UFC 145 Results: UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings After Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans

Sean SmithAnalyst IApril 24, 2012

UFC 145 Results: UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings After Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans

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    After a dominant victory over former teammate Rashad Evans at UFC 145, many are already wondering when light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make the move to heavyweight.

    However, now just two wins away from tying Tito Ortiz for the most consecutive title defenses in the history of the 205-pound division, Jones still has some unfinished business in the class he currently reigns over.

    Later this year, the 24-year-old will defend his belt against 41-year-old MMA legend Dan Henderson.

    After Jones prevented Evans from reclaiming the light heavyweight title, let's take a look at how the rest of the 205-pound division stands below Jones.

     

    The following rankings are computerized based primarily on results against similar competition and do not include fighters who have not yet competed inside the Octagon, announced their retirement, been suspended, gone more than one year without competing or scheduled a fight in a new division.

Non-Ranked Light Heavyweights

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    Ryan Jimmo

    Having won his past 16 fights, Jimmo was scheduled to make his UFC debut at UFC on FX 1. However, an injury forced the Canadian out of that bout and leaves him out of these rankings until he steps into the Octagon for the first time.

     

    Jorgen Kruth

    Former world-class kickboxer Kruth was also removed from his scheduled Octagon debut due to injury. The 37-year-old has gone undefeated in five MMA fights and earned 71 wins during a great kickboxing career.

     

    Glover Teixeira

    A winner of 15 consecutive fights, Texeira has signed with the UFC and will make his debut against Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146. The 32-year-old Brazilian has defeated the likes of Ricco Rodriguez, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Marvin Eastman.

28. Luiz Cane

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    MMA Record: 12-4, 1 NC

    Last Fight: Lost against Stanislav Nedkov at UFC 134

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After losing three of his past four fights, Luiz Cane is expected to make a move to the middleweight division to revitalize his career. Until his first 185-pound contest is announced, Cane will remain near the bottom of these light heavyweight rankings.

27. Nick Penner

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    MMA Record: 11-2

    Last Fight: Lost against Anthony Perosh at UFC on FX 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Nick Penner entered the UFC on an eight-fight winning streak. However, the 32-year-old didn't get his career in the world's premier MMA organization off to a very good start, as he was submitted by the surprising Perosh in the first round.

26. Krzysztof Soszynski

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    MMA Record: 26-12-1

    Last Fight: Lost against Igor Pokrajac at UFC 140

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Following his recent loss against Pokrajac, Krzysztof Soszynski was caught on film contemplating retirement. However, Soszynski has since retracted the statements he made on a UFC video blog and said he could return to the Octagon.

    Whether he returns or not, Soszynski has some work to do if he wants to climb his way out of the bottom of the light heavyweight division.

25. Aaron Rosa

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    MMA Record: 17-5

    Last Fight: Lost against James Te-Huna at UFC on FX 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After winning his first fight at light heavyweight in the UFC, Aaron Rosa suffered a setback against Te-Huna in March.

    Now, Rosa will need to get things turned around quickly. A third loss in four fights could give the UFC reason to part ways with the 28-year-old fighter.

24. Tom DeBlass

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    MMA Record: 7-1

    Last Fight: Lost against Cyrille Diabate at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After going undefeated in his first seven professional fights, Tom DeBlass suffered the first loss of his career in his UFC debut against Cyrille Diabate. After a promising start to the fight, DeBlass faded in the later rounds.

    If the Ricardo Almeida-trained fighter wants to remain in the UFC, he will need to greatly improve his conditioning and takedown defense.

23. Cyrille Diabate

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    MMA Record: 18-8-1

    Last Fight: Won against Tom DeBlass at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    A former kickboxer, Cyrille Diabate is a dangerous opponent for anyone willing to stand with him. However, the Frenchman is still lacking on the ground against elite competition.

    After more than a decade of competing in MMA, Diabate has developed a ground game solid enough to defeat opponents like DeBlass, but he is still at a significant disadvantage against the fighters standing between him and a title run. 

22. Stanislav Nedkov

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    MMA Record: 12-0

    Last Fight: Won against Luiz Cane at UFC 134

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Stanislav Nedkov's striking in his Octagon debut against Cane was very wild. However, it was effective enough for the Bulgarian to put Cane away via knockout in the first round.

    While it's hard to imagine a sloppy striker like Nedkov making a run in the UFC's light heavyweight division, he is undefeated in 12 career fights.

