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411 MMA Rankings 05.06.14: Light Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 05.06.2014





It's springtime and Jon Jones is destroying opponents yet again. It's also Tuesday and this is the weekly edition of the 411 MMA Rankings where my fellow writers and I dish out the list below describing who the best in the world are.

Clearly, "Bones" Jones is the poster child for dominance of MMA in 2014. Last week, he beat Glover Teixeira for five rounds and added the Brazilian's name to his list of fallen opponents. Best yet, he still has no shortage of worthy contenders staring at him going into the second half of this year and well into next -- Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson and even Anthony Johnson is now in the mix. Perhaps by next fall, Jones will be thinking strongly about a jump up to heavyweight because past the three fighters mentioned in the previous sentence, everyone else has already suffered a loss at the champion's hands.

Meanwhile, the title picture over in Bellator is heating up in wake of Emanuel Newton's unification of their gold with his win over Attila Vegh. Next week will see Rampage Jackson and King Mo finally square off (after years of talking about it) to decide who Newton's first challenger will be. Just imagine, Rampage Jackson may become champion again and it's roughly six years since he last wore gold around his waist.

Now, go check our rankings below and see what the division looks like after Jon Jones knocked down another fighter. Is there any one fighter among the top 15 you feel can stop Jones' run as light heavyweight champion?


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RANKINGS FROM ONE YEAR AGO
(3.26.13)


1. Jon Jones

2. Lyoto Machida

3. Alexander Gustafsson

4. Dan Henderson

5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

6. Rashad Evans

7. Shogun Rua

8. Phil Davis

9. Glover Teixeira

10. Gegard Mousasi

11. Ryan Bader

12. James Te Huna

13. Vinny Magalhaes

14. Attila Vegh

15. Emanuel Newton






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 They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded.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 (20-1)


Height: 6'4

Birthday: July 19, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Glover Teixeira - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Well, Jones' latest title defense went as expected, controlling the action for five full rounds. He battered Teixeira and was never in danger of losing through the 25-minute contest. With another top contender moved to the defeated line, Jones will turn his attention to a previous opponent in Alexander Gustafsson. Also, not far from the limelight is Daniel Cormier who could become the next contender for 2015.




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: Gustafsson remains the only man to come legitimately close to beating Jon Jones and it appears he'll have a second chance to complete that task. While not confirmed or officially booked, the UFC may indeed attempt to schedule their title scrap for a big show in Sweden.




3) 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:

- vs. Dan Henderson - UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw - May 24, 2014

Comment: Cormier may be the odd man out as far as the title picture is concerned but he has a co-main event slot staring him in the face for later this month on Memorial Day Weekend. His opponent will be the legendary Dan Henderson, and while DC will easily be the favorite, it would be quite the sight if Hendo is able to put him in any legit danger.




4) 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 is looking at December as a time for his return to the octagon after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL earlier this year.




5) Glover Teixeira (22-3)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: October 28, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




6) Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (17-4)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: March 6, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Phil Davis - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: He made weight and earned a win over a legitimate top 10 fighter -- Rumble Johnson had a hell of a return to the UFC. He already has people questioning how soon he'll be able to challenge Jon Jones for the championship, although he was quick to shoot down such talk and preach patience.




7) Dan Henderson (30-11)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: August 24, 1970

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Shogun Rua - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Hendo 2 - March 23, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Daniel Cormier - UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw - May 24, 2014

Comment: Hendo has not had to prove anything for many years by now, but he's still chugging along despite being well into his 40s. His win over Shogun Rua in March ended a three-fight losing streak, but the tests ahead of him do not get any easier. In under three weeks, he'll meet the undefeated former U.S. Olympic wrestler, Daniel Cormier, and look to be the first man to put him on his butt with a right hand.




8) Phil Davis (12-2, 1 No Contest)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: September 25, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Anthony Johnson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Davis had a rough month as he began talking smack about Jon Jones in an effort to build himself into a potential title contender. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to back it up as he lost an uninspired decision to Anthony "Rumble" Johnson two weeks ago. Now, "Mr. Wonderful" will have to prevent himself from becoming a full-fledged bust, as he very well may become should he suffer consecutive losses for the first time in his career in his next bout.




9) 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 175: Weidman vs. Machida - July 5, 2014

Comment: The unbelievable saga between Chael and Wanderlei Silva is not far from over, not in the least. Their fight is booked for the Las Vegas show in July and whether Silva will show up and compete is far from a known truth at this point. There have been plenty of shenanigans going on for a long time, to the extent that Wand did not sign the actual fight contact for weeks. Sonnen insists he believes Silva will find a way to back out of their fight and quite frankly, I would not be shocked if aliens descended onto the MGM Grand Arena to abduct either man at this point.




10) "The Hardcore Kid" Emanuel Newton (23-7-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: January 2, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Attila Vegh - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 113 - March 21, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Newton unified the Bellator light heavyweight championship with the interim strap and will now wait to find out who his first challenger will be. The tournament final between Rampage Jackson and King Mo will happen next Saturday and Newton will probably be the favorite over either man.




11) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (22-9)


Birthday: November 25, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Hendo 2 - March 23, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




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:

- vs. Rafael Cavalcante - UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov - June 14, 2014




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 120: Alvarez vs. Chandler - May 17, 2014

Comment: Rampage has looked great since making his Bellator debut, but the fact remains he's finished Joey Beltran and Christian M'Pumbu, neither one has been considered a top light heavyweight. Despite that, he has indeed looked to be in solid shape and knockouts are knockouts, you cannot question that. He'll meet "King Mo" Lawal who has not exactly been the explosive athlete recently that we have come to expect from him. On paper, I have no idea how this fight will go, although I surmise it will devolve into a brawl for three rounds.




14) Attila Vegh (29-5-2)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: August 9, 1985

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Emanuel Newton - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 113 - March 21, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15) Ovince St. Preux (15-5)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: April 8, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nikita Krylov - Win via submission (Von Flue choke) - UFC 171 - March 15, 2014

- vs. Cody Donovan - Win via KO (punches) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Gian Villante - Win via decision (split) - UFC 159 - April 27, 2013

- vs. T.J. Cook - Win via KO (punch) - Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman - August 18, 2012

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal - December 17, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ryan Jimmo - UFC 174 - June 14, 2014






Final Notes: Jimi Manuwa received additional votes.





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