Agree or disagree, these ranking were compiled in a completely unbiased manner based on several decisive contributing factors to the decision making process. There will be no delusional (hopefully) or political slants to these rankings
The different factors taken into account when considering the placing of the various top ten listers included, among a variety of other variables:
A) Recent activity at the weight class. Basically the deciding factor was that if you have competed your last two fights or more at a given weight, that’s your division.
For example, Some are going to be upset to see that Hendo and Rich Franklin aren’t considered for 205 due to the fact that neither have competed at the weight class in two or more bouts. Although a case could be made for either man jumping right into the top ten as soon as they return to the weight.
A guy like Anderson Silva is going to be ranked in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions due to the fact that he consistently bounces back and forth between divisions.
B) Activity. I could make a very strong case for putting Tito Ortiz in the 205 top ten, but he hasn’t been fighting. Someone like Alistair Overeem that hasn’t fought in over ten months also takes a significant hit for not competing.
C) Level of competition faced in the past
D) Recent wins over top contenders
Like always, we invite you to post your own personal rankings, and agree or disagree with us in a loosely respectful manner in the comment section below.
1. Lyoto Machida: It’s hard to argue against the least hit fighter in the history of the UFC’s current occupation of the top spot at 205 pounds after his complete destruction of Rashad Evans during UFC 98. Previous lopsided victories over highly regarded fighters such as Thiago Slva, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin, Stephan Bonnar and a ballooned up B.J. Penn make it close to impossible to consider Machida for any other position at light heavyweight other than #1 until the elusive Brazilian suffers his first career defeat.
2. Rashad Evans: While both are former champions and an argument could be made for either Rampage Jackson or Rashad Evans in the second spot, a recent and decisive TKO stoppage over Forrest Griffin wound up being the deciding factor in this one.
3. Quinton Jackson: Even though the last time Rampage suffered a defeat in convincing fashion was at the hands of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Jackson has gone on to accomplish much more in the weight class since their meeting in April of 2005, including already having obtained the UFC light heavyweight crown.
4. Mauricio Rua: I’m certain that there may be many that feel like Forrest Griffin’s victory over Rua should automatically secure his spot above the dangerous Brazilian, I will point to back to back losses for Forrest, and back to back wins for Shogun as the reasoning behind this choice.
5. Anderson Silva: Silva may not have competed in the division more than twice during his time spent with the UFC, but his recent, and thorough annihilation of former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin makes it hard to place “The Spider” much lower than fifth.
6. Forrest Griffin: Two consecutive losses to fighters like Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva don’t cancel out victories over Mauricio Rua and Rampage Jackson in my eyes. Forrest is a former 205 pound champion at the highest level and the guys that fall beneath him on this list have a little more proving to do against top flight competition before they take his place.
7. Gegard Mousasi: My gut tells me to place Mousasi higher than seventh based on the level of talent he has displayed in the past alone. However, one win over a top 15 light heavyweight in Renato “Babalu” Sobral leaves me little room to justify Mousasi climbing any higher than this spot until he is tested another time or two at the weight class.
8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Although Lil Nog hasn’t faced the highest rated guys in the world since his upset defeat at the hands of Sokoudjou in February of 2007, four impressive victories, including a win over the highly regarded Vladimir Matyushenko, and previous wins over Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem make a case for Nogueira belonging in the top ten an easy one to make.
9. Thiago Silva: Having the only loss of Thiago’s professional fighting career coming to the #1 rated light heavyweight is nothing for the dangerously well rounded ATT fighter to hang his head about. A recent devastating knockout victory over Keith Jardine put Silva in a position where one more win over top opposition could jump him up a few spots on this list in the blink of an eye.
10. Luis Cane: An impressive win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 106 in November and Cane shoots up these rankings. While being impressive and undefeated count for a lot, a win over a top rated 205’er is the only thing holding this heavy handed knockout artist down on the 5 Oz. rankings right now.
Honorable Mentions: Keith Jardine, Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones, Matt Hamill, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Brandon Vera, Eric Schafer