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411’s MMA Rankings 6.05.08: Light Heavyweight Rankings

June 5, 2008 | Posted by Dustin James

Welcome back to the best MMA rankings column here on 411. My name as always is Dustin James. This go round we are ranking the best light heavyweight fighters in MMA. Where does everybody rank after the fallout of UFC 84? I’m talking about guys like Wanderlei Silva, Keith Jardine, Sokoudjou, Lyoto Machida, & Tito Ortiz. The only way you will know is to keep reading. But first….

EliteXC “Saturday Night Fights” Thoughts

And because this past Saturday was such a “huge event” in the history of MMA, with the sport debuting on primetime television. I thought that I would give my opinion on the show, which I thought overall was a pretty good show. In my opinion the show did feel a little second-rate and I believe the UFC could have put on a better prime time debut, but this is what we get for now. I also feel that Kimbo Slice was exposed and it’s only a matter of time before we *hopefully* stop hearing that guy’s name. Probably after Brett Rogers knocks his head off. Here are my thoughts on the show, fight-by fight……

Brett Rogers vs. Jon Murphy

At first I thought the ref called the fight a little prematurely. I thought that Murphy might have been a little rocked but I felt that he could have been fine. Then I saw the replay and I changed my mind. Rogers hit Murphy once and then followed through with a back hand causing Murphy to drop on all fours and the dude was out like a light at bed time!

Phil Baroni vs. Joey Villasenor

I’m done with Phil Baroni. His entrance was one of the worst entrance’s I have ever seen. If you are a pro wrestling fan then you can relate when I say it reminded me of that Alex Wright freak from WCW. Either way I was hoping for a dominant Villasenor win, and I was pretty happy with the end result. Just retire already Baroni.

Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young

This was a great fight! Carano looked yummy as usual. I don’t get the people saying Kaitlin Young is hot. I wouldn’t touch her with a 10 foot pole. Other than that, Carano looked impressive. Oh, and if Gina wants to start cutting weight…..she should start focusing on those legs. She has bigger quads than me.

Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

This was a great fight with a horrible ending. I realize that doctor’s have to stop the fight if the fighter says he can’t see out of his eye, but why not give him the whole five minutes to recover? To me this just reeked of EliteXC saying “Call the fight, schedule a re-match!”. But then again, I’m a pretty big conspiracy theorist.

Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson

And so we begin, Kimbo Slice exposed take 1! I’m really hoping that EliteXC does schedule a Brett Rogers/Kimbo Slice fight. That would easily be Slice’s biggest test to date, and I have a feeling that Rogers might be the one to derail the “Kimbo Slice hype train” that has been chugging along for far too long now.

UFC 85: Bedlam Preview

(I realize that two of those bouts on the poster aren’t happening. But oh well, that’s life!)

And it’s time once again! Another month, another UFC PPV. Only this show is special! Why do I say that? Because it is cursed. It was originally scheduled to have a main event of Chuck Liddell vs. Shogun Rua. However, Shogun suffered an injury and was forced to pull out. Rashad Evans was then named as a replacement. However, Liddell THEN suffered an injury and was forced to pull out. James Irvin was then named as a replacement. However, Irvin THEN suffered an injury and the UFC just said “SCREW IT” and took Rashad off the card all together and put Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves as our new main event and since then…..only a few of the under card fights have changed due to injuries. Either way I’m just looking forward to getting this show over with so I can stop worrying that Matt Hughes was going to die in some freak tractor accident.

Here’s your preview…….

-Antoni Hardonk (6-4) (4 KOs, 2 submissions) vs. Eddie Sanchez (8-1) (6 KOs, 2 submissions)

Fact: Eddie Sanchez’s only pro loss has come at the hands of Mirko Cro Cop.

-Jess Liaudin (12-9) (3 KOs, 8 submissions, 1 decision) vs. Paul Taylor (8-3-1) (5 KOs, 2 submissions, 1 decision)

Fact: These two fought in 2003 with Taylor getting the win by decision.

