Rankings: UFC 100 aftermath

Dave Doyle
Yahoo! Sports

Editor's note 8/9: Rankings will be updated at the end of the week. Emails asking when the rankings will be updated will not receive a reply.

A baseball player goes spikes-first into second base to break up a double play. A pitcher keeps a batter honest with a high heater inside. A hockey power forward follows through on a bone-crunching hit and scoops up the loose puck. A safety breaks up a pass attempt with a hit that knocks a wide receiver out of his shoes.

All of the above are brutal examples of things that can go down within the confines of a sport's rulebook. And we can add another to the list: Dan Henderson's "late hit" on Michael Bisping on Saturday at UFC 100.

The means of finishing a mixed martial arts fight under unified rules are simple: You go until the referee ends the match or your opponent submits. Henderson delivered his second-round knockout punch and geared up for his follow-up before Bisping hit the ground. He followed with a straight forearm shiver (it has been called everything from a punch to an elbow, but the replay clearly shows Henderson's forearm landing flush on Bisping's face), then stopped immediately as referee Mario Yamasaki called off the fight.

Did the extra shot reach the boundaries of acceptability? Sure. But Henderson is a cagey veteran who knows exactly where the line is, and he pushed right up to it without crossing.

Bottom line: Those who understand MMA know that Henderson's shot was acceptable; those who don't likely never will follow the sport anyway.

Henderson's performance, his third straight victory, put the Team Quest fighter back into the top 10, as he tied with Rashad Evans for the No. 10 spot. That's not the only repercussion of the July 11 festivities. Georges St. Pierre broke his three-month tie atop the poll with Fedor Emelianenko after his dominant performance over Thiago Alves by claiming the top spot for himself. Emelianenko did not lose any support, but St. Pierre picked up all of Anderson Silva's June first-place votes, and several voters who previously had ranked St. Pierre third bumped him up to second behind the Russian monster.

And UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar cracked the top 10 with his dominant performance over Frank Mir. Lesnar debuts at No. 9.

Lesnar's postfight antics were the talk of the sports world earlier this week, as the national punditry belatedly tore into Lesnar after realizing they were caught asleep at the wheel on a major event.

A few actually showed up at UFC 100, some of whom apparently spent as much time complaining about their cageside seats as actually watching the fights. Most of the rest have never watched an MMA event in their careers and didn't see anything except select Lesnar clips before rehashing their clichéd slams.

But here's a thought: Does their opinion even matter anymore? This month marks the second anniversary of the Y! Sports Top 10 poll. As you can see from our list of this month's pollsters, nearly every major sports website of note, as well as several newspapers and wire services, has at least one competent, knowledgeable professional journalist assigned to MMA. While the dinosaurs of the sports journalism world wheeze their "you kids with your long hair and your rock 'n' roll music" act, most MMA fans simply tune them out and find the information they seek, whether it is on Yahoo! Sports, SI.com, AOL Fanhouse, MMA-specific sites like MMAWeekly and MMAjunkie, or a ton of other sources. The sport has gotten this far without the approval of the talking heads, does it really need them now?

10 (tie). Dan Henderson
Points: 16
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Middleweight
Hometown: Temecula, Calif.
Record: 25-7 (won last three)
Last month's ranking: unranked
Most recent result: def. Michael Bisping, KO R2, July 11
Analysis: It might not have been fair that Henderson dropped out of the Top 10 to begin with: He took two rounds out of five from Quinton Jackson and scored a rare round victory over Anderson Silva during his consecutive losses before his current win streak. But there's no question he has rebounded.

10 (tie). Rashad Evans
Points: 16
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Hometown: Lansing, Mich.
Record: 13-1-1 (lost past one)
Last month's ranking: 9
Most recent result: lost to Lyoto Machida, R2 TKO, May 23
Analysis: Recently finished filming "The Ultimate Fighter 10" and will remain on the sidelines until meeting Jackson in December.

9. Brock Lesnar
Points: 24
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Heavyweight
Hometown: Webster, S.D.
Record: 4-1 (won last three)
Last month's ranking: unranked
Most recent result: def. Frank Mir, R2 TKO, July 11
Analysis: Spare us the indignant emails: Lesnar belongs. He has steamrolled three top-10 heavyweights in a row, two of them UFC title claimants, and rarely been challenged in the process.

