Bigfoot makes a move
February’s biggest mover in the heavyweight division is Antonio Silva, who jumps up several spots based on the strength of his stunning win over Fedor Emelianenko. It’s true that Emelianenko is not what he once was, but that doesn’t make Silva’s win any less impressive. In 2005, he was heralded as the guy who had the tools and the size to defeat Emelianenko. In 2011, he finally made it happen, and his star is on the rise while Emelianenko’s is dangerously close to fading away for good.
Let’s take a look at February’s rankings for the heavyweight division.
1. Cain Velasquez
Velasquez will be on the mend for the foreseeable future after undergoing a medical prodecure, but he has returned to light cardio work at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. Of course, “light cardio” for Cain Velasquez is about 10x longer than we’ve ever run in our entire life.
2. Brock Lesnar
You’d never know it to be true, but Lesnar is still in Vegas and is said to be enjoying his time coaching The Ultimate Fighter a great deal. Once he finishes the coaching gig, he’ll return to Minnesota and begin preparations for Junior dos Santos.
3. Fabricio Werdum
Werdum meets Alistair Overeem. We don’t know when and we don’t know where, but we’re pretty sure the fight is happening. And with Fedor’s loss, Werdum’s road to the grand prix title suddenly got a lot easier.
4. Junior dos Santos
Dos Santo is bringing a slew of big-name coaches to help him on The Ultimate Fighter. Sadly, none of them are Steven Seagal. That would have been awesome.
5. Antonio Silva
The big win over Emelianenko rockets Silva up the rankings. But more importantly, let’s talk about how much he sounds like Andre The Giant. The resemblance is uncanny. In all seriousness, though, Silva’s stock went through the roof when he dismantled Emelianenko, and he’ll face the winner of Werdum/Overeem in one of the more anticipated fights Strikeforce has to offer.
6. Shane Carwin
Shane returns from injury in June. Against who? We have no idea, at least not yet. But we can guarantee you that he’s probably ready to put a hurting on one unsuspecting UFC heavyweight.
7. Alistair Overeem
If Overeem runs the table in the Strikeforce grand prix, it’ll be tough to put him anywhere outside of the top three. For now, though, he stays here. Although his K-1 accomplishments are mighty impressive, we can’t put him high in MMA rankings based on what he accomplishes in other sports.
8. Frank Mir
The locals are calling Mir’s May bout with fellow Vegas citizen Roy Nelson “The Battle of Vegas.” It may not resonate with fans around the world, but there are plenty of bragging rights at stake for the winner.
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Nogueira wants to return at UFC Rio, and he’s asked for Brock Lesnar as an opponent. That’s not going to happen, but we’re sure they’ll find Big Nog a suitable opponent by August.
10. Roy Nelson
People forget that Big Country is a jiu-jitsu black belt. He’ll seek to remind the world why he’s a feared heavyweight grappler come May when he tries to tap out Frank Mir.
Don’t agree with our rankings? Tweet us @HeavyMMA and let us know where we messed up!