MMA Top 10 Rankings: Vitor Belfort & Rousimar Palhares Stake Claims

January 18, 2012
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The updated World MMA Rankings were released on Wednesday, Jan. 18. This system ranks the Top 10 MMA fighters from across the world in each of the seven most widely accepted men’s weight classes and the Top 10 pound-for-pound women fighters.

Taken into consideration are a fighter’s performance in addition to win-loss record, head-to-head and common opponents, difficulty of opponents, and numerous other factors in what is the most comprehensive rankings system in the sport.

Fighters who are currently serving drug-related suspensions are not eligible for Top 10 consideration until they have fought one time after the completion of their suspension.

Fighters must also have competed within the past 12 months in order to be eligible for Top 10 consideration unless they have a bout scheduled within a reasonable time frame.

(Fighter’s previous ranking is in parenthesis.)

Below are the current World MMA Rankings:

WOMEN’S POUND-FOR-POUND (all weight classes)
1. Megumi Fujii (1)
2. Sarah Kaufman (2)
3. Miesha Tate (3)
4. Marloes Coenen (4)
5. Zoila Gurgel (5)
6. Tara LaRosa (6)
7. Rosi Sexton (7)
8. Alexis Davis (8)
9. Ronda Rousey (9)
10. Hiroko Yamanaka (10)

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (over 205 pounds)
1. Junior Dos Santos (1)
2. Alistair Overeem (2)
3. Cain Velasquez (3)
4. Josh Barnett (4)
5. Frank Mir (5)
6. Fabricio Werdum (6)
7. Shane Carwin (7)
8. Daniel Cormier (8)
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (9)
10. Travis Browne (10)

1. Jon Jones (1)
2. Rashad Evans (2)
3. Dan Henderson (3)
4. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (4)
5. Quinton Jackson (5)
6. Lyoto Machida (6)
7. Phil Davis (7)
8. Gegard Mousasi (8)
9. Alexander Gustafsson (9)
10. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (n/a)

1. Anderson Silva (1)
2. Chael Sonnen (2)
3. Yushin Okami (3)
4. Vitor Belfort (8)
5. Nathan Marquardt (4)
6. Michael Bisping (5)
7. Mark Munoz (6)
8. Demian Maia (7)
9. Brian Stann (9)
10. Rousimar Palhares (n/a)

1. Georges St-Pierre (1)
2. Nick Diaz (2)
3. Carlos Condit (3)
4. Jake Ellenberger (4)
5. Josh Koscheck (5)
6. Johny Hendricks (6)
7. Jon Fitch (7)
8. Jake Shields (8)
9. Thiago Alves (9)
10. Diego Sanchez (10)

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155-pound limit)
1. Frankie Edgar (1)
2. Gilbert Melendez (2)
3. Benson Henderson (3)
4. Gray Maynard (4)
5. Shinya Aoki (5)
6. Clay Guida (6)
7. Jim Miller (7)
8. Anthony Pettis (8)
9. Michael Chandler (9)
10. Nate Diaz (10)

1. Jose Aldo (1)
2. Chad Mendes (2)
3. Hatsu Hioki (3)
4. Dustin Poirier (4)
5. Erik Koch (5)
6. Kenny Florian (6)
7. Pat Curran (7)
8. Diego Nunes (8)
9. Marlon Sandro (9)
10. Chan Sung Jung (10)

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 pounds or less)
1. Dominick Cruz (1)
2. Urijah Faber (2)
3. Joseph Benavidez (3)
4. Brian Bowles (4)
5. Scott Jorgensen (5)
6. Renan Barao (6)
7. Michael McDonald (7)
8. Demetrious Johnson (8)
9. Bibiano Fernandes (9)
10. Masakatsu Ueda (10)

(UPDATED on Jan. 18 – We mistakenly left Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, who has reportedly failed his latest drug test, in the Top 10 at light heavyweight. He has been replaced by Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.)

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  • Mario

    It’s good to see Paul Harris get in there. If he hadn’t lost to Nate Marquardt in such silly fashion, he would have been in there a long time ago.

    However, Vitor going from #8 to number 4 after beating a Welterweight fighter doesn’t make much sense to me?

    • elguapo

      Who the hell is Paul Harris?

      • elguapo

        Ah Palhaeres!! Now I get it, I see what you did there and I like it.

    • KBEsq

      If you are going to undermine Belfort’s victory to Johnson there are literally 100 other things I can think to mention before calling Johnson a welterweight fighter.

    • bbtakayama

      Vitor is the ****!!! He should have been ranked at 4th before the Johnson fight. In case anyone doesn’t know this guys journey thru MMA, they should do some research. He has one of the most fascinating careers. I pray that he one day wins the title to further cement his legacy as one of the best fighters in the history of the sport.

