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Anderson Silva Tops The UFC Middleweight Rankings

 It seems fitting with UFC 77 right around the corner, with Rich Franklin fighting current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to give my UFC middleweight top 5 rankings now.
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The UFC middleweight division is probably the weakest in all of the UFC. By weakest I mean that there is one clear cut champion, a clear cut second and then everyone else is way below. Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way in a very short period of time, so things could change overnight. Let's get started with my rankings.

5. Chris Leben; I think most MMA fans would not include Chris Leben in the top 5 of the UFC middleweight division, but Leben is coming off an impressive come from behind win over a very tough Terry Martin and fought a close decision loss with Kalib Starnes. I personally Cheap giants Jerseys #91 thought that the Starnes fight was a draw or even a narrow Leben victory.

The thing I've been most impressed with lately with Leben is his ground game. Sure, he's not at the level of Jason MacDonald or Travis Lutter yet, but he's defended very well and even attempted some submissions in the Starnes fight. It's clear after his loss to MacDonald Silva that Chris Leben has gone back to the drawing board and made some real improvements to his game.

4. Jason MacDonald had a real streak going before he met Rich "Ace" Franklin. He had back to back wins over ultimate fighters Ed Herman and Chris Leben winning both fights by submission. MacDonald had a bit of a set back when he faced recently de-throned champion Rich Franklin. This fight showed just how big of a gap there is in the UFC middleweight division, Cheap patriots Jerseys #87 but MacDonald is taking it all in stride and a recent victory at UFC 72 over Rory Singer shows that "The Athlete" is back on track. Jason MacDonald takes on Yushin Okami at UFC 77, likely to see who will face the winner of Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin.

3. Yushin Okami and Jason MacDonald have both faced Rich Franklin, but neither has faced middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Since Okami got less beaten up by Franklin than MacDonald did, I give him the #3 spot. I think that if Okami had committed himself earlier in the fight he would have possibly decisioned Franklin.

2. Rich Franklin is defintely deserving of his #2 status. He has defeated both the third and fourth best fighters in the division and deserves to get his title rematch against Anderson Silva. Until Silva arrived on the scene, it looked like Rich Franklin would remain on top of the middleweight mountain for quite a while. Franklin took a beating at the hands of Silva and I'm interested to see what improvements he has made to his game/strategy for the rematch.

1. Anderson Silva is the best middleweight in the UFC, maybe the best middleweight in the world. Real MMA fans would love to see a bout between Matt Lindland and Anderson Silva to decide the best MMA middleweight, but since Lindland doesn't fight in Cheap chiefs Jerseys #82 the UFC we have Anderson Silva reigning supreme. His dominant performances against Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Travis Lutter and most recently Nate Marquardt indicate true dominance. In fact, in his last 4 fights only one has gone into the second round and they represent only 10 minutes of total fight time.

Anderson Silva is extremely comfortable throwing punches from all angles. He isn't afraid of being taken down, so he allows himself to take risks throwing big flying knees and other high profile strikes. It's that kind of fighting which will both keep Anderson on or near the top of the middleweight division for quite some time. Fans love to see the big strikes and there is nothing more satisfying than a KO.

That rounds out the UFC middleweight top 5. Time to start working on the UFC heavyweight top 5, but with the departure of Randy Couture and the recent signing to M-1 of Fedor Emelianenko, that could be a real chore. 



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