SB Nation MMA rankings: Middleweight

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

A look at how the SB Nation rankings panel sees the middleweight division in the wake of UFC 168.

UFC 168 decided who the champion of the UFC middleweight division was once and for all, and there are a glut of new challengers waiting in the wings. The division used to be pretty simple to rank but that's all out the window now. That's part of our job though, so the SB Nation rankings panel did their best. And guess what? They disagreed on a few things.

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 Alex Giardini from MMA Mania; and finally, Dallas Winston and yours truly from Bloody Elbow.

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(Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission or company suspensions are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues. At the moment, this does not currently affect any middleweight fighters generally considered to be Top-10 caliber).

Chris Weidman holding down the top spot shouldn't come as much of a surprise after picking up another win over Anderson Silva on Saturday. What is interesting is Silva's spot in the division - is he done? Will he be back? Despite being the best middleweight in the company's history, Silva is now in a tie for the number two spot with the next title challenger Vitor Belfort. Three panelists took each side on that debate.

Four and five are taken by friends of Silva, Ronaldo Souza and Lyoto Machida. Right on the heels of Machida is Michael Bisping. Luke Rockhold is in the seven spot, and that's where the unanimous votes stopped. Yushin Okami managed to stay on the list at eight despite only three panelists ranking him. Mark Munoz is in the nine slot with five of the six panelists ranking him, and Tim Kennedy managed to grab the 10 spots with votes from three panelists.

Fighters that received votes but couldn't make the top ten include Francis Carmont, Gegard Mousasi, and Tim Boetsch.

Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters

Chris Weidman (1) vs. Vitor Belfort (T2), TBA

Ronaldo Souza (4) vs. Francis Carmont (NR), UFC Fight Night 36, 2/15

Lyoto Machida (5) vs. Gegard Mousasi (NR), UFC Fight Night 36, 2/15

Luke Rockhold (7) vs. Constantinos Philippou (NR), UFC Fight Night 35, 1/15

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