December 2011 Rankings

HEAVYWEIGHT 206-265

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Junior dos Santos 7.332 7.332

2 Alistair Overeem 6.785 6.785

3 Cain Velasquez 6.662 7.662

4 Josh Barnett 6.438 6.438

5 Brock Lesnar 6.205 7.205

6 Fabricio Werdum 5.785 6.335

7 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 5.763 6.875

8 Frank Mir 5.586 5.919

9 Shane Carwin 5.332 6.291

10 Daniel Cormier 5.329 5.329

Newly crowned UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos (#1) will trade fisticuffs with the winner of Alistair Overeem (#2) vs. Brock Lesnar (#5), which takes place at UFC 141 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT 186-205

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Jon Jones 7.389 7.389

2 Dan Henderson 7.097 7.097

3 Rashad Evans 6.499 6.596

4 Lyoto Machida 6.326 7.159

5 Mauricio Rua 6.097 6.928

6 Quinton Jackson 5.889 6.27

7 Alexander Gustafsson 5.789 5.789

8 Muhammed Lawal 5.681 6.113

9 Vladimir Matyushenko 5.247 5.247

10 Phil Davis 5.086 5.086

It’s a busy night for light heavyweights at UFC 140. Jon Jones (#1) will defend his title against Lyoto Machida (#4), while Tito Ortiz (#11) will lock horns with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (#29) and Krzysztof Soszynski (#36) will scrap with Igor Pokrajac (#39).

MIDDLEWEIGHT 171-185

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Anderson Silva 7.526 7.526

2 Mark Muñoz 6.497 6.497

3 Chael Sonnen 6.413 6.672

4 Yushin Okami 6.026 6.107

5 Vitor Belfort 5.932 6.37

6 Alan Belcher 5.696 5.696

7 Hector Lombard 5.686 5.686

8 Michael Bisping 5.671 5.671

9 Alexander Shlemenko 5.396 5.451

10 Siyar Bahadurzada 5.206 5.206

Mark Muñoz (#2) jumps two spots up the middleweight ladder after his TKO victory over Chris Leben (#15) at UFC 138 on Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England.

WELTERWEIGHT 156-170

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Georges St-Pierre 6.985 6.985

2 Nick Diaz 6.811 6.811

3 Jon Fitch 6.331 6.331

4 Josh Koscheck 6.285 6.285

5 Carlos Condit 6.178 6.178

6 BJ Penn 5.811 6.485

7 Jake Ellenberger 5.725 5.725

8 Brian Ebersole 5.569 5.569

9 Diego Sanchez 5.489 5.489

10 Anthony Johnson 5.248 5.248

Winning streaks, bragging rights, and the UFC Welterweight Title will be on the line when Georges St-Pierre (#1) faces Nick Diaz (#2) at UFC 143 on Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.

LIGHTWEIGHT 146-155

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Frankie Edgar 6.882 6.882

2 Benson Henderson 6.407 6.407

3 Gilbert Melendez 6.374 6.374

4 Donald Cerrone 6.257 6.257

5 Shinya Aoki 5.868 5.937

6 Michael Chandler 5.559 5.559

7 Joe Lauzon 5.449 5.449

8 Clay Guida 5.407 5.985

9 Gray Maynard 5.382 6.132

10 Tatsuya Kawajiri 5.246 5.246

After his unanimous-decision victory over Clay Guida (#8) at UFC on FOX, Ben Henderson (#2) will get a title shot against Frankie Edgar (#1) at UFC 144 on Feb. 26 in Saitama, Japan.

FEATHERWEIGHT 136-145

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Jose Aldo 5.772 5.772

2 Chad Mendes 5.243 5.243

3 Patricio Freire 4.923 4.923

4 Kenny Florian 4.772 5.83

5 Hatsu Hioki 4.544 4.764

6 Robert Peralta 4.499 4.499

7 Joe Warren 4.492 5.492

8 Dustin Poirier 4.465 4.465

9 Hiroyuki Takaya 4.386 5.275

10 Erik Koch 4.368 4.368

Jose Aldo (#1) will have the support of his home country when he defends his UFC Featherweight Title against Chad Mendes (#2) at UFC 142 on Jan. 14 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

BANTAMWEIGHT 126-135

RANK FIGHTER PTS HIGH

1 Dominick Cruz 5.676 5.676

2 Urijah Faber 5.157 5.157

3 Joseph Benavidez 5.015 5.015

4 Renan Barao 4.72 4.72

5 Demetrious Johnson

6 Scott Jorgensen 4.543 4.543

7 Michael McDonald 4.111 4.111

8 Darren Uyenoyama 4.068 4.068

9 Zach Makovsky 4.019 4.019

10 Eduardo Dantas 3.877 3.877

Renan Barao (#4) improved his unbeated streak to 27 fights without a loss when he submitted Brad Pickett (#24) at UFC 138 on Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England.

READERS’ CHOICE POUND FOR POUND

RANK FIGHTER

1 Anderson Silva

2 Georges St. Pierre

3 Jon Jones

4 Jose Aldo

5 Frankie Edgar

6 Junior dos Santos

7 Dominick Cruz

8 Nick Diaz

9 Gilbert Melendez

10 Dan Henderson

Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez (#9) is the only fighter on the list who is not currently fighting in the UFC. Melendez will defend his title against Jorge Masvidal on Dec. 17 before making his expected move to the UFC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does there seem to be an emphasis on the heavier weight classes?

Heavier weight classes have higher point totals for two main reasons; 1) The heavier weight class fighters dominated early MMA bouts due to open weight classes and the grand prix formats. 2) Fighters earn point premiums when fights end through stoppage (TKO, KO, or Submission). Heavier weight class fights generally do not “go the distance” as often as lighter weight classes. Furthermore, the lightest weight classes (Feather, Bantam, etc.) aren’t as established and do not have the history of the heavier weight classes. For example, just because Urijah Faber does not have the same point total as a Fedor Emelianenko or an Anderson Silva, it does not mean he is any less dominant in his weight class.

How long before an inactive fighter is dropped from the rankings?

If a fighter goes 18 months without a qualifying fight, he will be dropped from the rankings.

How does FIGHT! determine which fights qualify for the rankings?

At its sole discretion, FIGHT! qualifies fights from national and international organizations that are deemed to have both the incentive and reputation for signing top level fighters to their fight cards.

What other qualifications are there for a fighter to be ranked?

A fighter must have at least three qualifying fights to be ranked. Furthermore, if a fighter is suspended from fighting, he will be ineligible for ranking until re-instated. A fighter is ranked in a particular weight class once he has had either three qualifying fights or it has been determined that he has made a move to that weight class.

What if I disagree with the rankings?

Feel free to debate our rankings on our forum and vote on our reader ranked “pound for pound” at www.fightmagazine.com.

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