Light Heavyweight

MMA on Tap January Fighter Rankings

Gilbert Melendez. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.

Here are the latest MMA on Tap fighter rankings. We will be updating these every month or whenever an adjustment is needed, like after a major event for example. The rankings break down into seven different lists of ten, each of them by division.

If you ever want to compare these with your own or just take a look at the latest update, you can find them under the "Top 10" category in our features section. The organization a fighter is currently under contract to is listed next to the fighter’s name.

The rankings were tabulated by the MMA on Tap staff. Feel free to chime in with your own lists, thoughts, or suggestions.

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The Daily Recap: Semtex-Misaki Meet at March Strikeforce, Ueda Narrowly Wins Shooto Farewell & More

Paul “Semtex” Daley. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— Well-traveled veterans Paul "Semtex" Daley and Kazuo Misaski have signed on to face each other on the main card of Strikeforce's scheduled March 3 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Daley returns to Strikeforce after winning  two straight fights outside of the organization. His opponent, Misaki last defeated Akira Shoji via second-round TKO at DEEP's 53rd Impact event last April. [Strikeforce.com]

— In his last bout before taking a spot in Bellator's upcoming eight-man bantamweight tourney this spring, former Shooto 132 lb. champion Masakatsu Ueda edged out heralded prospect Kyoji Horiguchi and took home a majority decision at Shooto's "Survivor Tournament Final" event on Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. [Sherdog]

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Quote of the Day: Dana White Says Jones Eager to Fight, UFC Looking at Hendo as Opponent

Dan Henderson. Photo by Josh Hedges. Courtesy of Showtime Sports.

"Jon Jones called about four days ago and said 'okay let's go, I'm done with vacation. He said he wanted to take all this time off and then they were calling me four days ago saying he wants to fight as soon as possible. He's ready to go. What could end up happening is Dan Henderson fights Jon Jones first, and then that would be close to the time that Rashad fights. Or we see how things go with Rashad versus Phil Davis and Rashad fights him first."

UFC President Dana White tells ESPN Radio in Las Vegas via Yahoo! Sports that light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has just ended a brief respite following his recent title defense against Lyoto Machida and is looking to fight as soon as possible, leading the UFC to potentially skip over Rashad Evans once again and hand a title shot to former Strikeforce title holder Dan Henderson.

The Daily Recap: King Mo Inks New Deal With Strikeforce, Noons-Thompson in Works for March & More

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— Former Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal has signed a new four-fight deal with Strikeforce, one day before his promotional contract was to expire following his bout against Lorenz Larkin tomorrow night. Lawal has posted a 3-1 record under the Strikeforce banner. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. [MMA Fighting]

— A lightweight clash between one-time EliteXC star K.J. Noons and former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson is in the works for Strikeforce's planned event on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Both Noons and Thomson are said to have verbally agreed to the bout. [MMA Junkie]

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Upset of the Year: Ortiz Topples Bader

Tito Ortiz. Photo property of Heavy MMA.

After failing to win a fight in four years and five consecutive fights past that point, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy", who once carried the UFC through the dark ages a decade ago, was finally at the end of the line with the organization.

Tito Ortiz, the longest reigning light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC, had lost it. Leading up to an anticipated rematch with Chuck Liddell in December 2006, Ortiz had won five straight fights. Ortiz fell to Liddell a second time. A point for grabbing the fence led him to a draw with Rashad Evans next. But following that, Ortiz lost decisions to Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida and former protege Matt Hamill.

Ortiz had never lost three straight fights before in his career. To make matters worse, UFC President Dana White had informed him and the public that with a loss, Ortiz would be released from his contract. Beating a world-ranked light heavyweight in "Ultimate Fighter" winner Ryan Bader shouldn't be too hard, right?

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Video: Highlights from Strikeforce’s “Rockhold vs Jardine” Pre-Fight Press Conference

Here are some highlights from today's pre-fight press conference for this weekend's Strikeforce "Rockhold vs. Jardine" event, which airs live on Showtime at 10 PM ET from Las Vegas, Nevada. Among those in attendance were Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, top contender Keith Jardine, one-time Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and his opponent Lorenz Larkin among others.

Stann vs Sakara, Three Other Bouts Set for UFC’s Debut in Sweden

Brian Stann. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.

The UFC is reportedly bringing a lineup full of established veterans and newly-signed prospects to its promotional debut in Sweden this spring for UFC on FUEL TV 2, which will take place on April 14 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.

Among the bouts expected to be televised on the event's main card is former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann's return to action against fellow striker Alessio Sakara in a middleweight bout.

Other matchups first reported by MMA NYTT, include Cyrille Diabate facing UFC newcomer Jorgen Kruth, highly-touted middleweight prospect Magnus Cedenblad challenging Georges St. Pierre training partner Francis Carmont and longtime European veteran Simeon Thoresen taking on Besam Yousef.

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The Daily Recap: UFC Confirms First Trip to Sweden, CM Punk to Escort Sonnen at UFC on Fox II & More

CM Punk. Photo courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— The UFC has officially announced that it will be heading to Sweden for the first in the promotion's history on April 14 for UFC on FUEL TV 2, which will likely take place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. The UFC's foray into Sweden was long rumored and was also scheduled to happen last November before conflicts arose. The event will be the second live show televised on FUEL TV under the new FOX deal. [UFC.com]

— WWE champion CM Punk will reportedly escort UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen to the cage prior to his pivotal showdown against Mark Munoz in the co-main event of UFC on Fox II on January 28 in Chicago, Illinois. CM Punk is well-known as an avid fan of MMA as well as a native of the Chicago area. He and Sonnen have reportedly developed a friendship in recent months. [MMA Fighting]

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Previewing Strikeforce “Rockhold vs Jardine”

Keith Jardine. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.

Less than a month since their last venture, Strikeforce kicks off the New Year with another event on Showtime. Saturday night’s main event features upstart Luke Rockhold making the first defense of his Strikeforce middleweight crown against seasoned UFC veteran Keith Jardine.

Other televised bouts include former Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal going up against dangerous striker Lorenz Larkin and slugger Robbie Lawler battling Adlan Amagov.

Here’s a preview of the show’s main card, which takes place at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and airs on Showtime starting at 10 PM ET.

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Event of the Year: UFC 139

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.

The usual pre-event hype for UFC 139 just wasn't there. The UFC's first foray into the San Jose area following their surprising acquisition of Bay Area mainstay Strikeforce happened to be sandwiched in between the organization's network television debut on FOX, pitting Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in a UFC heavyweight title bout, and the finale of the fourteenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" the show's last on Spike.

It wasn't as if the fight card was lacking. Dan Henderson's return to the Octagon against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was a barnburner of a headliner. Wanderlei Silva facing Cung Le and Urijah Faber going up against Brian Bowles aren't bad co-main events either. The advertising just wasn't there.

Still, UFC 139 delivered to say the least...

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