Post UFC 113 Official Light-heavyweight MMA Rankings
UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada proved to be an eventful night, concluding many pre-fight title implications after the shake up in the light-heavyweight and welterweight divisions.
Also, some fighters' journeys in the UFC came to an abrupt and bitter end, while newcomers tasted sweet pay-per-view victory for the first time in the octagon after sending one of MMA's most polarizing figures packing.
More importantly, the highlight of the night was easily Shogun Rua's first round knockout of defending light-heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, in a rematch for the history books.
After losing the first bout in such heartbreaking fashion, Shogun was able to prove to the world why he deserved not only the first title shot back in October, but an immediate rematch with the champion.
Rua is the latest and greatest In a notoriously pristine, yet unpredictable, division that hasn't seen a dominant ringleader instill an "era" since Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell.
With the 205-pound realm flipped on its head last Saturday night, will Shogun remain perched atop the pecking order or will he suffer the same fate as his follow brethren, Machida?
Let's get a better idea of this pecking order and where everybody stands in the ever changing 205-pound division with Bleacher Report's first official light-heavyweight rankings.
10. Gegard Mousasi - Strikeforce/DREAM
Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal at Strikeforce: Nashville
Next fight: TBA
Gegard Mousasi was riding high on momentum as Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, boasting only two losses in 30 professional fights, until he found himself on his back for five rounds against King Mo.
Until that point, he was on a 15 fight win-streak, beating the likes of Sokoudjou, Babalu Sobral, Mark Hunt, Melvin Manhoef, and Denis Kang.
Being a young but seasoned fighter, Mousasi has plenty of time to develop a wrestling game. When he does, every 205-pounder will be put on notice.
9. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal - Strikeforce
Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce: Nashville.
Next fight: TBA
King Mo is no longer just an animated character filled with hilarious soundbites--he is the current Strikeforce light-heavyweght champion.
While preserving his undefeated record and putting Mousasi through a wrestling clinic, Lawal showed an incredible level of determination in the face of fatigue while fending off a much more experienced fighter.
Despite having a few holes in his cardio and ground game, Mo is a young, charismatic draw who has plenty of time to mature as a mixed martial artist.
8. Jon "Bones" Jones - UFC
Last fight: First round TKO win over Brandon Vera at UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones.
Next fight: Vladimir Matyushenko on Aug. 1 at UFC Live on Versus 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jon Jones has been wrecking through the 205-pound stable with lopsided victories over Brandon Vera, Matt Hamill (technically a loss), Stephan Bonnar, and Jack O'Brien, to name a few.
At the unbelievable age of 22, Jones has quickly become one of the UFC's hottest prospects, suplexing his way into a title shot if he gets through Matyushenko plus one.
7. Anderson Silva - UFC
Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
Next fight: Chael Sonnen on Aug. 7 at UFC 117 in Oakland, CA.
The enigmatic UFC middleweight champion is really the only exception to an unspoken rule amongst MMA pundits: he has only fought at light-heavyweight twice in the last two years.
To be considered part of an elite Top Ten divisional list, a fighter has to at least fight two or more times in that weight class a year.
Even though the six-time defending middleweight champ fails to fit this mold, we have to base his ranking on two things: his devastating first round victories at 205 pounds and his assumed success in the weight division by collectively everyone in the MMA community.
6. Randy "The Natural" Couture - UFC
Last fight: Submission win over Mark Coleman at UFC 109
Next fight: Presumably James Toney on Aug. 28 at UFC 118 in Boston
Couture has accomplished just about everything a mixed martial artist could imagine: six time UFC champion, most championship fights, first to hold championships in two different weight classes, active Hall of Famer, and oldest fighter to win a title ever.
The most amazing aspect to Randy's success is his age, turning 47 in June and still fighting at such a high competitive level. Couture still posses some of the nastiest wrestling in MMA today, still controlling fighters half his age at heavyweight and light-heavyweight.
5. Antonio "Lil Nog" Nogueira - UFC
Last fight: First round TKO win over Luiz Cane at UFC 106
Next fight: Jason Brilz on May 29 at UFC 114 in Las Vegas
Like his twin brother, Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira, "Lil Nog" made a name for himself overseas in PRIDE FC, the now defunct Japanese MMA powerhouse promotion, by utilizing his quick hands and brilliant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Having only fought around half the number of fights that his brother has, he has still beaten an impressive list of competitors: Alistair Overeem (2X), Dan Henderson, Kazuhiro Nakamura (2X), Kazushi Sakuraba, and Vladimir Matyushenko.
Most recently, Nogueira made quick work of Luiz Cane, who was on a three-fight winning streak, earning Knockout of the Night at his UFC debut.
4. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson - UFC
Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96
Next fight: Rashad Evans on May 29 at UFC 114 in Las Vegas
With his acting obligations complete for the time being, Rampage will square off against Ultimate Fighter coaching rival Rashad Evans this month, to settle a score that was brewed up by loads of verbal abuse from the show.
Rampage is still one of the hardest hitters at 205 pounds. After mending his differences with Dana White, the former light-heavyweight champion signed a six-fight deal with the UFC.
Movies or not, Rampage will be seen in the ring using his crisp boxing, trading with his opponents at will.
3. Rashad "Suga" Evans - UFC
Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Thiago Silva at UFC 108
Next fight: Rampage Jackson on May 29 at UFC 114 in Las Vegas
The Greg Jackson pupil has only one blemish on his otherwise perfect record, coming at the hands of former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Evans has consistently put away opponents with his greatly improved striking and explosive wrestling. His speed has also been a common attribute in his victories, rarely being matched at 205 pounds.
A win over Rampage Jackson will put Evans within range of another title shot.
2. Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida - UFC
Last fight: TKO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 113
Next fight: TBA
Machida appeared unstoppable in the octagon over the last two years, elusively picking apart his opponents without taking much damage himself. It was a formula that got the karate-based fighter a chance to wear the light heavyweight strap.
Everything seemed to be going as planned, until this past weekend, when he met Shogun Rua in their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 113.
Just like that, Machida lost his title, got knocked out, and suffered a loss. All firsts in his career, which is an astonishing feat considering the level of competition he has faced.
Despite his recent setback, Machida only has one loss and will be looking to start another ascension into title contention as one of the best in this division.
1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua - UFC
Last fight: First round TKO win over Lyoto Machida
Next fight: TBA
There is no surprise to why Shogun is on top of the light-heavyweight world after decimating former champion Lyoto Machida in the first round of their rematch.
After a rocky start in the UFC and two knee surgeries, Shogun overcame enough obstacles to remind fight fans why he was once considered one of the best back in PRIDE.
Everything has finally come together for the Brazilian, having reached his full potential in the UFC.
The division couldn't ask for a better pack leader. Shogun embodies everything great about the sport of mixed martial arts. He humbly overcomes difficulties, shows great sportsmanship, and has a naturally aggressive and technical style that is nearly impossible to trump.
As a freshly crowned champ, it might be too difficult to tell, but is this the beginning of the first "era" the light-heavyweight division has seen since Chuck Liddell?