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Johny Hendricks moves to top of MMA rankings after Georges St-Pierre's break

Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva fought a war for the ages on December 7, one of the most spectacular heavyweight bouts in MMA history. The two heavy hitters fought for 25 hotly contested minutes and at the end the bout was declared a majority draw. It’s worth going out of your way to check out a replay.With that in mind, here are the MMA rankings for December:

 

Heavyweight

 

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Fabricio Werdum

5. Josh Barnett

6. Antonio Silva

7. Travis Browne

8. Alistair Overeem

9. Frank Mir

10. Stipe Miocic

 

In disappointing news, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez needed surgery on his shoulder and will be out until late 2014. It’s a tough break for Velasquez as well as fans who looked forward to his next fight against Fabricio Werdum. The next big heavyweight fight takes place at UFC 168 when top contenders Josh Barnett and Travis Browne jockey for position in the division.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light Heavyweight

 

1. Jon Jones

2. Alexander Gustafsson

3. Rashad Evans

4. Phil Davis

5. Glover Teixeira

6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

7. Ryan Bader

8. Gegard Mousasi

9. Dan Henderson

10. Chael Sonnen

 

There is a date for Daniel Cormier’s long anticipated light heavyweight debut: February 22 of next year. He will fight Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 170. An impressive win by Cormier could put him in line for a title shot against champion Jon Jones, although fellow contender Alexander Gustafsson could have something to say about that. Ryan Bader recovered nicely from a TKO loss to Glover Teixeira by demolishing Anthony Perosh over the course of three rounds in Australia. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua turned in his most impressive performance in a while, knocking out James Te Huna in a hurry. A perennial top 10 contender, he could be back in the mix with another win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middleweight

 

1. Chris Weidman

2. Anderson Silva

3. Vitor Belfort

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

6. Yushin Okami

7. Luke Rockhold

8. Tim Kennedy

9. Mark Munoz

10. Michael Bisping

 

The stakes will be sky high in less than two weeks when Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman rematch at UFC 168. If Weidman beats Silva again, it will prove the first result was no fluke and establish him as an elite pound for pound fighter. If Silva wins, it will avenge his most high profile career loss and affirm his stature as an all-time great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welterweight

 

1. Johny Hendricks

2. Carlos Condit

3. Ben Askren

4. Jake Ellenberger

5. Jake Shields

6. Demian Maia

7. Robbie Lawler

8. Rory MacDonald

9. Nick Diaz

10. Martin Kampmann

 

Longtime welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre announced that he will be taking a much deserved sabbatical from the sport to refresh his batteries and get his personal and psychological life in order. St. Pierre has coped with the pressure of being his division’s best for over five years and now can take a break. His absence opens up the top spot in the 170 pound weight class and Johny Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler to crown a new champion. It’s quite the turn of events for Lawler. Just a year ago he was a badly struggling middleweight fighter and now he is fighting for the welterweight crown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightweight

 

1. Anthony Pettis

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Ben Henderson

4. T.J. Grant

5. Eddie Alvarez

6. Michael Chandler

7. Khabib Nurmagomedov

8. Josh Thomson

9. Nate Diaz

10. Rafael Dos Anjos

 

The MMA world was pretty evenly divided as to who would win the bout between Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard at the Ultimate Fighter Finale. Diaz left little doubt once the fight started, picking Maynard apart with punches and stopping him in the first round. It was a sad performance for Maynard, who hasn’t looked like the fighter he once was since being knocked out by Frank Edgar. Diaz, on the other hand, got a much needed win and is likely to get another interesting opponent for his next fight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featherweight

 

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Ricardo Lamas

4. Cub Swanson

5. Frank Edgar

6. Daniel Straus

7. “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung

8. Dustin Poirier

9. Pat Curran

10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

 

Chad Mendes didn’t turn in his most impressive performance against Nik Lentz, but he still won a solid unanimous decision over a tough and hard to finish opponent. He could be in line for the next title shot against the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas, although Cub Swanson also looms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bantamweight

 

1. Renan Barao

2. Dominick Cruz

3. Urijah Faber

4. Michael McDonald

5. Eddie Wineland

6. Bibiano Fernandes

7. Raphael Assuncao

8. Brad Pickett

9. Eduardo Dantas

10. Takeya Mizugaki

 

When Urijah Faber received four title shots in nine fights, he was the subject of criticism for being given opportunities that he didn’t earn. There will be no such criticism this time around. Faber won his fourth straight fight in emphatic fashion by outstriking, outwrestling and submitting dangerous young fighter Michael McDonald. Faber is unquestionably the top challenger for the winner of the Dominick Cruz-Renan Barao title unification bout in February. In other action, Takeya Mizugaki looked crisp and in charge when he defeated Nam Phan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flyweight

 

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. John Dodson

4. Ian McCall

5. John Moraga

 

Women’s Bantamweight

 

1. Ronda Rousey

2. Cat Zingano

3. Miesha Tate

4. Jessica Eye

5. Alexis Davis

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