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Sunday, December 4, 2011

top 10 MMA fighter rankings

10. Nick Diaz
Points: 19
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Welterweight
Hometown: Stockton, Calif.
Record: 26-7, 1 no-contest (won past 11)
Last month’s ranking: Unranked
Most recent result: Def. B.J. Penn, unanimous decision, Oct. 29
Analysis:When he has his head on relatively straight, there are few finer fighters in the world than Diaz.


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Fitch


9. Jon Fitch
Points: 39
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Welterweight
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Record: 23-3-1, 1 no-contest (draw in previous fight)
Last month’s ranking: T-8
Most recent result: Majority draw vs. B.J. Penn, Feb. 21
Analysis: Have to ask the obligatory question posed to every top fighter coming off an injury: Will he suffer from Octagon rust when he returns? Fitch meets Johny Hendricks on Dec. 30.


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Melendez


8. Gilbert Melendez
Points: 41
Affiliation: Strikeforce (lightweight champion)
Weight class: Lightweight
Hometown: San Francisco
Record: 19-2 (won past five)
Last month’s ranking: T-8
Most recent result: Def. Tatsuya Kawajiri, R1 TKO, April 9
Analysis:On the heels of Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson’s stellar performances in back-to-back months, Melendez will need to put on a show against Jorge Masvidal to keep up heat for a potential UFC title shot.


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Dos Santos


7. Junior dos Santos
Points: 63
Affiliation: UFC (heavyweight champion)
Weight class: Heavyweight
Hometown: Salvador, Brazil
Record: 14-1 (won past nine)
Last month’s ranking: Unranked
Most recent result: Def. Cain Velasquez, R1 KO, Nov. 12
Analysis:Not much left to be said that hasn’t been said already in the wake of his win over Velasquez.


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Cruz


6. Dominick Cruz
Points: 117
Affiliation: UFC (bantamweight champion)
Weight class: Bantamweight
Hometown: San Diego
Record: 18-1 (won past eight)
Last month’s ranking: 6
Most recent result: Def. Demetrious Johnson, unanimous decision, Oct. 1
Analysis:Waiting on the winner of the UFC 139 bout between Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles.


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Aldo


5. Jose Aldo
Points: 136
Affiliation: UFC (featherweight champion)
Weight class: Featherweight
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro
Record: 20-1 (won past 13)
Last month’s ranking: 5
Most recent result: Def. Kenny Florian, unanimous decision, Oct. 8
Analysis: Expected to meet unbeaten Chad Mendes in his next title defense, which gives him the chance to silence the slowly growing chorus of doubters.


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Edgar


4. Frankie Edgar
Points: 140
Affiliation: UFC (lightweight champion)
Weight class: Lightweight
Hometown: Toms River, N.J.
Record: 14-1-1 (won past one)
Last month’s ranking: 4
Most recent result: Def. Gray Maynard, R4 KO, Oct. 8
Analysis:His February title defense against Ben Henderson already is one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of next year.


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Jones


3. Jon Jones
Points: 152
Affiliation: UFC (light heavyweight champion)
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Hometown: Endicott, N.Y.
Record: 14-1 (won previous five)
Last month’s ranking: 3
Most recent result: Def. Quinton Jackson, R4 submission, Sept. 24
Analysis: Looks to make it three straight wins over men who have held the light heavyweight title when he meets Lyoto Machida on Dec. 10.


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St. Pierre


2. Georges St. Pierre
Points: 189
Affiliation: UFC (welterweight champion)
Weight class: Welterweight
Hometown: Saint-Isidore, Quebec
Record: 22-2 (won past nine)
Last month’s ranking: 2
Most recent result: Def. Jake Shields, unanimous decision, April 30
Analysis:Delayed bout with Diaz is sure to be worth the wait.


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Silva


1. Anderson Silva
Points: 210 (21 first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC (middleweight champion)
Weight class: Middleweight
Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil
Record: 29-4 (won past 14)
Last month’s ranking: 1
Most recent result: Def. Yushin Okami, R2 TKO, Aug. 27
Analysis: Has the chance to show Chael Sonnen that Sonnen’s near-win last year was a fluke.

• Votes for others: Rashad Evans, 13; Gray Maynard, 12; Mauricio Rua, 10; Dan Henderson, 6; Lyoto Machida, 4; Cain Velasquez, Chael Sonnen, Ben Henderson, 2.
This month’s voting panel: Denny Burkholder, CBSSports.com; Elias Cepeda, Fight! Magazine; Mike Chiappetta MMAFighting.com and Fight! Magazine; Steve Cofield, Cagewriter and ESPN Radio 1100 Las Vegas; Neil Davidson The Canadian Press; Dave Doyle Yahoo! Sports; CTV Sportsnet;Ben Fowlkes, SportsIllustrated.com and MMAFighting.com; Josh Gross, ESPN.com; Ariel Helwani, Versus.com and MMAFighting.com; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Damon Martin, MMAWeekly.com; Todd Martin, freelance; Franklin McNeil, ESPN.com; Steven Marrocco, SportsIllustrated.com and MMAjunkie.com; Dave Meltzer, Yahoo! Sports and The Wrestling Observer; John Morgan, MMAjunkie.com; Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com; Michael David Smith, MMAFighting.com; Mike Straka, Tapout TV; Dann Stupp, MMAjunkie.com and The Dayton Daily News;Jeff Wagenheim, SI.com.

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