Top 10 Middleweight Rankings

nullThis week I turn my rankings to the middleweight division.

Really, the field is Anderson Silva and everyone else.

Still, here is my take. If you need to go back and find my pound-for-pound, heavyweight, or light heavyweight rankings, click on the links.

1. Anderson Silva (28-4) – Silva is my top fighter in any weight class, let alone middleweight. “The Spider” is like an artist in the cage. He rarely throws a strike that doesn’t land and he doesn’t waste energy while fighting. Everything he does has a purpose and thought to it. Chael Sonnen may have found a small hole in his game with his takedown defense, but he still managed to submit Sonnen and then bounce back with a devastating front kick to Vitor Belfort in the first round of his last title defense. Up next is Yushin Okami, had poses the right skill set to give Silva problems.

2. Chael Sonnen (25-11-1) – Sonnen is almost here by default. The other top guys in the group have either lost to him, or lost to someone that he has beaten. Sonnen is a grinder and a tremendous wrestler, but he has a clear weakness in his submission defense. Eight of his 11 losses have come by submission. Sonnen is also coming off a long layoff from a steroid suspension and legal issues. We will see if he can get back to being the fighter that nearly dethroned Silva.

3. Yushin Okami (26-5) – Okami is kind of like the Jon Fitch of the middleweight division. Okami is a very strong and physical fighter that gets the fight to the ground and doesn’t let his opponents get back on their feet. His lone losses in the octagon have been to Sonnen and Rich Franklin. He has beaten the likes of a lot of top contenders and will now get a rematch with Silva, who he beat by DQ in 2006.

4. Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) – As somewhat of a final tribute to his middleweight days, I am putting Marquardt at No. 4. He is making the move down to welterweight for his next fight, but he still is one of the top middleweights in MMA. Problem for Nate “The Great” is that he isn’t good enough to beat the elite in his weight class as he has losses to the top three guys on this list.

5. Vitor Belfort (19-9) – Belfort hasn’t been the most active fighter over the years, but his skills can’t be denied. He has some of the best boxing skills and the fastest hands in all of MMA. Belfort was just knocked out by the middleweight king pin, but that shouldn’t take away from his ability to beat everyone else.

6. Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1) – Perhaps I am still clinging to what Silva used to be and giving him more credit than he deserves but he still is coming off a win over Michael Bisping, one of the top middleweights in the UFC. Silva nearly beat Rich Franklin in his fight prior to that and his hands are still some of the most dangerous in all of MMA. Silva will finally get back in action against Chris Leben at UFC 132, which gives him a chance to prove he can still contend in the division.

7. Michael Bisping (21-3) – Bisping is not well-liked, but you can’t deny he has some skills. Bisping is a walking oxymoron as he gets upset at people making fun of him, but he feels the need to talk trash himself. Bisping needs a big win in his next fight as the UFC is running out of patience with his attitude and his lackluster fights. Bisping is somewhat like Marquardt in the fact that I question that he can beat the elite fighters in the division.

8. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (14-2) – I was tentative about putting Souza on this list, but he does have some impressive showings. He is the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, but that was a title that Jake Shields never lost, merely surrendered to move to the UFC. A win over Robbie Lawler is good and all, but I am not one that believes that Lawler is that impressive of a fighter anymore.

9. Demian Maia (14-2) – I am a big fan of Maia’s as I think his submission skills might be the best in MMA. If only he could develop some striking and wrestling ability, he might become a champion. Maia has proven he can submit some of the best in the division, but his weaknesses are too obvious to make him a legit threat to a fighter the caliber of Silva.

10. Alan Belcher (16-6) – It is easy to forget about Belcher, who hasn’t fought in nearly a year due to an eye injury, but prior to his departure, Belcher was working his way up the middleweight ladder. Belcher has lost some questionable fights to guys like Jason Day and Kendall Grove, but he also holds wins over other potential top-10 fighters like Jorge Santiago. It should be interesting to see how Belcher performs when he gets back to action.

One response to “Top 10 Middleweight Rankings”

  • conqueistadorfan says:

    Good to see you giving Bisping some well deserved respect after beating down the conquistador. Respekt!!

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