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MMA Top 10 Heavyweights: Nogueira, Couture Still Great

Randy CoutureAntonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture are both old and past their primes. But even old and past their primes, Nogueira and Couture are plenty good.

After their epic battle on Saturday night, which Nogueira won by unanimous decision, I consider both Couture and Nogueira to be among the Top 5 heavyweights in mixed martial arts. But at the same time, I think there's a pretty big gap between the Top 2 heavyweights in MMA -- Brock Lesnar and Fedor Emelianenko -- and everyone else.

So as I go through my new list of the Top 10 heavyweights in MMA, I mean no disrespect to Couture and Nogueira even as I say they're not close to the best.

Top 10 Heavyweights in MMA
1. Fedor Emelianenko The UFC advertised the Nogueira-Couture fight by referring to them as "the two most decorated heavyweights in MMA history." Uh, what? Both Couture and Nogueira would readily admit that Fedor is the greatest heavyweight of all.

2. Brock Lesnar The UFC will probably never sign Fedor, and that gives Lesnar a good chance to hold the belt for a long time.

3. Frank Mir Looks even more impressive after Nogueira looked so good Saturday night.

4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira People like to say Nogueira has looked bad in the UFC. On what planet is a 3-1 record against Mir, Couture, Heath Herring and Tim Sylvia bad?

5. Randy Couture A seven-fight contract for a 46-year-old sounds ridiculous, but Couture signed a seven-fight extension before he fought Nogueira on Saturday, and I wouldn't totally rule out Couture having six more fights in the Octagon.

6. Shane Carwin As the UFC's only heavyweight with enough size and strength to come close to matching Lesnar's, Carwin will step into the Octagon at UFC 106 as a worthy contender to the heavyweight belt.

7. Josh Barnett* I'm not sure what to do with Barnett, whose failed steroid test has his career in limbo. If you don't think he belongs in the Top 10, feel free to drop him from my list, and we'll just say the winner of Junior dos Santos vs. Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 103 gets the 10th spot.

8. Alistair Overeem The Strikeforce heavyweight champ won't fight Fedor just yet, but he's the best opponent M-1 Global and Strikeforce will be able to put in the cage with Fedor in 2010.

9. Cain Velasquez The big loser in the announcement of the Lesnar-Carwin fight was Velasquez, but if he beats Ben Rothwell at UFC 104, he could be next in line for a UFC title shot.

10. Brett Rogers I don't think he's really ready for Fedor just yet, but he'll get his chance some time in the next couple of months.

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