B/R MMA Official Heavyweight Rankings for December
Bleacher Report MMA now brings you our official rankings for the month of December.
With big heavyweight fights coming up with names like Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem, the heavyweight division will be busy for the next month.
We last saw the UFC heavyweight title on the line in November with the UFC's first foray onto national television with UFC on Fox 1.
Now the UFC heavyweight title has once again changed hands and brought a new champion, Junior dos Santos, to the top of many lists.
Who graces Bleacher Report's top 10 here?
These rankings are the combined effort of some of Bleacher Report MMA's best writers, as we continue to try and provide you with the best content on the web.
10. Cheick Kongo
Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Matt Mitrione (UFC 137)
Ever since Kongo lost back-to-back fights to Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir, the French fighter has won three of his last four with the only fight he didn't win being a draw against Travis Browne after Kongo was deducted a point.
Kongo now finds himself a top-10 heavyweight among our rankings after his latest win over Matt Mitrione in October.
9. Josh Barnett
Most Recent Fight: Submission victory over Sergei Kharitonov (Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov)
Josh Barnett has been around the mixed martial arts world for quite sometime.
The former UFC heavyweight champion reminded fans of just how good his catch wrestling style of fighting can be when he choked out Brett Rogers in June and did it again against Sergei Kharitonov in September.
Barnett hasn't lost since Minotauro Nogueira beat him by unanimous decision on New Year's Eve in 2006.
Since then, Barnett has won eight straight fights and finds himself in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix against Daniel Cormier.
8. Daniel Cormier
Most Recent Fight: Knockout victory over Antonio Silva (Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov)
Daniel Cormier got the chance of a lifetime when Strikeforce pulled Alistair Overeem out of their Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Cormier stepped in against a bigger fighter and knocked him out quick in the first round. This win shot Cormier to the finals of the tournament and has put him at No. 8 on this list.
7. Minotauro Nogueira
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Record: 33-6-1 with 1 NC
Most Recent Fight: Knockout victory over Brendan Schaub (UFC 134)
Minotauro Nogueira faced Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 after Schaub had previously called out the Pride legend.
Schaub made a poor choice as Nogueira felt great and in the first round blasted Schaub and knocked him out. That gave Nogueira only his third career knockout victory and he won "Knockout of the Night" honors for it.
Nogueira now finds himself once again in the hunt for title contention, even at the age of 35.
6. Shane Carwin
Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos (UFC 131)
Even on a two-fight losing streak Shane Carwin finds himself at No. 6.
Carwin is coming off of losses to former UFC heavyweight champ, Brock Lesnar—a title fight, by the way—and a loss to current UFC heavyweight champ, Junior dos Santos.
Carwin's last fight was in June and he was expected to have another fight this year, but due to back surgery he will most likely be out until mid-2012.
5. Frank Mir
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Roy Nelson (UFC 130)
The former UFC heavyweight champion has won his last two fights against Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop.
Mir has yet to be the undisputed champion again since his motorcycle accident and is well on his way to getting yet another shot at the title.
Mir will be facing Minotauro Nogueira at UFC 140 in what could be a fight that catapults him into title contention.
4. Alistair Overeem
Record: 35-11 with 1 NC
Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Fabricio Werdum (Strikeforce: Werdum vs. Overeem)
A toe injury and a roster cut later, Alistair Overeem finds himself in the UFC fighting for a shot at Junior dos Santos' belt.
Overeem's superb striking has made many fans believe he can take the UFC belt one day. The first step of his journey there is against former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
If Overeem can pull off the win in this classic striker versus grappler match, he may very well be the next heavyweight champion.
3. Brock Lesnar
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Most Recent Fight: Knockout loss to Cain Velasquez (UFC 121)
We can say all the nice things about Overeem, but we'll even it out here with his opponent, Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar hasn't fought since his loss in October of 2010 due to his second bout with diverticulitis. Lesnar was expected to face Junior dos Santos to be the No. 1 contender, but due to his illness he had to pull out of UFC 131 after his coaching duties on The Ultimate Fighter 13.
Now Lesnar is back and is facing a tough Overeem. Lesnar possesses the tools to beat Overeem and he could very well be on his way back to the UFC promised land with a victory over Overeem at UFC 141.
2. Cain Velasquez
Most Recent Fight: Knockout loss to Junior dos Santos (UFC on Fox 1)
Cain Velasquez made his first title defense on national television at UFC on Fox 1 against Junior dos Santos.
JDS quickly knocked out the former heavyweight champion and gave Cain his first professional loss.
Even with that loss, the 9-1 fighter still finds himself as the No. 2 heavyweight according to Bleacher Report.
No word on Cain's next opponent yet, but whoever it is could help bring Cain back to the UFC title picture.
1. Junior Dos Santos
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Most Recent Fight: Knockout victory over Cain Velasquez (UFC on Fox 1)
Of course the current UFC heavyweight champion is No. 1 on the list.
JDS has been impressive in the UFC, winning all eight of his fights, including names like Mirko Cro Cop, Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.
JDS' striking has brought him this far and it has been some of the best displays of striking the heavyweight division has seen.
Now he waits to see who emerges victorious at UFC 141, Brock Lesnar or Alistair Overeem.
Whoever it is, they have their hands full with JDS.
View all Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for December 2011