21. Brandon Vera

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    MMA Record: 12-5, 1 NC

    Last Fight: Won against Eliot Marshall at UFC 137

    Next Fight: vs. James Te-Huna at UFC on Fuel TV 4

     

    After his loss to Thiago Silva was overturned to a no-contest, Brandon Vera reclaimed his spot on the UFC roster by defeating Marshall in October.

    Now, Vera will have a chance against Te-Huna to take a big step toward regaining relevancy in the light heavyweight division. 

20. Anthony Perosh

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    MMA Record: 13-6

    Last Fight: Won against Nick Penner at UFC on FX 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Since his lopsided defeat against Mirko Filipovic in his return to the Octagon, Anthony Perosh has found a home in the light heavyweight division, where he has won three consecutive fights.

    The 39-year-old, previously written off as a sub-par UFC fighter, will likely be given a big fight and a chance to move up the 205-pound ladder later this year.

19. Fabio Maldonado

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    MMA Record: 18-4

    Last Fight: Lost against Kyle Kingsbury at TUF 13 Finale

    Next Fight: vs. Igor Pokrajac at UFC on Fuel TV 3

     

    After a close fight with Kingsbury, Fabio Maldonado saw his 11-fight winning streak come to an end in controversial fashion. Injuries have kept Maldonado from getting back into the Octagon for almost one year, but he is now set to return in May against Pokrajac.

18. Kyle Kingsbury

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    MMA Record: 11-3, 1 NC

    Last Fight: Lost against Stephan Bonnar at UFC 139

    Next Fight: vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 146

     

    Leading into his fight against Bonnar in November, Kyle Kingsbury had won four straight fights and looked to be making big strides toward the top of the light heavyweight division.

    However, Kingsbury's ground game failed him against Bonnar, who was able to remain in side control for a good portion of the fight.

    Kingsbury will look to try to regain his momentum against UFC newcomer Teixeira in May.

17. Igor Pokrajac

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    MMA Record: 24-8

    Last Fight: Won against Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 140

    Next Fight: vs. Fabio Maldonado at UFC on Fuel TV 3

     

    Since losing to Stephan Bonnar, Igor Pokrajac has won two straight fights and has dug his way out of the cellar of the light heavyweight division. Still, Pokrajac will need to best Maldonado before he can be granted another step up in competition.

16. Stephan Bonnar

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    MMA Record: 14-7

    Last Fight: Won against Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Stephan Bonnar's win over Kingsbury in November was his third straight victory.

    Having never won three straight fights during his career, Bonnar is hoping for a big-name opponent in his next fight to make a late-career rally for the title.

15. Vladimir Matyushenko

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    MMA Record: 26-6

    Last Fight: Lost against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 141

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After a deflating loss to Gustafsson, it is becoming clear that the 41-year-old Vladimir Matyushenko is no longer capable of contending for the light heavyweight title and is nearing the end of his career.

    At this point, Matyushenko will probably take a few of the most intriguing fights that he can get before calling it a career.

14. James Te-Huna

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    MMA Record: 14-5

    Last Fight: Won against Aaron Rosa at UFC on FX 2

    Next Fight: vs. Brandon Vera at UFC on Fuel TV 4

     

    In his past 11 fights, James Te-Huna has only been defeated by rising contender Alexander Gustafsson and Bellator champion Hector Lombard.

    If he can beat the well-known Vera in his upcoming fight, Te-Huna would be well on his way to getting another shot at a fighter of Gustafsson's caliber.

13. Thiago Silva

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    MMA Record: 14-3, 1 NC

    Last Fight: Lost against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After serving his suspension for cheating a drug test, Thiago Silva returned against Gustafsson in the Swede's home country.

    Unfortunately for Silva, Gustafsson may have been too tough of an opponent to come back against after such a long layoff, as the Brazilian was dominated for the majority of the fight.

12. Tito Ortiz

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    MMA Record: 16-10-1

    Last Fight: Lost against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 140

    Next Fight: vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 148

     

    One of the greatest light heavyweights ever, Tito Ortiz has won only one of his past eight fights. The longest reigning 205-pound champion may have delayed retirement too long, but Ortiz has said his upcoming fight against Griffin will be his last.

11. Forrest Griffin

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    MMA Record: 18-7

    Last Fight: Lost against Mauricio Rua at UFC 134

    Next Fight: vs. Tito Ortiz at UFC 148

     

    After back-to-back wins over former champion Ortiz and Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin suffered a damaging knockout loss in a rematch with Mauricio Rua. The loss severely hut Griffin's chances of making a last push at regaining his light heavyweight title.

