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411 MMA Rankings 03.11.14: Light Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 03.11.2014





For a while in the last year, it sure seemed like the light heavyweight division took a back seat to other classes. After all, Jon Jones was so dominant and plenty of fighters had fallen away into obscurity, where was the drama? I think we found it.

Welcome to the latest edition of the 411 MMA Rankings and this week we update our light heavyweight rankings where much has changed since we last saw these in 2013.

But before we talk about that, the upcoming weeks are jam packed with intriguing fights across the board. From Jones and his latest title contender in Glover Teixeira to Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva's pending war to Bellator's title unification bout and then the tournament championship between Rampage Jackson and King Mo.

Fresh off victories are Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, the two men who appear to have the inside line on challenging the champion in the second half of 2014. Now, just who that challenger may be remains to be seen. Jones himself has suggested the two square off to decide it fairly while many prefer to see Sweden's favorite fighter get the rematch with Bones.

As for some names you will not see this month - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Gegard Mousasi. With Minotoro, the Brazilian has missed the past year's worth of action due to injuries and we can only hope to see him return this summer. Making it sting even worse is the fact that Nogueira is coming off the big win over Rashad Evans last February. Meanwhile, there's Mousasi who just lost in his return to middleweight against Lyoto Machida. Being that the Armenian appears to be focused at 185-pounds, he has been removed from these rankings.

So, with two perennially ranked fighters out of the picture, scroll down and check out the latest and greatest light heavyweights in MMA!


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RANKINGS FROM ONE YEAR AGO
(2.05.12)


1. Jon Jones

2. Dan Henderson

3. Alexander Gustafsson

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

6. Rashad Evans

7. Glover Teixeira

8. Shogun Rua

9. Phil Davis

10. Gegard Mousasi

11. Ryan Bader

12. King Mo Lawal

13. Vinny Magalhaes

14. Forrest Griffin

15. Attila Vegh






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: Light Heavyweight Division


Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs)





1) Jon "Bones" Jones (19-1)


Height: 6'4

Birthday: July 19, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

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

- vs. Rashad Evans - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Glover Teixeira - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014





2) Alexander Gustafsson (16-2)


Height: 6'5

Birthday: January 15, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jimi Manuwa - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa - March 8, 2014

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

- vs. Shogun Rua - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

- vs. Thiago Silva - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Silva - April 14, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: The Mauler took care of business in London Saturday with an impressive second-round stoppage against undefeated Jimi Manuwa. With the victory, Gustafsson has been labeled the next contender in the UFC which means he will meet the winner between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira in the fall. Since he came closest (some would say he was robbed by judges) to overcoming Jones, that would be the most intriguing match-up, especially considering he's almost unanimously the second best fighter in the entire division.




3) Glover Teixeira (22-2)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: October 28, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- vs. James Te-Huna - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Big Foot 2 - May 25, 2013

vs. Quinton Jackson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- vs. Fabio Maldonado - Win via TKO (many, many strikes) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Kyle Kingsbury - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Jon Jones - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014




4) Daniel Cormier (14-0)


Birthday: March 20, 1979

Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Patrick Cummins - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2014

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. JDS 3 - October 19, 2013

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

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Fighting a former fellow impressive amateur wrestler, Cormier mopped the cage with Patrick Cummins, who is still new to MMA. Handing him his first professional defeat, Daniel did so after making weight (206-pounds) for the first time for competition in many years. Now proven that he can make the weight without a problem, he desperately wants a shot at Jon Jones. Unfortunately for him, he'll have to wait and unless the UFC decides to alter plans and book a fight with Gustafsson, he may not have that opportunity until 2015.




5) Rashad Evans (19-3-1)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: September 25, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via decision (split) - UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson - June 15, 2013

- vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured

Comment: Rashad hurt his knee in the final stages of a training camp preparing to fight Daniel Cormier last month. Following surgery, he may not be able to return for six months.




6) Phil Davis (12-1, 1 No Contest)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: September 25, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- vs. Vinny Magalhaes - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- vs. Wagner Prado - Win via submission (anaconda choke) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Wagner Prado - No Contest (eye poke) - UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera - August 4, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anthony Johnson - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014





7) Chael Sonnen (29-14-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: April 3, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rashad Evans - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Shogun Rua - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

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

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Wanderlei Silva - UFC Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Silva - May 31, 2004

Comment: Actually, I'm not even sure that the fight with Silva is legitimately signed yet. At least, according to Sonnen in interviews last week said it was not. Regardless, their season of TUF: Brazil kicked off on UFC Fight Pass (here in the U.S.) this week and if you don't mind subtitles, it should be a season worth checking out.




8) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (22-8)


Birthday: November 25, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. James Te-Huna - Win via KO (punch) - UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot - December 7, 2013

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Loss via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Alexander Gustafsson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

- vs. Brandon Vera - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera - August 4, 2012

- vs. Dan Henderson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Dan Henderson - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Hendo 2 - March 23, 2014

Comment: Will the Shogun/Hendo rematch be as good as their 2011 tilt? Probably not, but it should still be awesome!




9) Dan Henderson (29-11)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: August 24, 1970

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- vs. Rashad Evans - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson - June 15, 2013

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

- vs. Shogun Rua - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

- vs. Fedor Emelianenko - Win via TKO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson - July 30, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Shogun Rua - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Hendo 2 - March 23, 2014

Comment: While Henderson resigned with the UFC and agreed to a rematch of the classic war with Shogun Rua from 2011, it seems most of the recent talk has centered on the TRT controversy. Nevada banned testosterone replacement therapy outright and Brazil did the same. However, Hendo will be granted the final exemption to use the therapy ahead of his fight with Rua. On the bright side, a 43-year-old needing to boost his depleted testosterone levels is more logical than say, a 23-year-old needing to do so.




10) "The Hardcore Kid" Emanuel Newton (22-7-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: January 2, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. King Mo Lawal - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 106 - November 2, 2013

- vs. Mikhail Zayats - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 94 - March 28, 2013

- vs. King Mo Lawal - Win via KO (spinning backfist) - Bellator 90 - February 21, 2013

- vs. Atanas Djambazov - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 85 - January 17, 2013

- vs. Attila Vegh - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 72 - July 20, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Attila Vegh - Bellator 113 - March 21, 2014

Comment: Finally, the Bellator championship will be unified between champ Vegh and interim champ Newton next week in Kansas. Emanuel has not lost since Vegh topped him with a split decision nearly two years ago while the Slovakian has not seen action since he and former champ Christian M'Pumbu put everyone to sleep last February.




11) Attila Vegh (29-4-2)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: August 9, 1985

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Christian M'Pumbu - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 91 - February 28, 2013

- vs. Travis Wiuff - Win via KO (strikes) - Bellator 73 - August 24, 2012

- vs. Emanuel Newton - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 72 - July 20, 2012

- vs. Zelg Galesic - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 71 - June 22, 2012

- vs. Dan Spohn - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 66 - April 20, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Emanuel Newton - Bellator 113 - March 21, 2014




12) Ryan Bader (16-4)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: June 7, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Anthony Perosh - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot - December 7, 2013

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

- vs. Vladimir Matyushenko - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera - August 4, 2012

- vs. Quinton Jackson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (34-11)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: June 20, 1978

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Christian M'Pumbu - Win via KO (punch) - Bellator 110 - February 28, 2014

- vs. Joey Beltran - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 108 - November 15, 2013

- vs. Glover Teixeira - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox - January 26, 2013

- vs. Ryan Bader - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. King Mo Lawal - Bellator - May 17, 2014

Comment: Rampage returns to the 411 MMA Rankings on the heels of his two wins in Bellator. He's fresh off a KO of former champion Christian M'Pumbu which moves him into the season 10 tournament finals against King Mo this spring.




14) Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (16-4)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: March 6, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mike Kyle - Win via KO (punch) - WSOF 8 - January 18, 2014

- vs. Andrei Arlovski - Win via decision (unanimous) - WSOF 2 - March 23, 2013

- vs. D.J. Linderman - Win via KO (punch) - WSOF 1 - November 3, 2012

- vs. Jake Rosholt - Win via KO (head kick) - Xtreme Fight Night 9 - September 21, 2012

- vs. Esteves Jones - Win via TKO (strikes) - Titan Fighting Championships 24 - August 24, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Phil Davis - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014

Comment: Rumble will return to the UFC next month for the first time in over two years as he has found a home in the light heavyweight division. 4-0 at 205-pounds, he has finished each of those fights, looking mighty explosive in the process. He will step right back in the lion's den as he's scheduled to meet Phil Davis, a perennial top ten contender at UFC 172.





15) Jimi Manuwa (14-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: February 18, 1980

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alexander Gustafsson - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa - March 8, 2014

- vs. Ryan Jimmo - Win via TKO (injury) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz - October 26, 2013

- vs. Cyrille Diabate - Win via TKO (injury) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- vs. Kyle Kingsbury - Win via TKO (doctor stoppage) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Anthony Rea - Win via TKO (did not answer bell) - BAMMA 8 - December 10, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown






Final Notes: Ovince St. Preux and King Mo Lawal received additional votes.








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