-Luiz Cane (7-1) (6 KOs, 1 submission) vs. Jason Lambert (23-7) (12 KOs, 7 submissions, 4 decisions)

Fact: Luiz Cane’s only pro loss came at the hands of James Irvin at UFC 79 when Cane lost via DQ. It was also Cane’s UFC debut.

-Roan Carneiro (12-6) (1 KO, 6 submissions, 5 decisions) vs. Kevin Burns (5-1) (2 KOs, 3 submissions)

Fact: This will be Kevin Burn’s UFC debut. He was a last minute replacement for Ryo Chonan.

-Matt Wiman (9-3) (3 KOs, 3 submissions, 3 decisions) vs. Thiago Tavares (13-1) (1 KO, 10 submissions, 2 decisions)

Fact: Thiago Tavares suffered the first loss of his professional career at the hands of Tyson Griffin at UFC 76. Matt Wiman competed on the Ultimate Fighter season five.

-Jorge Rivera (15-6) (10 KOs, 2 submissions, 3 decisions) vs. Martin Kampmann (15-2) (6 KOs, 6 submissions, 1 decision, 2 other)

Fact: Before Kampmann was sidelined with an injury, he was a serious contender for the UFC middleweight title.

-Fabricio Werdum (10-3-1) (3 KOs, 5 submissions, 1 decision, 1 other) vs. Brandon Vera (8-1) (6 KOs, 1 submission, 1 decision)

Fact: Brandon Vera’s only professional loss came at the hands of Tim Sylvia at UFC 77.

-Nate Marquardt (26-7-2) (4 KOs, 15 submissions, 7 decisions) vs. Thales Leites (12-1) (2 KOs, 8 submissions, 2 decisions)

Fact: Thales Leites’ only pro loss came at the hands of Martin Kampmann back at the Ultimate Fighter season 4 finale in 2006.

-Marcus Davis (14-3) (5 KOs, 7 submissions, 2 decisions) vs. Mike Swick (11-2) (5 KOs, 2 submissions, 3 decisions, 1 other)

Fact: Marcus Davis is currently on an 11 fight win streak. His last loss came at the hands of Melvin Guillard back at the Ultimate Fighter 2 finale in 2005.

-Michael Bisping (15-1) (10 KOs, 4 submissions, 1 decision) vs. Jason Day (17-5) (8 KOs, 8 submissions, 1 decision)

Fact: Michael Bisping’s only pro loss came at the hands of Rashad Evans back at UFC 78 in November. Since then Bisping has dropped down to middleweight.

-Matt Hughes (42-6) (14 KOs, 19 submissions, 9 decisions) vs. Thiago Alves (14-3) (9 KOs, 1 submission, 4 decisions)

Fact: Thiago Alves is currently on a 5 fight win streak with impressive wins over Chris Lytle and Karo Parisyan.

Now, on with the good stuff………

411’s MMA Ranking Rules

– If a fighter hasn’t fought in a year, he can not be ranked. It’s not fair to people who are fighting to not be ranked because a fighter is taking a year off. However, if a fighter schedules a fight he is still eligible for being ranked.

– If you wish to complain about a fighter’s ranking in the comments section, then please include an objective reason as to why you don’t like the ranking, and include your own set of rankings if you would!

– 411’s MMA Rankings are voted on by the staff of 411mania. Therefore, if you don’t like where a fighter is ranked you have to hate the 411 MMA staff as a whole. But we can take it, we are men. But remember that some of us are sensitive and don’t like being called names like “Kimbo Slice” fans.

*I would like to point out that for the time being we have decided to leave Dan Henderson off of the light heavyweight rankings due to the fact that it looks like he is going to stay in the UFC’s middleweight division for the forseeable future.

