MMABlog’s Middleweight MMA Rankings

The middleweights were hard to rank down towards the last 10.  Sorry if I left some good guys out.

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Anderson Silva

UFC

 Cote (#12), 9/25

2

Paulo Filho

UFC

Sonnen (#16) 11/3

3

Rich Franklin

UFC

Next Fight at LHW

4

Dan Henderson

UFC

Next Fight at LHW

5

Robbie Lawler

EliteXC?

 

6

Kazuo Misaki

Strikeforce

1/4

7

Nate Marquardt

UFC

 

8

Matt Lindland

Affliction

Sobral (LHW) ) 1/24

9

Yushin Okami

UFC

Lister (NR), 12/27

10

Gegard Mousasi

DREAM

Belfort (#25,) 1/24

11

Thales Leites

UFC

McFedries (NR), 9/25

12

Patrick Cote

UFC

A. Silva (#1), 9/25

13

Michael Bisping

UFC

 

14

Yoshihiro Akiyama

 

 

15

Ronaldo “Jacare” de Sousa

DREAM

 

16

Chael Sonnen

UFC

Filho (#2) 11/3

17

Demian Maia

UFC

Quarry (#18), 11/15

18

Nate Quarry

UFC

Maia (#17), 11/15

19

Joey Villasenor

EliteXC?

 

20

Cung Le

Strikeforce

 

21

Jorge Santiago

 

 

22

Chris Leben

UFC

 

23

Jason Macdonald

UFC

 

24

Martin Kampman

UFC

 

25

Vitor Belfort

Affliction

Mousasi (#10) 1/24

 

Others Considered: Ricardo Almeida, Rousimar Palhares, Dean Lister, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Frank Trigg

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Who can beat Anderson Silva?

UFC’s middleweight divison is the weakest divison with the strongest champion.  So the title picture at middlewight is not bright.  Can anyone beat Anderson Silva?  I would say yes, but there aren’t many who can.  The middleweight division is tough and UFC is making an effort to remedy it.  The next Ultimate Fighter will feature middleweights, but I doubt any will seriously be able to contend any time soon.  Michael Bisping is dropping down to 185, he is good and will be a top 5 guy in middleweight, but not the top middleweight.  If Matt Hammil could rock him standing up, Anderson Silva would destroy him.  I am glad to see Dan Henderson dropping to fight Anderson, makes for another good unifcation bout.  I will rank my middleweights according to who has the best chance of beating Anderson Silva and in my opinion unlike the light heavyweight divison they should line up to beat Anderson Silva.  Again, this is not the same as my rankings.  My UFC middleweight rankins would be: 1. Anderson Silva 2. Dan Henderson 3. Rich Franklin 4. Yushin Okami 5. Michael Bisping.  Prior to Bisping and Hendo dropping the top four always included Silva, Franklin, Okami and McDonald, but none of them could challenge Anderson.  In fact there is a huge gap between Anderson and Rich and then Rich and the rest of the pack.  Poor Franklin is between a rock and a hard place.  He won’t get another title shot until Anderson is dethroned.  So here are my guys most likely to be Anderson Silva. 

1. Paulo Filho.  Some content Filho is the best middleweight in the world even ahead of Anderson Silva.  They are great friends and don’t want to fight.  I believe the fight would be great and translate to big bucks.  I’d love to see Paulo move over from WEC to the UFC.  Since both are Zuffa owned will his contract allow him to fight in UFC?  This to me would be one of the most anticipated fight in MMA.  If Silva wins and Filho looses in WEC anytime soon look for the move. 

2. Dan Henderson.  Dan is better at middleweight then light heavyweight.  I think he can beat Anderson.  he has to have a good night and Anderson has to have a bad night.  Dan showed against Rampage he could take a hit, but he has to be more aggressive then he was against Rampage.  He has to stun Silva to beat him.  I look forward to their match and I look forward to seeing Dan at middleweight.   He may take the belt. 

3. Matt Lindland.  Rumor us he has been talking to Dana White about a return to the UFC.  He wants to fight Anderson.  I think Dana needs to put his pride aside and sign a top 3 middleweight in the world.  I don’t know if Lindland can beat Silva, but he is a serious contender, and would be a good boost for the middleweight divison.  If he can’t beat Silva at least it would be some competition to the 2-10 spots in the divison.

4. Denis Kang.  He is a fantastic fighter who has a great resume and has fought some of the best, but I think he is a long shot, but nevertheless I would love to see him in the UFC

5. Matt Hughes.  Matt mentioend going up to fight Silva.  It could happen.  Matt has the rapport to get the fight if he wants it, but size may hurt him.  If he could ground and pound Anderson he may win, but I believe Anderson’s clinch and stand up is too much for one of my favorite fighters. 

6. Robbie Lawler. I would love to see Lawler back in the UFC.  Was his stint as a coach with Matt Hughes a starting point.  I don’t see him laying down his EliteXC belt though, and don’t see him loosing it.  I think he could really compete here.  He is a hard hitter, however he may get knocked out.  If Nick Diaz can knock him out I imagine Anderson Silva could too. 

7. B.J. Penn This would be a huge move up for B.J.  He can get the weight class, but I don’t know if he can beat Anderson.  I am a B.J. Penn fan, and on the ground he could contend, but does he have the desire to do it?  I have heard talks of it, but this one I dount will ever materialize.  Now, I believe we could see B.J. fight for the welterweight belt again some time in 2008 or 2009, but he would have to get in line behind Matt Serra, Jon Fitch and Karo Parisyan. 

8. Yushin Okami.  He hold a win over Anderson Silva, but he didn’t beat Anderson Silva.  Okami is a big guy, but that won’t beat Anderson Silva.  I wouldn’t mind the fight being booked, but Okami needs to beat one or two more quality guys before he gets a title shot.  He may not be very exciting, but he has been effective in the UFC, so perhaps he has earned his shot. 

9. Ninja Rua. Okay, I would much rather see Shogun move down to fight Anderson, but Ninja is a good fighter even though he lost to Lawler.  He is a legit top ten middleweight.  I’d like to see him in the UFC regardless and think he could be a good fighter in there and on a lucky day maybe he could get the best of Anderson Silva.  Now Shogun vs. Anderson would be exciting. 

10. Rich Franklin. He is the #2 or #3 middleweight in the world still, but we have been there and done that. Rich has pushed his luck with Anderson and should be thanking God that he survived two fights with Silva.  One more he may be done.   

It will never happen, but I woudl love to see one of those fights where Fedor fights a middleweight.  Fedor killed Matt Lindland and I suspect he would be Anderson Silva.  That is it!  Notice I didn’t even include “Twinkle Toes” Trigg or “Mayhem” Miller as I don’t see they have a shot.  There are some other guys who may get a chance guys like Nate Quarry.  Anderson has already beat all your other middleweights in the UFC worth anything (Leben, Marquardt, and Lutter).  Well if Dan Henderson can’t beta him and if Dana can’t get Filho or Lindland to fight him look for a long reign for Silva.