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Rankings Roundup: Light Heavyweight

411 Mania Sherdog MMA Weekly Irish Whip
Quinton Jackson Quinton Jackson Quinton Jackson Quinton Jackson
Dan Henderson Dan Henderson Mauricio Rua Dan Henderson
Wanderlei Silva Wanderlei Silva Dan Henderson Mauricio Rua
Mauricio Rua Keith Jardine Chuck Liddell Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Forrest Griffin Wanderlei Silva Wanderlei Silva
Chuck Liddell Mauricio Rua Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin Chuck Liddell Keith Jardine Lyoto Machida
Keith Jardine Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Forrest Griffin Chuck Liddell
Rashad Evans Ricardo Arona Ricardo Arona Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Tito Ortiz Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Ricardo Arona

So everyone is giving Rampage his due. Quinton Jackson is the consensus #1. Everyone has Henderson at #2 except MMA Weekly which just can't let go of their PRIDE and is propping up Shogun Rua at #2. Besides MMA Weak only the Whip has Shogun in the top three and Sherdog drops him all the way down to #6. Wanderlei is enjoying a bit of a renaissance for a guy who's lost his last two fights -- 411 and Sherdog have him at #3 and the others rank him #5.

No one agrees on what to do with Sokoudjou, he's ranked as high as #4 by the Whip and as low as #8 by Sherdog. Liddell's another stumper, no one can agree where he stands. MMA Weekly is propping him up at #4 but the Irish Whip has him dropping all the way down to #8.

The Keith Jardine/Forrest Griffin debate has everyone taking a different stand as well. Sherdog and MMA Weekly seem to credit Jardine for KTFO'ing Forrest -- ranking Jardine #4/#7 and Griffin #5/#8 respectively. But 411 is more impressed with Griffin's win over Shogun and has him one better than Jardine at #7. The Irish Whip rates Griffin at #6 but doesn't think Jardine is top ten at all. Instead they sneak Lyoto Machida in at #7.

Sherdog rounds out their top 10 with the tied-up-in-the-clinch twins Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans. Everyone else is still clinging to the last vestiges of PRIDE and rating Arona and Little Nog as top 10 fighters.

So Zuffa has 10 out of these 13 fighters signed to the UFC. The exceptions are Sokoudjou who reportedly turned down a $30,000/$30,000 show/win deal with Zuffa, then almost signed with EliteXC only to dump them for a deal with K-1 HERO's that didn't happen either. If he doesn't fight by the end of the year, I think Sokoudjou needs to hire new management. Poor Arona has apparently been deemed "too boring" by the UFC gods and is cooling his heels. Considering he's lost 3 of his last 4 fights I don't really blame Zuffa for not making him a priority. I'd love to see Strikeforce sign him up -- a Arona/Babalu match would get some buzz going amongst the fans in the know. Little Nog is the other idle fighter but he's been screwing around with amateur fighting so that's on him.

Now we'll just have to see what the UFC does with their near monopoly on top talent in this division. So far we've had some hot matchups -- Rampage/Henderson -- and some misfires -- Ortiz/Evans (I and now II???). Dave Meltzer has outlined a great series of matchups for UFC to go with but you know they won't be following his advice. Expect continued jacked-up match-making from the monopolists.

I hope Sokoudjou figures out what he's doing soon, he had a great little run there and I hate to see a fast rising fighter cooling his heels for so long.

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