411’s Official MMA Rankings: Light Heavyweight Division

Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs)

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1) Quinton Jackson (28-6)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: June 20, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Dan Henderson – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion – September 8, 2007

– vs. Chuck Liddell – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson – May 26, 2007

– vs. Marvin Eastman – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 67: All or Nothing – February 3, 2007

– vs. Matt Lindland – Win via decision (split) – WFA – King of the Streets – July 22, 2006

– vs. Dong Sik Yoon – Win via decision (unanimous) – PRIDE 31: Dreamers – February 26, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Forrest Griffin – UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” – July 5, 2008

Comments: Jackson remains atop the Light Heavyweight division but that’s because he hasn’t fought in what seems like FOREVER. But that’s the penalty of being a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. The perks? Camera time. The downside? No fighting. I just wish July would hurry up and get here because for some reason I have already forgot what that signature Rampage “howl” sounds like. Hey July……..DO HURRY!


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2) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-3)

Birthday: November 25, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Forrest Griffin – Loss via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 76: Knockout – September 22, 2007

– vs. Alistair Overeem – Win via KO (strikes) – PRIDE 33: Second Coming – February 24, 2007

– vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura – Win via decision (unanimous) – PRIDE Shockwave 2006 – December 31, 2006

– vs. Kevin Randleman – Win via submission (kneebar) – PRIDE 32: The Real Deal – October 21, 2006

– vs. Cyrille Diabate – Win via TKO (stomps) – PRIDE – Final Conflict Absolute – September 10, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently injured

Comments: And Shogun remains one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division despite being injured and despite not having a victory in over a year. What’s the excuse for Shogun’s high ranking? Respect. Shogun has beat some of the best in the game (Rampage) and just because he has been quiet over the past year doesn’t mean the guy isn’t still dangerous. I would be SHOCKED to see Shogun drop two straight in the UFC.


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3) Chuck Liddell (21-5)

Height: 6’2

Birthday: December 17, 1969

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Wanderlei Silva – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 79: Nemesis – December 29, 2007

– vs. Keith Jardine – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 76: Knockout – September 22, 2007

– vs. Quinton Jackson – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson – May 26, 2007

– vs. Tito Ortiz – Win via TKO (punches) – UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II – December 30, 2006

– vs. Renato Sobral – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral – August 26, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Rashad Evans – UFC 88 – September 2008 *RUMOR*

Comments: Since Liddell is currently on the sidelines with an injury, I will take this time to prove to you why MMAmath doesn’t work. Here’s why. Chuck Liddell lost to Keith Jardine via decision. Chuck Liddell beat Wanderlei Silva by decision. Wanderlei Silva KILLED Keith Jardine. Now you know why it is so hard to rank these damn fighters! Because of Keith Jardine’s inconsistency we have a funked up rankings situation. Either way, Liddell remains atop of the Light Heavyweight division because when it comes down to it, he’s easily one of the best in the division. End of argument.


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4) Lyoto Machida (13-0)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: May 3, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Tito Ortiz – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou – Win via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC 79: Nemesis – December 29, 2007

– vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 76: Knockout – September 22, 2007

– vs. David Heath – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 70: Nations Collide – April 21, 2007

– vs. Sam Hoger – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 67: All or Nothing – February 3, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown

Comments: A lot of people dislike the way Lyoto Machida fights, that could be the main reason he doesn’t get the respect that goes with his 13-0 record. Perhaps if he finished more opponents instead of getting decision victories he would be ranked #2 on this list? Either way, I don’t fault the guy personally. I personally have Machida ranked #2 on my list because in my mind you can’t fault the guy for fighting the way he does. He gets victories and that’s what counts! It would not shock me at all to see Machida face the winner of the Forrest Griffin/Rampage fight coming up in July. Watch out for The Dragon.


