Wrap up the year with more rankings! Here is the Heavyweight Top 10 courtesy of the SB Nation panel. The rankings panel consists of two members from each of the SB Nation MMA sites - MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle, MMA Mania's Alex Giardini and Thomas Myers, and Bloody Elbow's Dallas Winson and myself, Fraser Coffeen.
Heavyweight has a clear, consensus #1 king in UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez - though it's now been over a year since Velasquez last fought, with nothing coming soon. That leaves two men to duke it out for #2 - former UFC Heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Interim champion Fabricio Werdum. So who takes the #2 spot?
As it turns out, we could not decide. The panel was evenly split, with half choosing JDS at #2, Werdum at #3 and half flipping the two. Clearly these are the three top men in the division, but how they shake out is a bit harder to say.
Elsewhere in the rankings, Travis Browne and Mark Hunt round out the top 5. Stipe Miocic moves up to #6 in the wake of his impressive though losing (?) effort against JDS. Josh Barnett holds on at #7, though like Velasquez, he's in the midst of a year plus layoff. Andrei Arlovski, Bigfoot Silva, and Roy Nelson all join the rankings this cycle.
One last note - shockingly few fights coming up for the top 10, as only Bigfoot has anything booked right now. Looks like it will be a bit before anything changes in these ranks.
Check out the full list here:
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 or company suspensions are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues.
Upcoming match-ups for ranked fighters
#10 Antonio Silva vs. Frank Mir - UFC 184, February 28