The SB Nation rankings panel is back this week with a look at the heavyweight division. It's been a while since we've done one of these for the big guys (almost five months), but not a lot has really changed. I guess that's what you get in one of the thinnest divisions in MMA.
As usual, our panel consists of two members from each of the three SB Nation MMA sites - Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle from MMA Fighting; Thomas Myers and Brian Hemminger from MMA Mania; and finally, Dallas Winston and yours truly from Bloody Elbow. Check out the fancy chart below to see where we had everyone at:
(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)
Our top four hasn't changed at all this year, and all of us unanimously picked each guy in each spot. Top-ranked Cain Velasquez and number two Junior dos Santos will likely meet later this year in a third bout between the two, while Daniel Cormier and Fabricio Werdum hold down the three and four spots. Antonio Silva sits in the five spot despite his loss to Velasquez at UFC 160.
The bottom five is a little more varied. Alistair Overeem was unranked last time because he was still suspended, but he now sits in the six spot. Frank Mir's at seven, and he was the last unanimous pick for us. Roy Nelson sits at eight. He received votes as high as five, but wasn't ranked at all by one panelist. Josh Barnett is similar, getting a vote in the five spot while being left off by two panelists. Rounding out the top 10 is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Travis Browne and Mark Hunt also received votes, but it wasn't enough to get them onto the list.
Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters
Cain Velasquez (1) vs. Junior dos Santos (2) - not officially signed
Fabricio Werdum (4) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (10), UFC on Fuel 10, June 8th
Alistair Overeem (6) vs. UFC on Fox Sports 1 1, August 17th(NR),
Frank Mir (7) vs. Josh Barnett (9), UFC 164, August 31st