Y! Sports Top 10: Forrest crashes party

Editor's note, 8/9: New rankings will be posted on Friday.

It appears the Yahoo! Sports voting panel still isn't quite sold on Forrest Griffin.

No one has scored a pair of bigger victories since the Y! Sports Top 10 poll was instituted last August than the new UFC light heavyweight champion's wins over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in September and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on July 5.

Rua was ranked No. 2 at the time he was submitted by Griffin at UFC 76. Rua fell out of the rankings entirely; Griffin didn't crack the top 10.

Jackson was ranked No. 4 at the time he fought Griffin and had been ranked as high as No. 2. But "Rampage," after his first loss in seven fights, dropped five spots to No. 9. Griffin, despite the big victories and despite holding the championship in the deepest division in the sport, checked in at No. 8 in the rankings.

Perhaps voters can't get the image of Griffin's one-sided loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 66 out of their heads, or maybe they're placing pure skill and finishing ability – Griffin's admitted weaker points – ahead of pure heart. I'm not holding myself above the fray here, as I voted Griffin seventh.

The new champ started his time in the national spotlight as "just a reality TV character" and worked his way from outsider to champion. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that he'll have to continue earning respect even with the gold strapped around his waist.

Griffin's unanimous decision win over Jackson kicked off a chain reaction in the rankings underneath the top three of Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn. Fedor Emelianenko jumped two spots to Jackson's old place at No. 4, ahead of Urijah Faber. Antonio Rodgiro Nogueira and Miguel Torres both moved up one spot, to Nos. 6 and 7, respectively. Randy Couture dropped one position to 10 and Dan Henderson, last month's No. 10, dropped out of the poll.

For info on the Y! Sports MMA Top 10 panel, go here.

10. Randy Couture
Points: 32
Affiliation:Under contract to UFC
Weight class: Heavyweight
Hometown: Gresham, Ore.
Record: 16-8 (won past two)
Last month's ranking: 9
Most recent results: def. Gabriel Gonzaga, Round 3 TKO, Aug. 25
Analysis:"The Natural" has a month of eligibility left before the poll's one-year inactivity clause kicks in. With litigation still pending back-and-forth between Couture and UFC, don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

9. Quinton Jackson
Points: 40
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Record: 28-7 (lost past one)
Last month's ranking: 4
Most recent result: lost to Forrest Griffin, unanimous decision, July 5
Analysis: Let's not write off "Rampage" just yet. This is, after all, someone who won six straight fights before July 5, including against the likes of Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland. And opinion on Jackson's decision loss was split, with many thinking the former champ won and just as many thinking the fight was a draw. The big question going forward is whether "Rampage" will treat his loss similar to how Georges St. Pierre dealt with his loss to Matt Serra.

8. Forrest Griffin
Points: 50
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Light heavyweight (UFC light heavyweight champion)
Hometown: Las Vegas
Record: 16-4 (won past two)
Last month's ranking: not ranked
Most recent result: def. Quinton Jackson, unanimous decision, July 5
Analysis: Beating "Shogun" and "Rampage" is enough to get any fighter in the top 10. Griffin will likely have to beat another big name before vaulting up further. We won't know Griffin's next opponent for awhile, at least until the September Liddell-Rashad Evans match.

7. Miguel Angel Torres
Points: 54
Affiliation: WEC
Weight class: Bantamweight (WEC bantamweight champion)
Hometown: E. Chicago, Ind.
Record: 34-1 (won past 15)
Last month's ranking: 8
Most recent result: def. Yoshiro Maeda, TKO R3, June 1
Analysis: No opponent on the horizon yet for the WEC bantamweight champ, though the groundswell of support for the ultimate WEC showdown between Torres and featherweight champion Urjiah Faber was fueled when the two squared off for a face-to-face pose in Las Vegas at UFC 86.

6. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Points: 67
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Heavyweight (UFC interim heavyweight champion)
Hometown: Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil
Record: 31-4-1 (won past 3)
Last month's ranking: 7
Recent results: def. Tim Sylvia, R3 submission, Feb. 2
Analysis: The interim champ recently concluded filming season eight of The Ultimate Fighter. Given that his title match with Frank Mir won't go down until the end of the year, there likely won't be much Big Nog news to report unless something happens in training camp.

5. Urijah Faber
Points: 94
Affiliation: WEC
Weight class: Featherweight (WEC featherweight champion)
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
Record: 21-1 (won past 13)
Last month's ranking: 5
2007 results: def. Jens Pulver, unanimous decision, June 1
Analysis:Given the way Faber has torn through the competition, there might be a temptation to dismiss his next foe, Mike Brown, whom Faber meets Sept. 10. But that would be a mistake: While Brown isn't as well known as Jens Pulver, the American Top Team standout has won 10 of his past 11 fights, including seven in a row, a streak that includes victories over Yves Edwards and Jeff Curran.

4. Fedor Emelianenko
Points: 99
Affiliation: Free agent
Weight class: Heavyweight
Hometown: Stary Oskol, Russia
Record: 27-1 (1 no-contest; won past eight)
Last month's ranking: 6
Most recent result: def. Hong Man-Choi, R1 submission, Dec. 31.
Analysis:For years, hardcore fans considered Tim Sylvia Exhibit A in why they considered the UFC an inferior fight promotion. But as soon as Sylvia left UFC, he magically transformed into an elite fighter. Funny how that works. Regardless, the man most regard as the greatest heavyweight of all-time has his biggest test in quite some time when he faces Sylvia on July 19.

3. B.J. Penn
Points: 107 (one first-place vote)
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Lightweight (UFC lightweight champion)
Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii
Record: 13-4-1 (won past three)
Last month's ranking: 3
Most recent result: def. Sean Sherk, R3 TKO, May 24
Analysis: The winner of the August 9 Kenny Florian-Roger Huerta match is expected to get the next shot at the lightweight championship. But not only does Penn seem more interested in getting his rematch with Georges St. Pierre, to whom he lost a hotly contested split decision at UFC 58, but UFC president Dana White has indicated he's not as opposed to making such a match as he had once been.

2. Georges St. Pierre
Points: 132 (two first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Welterweight (UFC welterweight champion)
Hometown: Saint-Isidore, Quebec
Record: 16-2 (won past three)
Last month's ranking: 2
Most recent result: def. Matt Serra, R2 TKO, April 19
Analysis:St. Pierre has passed every test thrown his way since his stunning loss to Serra last year. Now comes another one: The time around, will the affable Montrealer learn his lessons from his lackadaisical loss and be sure to take his next opponent, unranked Jon Fitch, seriously?

1. Anderson Silva
Points: 153 (13 first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: Middleweight (UFC middleweight champion)
Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil
Record: 21-4 (won past seven)
Last month's ranking: 1
Most recent result: def. Dan Henderson, R2 submission, March 1
Analysis: You asked for a pound-for-pound test and you got it. With the UFC using GOP-like message discipline to hammer … the phrases "best pound-for-pound fighter" and "free" into fans' skulls, Silva's light heavyweight match against James Irvin on July 19 will likely either be Silva's big breakthrough … or it will send him crashing down the rankings.

MoreVotes for others: Shinya Aoki 9; Dan Henderson 4 (ranked No. 10 last month; Kid Yamamoto 4; Lyoto Machida 3; Wanderlei Silva 1; Chuck Liddell 1; Carlos Condit 1.

Upcoming matches for ranked fighters: No. 1 Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin, July 19; No. 2 Georges St. Pierre vs. John Fitch, Aug. 9; No. 4 Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia; July 19.

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