Taking at look at the 185lb weight class for February
We’re rolling right through our rankings this week. Today, we take a look at the middleweight division dominated by Anderson Silva.
Note: Our rankings are subjective and are weighted heavily on recent fight performance and not the entirety of a career.
1. Anderson Silva
Silva’s emphatic front-kick knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 cemented his place as the greatest fighter in the world, regardless of weight class. If UFC 129 turns out the way the majority of the world hopes, Silva’s next opponent will come in the form of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. It’s the superfight everybody wants to see and perhaps the defining fight of our lifetime.
2. Chael Sonnen
Sonnen’s ludicrious trash-talking fell to new levels after Silva’s victory over Belfort. He no longer seems fresh and funny, but tired and desperate. He’s still the second-best middleweight in the world by virtue of his performance against Silva, but his next opponent will depend on the outcome of his sentencing for federal money laundering. It’s not a good time to be Chael Sonnen, friends.
3. Yushin Okami
Okami is probably Jake Shields’ biggest fan these days. Dana White said that Okami will get his long-awaited title shot at Silva if Shields beats St. Pierre. Look for Okami in the front row at UFC 129 sporting a GSP shirt and waving a Canadian flag.
4. Nate Marquardt
Marquardt faces Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 in March. A win would put him one step closer to another title shot, but he’ll have to wait in line for quite some time.
5. Ronaldo Souza
Souza doesn’t have many credible contenders left in the Strikeforce middleweight division, and he’s not interested in a rematch with Jason Miller.
6. Demian Maia
Maia is itching to get back in the Octagon, but doesn’t have a fight book as of press time. We’d like to see him paired up with Wanderlei Silva in a battle of Brazilians, but don’t expect to see that fight any time soon, as we expect to see Silva facing off against Vitor Belfort.
7. Dan Henderson
Henderson won’t be in the middleweight division for much longer; he faces off against Rafael Cavalcante for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title next month in conjunction with the Arnold Classic in Ohio.
8. Vitor Belfort
Belfort’s crushing defeat to Silva left him in limbo, but Wanderlei Silva may have rescued him from the post-loss doldrums by challenging him to a fight. That bout is a perfect fit for UFC Rio, if they see fit to wait that long.
9. Jorge Santiago
Santiago left Sengoku and signed with the UFC last week. He’ll face Brian Stann in May.
10. Brian Stann
Stann spent the better part of a month challenging Wanderlei Silva to a fight, but Silva wanted no part of the American hero. Instead, he’ll welcome Jorge Santiago to the UFC at UFC 130. A win puts Stann dangerously close to a title shot.