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October 2012 MMA Rankings: The 10 Best in Each Division

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterOctober 16, 2012

October 2012 MMA Rankings: The 10 Best in Each Division

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    It's a brand-new day, which means a brand-new set of mixed martial arts rankings for your personal enjoyment/hatred. 

    Since USA Today is no longer doing their consensus MMA rankings, I decided it was time to start fresh with these rankings, and instead of going off September's rankings, as I normally would, I created them from scratch. 

    Now, I realize that's not going to stop a large percentage of you from hating the rankings in the following slides, because that's just what rankings are: an inspiration for online commenters everywhere to bash the author. 

    After all, if you disagree with my rankings, then my rankings must be wrong. Or something.

    One thing I'm maintaining from the USA Today rankings system: the caveat that fighters who spend more than a year on the shelf are not eligible to be ranked. Yes, that means Georges St-Pierre is not included in my welterweight rankings, but he'll be right back in there next month after he faces Carlos Condit at UFC 154. 

    With that out of the way, let's get started. 

Heavyweight

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    1. Junior dos Santos
    2. Cain Velasquez
    3. Alistair Overeem
    4. Daniel Cormier
    5. Fabricio Werdum
    6. Frank Mir
    7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
    8. Josh Barnett
    9. Stefan Struve
    10. Antonio Silva

    Notes: Stefan Struve and Antonio Silva are the biggest winners this month, as they vault back into the top 10 heavyweight rankings with big wins over Stipe Miocic and Travis Browne, respectively. 

    The top of the division is still in a holding pattern until later in the year and early 2013; that's when Dos Santos and Velasquez will rematch and (allegedly) when Cormier will fight again in Strikeforce. Of course, Cormier was scheduled to fight in November, but Strikeforce ended up canceling their second straight event.

    At this point, I'm not confident that Strikeforce will ever run an event again, and I think they should just allow Cormier to make the UFC jump immediately. 

Light Heavyweight

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    1. Jon Jones
    2. Dan Henderson
    3. Rashad Evans
    4. Mauricio Rua
    5. Lyoto Machida
    6. Phil Davis
    7. Alexander Gustafsson
    8. Glover Teixiera
    9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    10. Ryan Bader

    Notes: The ultra-terrifying Glover Teixeira makes his first big leap up the top 10 after crushing Fabio Maldonado in a hard-to-watch mauling at UFC 153. After the fight, Teixeira called out original opponent Quinton Jackson, and it sounds like all parties are going to work to make that fight happen. That's a good thing, and a win over Jackson should vault Teixeira from unknown killer to legitimate title contender.

Middleweight

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    1. Anderson Silva
    2. Chael Sonnen
    3. Michael Bisping
    4. Chris Weidman
    5. Tim Boetsch
    6. Mark Munoz
    7. Luke Rockhold
    8. Yushin Okami
    9. Vitor Belfort
    10. Ronaldo Souza

    Notes: Will Silva ever fight again at middleweight? It sure doesn't sound likely. He's expressed interest in fighting Georges St-Pierre, but also expressed extreme interest in not fighting Chris Weidman. Of course, Weidman has to get through Tim Boetsch in December; if he does that, he'll be the rightful top contender at middleweight, and Silva still may not be interested in giving him a title shot. 

Welterweight

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    1. Carlos Condit
    2. Nick Diaz
    3. Johny Hendricks
    4. Martin Kampmann
    5. Jon Fitch
    6. Jake Ellenberger
    7. Josh Koscheck
    8. Rory MacDonald
    9. Nate Marquardt
    10. Ben Askren

    Notes: Well, would you look at that. Jon Fitch, a man believed to be past his prime and on the decline, put on the most exciting performance of his career in handing super-prospect Erick Silva a man-sized beating at UFC 153. The win doesn't put Fitch back in title contention immediately, but if Carlos Condit beats GSP next month, Fitch will be right back in the mix. It's an astounding development for Fitch, for his bank account and for MMA fans everywhere. 

Lightweight

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    1. Benson Henderson
    2. Frankie Edgar
    3. Gilbert Melendez
    4. Gray Maynard
    5. Nathan Diaz
    6. Anthony Pettis
    7. Donald Cerrone
    8. Michael Chandler
    9. Eddie Alvarez
    10. Clay Guida

    Notes: Eddie Alvarez has had a pretty decent month by any standard. First, Alvarez knocked Patricky Friere into next year with a perfectly-timed head kick to cap off a thrilling main event at Bellator 76. And then Alvarez galloped into free agency, getting the opportunity to test the waters of a free market after finishing out his Bellator contract in style. It's almost certain that Alvarez will take his wares to the UFC, but I'd like to see him first make a stop in Strikeforce to fight Melendez in early 2013. 

Featherweight

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    1. Jose Aldo
    2. Pat Curran
    3. Chan Sung Jung
    4. Chad Mendes
    5. Erik Koch
    6. Dennis Siver
    7. Dustin Poirier
    8. Ricardo Lamas
    9. Hatsu Hioki
    10. Patricio Friere

    Notes: We're all still waiting for Frankie Edgar to make his featherweight debut. He's still expected to face Aldo, and current timetables would seem to point towards that fight happening in January. That leaves Chan Sung Jung out in the cold, so why not pair him up with Chad Mendes? That's providing Mendes gets past his current legal troubles, of course. 

Bantamweight

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    1. Dominick Cruz
    2. Renan Barao
    3. Michael McDonald
    4. Urijah Faber
    5. Brian Bowles
    6. Brad Pickett
    7. Bibiano Fernandes
    8. Eddie Wineland
    9. Eduardo Dantas
    10. Mike Easton

    Notes: We still don't know if the UFC's going to keep Renan Barao out of action until Dominick Cruz is ready to return or not. If they're intent on that course of action, then it's probably time to start creating another contender, to have someone ready once Cruz/Barao finally happens. To that end, I'd match up Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett and then look at putting together Bowles vs. Easton. It's time to start elevating some folks at bantamweight. 

Flyweight

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    1. Demetrious Johnson
    2. Joseph Benavidez
    3. Ian McCall
    4. John Dodson
    5. Chris Cariaso
    6. Jussier Formiga
    7. John Moraga
    8. Darrell Montague
    9. Yasuhiro Urushitani
    10. Louis Gaudinot

    Notes: John Dodson grabbed the brass ring, knocking out top flyweight Formiga (I suppose that's his last name now; there are just too many Silvas in the UFC to keep track) and earning himself a crack at new champion Johnson at some unspecified point in the future. I like that fight.

    Another fight I like? Benavidez vs. McCall. Let's make that one happen, and soon.

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