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Who do you believe is most deserving of number one of these five fighters?

  • Machida

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Rua

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Jackson

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jones

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Evans

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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1.Mauricio “Shogun” Rua- Long has Shogun been one of the best and most well rounded light heavyweight fighters in the sport. No matter where the fight takes place he is a threat to finish the opponent. With a KO of Lyoto Machida, a brutalization of Rampage Jackson, and two finishes over Alistair Overeem in his career, Rua definitely has the credentials to be ranked #1 and is certainly worthy of champion..

2. Rashad Evans- Even though Evans has shown ****** in his armor recently, he is still a great talent and a supreme wrestler. Despite the fact that he has some great knockouts in his career, he was put to sleep by Lyoto Machida and was almost finished by Rampage in the 3rd round before winning a decision. While he might be able to dominate almost everyone with his wrestling ability, his stand up game is suspect especially when going against fighters who specialize in KO’s.

3. Lyoto Machida- Although Machida lost a decision to Rampage Jackson in November he was clearly the superior fighter. Too often he starts slow, and in his first 3 round fight in about a year (vs Rampage) he started slow, and paid the price. Look for him to get back on track in his next bout against an aging but hungry Randy Couture.

4. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson- Rampage had over a year long layoff between octagon appearances starting in March 2009, in which he filmed the movie A-Team. Since then many have questioned whether he has the same drive to fight as he once did. He seemed to be somewhat out of shape when he returned to fight Rashad Evans, but still almost put him away before losing a unanimous decision. He then did barely enough to squeak by a fairly inactive Machida in a split decision. I don’t doubt that he could get another title shot before Machida but just don’t see how he is the better fighter.

5. Jon “Bones” Jones- This prospect has been demolishing everything in his path. It is clearly long overdue that Bones gets a shot at a top 10 fighter. He has been fed the scraps of the division for way too long and once the reigns are lifted from his shoulders he will pay Dana dividends. Jones has a lot to prove this weekend against a tough opponent in Ryan Bader and better bring his A game if he wants to live up to this ranking.

6. Forrest Griffin- As a former champion Griffin is still considered to be in the upper echelon of the division. After losing his belt to Rashad Griffin was slated against another elite fighter in Anderson Silva. He fell again to the Spider before getting vengeance in a rematch versus Tito Ortiz 3 months later. This weekend he takes on another tough UFC veteran in Rich Franklin. This fight in addition to Bader vs. Jones will do a lot to sort out the middle of the LHW division.

7. Ryan Bader- Bader’s win over “Little” Nog was his first fight against a higher level of competition. With sheer strength he throws opponents to the ground and pounds away. While that aspect of his game is there, his stand up is questionable with only 1 KO in career against a spiraling and lackluster Keith Jardine. He struggled in his stand up against Lil Nog as well, getting caught numerous times, while wrestling him to a unanimous decision.

8. Antonio Rogerio- Little Nog’s career includes bouts against many talented fighters. He has prevailed over the likes of Dan Henderson, Guy Metzger and Alistair Overeem. While he might be a little long in the tooth at 34 years of age, he has still showed he can stand with quality opponents. With a loss against a wrestler in Ryan Bader and a near loss to another in Jason Brilz, this talented Brazilian could have match up problems with his next fight in Tito Ortiz.

9. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante- Another one of the Nog brother’s projects, Feijao took advantage of a sloppy King Mo Lawal via knockout to obtain the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Title. While he has vicious punches and knees, he lacks a high level of competition in his career which might come back to bite him when he fights the tough well-rounded veteran Dan Henderson this coming March.

10. Matt Hamill- This 3 time Division III National Champion has won 5 straight fights against an above average level of competition. While none of opponents were the kind that blows you away with talent they were all on the cusp of being in the upper echelon of the division. Although he is a talented wrestler he was easily dominated by another wrestler in Jon “Bones” Jones, suggesting it will be tough for him to ever be considered for title contention or even in the top 5.

Just Missed- King Mo Lawal, Thiago Silva, Phil Davis, Rich Franklin

By Chris Steinberger
 
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