva is no longer eligible while he is serving a suspension for failing a drug test.





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