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411 MMA Rankings 7.01.14: Light Heavyweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 07.01.2014





Days away from the United States of America's 238th birthday -- and one of the biggest fight weekends of the UFC calendar -- it's fitting that the biggest story once again revolves around Chael Sonnen getting busted for cheating.

This is the 411 MMA Rankings and you won't find Sonnen appearing any longer because in wake of his two failed drug tests, he retired. Initially, he claimed his actions were strictly in response to his desire to live a healthy life and be able to have kids with his wife. Oregon's famous gangster went on his hometown Fox Sports 1 network to plead his case at the time, though now he looks more like a bad magician using misdirection for tricks. Shocking news broke over the weekend that he failed a June 5th blood test that came back positive for banned substances Human Growth Hormone and Erythropoietin (EPO). Shocking, only because (particularly in MMA) drug tests rarely are able to detect such substances. With a cheater like Sonnen out of the fight picture (he will appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on July 23rd in regards to his most recent test), hopefully the sport can evolve to a point where the biggest stories are not about drug tests.

To actual fights, the biggest one over the past two months saw Daniel Cormier maintain his dominance in the sport when he choked out Dan Henderson. Cormier is clearly one of the best three fighters in the division and should be considered one of the overall best in the sport. Unfortunately, his potential shot at champion Jon Jones likely will not happen in 2014. Assuming the champion retains against Alexander Gustafsson later this year, Cormier (following knee surgery to correct nagging injuries) is looking at returning early in 2015 and should be considered the favorite no matter who he ends up challenging. While anyone may win on any given night (see Dillashaw, T.J.), Cormier may be the only fighter you could logically pick to stop Jones.

Later this month, we will see the return of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, following nearly two years out of action due to injuries. He will meet one of the division's new golden boys in Anthony "Rumble" Johnson. We have no way of knowing whether Lil Nog will be rusty in his return on Fox, or whether he's back and even more dangerous than before. All we do understand is that Johnson appears to be in the best form of his career in 2014.


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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:

- vs. Alexander Gustafsson - UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 - September 27, 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:

- vs. Jon Jones - UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 - September 27, 2014





3) Daniel Cormier (15-0)


Birthday: March 20, 1979

Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw - May 24, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Cormier finished Dan Henderson in May and will underdog surgery later this month to repair his lateral collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament. His expectation is to return early next year and fight the Jones/Gustafsson winner for the UFC championship. He made the decision to go the surgery route because he had been passed over in the next title fight -- he would have fought again before surgery had he received the title shot.




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:

- Unknown





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:

- vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - UFC on Fox - July 26, 2014

Comment: Johnson returned to the UFC with a big win over Phil Davis in April and he'll have a chance to earn another big win this summer over a top contender. He will meet Lil Nog in the Brazilian's return from a series of injuries and a win would make him the hottest light heavyweight in the UFC not named Jones, Gustafsson or Cormier.



7) 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




8) Ryan Bader (17-4)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: June 7, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rafael Cavalcante - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov - June 14, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ovince St. Preux - UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux - August 16, 2014

Comment: Bader defeated Feijao Cavalcante a few weeks ago and has now won consecutive fights for the first time since he beat Rampage Jackson in 2012. The Power MMA Team member celebrated his 31st birthday last month and will look to add to his winning streak next month against OSP.



9) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-5)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: June 2, 1976

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rashad Evans - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- vs. Tito Ortiz - Win via TKO (body strikes) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Phil Davis - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis - March 26, 2011

- vs. Ryan Bader - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop - September 25, 2010

- vs. Jason Brilz - Win via decision (split) - UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans - May 29, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anthony Johnson - UFC on Fox - July 26, 2014

Comment: Nogueira is recovered from a back injury and is expected to fight in July, meaning it would be his first fight in 17 months.




10) Ovince St. Preux (16-5)


Height: 6'3

Birthday: April 8, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ryan Jimmo - Win via submission (injury) - UFC 174 - June 14, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ryan Bader - UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux - August 16, 2014

Comment: OSP stopped Ryan Jimmo as a result of a broken arm sustained when St. Preux kicked him. Ovince is now on a five-fight win streak and gets a big opportunity in August when he headlines a Fight Night card opposite Ryan Bader. A win over Bader may perhaps be the most impressive achievement of his pro career, but we are a ways away from that coming to fruition just yet.




11) "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



12) Dan Henderson (30-12)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: August 24, 1970

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

vs. Daniel Cormier - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw - May 24, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Hendo will turn 44-years-old later this summer and he has not won consecutive fights in nearly three years. Can he still compete with the best fighters in the sport in 2014? It's an unanswered question at this point.




13) Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (35-11)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: June 20, 1978

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- - vs. King Mo Lawal - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 120 - May 17, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Ramapage earned a controversial win via decision against King Mo in the main event of Bellator's pay-per-view debut in May. With the victory, he should get a title fight against champion Emanuel Newton later this year but with the changes in Bellator management, we do not know when that bout may happen.




14) 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



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

Comment: Manuwa is angling to fight Shogun Rua in his return bout following the first loss of his career to Alexander Gustafsson.




Final Notes: Attila Vegh and King Mo Lawal received additional votes.

Chael Sonnen was not ranked this week due to his failed drug tests over the past month. He also abruptly retired from competition due to his multiple positive drug tests.






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