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Rankings Spotlight: MMA’s Top 5 Light Heavyweights

(Well, this explains that full rack of “Machida Era” T-shirts at the Montreal Salvation Army. Pic: Knucklepit)

Once long trumpeted as MMA’s marquee weight division, the 205-pound class has had a bit of a rough go in recent years. Call it light heavyweight’s awkward teen phase. The consistency of Tito Ortiz’s early dominance and the glory days of the Chuck vs. Randy trilogy have faded into the uncertain mediocrity of the Rampage-Forrest-Rashad-Machida-Shogun Era. Frankly, what we have here is a division in desperate need of stability. If only someone would come along to restore the 205-pound class to its former awesomeness … someone enormous, with unrivaled athleticism and really, really long arms … someone possessing of unwavering spirituality and wicked Greco throws … someone who could capitalize on the misfortune of his training partners and vault directly into a title shot after just a handful of wins over middling opponents … Anyway, if that guy’s out there somewhere, we can’t possibly imagine who it might be.

Right now, light heavyweight rankings are anybody’s best guess. After the jump, find the current top fives, according to CP’s editorial staff along with our dubious justifications of our crappy opinions. Check out our lists and let us know how badly we screwed them up, would you please …


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Jose Aldo MMA WEC
(Jose Aldo: Murdering his way to the #4 spot.)

After the recent whirlwind of MMA activity in the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, and DREAM, I’ve updated the Heavyweight, Welterweight, and Featherweight pages of our Power Rankings section. Check ‘em out and let us know what you think. Do Jeff Monson and Brett Rogers deserve to sneak into the heavyweight list? Who do you think sits just outside of the welterweight top ten? Is it okay that I’m so biased towards the WEC’s featherweights? Feel free to peruse all our divisional rankings, though I realize that the middleweight list is severely outdated, and I might not even want to deal with it until after UFC 100.



CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Shane Carwin UFC 96 MMA
(Shane Carwin — one of the ten best heavyweights in the world. Photo courtesy of

In the wake of UFC 95, WEC 39, and UFC 96, we’ve tidied up the heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, and featherweight top ten lists in our Power Rankings section. Some notable changes…

— Shane Carwin enters the heavyweight list at #9 after taking out his first Top 20 opponent in 69 seconds.

Keith Jardine leaves the light-heavyweight list (temporarily, at least) after his loss to Quinton Jackson on Saturday. He may have beaten a post-peak Chuck Liddell and a pre-peak Forrest Griffin, but it’s unclear if he has what it takes to beat a high-level opponent when they’re at their best.

Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields drop a spot due to inactivity. Not their fault, but whaddya gonna do. Luckily, their stints in Strikeforce begin soon.

Josh Koscheck falls to #8 on the welterweight list after being upset by Paulo Thiago. Kos definitely still has the talent of a top-ten fighter — he’s just made some unfortunate choices.

— Jose Aldo ascends to #6 on the featherweight list after his fourth brutal stoppage win in the WEC.

Check ‘em out and let us know if you see things differently.

Unrelated, but important: Thanks so much for all your awesome nominations in our Best MMA Bars forum thread. We’re going to start compiling our list soon, so if you have any others to share, please let us know!


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Quinton Rampage Jackson UFC MMA
(Rampage mean-mugs his way back to #2. Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun.)

In the wake of UFC 92′s wild string of upsets, we’ve updated the light-heavyweight and heavyweight top ten lists in our Power Rankings section. Some notes:

Rashad Evans takes the #1 spot at 205 pounds. The UFC’s light-heavyweight division is still a shark tank where almost any fighter could be the best on a given day, but I think Sugar has the skills to defend his belt at least once. Evans/Rampage could be epic; let’s hope it happens soon.

Frank Mir jumps to #4 following back-to-back wins over the UFC’s two best heavyweights. That is just craaaaaazy. If Mir can beat Brock Lesnar a second time and unify the heavyweight title, it’ll be one of the most miraculous career comebacks in MMA history.

— I’d love to get some new blood into the bottom of the heavyweight list, but it’ll have to wait until Shane Carwin and Gabriel Gonzaga have their fight in March, or until Dave Herman, Antonio Silva, Alistair Overeem, or Sergei Kharitonov beat a highly-ranked opponent.

Head over to the rankings page to toss in your own opinions, and keep an eye on the lightweight list this week, as four of the top ten fighters will be competing in MMA matches at Fields Dynamite!! 2008 on New Year’s Eve.