8. Quinton Jackson
Points: 49
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Record: 30-7 (won last two)
Last month's ranking: 8
Most recent result: def. Keith Jardine, unanimous decision, March 7
Analysis: See Rashad Evans' analysis.

7. Mike Brown
Points: 65
Affiliation: WEC
Weight class: Featherweight (WEC featherweight champion)
Hometown: Portland, Maine
Record: 22-4 (won last 10)
Last month's ranking: 9
Most recent result: def. Urijah Faber, unanimous decision, June 7
Analysis: Won't be getting any layup title defenses anytime soon, as Jose Aldo, perhaps the most well-rounded lighter-weight striker in the game, is up next.

6. B.J. Penn
Points: 85
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Lightweight (UFC lightweight champion)
Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii
Record: 13-5-1 (lost past one)
Last month's ranking: 6
Most recent result: lost to Georges St. Pierre, doctor stoppage after R4, Jan. 31
Analysis: Penn has yet to close the book on whether he will be best remembered for his motivated best or his unmotivated worst, and thus he has a ton to prove in his Aug. 8 title defense against Kenny Florian.

5. Lyoto Machida
Points: 105
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Hometown: Belem, Brazil
Record: 15-0
Last month's ranking: 4
Most recent result: def. Rashad Evans, R2 TKO, May 23
Analysis: Will begin training in earnest soon for his October title defense against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

4. Miguel Angel Torres
Points:122 (1 first-place vote)
Affiliation: WEC
Weight class: Bantamweight (WEC bantamweight champion)
Hometown: East Chicago, Ind.
Record: 36-1 (won past 17)
Last month's ranking: 5
Most recent result: def. Takeya Mizugaki, unanimous decision, April 5
Analysis: Has a pattern of running over American opponents, followed by barnburners against Japanese foes. Will this repeat when he meets the unbeaten Brian Bowles?

3. Anderson Silva
Points: 144
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Middleweight (UFC middleweight champion)
Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil
Record: 23-4 (won past nine)
Last month's ranking: 3 (tie)
Most recent result: def. Thales Leites, unanimous decision, April 18
Analysis: No matter how much Dana White pushes Silva as the world's best, Silva will need to come through against Forrest Griffin in order to remain in the conversation.

2. Fedor Emelianenko
Points: 163 (eight first-place votes)
Affiliation: Affliction/M-1 (WAMMA champion; never lost PRIDE title)
Weight class: Heavyweight
Hometown: Stary Oskol, Russia
Record: 30-1, one no-contest (won past 10)
Last month's ranking: 1 (tie)
Most recent result: def. Andrei Arlovski, R1 KO, Jan. 24
Analysis: The Zuffa organization, which owns the UFC and the WEC, clearly has the best in the world at six of the seven major weight classes. The one exception is heavyweight. Lesnar has the UFC crown, but the real world champion, Fedor, will face Josh Barnett in Anaheim, Calif. on Aug. 1.

1. Georges St. Pierre
Points: 170 (nine first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Welterweight (UFC welterweight champion)
Hometown: Saint-Isidore, Quebec
Record: 19-2 (won past six)
Last month's ranking: 1 (tie)
Most recent result: def. Thiago Alves, unanimous decision, July 11
Analysis: Jon Fitch and Alves are both so good that if GSP didn't exist, it would be easy to envision either as a legit welterweight champion. And yet St. Pierre pitched a 10-round shutout against the duo. Who is going to provide him a challenge at 170 pounds?

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Votes for others: Urijah Faber 14; Shinya Aoki, Kenny Florian 5; Jake Shields 2; Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch 1.

• Upcoming matches for ranked fighters: No. 2 Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett, Aug. 1, Anaheim, Calif.; No. 3 Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin, Aug. 8, Philadelphia; No. 4 Miguel Torres vs. Brian Bowles, Aug. 9, Las Vegas; No. 6 B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian, Aug. 9, Philadelphia.

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