    Now, Griffin appears to be fighting for his legacy. A win for Griffin in his rubber match with Ortiz would go a long way toward further cementing himself a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame.

10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

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    MMA Record: 20-5

    Last Fight: Won against Tito Ortiz at UFC 140

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    With his win over Ortiz in his most recent Octagon appearance, the 35-year-old Nogueira avoided a third straight loss and may have salvaged his UFC career.

    An injury forced Nogueira out of an important matchup against Alexander Gustafsson, so it is unknown when the Brazilian will return to action.

9. Alexander Gustafsson

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    MMA Record: 14-1

    Last Fight: Won against Thiago Silva at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Since teaming with Phil Davis, the only fighter to ever defeat him, Alexander Gustafsson has won five straight fights and become one of the most promising contenders in the light heavyweight division.

    After a dominant win over Silva, Gustafsson can now expect a fight with one of the division's best fighters.

8. Phil Davis

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    MMA Record: 9-1

    Last Fight: Lost against Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    A matchup against Rashad Evans may have come too soon for Phil Davis, who only had nine MMA fights under his belt heading into the main event of UFC on Fox 2.

    While the loss spoiled Davis' chances of making an undefeated run at the title, it could serve as a valuable learning experience for the young contender.

7. Lyoto Machida

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    MMA Record: 17-3

    Last Fight: Lost against Jon Jones at UFC 140

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Though Lyoto Machida has looked as good as just about anyone against Jones, the Brazilian has now lost three out of four fights following his submission loss in a fight against the champion.

    Machida remains one of the most talented light heavyweights in the world, but he is going to have a difficult time returning to the top of the division now that it appears his opponents have figured out how to handle his unorthodox style.

6. Quinton Jackson

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    MMA Record: 32-10

    Last Fight: Lost against Ryan Bader at UFC 144

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    Against Jon Jones, Quinton Jackson looked more prepared for a fight than he had in years.

    Then, five months later, Jackson came in five pounds overweight for his bout against Bader and looked terrible inside the cage. "

    Rampage" pointed to an injury as a reason for his poor performance at UFC 144, but talk of leaving the UFC after his next fight has led fans to wonder if Jackson's career is nearing its end.

5. Ryan Bader

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    MMA Record: 14-2

    Last Fight: Won against Quinton Jackson at UFC 144

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After back-to-back losses against Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz knocked him completely out of the title hunt, Ryan Bader has come storming back with a knockout of Jason Brilz and decision victory over Jackson.

    A contender once again, Bader will need to make a big statement in order to prove he is worthy of a rematch with Jones, who easily defeated Bader in February 2011.

4. Mauricio Rua

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    MMA Record: 20-6

    Last Fight: Lost against Dan Henderson at UFC 139

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After losing to Henderson, Mauricio Rua will be looking to continue a pattern of alternating wins and losses that has followed him for his past six fights.

    "Shogun" was expected to meet Quinton Jackson in a rematch later this year, but "Rampage" was injured and forced to undergo surgery.

    It is unclear whether Rua will wait for Jackson to recover or take a fight with another opponent in the interim.

3. Dan Henderson

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    MMA Record: 29-8

    Last Fight: Won against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139

    Next Fight: vs. Jon Jones at UFC 149

     

    Dan Henderson's decision to wait for a title shot has pair off. After Jones defeated Rashad Evans at UFC 145, UFC president Dana White announced that Henderson would serve as the next challenger to Jones' light heavyweight title.

    Despite his legendary career, a UFC championship has been the one accolade that has eluded Henderson.

2. Rashad Evans

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    MMA Record: 17-2-1

    Last Fight: Lost against Jon Jones at UFC 145

    Next Fight: TBD

     

    After months of jawing, Rashad Evans came up short in a title fight against former teammate Jones.

    Considering his rivalry with Jones, though, Evans may be given a quick road back to a rematch with the champion.

1. Jon Jones

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    MMA Record: 16-1

    Last Fight: Won against Rashad Evans at UFC 145

    Next Fight: vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 149

     

    After three straight title defenses against former champions, 24-year-old Jon Jones is already on his way to becoming one of the best light heavyweights ever.

    If he defeats Henderson in his next fight, Jones will already tie Chuck Liddell and Frank Shamrock for the second most consecutive title defenses against a much more impressive list of challengers.