After a busy month of August that saw two separate UFC events and one WEC fight card here is how each of the seven weight classes currently stack up.
The champions of each division are ranked at the top with each of the top contenders 1-10 ranked accordingly.
The following rankings were originally posted at ultmma.com.
Heavyweight (over 205 pounds)
UFC Champion: Brock Lesnar 4-1-UFC 106 vs. Shane Carwin
1. Frank Mir 12-4-UFC 107 vs. Cheick Kongo
2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 32-5-1
3. Shane Carwin 11-0-UFC 104 vs. Brock Lesnar
4. Randy Couture 16-10
5. Cain Velasquez 6-0-UFC 104 vs. Ben Rothwell
6. Cheick Kongo 14-5-1-UFC107 vs. Frank Mir
7. Junior dos Santos 8-1-UFC 103 vs. Mirko Filipovic
8. Gabriel Gonzaga 11-4
9. Mirko Filipovic 25-6-2-UFC 103 vs. Junior dos Santos
10. Ben Rothwell 30-6-UFC 104 vs. Cain Velasquez
HW breakdown: Brock Lesnar is on top of what is quickly becoming one of the UFC’s deeper divisions. Next up for Lesnar is Shane Carwin, whose rise through the UFC heavyweight rankings was highlighted by a brutal one punch knockout of Gabriel Gonzaga.
Former champ Frank Mir looks to return in December versus heavyweight striker Cheick Kongo or pound for pound top dog Anderson Silva. MMA living legends Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture put on a fight for the ages at UFC 103. Did Big Nog earn himself a title shot? Will Couture drop down to light heavyweight?
The bottom half of the big man standings is a close race currently led by undefeated Cain Velasquez.
Light Heavyweight (205 pound limit)
UFC Champion: Lyoto Machida 15-0-UFC 104 vs. Mauricio Rua
1. Quinton Jackson 30-7-UFC 107 vs. Rashad Evans
2. Rashad Evans 13-1-1-UFC 107 vs. Quinton Jackson
3. Forrest Griffin 16-6
4. Mauricio Rua 18-3-UFC 104 vs. Lyoto Machida
5. Thaigo Silva 14-1
6. Luis Cane 10-1
7. Rich Franklin 25-4-UFC 103 vs. Vitor Belfort
8. Keith Jardine 14-6-1
9. Brandon Vera 11-3
10. Chuck Liddell 21-7
LHW breakdown: The top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division is set until October. Undefeated Lyoto Machida will make his first title against Mauricio Rua. With former title holders Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans electing to coach the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, Rua was granted the championship fight after beating Chuck Liddell.
Former champ Forrest Griffin is left in no man’s land after his brutal loss to 185-pound champion Anderson Silva. Fights with Thiago Silva or a rematch with Keith Jardine could both serve the original Ultimate Fighter well.
Middleweight (185 pound limit)
UFC Champion: Anderson Silva 25-4
1. Dan Henderson 25-8
2. Nate Marquardt 29-8-2
3. Yushin Okami 23-4-UFC 104 vs. Chael Sonnen
4. Vitor Belfort 18-8-UFC 103 vs. Rich Franklin
5. Demian Maia 10-1
6. Yoshihiro Akiyama 13-1
7. Chael Sonnen 23-10-1-UFC 104 vs. Yushin Okami
8. Patrick Cote 13-5
9. Michael Bisping 18-2
10. Thales Leites 14-3
MW breakdown: The UFC’s 185 pound division is one of the most competitive weight classes in the promotion. With Anderson Silva holding the belt for the past two years, the race for number one has transformed into the race for second place. Dan Henderson is hungry for a rematch with Silva.
Nate Marquardt made his case to get a rematch with the champion after his one punch kncout win over Demian Maia.
Injuries and lack of marquee wins inside the Octagon have prevented Yushin Okami from getting his title opportunity.
