The SB Nation MMA rankings panel is back this week with a look at the heavyweight division, which saw the top two fighters face off once again at UFC 166. Cain Velasquez cemented his claim as the undisputed top HW in the world by stopping Junior dos Santos in the fifth round, while Daniel Cormier defeated Roy Nelson. Cormier will apparently be dropping to light heavyweight, but for now he’s a heavyweight and he’ll be ranked as such.
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.
(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 heavyweight fighters generally considered to be Top-10 caliber).
All six of us picked Cain as the top guy, which should come as no surprise. It’s a little surprising that two members of the panel decided to rank Cormier over Dos Santos, but it wasn’t enough for him to claim the two spot overall. So he sits at three, with likely next challenger Fabricio Werdum in the four position unanimously.
Antonio Silva has the five spot, barely holding off Josh Barnett who sits at six. Travis Browne is at seven, not far behind those two. Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem are in the eight and nine spots (with Alistair not being a unanimous top 10 among us). Stipe Miocic managed to grab the final spot with votes from four panelists. Mark Hunt and Gabriel Gonzaga also received votes, but it wasn’t enough to reach the top 10. Former number 10 Roy Nelson didn’t receive any votes at all.
Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters
Antonio Silva (5) vs. Mark Hunt (NR) – UFC Fight Night 33, December 7th
Josh Barnett (6) vs. Travis Browne (7) – UFC 168, December 28th
Frank Mir (8) vs. Alistair Overeem (9) – UFC 169, February 1st
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