CagePotato Comments of the Week

Paulo Filho MMA WEC
(“The belt, the flannel, and the bible — only these three things are sacred.” Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

In an effort to get more of you bastards walking around as human billboards for, we’re going to start giving away CP “Hall of Fame” t-shirts to our two favorite comments of the week. (Well, out of the ones we actually read, at least.) This week’s honorees are:

Krazy Kracker on “Paulo Filho Has No Excuse”: This is no laughing matter you guys. Earlier tonight Filho was complaining of chest pains and was rushed to the nearest emergency room. After several tests doctors have comfirmed that instead of a heart, Paulo has a gigantic clitoris pumping pure estrogen through his veins. The flow of estrogen can only be slowed by wearing sleeveless flannel shirts and resting on your back once every minute. Usually cutting weight is no problem if he can time his fights into that five day window all clitoris owners have once a month, where he can purge himself of roughly ten pounds of pesky blood, but Hurricane Ike threw a wrench in his plans. Without being whipped into a PMS induced rage, we saw his true colors… a typical moody bitch, yelling at someone to do chores from the other room, looking for rich men to lay at MMA events and falling into missionary position whenever a man gets within three feet. A sad day for the sport indeed. According to Filho’s manager “All we need is four days, a lot of chocolate, sweatpants and a copy of Sleepless in Seattle and Paulo will be back in the cage the THIRD week of any month you’d like.”


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Miguel Torres WEC MMA
(Miguel Torres: The snub is over. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

In light of the recent DREAM and EliteXC shows, we tidied up the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and pound-for-pound lists on our Power Rankings page. Some things to keep in mind…

— Partly because we don’t have a bantamweight rankings page (yet?), I’d simply forgotten to include Miguel Torres on the pound-for-pound list. That insult stops today.
— Deep down, I believe that Fedor Emelianenko is the best fighter on Earth. But based on recent activity, I have to keep Anderson Silva as the pound-for-pound #1. If Fedor can smash another top-ten heavyweight this year, he’ll move into the top spot. Then again, if Silva can smash a top-ten light-heavyweight by the end of the year, he’ll comfortably stay where he is.
— Matt Lindland becomes the first fighter to leave the rankings after winning a fight. In my opinion, anybody who still thinks he’s a top-ten middleweight is living in the past. It’s been about six years since he’s beaten anybody even close to the top ten, and his less-than-thrilling decision win against the under-experienced Fabio Negao at Affliction: Banned suggests that he’d get smoked against anyone in the top 15. Just my $0.02.

Anyway, head on over and leave some comments on the individual weight class pages to let us know how you feel. And make sure to re-check ‘em in about ten days, as UFC 87 may have some serious impact on the 155- and 170-pound lists. Good day to you.



CagePotato ‘Power Rankings’ Updated

Thiago Alves UFC
(Comin’ for that #1 spot…)

2008 is shaping up to be the busiest and most exciting year in MMA’s history — which is a great thing, unless you’re trying to keep your top ten lists current, in which case it’s a total pain in the ass. Though there aren’t many profound changes in the latest update to our Power Rankings page, recent events have caused some fighters to drop due to losses (i.e., Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Hayato Sakurai, Masakazu Imanari) some to jump up after big wins (Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Alves, Power Rankings newcomer Gegard Mousasi), and some to secure their already impressive positions (Lyoto Machida, Urijah Faber, Robbie Lawler). Give it a look, and click on each weight class for additional notes and to leave comments. And stay tuned, as Sunday’s DREAM.4 card could produce some changes in the middleweight list, and July 21st’s Affliction event could lead to a massive re-shuffling of the heavyweight deck.



‘Power Rankings’ Update of DOOM!

(Crazy Anderson Silva wallpaper courtesy of

Over the last couple weeks, Matt Serra came crashing back down to Earth, Rich Franklin got his balls back, Shinya Aoki smothered JZ, and Denis Kang went out like a bitch. So if you haven’t swung by our Power Rankings section lately, please do so. In particular, the lightweight, middleweight, and pound-for-pound lists were freshly updated today. And you may be surprised at how high I ranked Travis Wiuff in the heavyweight division for going all the way at YAMMA 1…

Anyway, give ‘em a look and let us know if you see things differently.



CagePotato Power Rankings Updated!

(They…can’t…touch…him. Photo credit: MMAWeekly)

In the wake of UFC 82, Cage Rage 25, WEC 32, Sengoku 1 and DREAM 1, we’ve put together a long-overdue update to our Power Rankings page. Check it out, and be sure to click on each individual weight division to read our comments and leave your own. Some notable developments since last time:

— Yes, Anderson Silva is the best fighter in the world right now.
— Our middleweight list underwent a complete deck-reshuffling, with Henderson, Lawler, and Lindland sinking in the rankings due to losses, injuries, and inactivity.
— Masakazu Imanari’s recent performance (and title grab) at Cage Rage moves him up to the third-ranked featherweight in the world, after Urijah and “Kid.”
— The top half of the heavyweight rankings list remains in stalemate, and there were virtually no changes to the light-heavyweight top ten; expect chaos to ensue beginning in May.
— Sokoudjou is off our light-heavy list. We just couldn’t justify including a guy with only six pro fights, two of which he actually lost.
— We’ve included a two-person tie for the first time, at the #10 slot of the welterweight list. The decision was too difficult to make; let us know how you feel.


Fighter Rankings 2.0


Announcement! Please check out our Power Rankings page, which now features insightful commentary on some of the fighters’ rankings. You can also leave comments for each individual weight class now, so fire away…