The signings of Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama bring in two more credible challengers to the title. The larger issue is: do any of these match-ups interest Anderson Silva at all? Do not overlook the possibility of him forfeiting the belt in order to purse greater endeavors at light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Welterweight (170 pound limit)
UFC Champion: George St. Pierre 19-2
1. Jon Fitch 19-3
2. Martin Kampmann 15-2-UFC 103 vs. Mike Swick
3. Mike Swick 14-2-UFC 103 vs. Martin Kampmann
4. Thiago Alves 16-4
5. Josh Koscheck 12-4-UFC 103 vs. Frank Trigg
6. Paulo Thiago 11-1
7. Carlos Condit 22-5- UFC Fight Night Sept. 16, '09 vs. Jake Ellenberger
8. Dan Hardy 22-6
9. Matt Hughes 43-7
10. Marcus Davis 16-5
WW breakdown: Is there anyone on the UFC roster who can beat George St. Pierre at welterweight? Jon Fitch has worked he was back to a title shot. According to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva the winner of the UFC 103 tilt between Mike Swick and martin Kampmann will become the number one contender to the welterweight strap.
The rest of the division remains a bit muddled. Thiago Alves, Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes are all A-level fighters who have already lost to GSP. Young guns Carlos Condit and Dan Hardy could also find themselves in big money fights if they can stack a couple of more wins together.
Lightweight (155 pound limit)
UFC Champion: B.J Penn 14-5-1
1. Diego Sanchez 21-2
2. Gray Maynard 7-0-UFC Fight Night Sept. 16, '09 vs. Roger Huerta
3. Frank Edgar 10-1
4. Kenny Florian 11-4
5. Sean Sherk 33-4-1-UFC 104 vs. Gleison Tibau
6. Tyson Griffin 13-2-UFC 103 vs. Hermes Franca
7. Clay Guida 25-10
8. Jim Miller 14-2-UFC- UFC 103 vs. Steve Lopez
9. Joe Stevenson 30-10-UFC 104 vs. Spencer Fisher
10. Nate Diaz 10-4- UFC Fight Night Sept. 16, '09 vs. Melvin Guillard
LW breakdown: Let the hype machine rev up for the B.J Penn vs. Diego Sanchez lightweight title match begin. Since moving down to the 155 pound weight class Sanchez has dispatched of Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson.
With Sanchez as the number one contender, undefeated Xtreme Couture fighter Gray Maynard 7-0 has a tough fight with Roger Huerta coming up at UFC UFN 19.Another win for Maynard would further establish him as one of the best lightweights in the UFC.
Past title challengers Kenny Florian and Sean Sherk serve as major roadblocks to the rest of the fighters in the division looking to leapfrog to title contention.
Featherweight (145 pound limit)
WEC Champion: Mike Thomas Brown 22-4-WEC 45 vs. Jose Aldo
1. Jose Aldo 15-1-WEC 45 vs. Mike Thomas Brown
2. Wagnney Fabiano 12-1-WEC 43 vs. Yves Jabouin
3. Urijah Faber 22-3
4. Leonard Garcia 13-4
5. Josh Grispi 13-1
6. Rafael Assuncao 13-1-WEC 43 vs. Erik Koch
7. Diego Nunes 13-0
8. L.C Davis 14-2
9. Manny Gamburyan 9-4
10. Cub Swanson 13-3
FW breakdown: Mike Brown is the undisputed featherweight king. Brazilian Jose Aldo is next line at 15-1 and will take on Brown at WEC 45 in November.
Top contender Wagnney Fabiano may be forced to move down to bantamweight if friend Aldo takes the title as the two have stated in the past they will not fight one another.
With a two losses to Mike Brown already Urijah Faber is also in a tough spot serving as a high profile gate keeper to other featherweights. It will be interesting to see who the WEC matches Faber up with next. Diego Nunes, Josh Grispi and L.C Davis could all use Faber as a springboard up the 145 pound ladder.
Bantamweight (135 pound limit)
WEC Champion: Brian Bowels 8-0
1. Dominick Cruz 14-1
2. Miguel Torres 37-2
3. Joseph Benavidez 10-1
4. Takeya Mizugaki 12-3-2
5. Rani Yahya 15-4
6. Akitoshi Tamura 14-7-2
7. Damacio Page 11-4
8. Manny Tapia 10-2-1-WEC 43 vs. Eddie Wineland
9. Frank Gomez 7-1
10. Jeff Curran 29-12-1
BW breakdown: Undefeated 8-0 Brian Bowles shocked the MMA world with his TKO win over former champion Miguel Torres at WEC 42. Looks like WEC officials are leaning towards Dominick Cruz getting the first crack at Bowles.
Cruz handed Joseph Benavidez his first loss of his career at WEC 42. Torres’s reputation could also earn him an immediate rematch, though one more fight versus a top contender like Takeya Mizugaki or Rani Yahya would really help sort out the top tier of the 135 pound division.
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