USAT/SBN July 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Light Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Lyoto Machida 100 UFC 1
2 Quinton Jackson 94 UFC 2
3 Rashad Evans 93 UFC 3
4 Forrest Griffin 87 UFC 4
5 Mauricio Rua 84 UFC 5
6 Keith Jardine 70 UFC 6
7 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 63 ??? 7
8 Luiz Cane 62 UFC 8
9 Rich Franklin 58 UFC 10
10 Renato Sobral 54 Strikeforce 9
11 Thiago Silva 40 UFC 13
12 Chuck Liddell 35 UFC 14
13 Dan Henderson 34 UFC 11
14 Wanderlei Silva 30 UFC 12
15 Jon Jones 24 UFC 31
16 Matt Hamill 21 UFC 17
17 Vladimir Matyushenko 20 Free Agent 16
18 Brandon Vera 20 UFC 19
18 Tito Ortiz 20 UFC 15
20 Sokoudjou 17 DREAM 27
21 Mark Coleman 17 UFC 23
22 Krzysztof Soszynski 17 UFC 19
23 Steve Cantwell 16 UFC 26
23 Muhammed Lawal 16 M-1 Global
25 Trevor Prangley 15 MaximumFC 27

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

In contrast to the crazy mixed up Heavyweight division, all is calm in the Light Heavyweight class. There is a clear #1 and he's set to defend his title against the best for the foreseeable future since the UFC has 20 of the top 25 Light Heavies under contract.

The next meaningful fight in the division will pit #4 Forrest Griffin against middleweight #1 Anderson Silva at UFC 101 on August 8.

August 15 will see #10 Renato "Babalu" Sobral face #20 heavyweight Gegard Mousasi on Strikeforce's August 15th Showtime card. The fight was originally scheduled for Affliction's doomed Trilogy event on August 1.

UFC 102 at the end of the month will see #6 Keith Jardine take on #13 Thiago Silva. The winner will re-enter contention. The loser will be seeking his footing in a murderously competitive division.

#9 Rich Franklin has been announced for the headline fight on September's UFC 103 card in Dallas but no opponent has been named. At one point #13 Dan Henderson was rumored, but it's currently unclear who Franklin will face.

#7 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will face ringer Alex Striebling at Bitteti Combat in Brazil on September 12th. Rumors are swirling that the former Affliction fighter may be joining his twin brother in the UFC soon after.

That event will also see the return to action of former perennial top 10 light heavyweight Ricardo Arona. I would hope that a win for Arona would set the stage for his signing with Sengoku, DREAM or Strikeforce.

# 1 Lyoto Machida will make his first title defense against #5 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 104 in October.

#2 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will, of course, be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter against #3 Rashad Evans. They'll meet at UFC 107 in Memphis.

The biggest jump in the rankings in a long time propels UFC 100 winner Jon Jones from #31 to #15. Rumors of a possible match with Hall of Famer Mark Coleman are circulating for the popular Jones.

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