Top 10: LowKick.com Staff Middleweight RankingsPosted on July 24, 2012, 01:57 PM by Anton Gurevich
Angry Commenter Guide: Evan Holober ranked the evens, Anton Gurevich ranked the odds
1. Anderson Silva
What else can be said about Anderson “The Spider” Silva? UFC Middleweight champ went 15-0 inside the Octagon at UFC 148, solidifying his place as the undisputed pound-for-pound king of Mixed Martial Arts rankings. Silva now faces one of the toughest set of challenges in the UFC Middleweight division, with Alan Belcher, Vitor Belfort, Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping all promising to dethrone the champ.
2. Chael Sonnen
The master of disaster did all he could to steal the title away from Anderson Silva July 7th. Sadly, for him, it was not enough. After a blitzkrieg from Chael in the first round Anderson was able capitalize on a few missed takedowns in the second to put the former Olympic team alternate away. He keeps the second spot on this list by the strength of his schedule over the past few years. He holds wins over Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami, Michael Bisping, and Brian Stann to go along with his performances against Silva. If he decides not to move up, Chael would still be a favorite against anybody in the world at 185lbs not named Anderson.
3. Chris Weidman
Little by little, Chris Weidman established himself as one of top 185’ers in Mixed Martial Arts today.Weidman is currently 5-0 in the UFC, with notable victories over Alessio Sakara, Tom Lawlor, former UFC title challenger Demian Maia, and of course Mark Munoz. Weidman says he’s ready to become number one, with sights on Anderson Silva’s UFC Middleweight title. Getting a title shot now could be a little bit too soon for the relatively “green” Weidman, while fighting Vitor Belfort in the recently discussed #1 contender bout is probably the best opportunity to make another statement.
4. Alan Belcher
Alan "The Talent" Belcher's career in the UFC has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. He came in on short notice to take on Yushin Okami. He then KO'd the highly regarded Jorge Santiago with a highlight reel head kick, then put in a lack luster performance in a losing effort to TUF third season winner Kendall Grove. It had seemed that every time he had a high, or a bit of a streak, Alan would slip up and lose in either an stunning (Jason Day) or head-scratching (Yoshihiro Akiyama) performance. Recently, he has rattled off four straight wins which includes the streaking Rousimar Pahlares. If he doesn't have a slip up, like he's been prone to in the past, Alan has the all-around skillset to give anybody in the middleweight division a run for their money.
5. Luke Rockhold
Unfortunately for Rockhold, number 5 is the highest position he could ever get s Strikeforce Middleweight champion. Strikeforce talent pool is simply not deep enough to rank Rockhold in Top 3. Luke Rockhold is a top-tier fighter, with unorthodox striking skills that would make him a nightmare for any middleweight in the UFC. The champ has two high quality victories in Jacare Souza and Tim Kennedy, and a lot of credit from LowKick.com staff to get this #5 Middleweight ranking.
6. Vitor Belfort
A lot of folks don't know where to exactly place the Belfort in the 185lb pecking order. He has shown few weaknesses since his foray in to the middle weight ranks, and has taken out top tier fighters (Rich Franklin and Matt Lindland). The problem is his two most recent wins were over a career welterweight that came in 12 lbs over middleweight, and a guy who is 1-4 in his UFC career. Then again, since dropping down, he is 6-1 with his only loss coming to one of the greatest knockouts of all-time by Silva. He has the speed, power, and experience to be an exciting match up for pretty much any fighter in Zuffa's ranks. Since his return to the UFC he has not seen the score cards once.
7. Mark Munoz
Not so long ago, Mark Munoz was one of the top 3 middleweights on the planet. Chris Weidman pushed The Filipino Wrecking Machine down to number 7 with a devastating 2nd Round TKO victory live on Fuel TV. Munoz will have to climb back to the top by facing one of the fighters that are currently out of this list. Despite his loss to Weidman, Mark Munoz still has one of the most impressive records in the UFC, he’s 7-3, losing only to Weidman, Okami, and Matt Hamill.
8. Tim Boetsch
Another former 205lb fighter that has enjoyed immense success since moving to middleweight, Tim is a big guy at 185lbs. He was not very impressive in his most recent fight against Hector Lombard, but still did enough in the judges eyes to take the decision victory. "The Barbarian" blends his power with an incredible will to win, and it has shown in his comeback victory over Yushin Okami. He also took the decision against Lombard after breaking his foot early in the second round. With 4 straight wins at middleweight he appears to be in route to a match against a top tier opponent. A fight with Vitor or Rich Franklin would make a lot of sense next.
9. Michael Bisping
“The Count” can talk all he wants about being on a seven-fight win streak. Well, he’s not. Michael Bisping has improved greatly from his greatest fiasco at UFC 100, but he’s to make a true Top 5 statement. Bisping has no Top 10 victories on his record, his most valuable W’s are against Denis Kang, Jason Miller and Yoshihiro Akiyama. The Brit lost to Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, and Dan Henderson, three fights that could’ve put him en route to a Top 3 spot.
10. Brian Stann
The former WEC titlist has made massive improvements since moving to the UFC, and dropping to the middleweight division. His striking has become more technical, and has become decent (which was a nice change from non-existent). He's beaten Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago while they were ranked in the top ten, and is 4-1 at 185lbs (his only loss coming to Chael Sonnen). For him to move ahead of the guys in front of him he will have to make some improvements, with wrestling being his most glaring weakness. Brian is set to take on Michael Bisping at UFC 152.