MMA Power Rankings -- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Monday, April 23
If there's ever going to be clarity in a division as complicated as the light heavyweight class, we're nearing it. Jon Jones was able to defend his title against archnemesis Rashad Evans at UFC 145, which does two things -- it makes the divide between Jones and everybody else at 205 pounds seem like a widening chasm, and Dan Henderson finally knows the identity of the man he's facing. Evans was able to hang with Jones in the first couple of rounds, but in the end, "Bones" proved too versatile, too long and too creative. Jones remains atop the heap, and Evans drops a little in this week's Power Rankings.
As for the last reigning Strikeforce champion Henderson? He rightfully takes the No. 2 spot heading into his summer clash with Jones and becomes the next man to try to (A) test Jones' chin and (B) see how he operates off his back. It's a tall task that awaits the 41-year-old Henderson, but if there's ever been a guy who likes being told he has no chance, it's Hendo. And don't underestimate Henderson's wiliness, either. He has some tricks up his sleeve.
Otherwise, Alexander Gustafsson is the new kid on the block, having scored a big decision victory over Thiago Silva in his native Sweden. He moves up in this week's Power Rankings. Could he be stacked up against Ryan Bader next? Stay tuned.