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Middleweight – December 2011

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December 1, 2011

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Middleweight – December 2011
Throughout the last five years, one man has sat atop the Middleweight Division and defeated all challengers. While many believe they have the tools to defeat him, none have been able to dethrone Anderson Silva.
1. Anderson Silva – Silva is currently nursing a shoulder injury that will put him on the shelf until early 2012. Silva is expected to return to action in June of 2012 when the UFC is rumored to be making it's second visit of 2012 to Brazil. He is expected to fight the winner of the Munoz vs. Sonnen fight at the end of January.
2. Chael Sonnen – Ring rust was no issue when Chael Sonnen stepped back into the Octagon at UFC 136 on Oct 8. Sonnen looked great as he finished Stann in the second round and then went on to give one of the most memorable post fight speeches ever, calling out Anderson Silva and challenging him to a rematch. Before Sonnen can get his rematch with Silva, he must first get past rising Middleweight Contender Mark Munoz at UFC on Fox 2 at the end of January.
3. Mark Munoz – Munoz looked great in his fight against Chris Leben at UFC 138 and he is inching his way towards a title shot. he next must get through Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago on January 28.
4. Vitor Belfort – Belfort took a major setback after getting knocked out by Anderson Silva via the Steven Seagal patented front kick at UFC 126. He defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama via KO in the first at UFC 133 in August. Belfort will fight Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 in January when the UFC returns to Brazil.
5. Hector Lombard – Lombard increased his fight win streak to 24 after defeating Trevor Prangley at a catchweight of 195 lbs at Bel

lator 58. Until he fights the top talent of the division I can't see him rising above #5 on our list.

6. Yushin Okami – After losing to the Champ Anderson Silva at UFC 134, Okami is stepping back into the Octagon at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan in February against Tim Boetsch. Known as one of the strongest fighters in the Middleweight division, Okami is looking to climb his way back to contender status.
7. Brian Stann – Stann took the biggest hit after his loss to Sonnen at UFC 136. He was submitted in the 2nd round after being on his back for most of the first. Stann is spending time with his family and should be back early 2012.
8. Luke Rockhold – Rockhold built up a strong winning streak on the Strikeforce Challengers series before defeating Ronaldo Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship in September. He is rumored to be defending his title against Keith Jardine on Jan 7.
9. Demian Maia – Maia looked good in his recent fight against Jorge Santiago at UFC 136 in Houston. Maia picked up a unanimous decision that led to Santiago’s dismissal from the organization. While no new fight has been scheduled as of yet, expect Maia to face another top ten fighter in the division.
10. Michael Bisping – This Saturday night at the Ultimate Fighter Finale, Bisping returns to the Octagon to fight Jason “Mayhem” Miller. A win for Bisping would surely elevate his status in the division, but he is still a few fights away from title contention.
Up Next: Welterweight
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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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