  • I don’t know about that. I’d say he’s there because his only loss since 2008 was to A. Silva. And his victories since then have been all stoppages inside 2 rounds against dudes like Akiyama, Rich Franklin and Matt Lindland. Call me crazy but I think he beats Silva next time.

  • therealmo

    He’s not crazy. I think he can beat Silva. Do I think he will? No.

  • Anthony

    Does anyone else wonder about Okami being #3 at 185 ? I realize he was the last one 2 beat Silva, but it was a dq from an upkick 2 a grounded opponent–I cant seem 2 remember any other fights besides when he fought Marquart –,sure he won, but it was a boring ass fight in my opinion.He did nothing spectacular short of become the human blanket. Then I saw him fight Silva 4 the title and he got owned–simply out classed-I think he presented one of the weakest threats to Silva that I can remember-what else has this guy done 2 solidify a 3rd place rank at 85? someone please educate me on this….

  • It’s time to see Edson Júnior Barbosa on this list. the dude is 10-0 and have show great fights and the awesome knockout last fight.

    • fitefan

      I agree, Barboza should be ranked soon.

      In Barboza’s last two fights he has 3 bonuses. 2 fight of the night, and 1 KO of the night.
      We’ve seen plenty of this kids talent. It’s time to pit him against some of these top ten guys in 2012 and get him ranked if he walks away with some W’s.

  • Bob

    Lets make a top ten PED user list!

    Barnett has tested positive multiple times.

    King homo just tested positive.

    Chael Sonnen tested positive.

    Nathan Marquardt tested positve 2 or 3 times!

    Who else should we add?

    • bbtakayama

      You could add one of my favorite fighters, Vitor Belfort. But that was a long time ago and I’m assuming most people forgot, so I won’t mention it. He has been clean since though, and is looking better than ever.

      • elguapo

        Is leben currently suspended? Seem to think he may have been done for recreational rather than performance enhancing drugs.

        • fitefan

          Prescription pill popper. Oxycodone. Lortabs I think. Very popular. Very effective. Very addictive.
          Not a typical “PED”. Not a muscle builder. But it can make you kind of hyper, give you energy to fight, and the ability to ignore an injury.
          So, it would enhance your performance.
          No way to tell for sure if he was on them during the fight without checking his pupils.
          I used to know a foreman that passed them out like candy in the morning to get his crew to work faster/harder.

          • tsszaltax

            Oxycodone and Lortabs do NOT make you hyper or give you energy. Ignore pain and addictive yes, but definately not the other two.

          • fitefan


            yeah man, it isn’t blow or meth, but it has similar and contradictive effects. If you take it and stay on the move, it will keep you on the move. If you take it and lay down, you will sleep deep.
            It will make your hair itch.
            I’ve seen a whole work crew in 40 degree weather in T shirts sweating their buts off getn 6 hrs worth of work done in 3. And one guy out back throwing his guts up. Milk or food on the stomach helps calm the effects.

  • Why wasn’t Lawal removed from the top 10 rankings and Cyborg Santos was after she was found to have used steroids?? Shouldn’t GSP be removed from the rankings since he has been inactive for so long?? Oh, and I totally believe Vitor would beat Anderson on a rematch!! 🙂

    • fitefan

      I don’t think King Mo has been suspended yet. So, I guess that’s what’s keeping MMA weekly having him on the list. But at #10, his fight againt Larkin is no longer a Win, so perhaps someone else should be given that spot.

      It may be difficult to remove GSP from the list since he holds the belt. And he has a date set for comeing back to fight, even if it is at the end of this year.

      I still see Anderson out striking Vitor. Vitor would have to make it a jujitsu game to slightly increase his odds of winning.

      • King Mo remaining in the Top 10 was completely an error on our part. We are currently reconvening to update the light heavyweights. And here I thought we were better at this than the U.S. government.

        • RonnieV

          Thanks Ken

        • Lesnardo

          I thought the rules are that you have to be on a suspension to get off the top 10 list.

          At least this is what the rules were a year or two ago.

          Has King Mo been suspended for drugs?

  • I read somewhere where a fighter can stay on the list until he is in-active for 1 year…. SO GSP will be on there until that time….. King Mo should get moved off soon…. I think the rankings for the most part are pretty accurrate… I really like Vitor but Im sorry to point this out even though he won against Rumble I dont feel he was that crisp did anyone see that eye… he actually looked slow to me and from what I ready he had hard time making the cut also…. I think with the wear and tear on Vitor’s body he should consider moving to LHW… I am a huge Anderson Silva fan and think he would beat Vitor in a rematch because he didnt have to show his hand in the first fight becacuse of that leg kick….. Vitor has to change his game plan Silva wouldnt…. just my thought though you never know in a fight

  • MikeMc1983

    There are very few things I would consider myself an expert on. Oxy would be one of them.
    The reason guys that are loaded would be working there ass of in 40 degree weather is that they would have minimal negative physical feelings. (40 degree weather is also a great thing when your doing hard labor. Loaded, or not.)

