The MMA world has been turned on its head in the past two weeks, making this the perfect time to debut the HeavyMMA.com official MMA rankings.
Our MMA ranking philosophy is that rankings are a snapshot of the current MMA landscape and do not necessarily indicate who we think would win in a fight. In most cases, a fighter will be ranked higher than an opponent he has recently defeated. Fighters are not explicitly excluded from the rankings due to inactivity, though it stands to reason that fighters who are more active at the highest levels of the sport shall work past their inactive counterparts. 12 fighters shall be ranked in each of the seven major weight classes: bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight. The ranking committee is comprised of: Jeremy Botter, Matt Brown, Brett C. Jones, E. Spencer Kyte, and Ryan Loco.
For the first time in seven years, someone not named Fedor Emelianenko tops the heavyweight division. Though Fabricio Werdum was the man to, at long last, return Fedor from his god-like status back down to Earth, the comeback-from-certain-defeat victory of Brock Lesnar may have been the more resonant outcome. Lesnar’s submission victory over Carwin, as well as his victories over former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, gives Lesnar the strongest set of victories in the past three years amongst heavyweights. Lesnar has earned his place atop the heavyweight division at a time when the division is at its strongest point to date. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s as talent rich as the rest of the divisions in MMA.
Elsewhere, Chris Leben’s inspired (and inspiring) performance against Yoshihiro Akiyama just two weeks after his knockout victory over previously unbeaten Aaron Simpson has jostled the Middleweight division a bit. His presumed match against Wanderlei Silva will be Leben’s biggest test since fighting Anderson Silva, the only man to knock Leben out. It will be several months until the match can be put together, as Silva is on the mend after having broken his ribs in training. It’s just as well, as the hard working Leben has earned a respite.
Of course, these are just a few of the outcomes that have contributed to our rankings. July should be a relatively quiet month in the world of MMA. With nine significant events on the schedule for August, we may well see the rankings turned upside down. More than once, perhaps. Check out the rankings after the jump.