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5) Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1-1)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: July 3, 1976

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Keith Jardine – Win via KO (punches) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Chuck Liddell – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 79: Nemesis – December 29, 2007

– vs. Dan Henderson – Loss via KO (left hook) – PRIDE 33: The Second Coming – February 24, 2007

– vs. Mirko Cro Cop – Loss via KO (head kick) – PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute – September 10, 2006

– vs. Kazuyuki Fujita – Win via TKO (strikes) – PRIDE – Critical Countdown Absolute – July 1, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown

Comments: Ladies and gentlemen, the Axe Murderer is back! Wow, what a performance by Wanderlei Silva at UFC 84. I actually felt bad for Keith Jardine watching him look paralyzed on the mat after Silva basically took his head off. I have to admit though, I breathed a little sigh of relief after the fight because I knew that Wanderlei was finally back. Now what does he do? Does he re-match Chuck Liddell? Does he move down to middleweight and fight Anderson Silva? One thing is for sure, he is just glad he didn’t lose 4 fights in a row!


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6) Forrest Griffin (15-4)

Height: 6’3

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Mauricio Rua – Win by submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 76: Knockout – September 22, 2007

– vs. Hector Ramirez – Win by decision (unanimous) – UFC 72: Victory – July 16, 2007

– vs. Keith Jardine – Loss by TKO (punches) – UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 – December 30, 2006

– vs. Stephan Bonnar – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral – August 26, 2006

– vs. Tito Ortiz – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 59: Reality Check – April 15, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” – July 5, 2008

Comments: By the next time we rank the light heavyweight fighters here on 411mania, we should know if Forrest is riding high on top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. To me, it would be a bigger upset than Forrest over Shogun if he can pull of a victory over Rampage. I don’t see it happening, but I have been wrong before. I mean, how many people saw Forrest over Shogun? If you are saying “me”……then you sir are a LIAR!


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7) Keith Jardine (13-4-1)

Height: 6’2

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Wanderlei Silva – Loss by KO (punches) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Chuck Liddell – Win by decision (split) – UFC 76: Knockout – September 22, 2007

– vs. Houston Alexander – Loss by KO (punches) – UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson – May 26, 2007

– vs. Forrest Griffin – Win by TKO (punches) – UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 – December 30, 2006

– vs. Wilson Gouveia – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC – Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale – June 24, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown

Comments: Poor Keith Jardine. One of the most inconsistent fighters in the UFC. Right when he pulls off a huge victory that looks like it is THE victory that is going to propel him to the top (Griffin, Liddell) he goes and suffers a loss that knocks him right down to the bottom again (Alexander, Silva). Maybe one of these days he will get his shit together and become a more consistent fighter and sit on top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Either that, or he will be headlining EliteXC cards in the near future.


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8) Rashad Evans (11-0-1)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: September 25, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Michael Bisping – Win via decision (split) – UFC 78: Validation – November 17, 2007

– vs. Tito Ortiz – Draw – UFC 73: Stacked – July 7, 2007

– vs. Sean Salmon – Win via KO (high kick) – UFC Fight Night 8 – January 25, 2007

– vs. Jason Lambert – Win via KO (punches from mount) – UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn – September 23, 2006

– vs. Stephan Bonnar – Win via decision (majority) – UFC – Ultimate Fight Night 5 – June 28, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Chuck Liddell – UFC 88 – September 2008 *RUMOR*

Comments: What an interesting few months it has been for “Sugar”. At first he was scheduled to face Chuck Liddell at UFC 85, then Liddell was forced to pull out due to an injury. Then Evans was scheduled to face James Irvin at the event. BUT then Irvin had to pull out due to an injury. Then the UFC just said “screw it” and removed Rashad from the card all together. Now what is he going to do? I reported a few days ago that it’s highly rumored that Rashad/Liddell has been re-scheduled for UFC 88 in September. I’m just trying to get some confirmation on this!


