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MMA rankings: Cain Velasquez is the top heavyweight

April 17, 2013|By Todd Martin
  • Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world.
Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. (Cameron Spencer / Getty…)

Cain Velsaquez retains the top spot in The Times MMA rankings for April, but their could be some big shakeups next month, with some key fights coming up in the next few weeks.

Heavyweight

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Fabricio Werdum

5. Antonio Silva

6. Alistair Overeem

7. Josh Barnett

8. Frank Mir

9. Travis Browne

10. Roy Nelson

Daniel Cormier makes his long awaited UFC debut Saturday night on Fox, taking on former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Cormier, the undefeated Olympic wrestler who has taken quickly to the standup game, will pose problems for anyone in the UFC. Travis Browne returned from a freak injury to defeat Gabriel Gonzaga with elbows and will likely find himself in a significant fight his next time out.

Light Heavyweight

1. Jon Jones

2. Alexander Gustafsson

3. Lyoto Machida

4. Dan Henderson

5. Rashad Evans

6. Phil Davis

7. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

8. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

9. Glover Teixeira

10. Ryan Bader

Sadly, a late injury to Alexander Gustafsson cancelled his proposed bout with Gegard Mousasi in Sweden. Mousasi, nonchalant as always, defeated Ilir Latifi instead. Picking up the W was nice, but he lost the opportunity to catapult himself up the light heavyweight division.

Middleweight

1. Anderson Silva

2. Chris Weidman

3. Chael Sonnen

4. Yushin Okami

5. Vitor Belfort

6. Luke Rockhold

7. Michael Bisping

8. Mark Munoz

9. Hector Lombard

10. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

May 18 will be an important night for the middleweight division, with a pair of significant 185 pound tilts. In the main event, Vitor Belfort looks to win four out of his last five when he meets former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. The winner will be in good position to seek a title shot at the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman. In the semi-main event, Costa Philippou will look to continue his UFC winning streak against the debuting jiu jitsu ace Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Welterweight

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Johny Hendricks

3. Demian Maia

4. Carlos Condit

5. Rory MacDonald

6. Jake Ellenberger

7. Jon Fitch

8. Nick Diaz

9. Martin Kampmann

10. Ben Askren

Jon Fitch will make his World Series of Fighting debut June 14 when he faces Josh Burkman. It will be an important fight for Fitch, seeking to prove he is still relevant after surprisingly being cut by the UFC.

Lightweight

1. Ben Henderson

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Anthony Pettis

4. Gray Maynard

5. Jim Miller

6. Michael Chandler

7. T.J. Grant

8. Nate Diaz

9. Donald Cerrone

10. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Saturday night’s UFC on Fox event will be headlined by a tremendous matchup between UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson and Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Fans have clamored for Melendez to fight the UFC’s best for years, and it will finally take place. Henderson proved the merit of WEC’s best when he made his UFC debut a couple years back and now Melendez will seek to do the same for Strikeforce.


Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Ricardo Lamas

4. Pat Curran

5. “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung

6. Frank Edgar

7. Cub Swanson

8. Dustin Poirier

9. Erik Koch

10. Dennis Siver

After years of chaos, the championship picture in the featherweight division is pretty well sorted out. Jose Aldo will fight elite lightweight Anthony Pettis for the UFC featherweight championship. The winner of a Ricardo Lamas-Chan Sung Jung title eliminator will likely get the next shot while Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins will fight to likely be the next in line.

 

Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz

2. Renan Barao

3. Michael McDonald

4. Urijah Faber

5. Brian Bowles

6. Eddie Wineland

7. Bibiano Fernandes

8. Brad Pickett

9. Eduardo Dantas

10. Raphael Assuncao

Urijah Faber scored a solid but unspectacular win over the durable Scott Jorgensen in the main event of the most recent Ultimate Fighter Finale. The popular Faber is a great ambassador for the sport and still an excellent fighter, but finds himself in limbo after repeatedly falling short in title bouts. Brad Pickett scored a much needed win over Mike Easton, a close decision in his native continent of Europe.

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