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411 MMA Rankings 04.15.14: Middleweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 04.15.2014






Hello and welcome to the the 411 MMA Rankings, your reliable spot for the latest in the who's who of mixed martial arts. Today, we unveil the newest edition in the middleweight division and while the action of late may be limited, the news is not.

UFC champion Chris Weidman chose to withdraw from his planned defense on Memorial Day Weekend to have surgery done on his knees to repair nagging injuries that have plagued him for so long they date back to his amateur wrestling days. As such, the UFC rescheduled his next defense for July 5th in Las Vegas where he'll fight Lyoto Machida.

Meanwhile, the big fight in the division is taking place tomorrow in Canada (on Fox Sports 1) when Michael Bisping returns from a year's absence to fight Tim Kennedy. Yes, the former Strikeforce fighter drew the match-up that practically half (or more) of the division wants, an opportunity to pummel Bisping. The Brit has referred to Kennedy as a "stepping stone" recently but I'm not so sure it should not be the other way around as a win over the longtime UFC challenger would count for a lot. If Kennedy can pull it off, he'll join the ranks of Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold as fighters a step beneath the champion.

One more noteworthy fight in the UFC's division is slated for Saturday night on network television with the latest UFC on Fox special. Brad Tavares will meet Yoel Romero in the opener in what looks to be capable of being the show stealer. Romero is 3-0 in the UFC with all finishes while Tavares has amassed a five-fight win streak with each fight going the distance.

While you gear up for the big fights this week, here's a brief check in on the non-UFC middleweight action worldwide. Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko choked out his latest challenger, Brennan Ward via a modified guillotine choke. His next title contender will come in the form of either Brett Cooper (who provided him his greatest challenge in the Bellator cage to date last summer) or undefeated (6-0) Brandon Halsey. The two will compete in the season 10 tournament final in the May 9 Bellator 119 main event.

Over in Poland, the best European middleweight not signed to a deal with an American promotion, Mamed Khalidov is signed to fight controversial Brazilian Maiquel Falcao on May 17 at KSW 27. Falcao is infamous because of an altercation back home last summer when he was engaged in a street fight at a gas station, leading to his friend Kaue Mena (Falcao and Mena were confronted by a group of men after the former argued with a woman) being hospitalized in serious condition. Today, Mena is out of the hospital and participating in physical therapy, hoping to someday gain clearance and return to MMA.

Falcao was released from his Bellator deal after the incident and fought in the Ukraine two months ago, earning a submission win.





RANKINGS FROM ONE YEAR AGO

(03.12.13)


1. Anderson Silva

2. Chris Weidman

3. Vitor Belfort

4. Luke Rockhold

5. Yushin Okami

6. Jacare Souza

7. Michael Bisping

8. Costa Philippou

9. Brian Stann

10. Tim Kennedy

11. Hector Lombard

12. Tim Boetsch

13. Cung Le

14. Mark Munoz

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:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida - July 5, 2014

Comment: After surgery to repair a meniscus tear and also a knee scope, Weidman is on the mend and insists he'll be prepared to fight on July 5th against Machida.




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





3) Lyoto Machida (21-4)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: May 3, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Chris Weidman - UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida - July 5, 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




5) Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (20-3, 1 No Contest)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: December 7, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Francis Carmont - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




6) 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:

- vs. Tim Kennedy - UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Kennedy - April 16, 2014

Comment: Tomorrow night, Bisping returns from his detached retina injury which cost him nearly a year of action. Plus, with his usual talking, he has to prevent another defeat to which he'll likely fall out of title contention forever. A win, however, and the momentum starts building all over again.



7) Luke Rockhold (10-2)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: October 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Costa Philippou - Win via KO (body kick) - UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou - January 15, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

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





8) Alexander Shlemenko (50-7)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: May 20, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Brennan Ward - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - Bellator 114 - March 28, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Tito Ortiz - Bellator 120 - May 17, 2014

Comment Shlemenko retained the Bellator gold last month with an impressive second-round submission win following an opening round he lost. The win also marked his 50th official professional victory in his 10-year career. What's likely to be his next win, he's now scheduled to fight Tito Ortiz at light heavyweight on the company's pay-per-view debut in May.



9) 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:

- vs. Michael Bisping - UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Kennedy - April 16, 2014

Comment: Kennedy has the chance that may fighters dream of - beat the hell out of Michael Bisping.




10) Yushin Okami (30-8)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: July 21, 1981

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Svetlozar Savov - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - WSOF 9: Carl vs. Palhares - March 29, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. TBA - WSOF 12 - August 2, 2014

Comment: As expected, Okami debuted in WSOF with a win over 25-year-old Bulgarian Savov. He'll return to the cage this summer at a yet to be confirmed event.




11) Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: August 1, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Mark Munoz - UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi - May 31, 2014




12) 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:

- vs. Maiquel Falcao - KSW 27 - May 17, 2014





13) 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:

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi - May 31, 2014





14) Francis "Limitless" Carmont (22-8)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: October 11, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ronaldo Souza - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




15) Brad Tavares (12-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: December 21, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Lorenz Larkin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou - January 15, 2014

- vs. Bubba McDaniel - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 - August 28, 2013

- vs. Riki Fikuda - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- vs. Tom Watson - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Dongi Yang - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier - May 15, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

vs. Yoel Romero - UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne - April 19, 2014

Comment: Tavares makes his 411 MMA Rankings debut on the heels of a five-fight winning streak and he has another tough match-up this weekend in Orlando. On the Fox main card, the Hawaiian will slug it out with Cuban Olympic wrestler-turned-knockout artist Yoel Romero (who himself is on a three fight streak of knockouts).








Closing Comments: Tim Boetsch, Thales Leites and Costa Philippou received additional votes.





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