    Oxy is tricky because how it makes you feel is dependent upon how much you take. Some people can get to a point where they feel almost no pain, and/or don’t care about fatigue.
    However, it is still a strong downer. If you stop moving its possiable for people to go into a deep sleep standing up.
    It lowers your heart rate, and breathing.

    I could see where at times people might think its “giving energy” but it’s actually just putting some in a state where they don’t feel the ill effects of their activity. This is also why it can be extremely dangerous. If abused properly (I know, weird phrase) someone could do extreme damage to their body, and not properly recognize it. Remember, pain is our bodies warning system.

    I’ve pondered whether it could be a big aid to a fighter or not, and I’ve decided the answer is no.
    A proper addict on the street could be a very scary opponent to someone, but I believe the extremely bad side effects that come with abuse would also greatly hinder someone’s ability to become/maintain being an elite athlete. You have to take a crapload before you really feel invinceable, and you have to take a crapload for some time before you can really operate “normally” on it.
    So it’s hard to figure.

    But if your not a pro fighter, a guy who’s been loaded for the last year is one of the last people you want to get in a fight with at the bar. Not because of strength, or energy, but because they may truely not care what you do to them. Pain is the reason we have empathy for others. If a guys lived long enough without feeling pain, he starts loseing empathy. (physically, and emotionally)
    That’s why people on oxy, heroine, or any of the other stronger opioids can seem like sadistic phycopaths.

    Sorry about the long post. This is a topic I regularly speak about, and I saw it come up. If leban has had a bad problem with this, it will probably be the hardest thing he will have to overcome in his life. If its been a long term problem which it seems it might, physically, and emotionally he is probably about to experiance the hardest year of his life.

  • fitefan

    It’s a crazy drug. Under rated in it’s danger and addictivenesss. Worked with a guy that took two 10’s to get out of bed, and set his watch a 1hr alarm and took another one every hr, just to keep himself under 20 a day.
    Another guy would pay up to 40 bucks for a single tab if he was out of em. He’s dead now.
    Knew another guy that took 3 in the morning, worked his tail off and crashed at 2 pm everday.
    The hard core guys werent worth crap. Like heroine, they are just trying to reach normal, let alone get a buzz. Different side effects for different people. Itchy hair, breaking out in sweats, can’t sit still. But always a pain killer.
    They make me sick as a dog unless I’m in real pain and keep a full stomach, and I still have to break em in half. Only time I’ve ever taken them without ill effect is after a sever kidney stone attack.
    I doubt they helped Leben with any energy in a fight if he was on them long, though the pain killing effect would help him fight through a possible existing injury. Surprised he got caught with them in his system. Indicative of a real problem. Sad.
    I wish they would outlaw the stuff even for prescription use, the addictive quality is no less than cocaine, and the withdrawals much, much worse. Accessibility is easier than manufacturing meth and the abusers range from rowdy teenagers to moms.

    • MikeMc1983

      The 80mg pills are roughly $30-$50 a pill on the streets. I disagree with it being easier to find than meth. Oxy’s high price is due to the fact that there is a much higher demand than supply. Oxy can’t be made in someone’s garage, where as meth is. However, I do understand that the availability could be different of both drugs could be different depending on your location.

      A lot of people move to heroine if they can’t get enough out of a prescription.
      Usually a doctor starts a patient out with Percocet. Which at its highest is 10mg of oxy. It can be hell on your stomach. The guys who really get into it learn exactly how much they can stand, and their stomach gets used to it. Users also grind them down and snort them.

      I never snorted any, but know a lot of people who do. Before I stopped using I got up to doing anywhere from 700mg-1200mg a day. (it would probably kill me to try that now) It just ended up getting to exspensive to maintain. I also started for legit reasons. With a prescription. I never really knew what was about to hit me until I was stuck. That’s just the one thing I try to let people know. If done fore more then two weeks (sometimes less than one week) your body will become addicted to it. The more you do from that time on, the worse withdrawl will be. It’s one of the few drugs that when done “right” still cause a ton of problems.

      I’ll try to stop talking about this in this mma forum. However, if anyone needs any info, advice, or help with narcotic pain killers. Let me know. I’ll always help in what ever way I can.