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What to do with the heavyweight MMA rankings?

Is this man the world's number one heavyweight?

Prior to Fedor Emelianenko’s loss to Fabricio Werdum Saturday night, June 26, “The Last Emperor” had long been considered the number one heavyweight in the world.

A completely different discussion could be had on whether or not Fedor deserved his number one status, yet the fact remains nearly every organization and media outlet which had a system for deciding and publishing MMA rankings, had Emelianenko at the top of the heavyweight mountain.

Here is what the MMA heavyweight rankings looked like prior to June 26.

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)

  1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 No Contest)
  2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
  3. Shane Carwin (12-0)
  4. Cain Velasquez (8-0)
  5. Alistair Overeem (33-11, 1 No Contest)
  6. Junior dos Santos (11-1)
  7. Frank Mir (13-5)
  8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 No Contest)
  9. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)
  10. Brett Rogers (10-2)

(These come from the Independent World MMA Rankings which are voted on monthly by some of MMA’s most respected journalists and personalities and the rankings ProMMAnow.com endorse).

The questions now are, where do you place Werdum who was ranked number nine, and where do you place Fedor who was number one?

Does Werdum automatically surpass everyone to become number one?

That is the same type of logic that would automatically drop Fedor to number nine, which is completely absurd after one loss….

Or is it?

It gets really interesting when you look at what top ten ranked fighters both Werdum and Fedor have faced which are still currently on this top ten list.

Fedor has faced three people on this top ten list: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brett Rogers, and Werdum. He actually faced Nogueira three times. He defeated him twice by unanimous decision, and then their other fight ended in a No Contest. He submitted Brett Rogers, and got submitted by Werdum.

Now looking at who Werdum has faced currently ranked in the top ten; Alistair Overeem, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Junior dos Santos, and Fedor. He submitted Overeem, lost a unanimous decision to Nogueira, got knocked out by dos Santos, and submitted Fedor.

Because Junior dos Santos knocked out Werdum in Oct. 2008 at UFC 90, it does not seem to make much sense to place Werdum ahead of him in the rankings.

After Fedor’s loss, the number one heavyweight in the world now is likely Brock Lesnar. Fedor should probably drop to Lesnar’s previous spot at number two, and Werdum should probably move up to number seven or higher.

Alistair Overeem’s most recent victory against Brett Rogers was the first top ten fighter he has faced and beaten in many years, so to have him above Werdum in the rankings, especially since Werdum defeated him, is difficult to justify.

Of course their fight was four years ago and it does not mean as much for current rankings as if he had beaten him last year, but it should still hold weight when considering their position in the top ten.

The new Independent World MMA Rankings will be published on July 9th. Until then we will just have to speculate.

We would like to hear your thoughts on who you think is the new number one heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. Where is Fedor ranked now? Where is Werdum ranked? Is Brock Lesnar the number one ranked fighter in mixed martial arts? Is being number one the same as being “the best”?

7 comments

  1. brock is 4-1 and shold not be the best heavyweight in the world , again he will be 4-2 soon enough moving carwin up the ranks , fedor lost once in ten years , hes still top two. werdum should be 5th or 6th , as of july 9th it will be shane carwin fedor brock. 1 2 and 3 and brock is overated , he will get ktfo and ralize he needs to go back to wwf.

  2. Werdum should be number 1.
    1)Werdum
    2)Fedor
    3)Brock
    4)Carwin
    5)Cain
    6)Overeem
    7)JDS
    8)Mir
    9)Nog
    10)Rogers

    The rankings should be just like the LW rankings. Edgar beat Penn and jumped all the way from number 8 to number 1 and BJ fell to number 2. Edgar had lost to Maynard only 2 years before he beat Penn(just like Werdum lost to JDS 2 years ago) and he still jump ahead of Maynard and Penn to become number 1. There was no manipulation to compensate for Edgar losing to Maynard, so why should it be any different for Werdum? If you beat number 1, you deserve to become number 1. And just because Fedor lost for the first time in 8 years(really ever), he doesn’t deserve to free fall in the rankings.

  3. After Brock won tonight looks like they should be like this:

    #1 Lesnar (beat the best in the Ufc, is the champion)
    #2 Werdum (beat Fedor, but his record isnt very impressive)
    #3 Fedor (still impressive, but he got beat by a pretty bad fighter)
    #4 Carwin (can’t beat the champ)
    #5 Cain (has some impressive wins)
    #6 JDS (if he beats nelson)
    #7 Mir (sucks)
    #8 Nelson (havent seen too much of him but im running out of guys who actually win, so…)
    #9 KIMBO SLIIIICCCEEEE!!!! (bwahaha im j/k)
    #10 whatever it doesnt matter past five, honestly. only a few badasses in here. if brock beats cain, and most likely will if he keeps up his submission work, then it will secure his spot for awhile. shane has alot of work to do to get back up there, good chance he’ll fight the loser of Nelson/JDS. if fedor is retired then it’ll bump him off. If Werdum loses even one fight it’ll blow him way up there around 5 or 6. If mir loses he should retire. just some thoughts

  4. This is my ranking

    To be the best, you must beat the best, So why isn’t Werdum higher? Werdum won against Fedor, Fedor against Big Nog and Big Nog against Werdum. Werdum also lost against Dos Santos. That counts.

    Overeem: I like him, but no win against top guys.
    Frank Mir is still close to the top, but just behind

    1-Brock Lesnar (wins over Mir and Carwin)
    2-Velasquez (Win Over Big Nog)
    3-Carwin (Win over Mir)
    4-Fedor (2 Wins over Big Nog)
    5-Dos Santos (Win over Werdum)
    6-Frank Mir (Wins over Lesnar and Big Nog)
    7-Werdum (Win over Fedor, Silva and Overeem)
    8-Big Nog (Win over Werdum and Barnett)
    9-Alistair Overeem
    10-Barnett (Win over Big Nog)
    11-Silva

  5. fedor is still number one and werdum is good but will se in russia the rematch werdum vs fedor who will win

  6. None of what you said is true

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