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Heavyweight Rankings: Junior dos Santos Laps Pack


Nine straight wins in the UFC. Seven via stoppage. Five over competitors ranked in the Top 10.

At this stage, there's no doubt about it: Junior dos Santos is on the greatest heavyweight run in UFC history.

The most impressive overall heavyweight streak in the sport's history, of course, belongs to Fedor Emelianenko.

But given the level of dominance the Salvador, Brazil resident has displayed in the Octagon, and the absence of damage he's taken in the process, it's conceivable that sometime down the road, dos Santos could potentially wrest that crown as well, given that he's not likely to face the freak-show fighters and middleweights that appear a bit too often on the Russian great's record.

But that's a ways off. In the interim, we're presented with a shuffle of the 265-pound deck after back-to-back weekends of heavyweight slugfests.

The fighter's rankings the last time we ranked the heavyweights are in parentheses.

1. Junior dos Santos (1) Simply the best, for all the reasons listed above.

2. Cain Velasquez (3) Former UFC champ showed he's focused and ready for another shot at the title.

3. Daniel Cormier (6) When an Olympic-caliber wrestler can throw the variety of strikes Cormier did against Josh Barnett, and do so with a broken hand, well, that's bad news for everyone else.

4. Fabricio Werdum (5) Werdum is 6-2 two in his past eight fights, with one of those losses to JDS and the other to the guy currently suspended for cheating.

5. Frank Mir (4) Yeah, he looked terrible against Dos Santos. The champ has a way of doing that to his opponents.

6. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (NR) At 35, will "Big Nog" be able to return to his previous form after Mir broke his arm? We'll find out in this summer when he returns and faces Cheick Kongo.

7. Alistair Overeem (2). When your license is denied because you tested for levels of testosterone that are nearly off the charts, sorry, you don't get ranked any higher than this while you're under suspension.

8. Josh Barnett (7) It's hard to drop Barnett too far, since Cormier handed him his first loss since Dec. 31, 2006. It's also hard to rank him much higher since there were one too many softies in his eight-fight win streak.

9. Shane Carwin (9) In danger of dropping off this list soon, since his last fight was in mid-June of last year, but the good news is that the former UFC interim champ been cleared for his return.

10. Stefan Struve (NR) Don't look now, but "The Skyscraper" has won five of his past six fights.

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