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9) Thiago Silva (13-0)

Height: 6’1

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Antonio Mendes – Win via submission (punches) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Houston Alexander – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 78: Validation – November 17, 2007

– vs. Tomasz Drwal – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion – September 8, 2007

– vs. James Irvin – Win via TKO (knee injury) – UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson – May 26, 2007

– vs. Tatsuya Mizuno – Win via KO (soccer kick) – Pancrase – Rising 2 – February 28, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown

Comments: Folks, you want to talk about somebody who is a dangerous threat in the UFC’s light heavyweight division….then look no further than Thiago Silva himself. Everybody made such a huge deal about James Irvin’s 8 second KO of Houston Alexander. Well guess what! Silva has beaten BOTH of those guys by TKO! So how dangerous does that make him? He did almost get caught by Mendes in the early rounds of their UFC 84 fight, but he recovered and managed to take Mendes out. Thiago is a fighter who is moving up and is somebody everybody should look out for.


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10) Tito Ortiz (15-6-1)

Height: 6’2

Birthday: January 23, 1975

Currently Fighting With: Free Agent

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Lyoto Machida – Loss via Decision (unanimous) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Rashad Evans – Draw – UFC 73: Stacked – July 7, 2007

– vs. Chuck Liddell – Loss via TKO (punches) – UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 – December 30, 2006

– vs. Ken Shamrock – Win via TKO (punches) – Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter – October 10, 2006

– vs. Ken Shamrock – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 61: Bitter Rivals – July 8, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown

Comments: Did we see Tito Ortiz’s last fight in the UFC at UFC 84? I personally don’t think so. While I don’t think this Dana/Tito thing is a work, I do believe that Tito will come to his senses and realize that the UFC is where he needs to be. Tito might have suffered a broken hand at UFC 84 and may be forced to sit on the sidelines for a few months, but when he comes back the big question is……where will he fight? EliteXC? Affliction? Adrenaline MMA? DREAM? He has options, it just comes down to what he decides is best for Tito……and Jenna.


On the bubble:

(On the bubble includes fighters who almost cracked the Top 10. These fighters remain serious threats in their current division)

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Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-2)

Birthday: April 18, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura – Win via TKO (leg injury) – UFC 84: Ill Will – May 24, 2008

– vs. Lyoto Machida – Loss via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC 79: Nemesis – December 29, 2007

– vs. Ricardo Arona – Win via KO (punch) – PRIDE 34: Kamikaze – April 8, 2007

– vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Win via TKO (strikes) – PRIDE 33 – Second Coming – February 24, 2007

– vs. Glover Teixeira – Loss via TKO (strikes) – WEC 24: Full Force – October 12, 2006

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Currently unknown


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Vladimir Matyushenko (21-3)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: January 4, 1971

Currently Fighting With: IFL

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Jamal Patterson – Win via TKO (strikes) – IFL: New Jersey – April 4, 2008

– vs. Alex Schoenauer – Win via decision (unanimous) – IFL – World Grand Prix Semifinals – November 3, 2007

– vs. Tim Boetsch – Win via decision (unanimous) – IFL – 2007 Semifinals – August 2, 2007

– vs. Aaron Stark – Win via TKO (punches) – IFL – Everett – June 1, 2007

– vs. Justin Levens – Win via TKO (strikes) – IFL – Los Angeles – March 17, 2007

Next scheduled appearance:

– Currently unknown


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Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (13-3)

Height: 6’2

Birthday: June 2, 1976

Currently Fighting With: Affliction

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Todd Gouwenberg – Win via TKO – HCF – Destiny – February 1, 2008

– vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou – Loss via TKO (strikes) – PRIDE 33: The Second Coming – February 24, 2007

– vs. Alistair Overeem – Win via TKO (strikes) – PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute – July 7, 2006

– vs. Mauricio Rua – Loss via decision (unanimous) – PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 – June 6, 2005

– vs. Dan Henderson – Win via submission (arm bar) – PRIDE – Total Elimination 2005 – April 23, 2005

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Vernon White – Affliction: Banned – July 19, 2008

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Dustin James

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