SB Nation rankings: Light heavyweight

Steve Snowden

A look at how the six SB Nation panelists currently assess the Light Heavyweight division. Unsurprisingly, Jon Jones reigns supreme.

This round of the SB Nation rankings might be one of the simpler ones that we've had to put together so far. The UFC's light heavyweight title has been defended by Jon Jones five times in a row now, this time against an unranked opponent. Even an ugly broken toe couldn't slow down Jones, and it shouldn't shock anyone that he sits atop the rankings once again. But what about everyone else? Our six panelists (Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle from MMA Fighting; Brian Hemminger and Thomas Myers from MMA Mania; Dallas Winston and yours truly from Bloody Elbow) give you their assessment in the chart below.


(Scoring: Fighters are given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second, etc., down to one point for 10th place. The results are then tallied up and presented here. Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspension are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues. At the moment, this does not affect any fighters generally considered in the discussion for a top 10 light heavyweight spot).

Lyoto Machida was almost unanimously named the top contender, with only one panelist deciding that spot should go to Alexander Gustafsson. Gus settled in at number three, receiving votes everywhere from two to four. The final fighter that most everyone agreed on was former Pride and Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson, who sits in the four spot. After that, things get a little bit more murky.

Rashad Evans received votes at five, six, seven, and nine, but gathered enough overall points to nail down the five spot. Rising star Glover Teixeira barely held off Phil Davis for the six spot, with the latter settling for seven. UFC 161 opponents Mauricio Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira were tied at eight, while Gegard Mousasi rounded out the top ten. The only other fighter to receive votes was Ryan Bader.

Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters

Dan Henderson (4) vs. Rashad Evans (5) - UFC 161, June 15th

Glover Teixeira (6) vs. James Te Huna (NR) - UFC 160, May 25th

Mauricio Rua (T8) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (T8) - UFC 161, June 15th

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