MMA Power Rankings -- Light Heavyweight
Monday, Jan. 2
Jon Jones cleared a lot of hurdles in 2011, which shortens the list of contenders heading into 2012. Who's next for the champion? The frontrunner would be Rashad Evans, but he has to get by Phil Davis at UFC on Fox in a few weeks, and he needs to stay healthy. Should he do those things, Evans and Jones will finally have their day to sort out all the acrimony. But Evans has been snake-bitten in these situations of late, and Davis -- "Mr. Wonderful," or "Mr. Freaky Physique?" -- is no pushover. If Davis wins emphatically, he could leap into a title fight with Jones. If he wins a toiler's decision, the shot could go to Dan Henderson, who fought a monumental battle with Mauricio Rua in November.
While all the contenders sort themselves out, a new one is swiftly emerging in Sweden's own Alexander Gustafsson. The "Mauler" needed only two minutes and change to take care of Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 141, and will likely face a top-10 opponent in his next bout that could usher him into title contention. Gustafsson makes the biggest leap in this week's Power Rankings. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira also re-enters the fray after his big victory over Tito Ortiz at UFC 140.See how they were ranked here.