Welcome to the debut of the new SB Nation mixed martial arts rankings format.
These rankings incorporate each of SBNation's MMA brands: MMAFighting.com, Bloody Elbow, and MMA Mania. In each division, two writers from each site will list their top 10. Fighters are given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second, etc., down to one point for 10th place. The results are then tallied up and presented here.
Participating in this month's poll are Ariel Helwani and I from MMA Fighting; Dallas Winston and Tim Burke from Bloody Elbow; and Brian Hemminger and Thomas Myers of MMA Mania.
We start this week with the heavyweights, where there's a strong consensus on the top five fighters.
*UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and the man he defeated for the title, Cain Velasquez, were unanimous choices for first and second place, respectively.
*Former UFC champion Frank Mir took fifth place by taking four of six fifth-place votes.
*The next three fighters on the list appeared on all six ballots, as Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva took sixth after his win over Travis Browne, followed by veteran Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Josh Barnett.
(Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspension are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues. At heavyweight, the currently affects Alistair Overeem, whose license is denied in Nevada for elevated levels of testosterone).
- Junior dos Santos (15-1, 60 points): Ten straight wins, including victories over half the top 10. Enough said.
- Cain Velasquez (10-1, 54 points): Former champion has unquestionably earned his rematch with dos Santos.
- Daniel Cormier (10-0, 44 points): As of this writing, Cormier is in limbo, waiting on an opponent for Nov. 3, if the card even happens.
- Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1, 41 points): Winner of five of his past six bouts, the guessing game on Werdum's next opponent remains one of the most intriguing questions in the division.
- Frank Mir (16-6, 39 points): If nothing else, give the injured Mir credit for his willingness to step up and face Cormier, something others aren't exactly lining up to do.
- Antonio Silva (17-4, 22 points): Given an 0-3 record against the top 10, perhaps he's being a tad overrated based on his win over Travis Browne.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1, 1 NC, 21 points): Father Time is "Big Nog's" most formidable foe at this point, both in terms of age (36) and ring time (42 fights).
- Josh Barnett (31-6, 18 points): Like Cormier, waiting for his next opponent. Unlike Cormier, probably not destined for a long and prosperous UFC future.
- Stefan Struve (25-5, 10 points): Four straight wins and six out of seven for a fighter who is improving every time out.
- Roy Nelson (17-7, 9 points): No doubt MMA Math types will whine about Nelson being ranked beneath a fighter he knocked out (Struve), but this is about where fighters stand in 2012, not 2010.