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Light Heavyweight – December 2011

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December 1, 2011

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Light Heavyweight – December 2011
The Light Heavyweight Division is full of talent and sitting on the top of this group is the youngest UFC Champion in its history, Jon Jones.
1. Jon Jones – He’s about to have his 4th fight of 2011 when he defends the title against Lyoto Machida on Dec 10. There was a time when every light heavy on the UFC roster thought that there was more hype than talent on the Jon Jones train…and now he’s #2 on the MMANonstop P4P list. A win next weekend will also all but cement him as the Fighter of the Year.
2. Rashad Evans – Evans is expected to face Phil Davis on Jan 28 on the UFC on Fox 2 in the first full fight card to be promoted on network TV for the company.  Rashad is getting back in line for his title shot, and a win over Davis in front of a national audience is the exact lead-in that Dana White would like to be able to promote in a future PPV headliner.
3. Dan Henderson – Fight of the Year does not start to describe the epic brawl that Hendo put on with Shogun in November.  After the back and forth battle that gave him the unanimous decision win, the rumor mill is full of Hendo vs. Jones, and Hendo vs. Anderson Silva rumblings. Supposedly Dana White has given Henderson his choice of champions for his next fight.
4. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – He arguably won the fight against Dan Henderson on Nov 19, but regardless of the outcome, Shogun has made a case for being one of, if not THE, toughest fighter on the UFC roster.  He took everything Hendo could dish out, and found a way to handily win round 5. Epic battle, epic fighter.  He has earned his rest, but we are eagerly anticipating his return to the octagon.
5. Lyoto Machida –term paper writing

n> Dec 10 is a defining moment for Lyoto Machida.  He has definitely gotten a big jump in competition after his 2nd round Karate Kid Kick victory over Randy Couture. He will need to access every bit of elusiveness and striking prowess to defeat the LH juggernaut champion.

6. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – Rampage is expected to face Ryan Bader in Feb 26, at UFC 144.  He’ll have his hands full with the young fighter who is back on track after KO’ing Jason Brilz at UFC 139.
7. Phil Davis – After having to pull out of a few fights against top notch competition, Phil Davis will likely face Rashad Evans on a national stage in the first quarter of 2011. Undeniably, Evans will be his toughest competition to date, and with a win, he catapults himself into title contention and possible matchup of young phenoms if he earns a shot against Jones.
8. Muhammed Lawal – King Mo is back on the scene, but has no plans for a next fight just yet.  The charismatic Strikeforce LH contender and friend of the MMANonstop Podcast would love a jump to the UFC and a shot at a pay day that would come with a big time UFC fight.
9. Forrest Griffin – The Former LH champ is taking a little time off right now to be with his family. Always a character, and game for a fight, we are actively awaiting his return to the Octagon.
10. Rafael  Cavalcante – Feijao dominated Yoel Romero Palacio in his last Strikeforce fight, and won via KO in the 2nd. Now he and Lawal await the decision of what to do next.
Up Next: Middleweight
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Brendan

Brendan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and boxing practitioner who has followed all things MMA since watching the first UFC event over 20 years ago. In addition to his professional career, Brendan is currently an MBA student at Montclair State University who enjoys spending time with his wife Meredith and their dog Cha'lie when he's not training. Follow Brendan on Twitter @bchurchin48 and check out all his articles exclusively at MMANonstop.com.

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