Heavy MMA Rankings: July 2010

photo Zuffa/Hedges

Middleweight (171lbs. – 185lbs.)

1 Anderson Silva
26-4-0 UFC
Though he seems hell bent on alienating every last one of his fans, there is no more dominant a champion than he in MMA.

2 Chael Sonnen
24-10-1 UFC
Sonnen’s improvements since his first fight against Paulo Filho have been remarkable. He’s earned his August 7th title shot against Anderson Silva.

3 Jake Shields
25-4-1 FA
It seems but a matter of time until he joins the UFC, but at what weight class?

4 Nate Marquardt
29-9-2 UFC
Marquardt begins his climb back into contention against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 118 on Aug. 28th.

5 Dan Henderson
25-8-0 Strikeforce
Did the loss to Shields sour him on the division for the time being? Will he enter Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament or fight Renato Sobral next?

6 Demian Maia
12-2-0 UFC
Unable to strike with champ Silva, Belcher should prove a more appropriate opponent as a muay thai practitioner.

7 Wanderlei Silva
33-10-1 (1 NC) UFC
His victory over Bisping legitimized himself as a middleweight, but a would-be fight against Leben will have to wait until his injuries heal.

8 Michael Bisping
19-3-0 UFC
Has plenty of work to do to become a legitimate contender, but losing to Silva and Henderson isn’t damning.

9 Alan Belcher
16-6-0 UFC
His back-to-back knockouts of Cote and Gouveia were impressive. Can he make it three in a row against Maia?

10 Chris Leben
21-6-0 UFC
Despite stopping both Akiyama and previously unbeaten Aaron Simpson in a span of two weeks, Leben is not fighting on the August 1 UFC event. Yet.

11 Ronaldo Souza
12-2-0 (1 NC) Strikeforce
Fun fact: he beat Bellator season 2 middleweight winner Alexander Shlemenko in 2006. It was Shlemenko’s 17th fight and Souza’s third.

12 Vitor Belfort
19-8-0 UFC
He beat Franklin the way Anderson Silva used to and earned a title shot following Silva’s defense against Sonnen.

On the brink: Yoshihiro Akiyama (UFC, 13-2-0, 2 NC), Thales Leites (MFC, 17-3-0), Jorge Santiago (Sengoku, 22-8-0)

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