MMA Power Rankings -- Middleweight

Updated: November 8, 2011, 5:03 PM ET
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Tuesday, Nov. 8
Weight Class:
 
Date:


Who is next for Anderson Silva? That's a good question. It seems inevitable that Chael Sonnen, who walked right through Brian Stann at UFC 136, would be the obvious choice. But there are noisemakers in the division that are mixing up the list of contenders. Namely, Mark Munoz, who put the hurt on Chris Leben at UFC 138 to stake his claim for a title shot. In fact, he very courteously asked for it in his postfight speech, a complete 180 from Sonnen's pro wrestling-esque call out at UFC 136 in Houston. Munoz climbs in this week's rankings, and there's plenty of merit to his request. Yet Sonnen remains the big money fight for the UFC, and the forerunner to get that rematch.

Regardless of who's next for Silva, he remains not only the No. 1 middleweight in the world, but the top pound-for-pound fighter going with a 14-fight winning streak and a flawless UFC record. He's beaten anybody they've put in front of him, including top 185ers like Vitor Belfort (devastatingly), Yushin Okami (while hurt) and Sonnen (who drug him into deep waters only to find out that the Silva can swim). He is the nonpareil.

Just on the horizon a couple of interesting things: On Dec. 3, Michael Bisping and Jason Miller will bring their conflicts to a head in Las Vegas. If Bisping is able to get by Mayhem -- the more emphatic, the better -- he could be in line for a title eliminator against Munoz while Sonnen/Silva plays out (should the UFC choose that course). And Anthony Johnson is making his way to 185 pounds, debuting against Belfort on Jan. 14 at UFC 142 in Brazil. Should he win there, it gets a little more contentious at the top of the division.