The Rankings: The Light Heavyweights: Feb 17, 2012


The Rankings are just that – The MMA Manifesto’s rankings of the best fighters in mixed martial arts today.  Check back every Monday and Friday for our rankings of a different weight class.  Next up: The Light Heavyweights. 

Voting Panel: Jeff Fox – The MMA Manifesto, speeds – Sports Two MMA Forum, Dave Hunter – 2010 MMA Manifesto Pick ‘Em Contest Champion, Dave Kelsey – 2011 MMA Manifesto Pick ‘Em Contest Champion, Sanford & Son – old school MMA head and Slavoj Žižek zealot, Sean Malone – Inside The Cage, and Barry Oh – Fedor apologist and rock star.

1) Jon Jones – UFC Light Heavyweight Champion – 70 points (out of 70)

jon jones ufc 140

    Record: 15-1
    Last Five Fights: 5-0 
    Record vs Top 10: 3-0 (W-Machida, W-Jackson, W-Rua)
    Next Fight: vs #2 Rashad Evans – UFC 145 – April 21st

You’re not actually surprised by Bones coming in #1, are you?!  And from the looks of things his reign at the top will be for an extended period.

2) Rashad Evans – UFC – 60  points
    Last Five Fights: 4-1 
    Record vs Top 10: 2-1 (W-Davis, W-Jackson, L-Machida)
    Next Fight: vs #1 Jon Jones – UFC 145 – April 21st

Rashad Evans probably doesn’t get the respect a guy with only one loss on his resume deserves.  But he still has no chance versus Jones.

3) Dan Henderson – UFC – 56 points
    Last Five Fights: 4-1 
    Record vs Top 10: 1-2 (W-Rua, L-Jackson, L-Nogueira)
    Next Fight: TBA

Dan Henderson continues to surprise us and defy Father Time with each passing fight.  Now he just needs to find a suitable opponent for his next fight.

4) Mauricio Rua – UFC – 49 points
    Last Five Fights: 2-3 
    Record vs Top 10: 3-3 (L-Henderson, L-Jones, W-Machida, L-Machida, W-Nogueira, W-Jackson)   
    Next Fight: TBA

If Rampage Jackson gets by Ryan Bader next week, we’d love to see a rematch of Shogun-Rampage’s Pride battle.  But sorry Shogun – no soccer kicks this time.

5) Quinton Jackson – UFC – 40 points 
    Last Five Fights: 3-2 
    Record vs Top 10: 2-3 (L-Jones, W-Machida, L-Evans, W-Henderson, L-Rua)
    Next Fight: vs Ryan Bader – UFC 144 – Feb 26th

Jackson might find himself in a no-win situation at UFC 144 – if he beats Ryan Bader, no big deal – he is supposed to beat him.  But if Bader beats him, that definitely would knock Rampage down a rung or two.

6) Lyoto Machida – UFC – 37 points 

machida-v-couture-ufc-129_9780_crane kick

    Record: 17-3
    Last Five Fights: 2-3 
    Record vs Top 10: 2-3 (L-Jones, L-Jackson, L-Rua, W-Rua, W-Evans)
    Next Fight: TBA

The Dragon probably needs to start picking on lesser quality opponents, because the top guys in the light heavyweight class have had their way with him as of late.

7) Phil Davis – UFC – 22 points 
    Last Five Fights: 4-1 
    Record vs Top 10: 2-1 (L-Evans, W-Nogueira, W-Gustafsson)
    Next Fight: TBA

Mr. Wonderful’s rocket to the top of the division got abruptly stopped by Rashad Evans.  Back on the horse, young man.

8) Alexander Gustafsson – UFC – 15 points 
    Last Five Fights: 4-1 
    Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Davis)
    Next Fight: vs #9 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs Gustafsson – April 14th

With a loss to Phil Davis the only blemish on his record, Alexander Gustafsson is still a bright young star in the 205 divison.

9) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – UFC – 13 points 
    Last Five Fights: 3-2 
    Record vs Top 10: 1-2 (L-Davis, L-Rua, W-Henderson)
    Next Fight:vs #8 Alexander Gustafsson – UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs Gustafsson – April 14th

Big fight for Little Nog coming up – does he have anything left in the tank, or is it time for the Nogueira brothers to hang them up?

10) (tied) Gegard Mousasi – Strikeforce – 7 points
      Last Five Fights: 4-0-1 
      Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Lawal)
      Next Fight: TBA

Mousasi’s star has dimmed considerably since losing his Strikeforce title to King Mo, but he’s gone 4-0-1 since then and at 26 he is the third-youngest fighter on our top 10 list.

10 (tied) Muhammed Lawal – Strikeforce – 7 points  
      Record: 8-1 (1 No Contest) 
      Last Five Fights: 3-1-1(NC) 
      Record vs Top 10: 1-0 (L-Mousasil)
      Next Fight: TBA

King Mo will spend the next year sitting idly on his throne after pissing hot on a drug test due to a “tainted supplement”.

Bubbling under: Forrest Griffin, Rafael Cavalcante, Christian M’Pumbu.

Rankings: Heavyweights

Check back next Monday for our Middleweight rankings

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto, The MMA Manifesto, & A Dry Heat.