MMA Power Rankings -- Middleweight

Updated: December 6, 2011, 11:00 AM ET
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Tuesday, Dec. 6
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With Anderson Silva on the shelf until June, the stew of contenders will be stirred -- and restirred -- before we get to see him again. A No. 1 contender bout has been made between Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz for Jan. 28 in Chicago. Sonnen didn't want to stay on the sidelines for half a year for his shot against Silva, and a clash with Munoz -- who has won four in a row -- is a dangerous undertaking. It's wrestler versus wrestler, and Munoz's self-described "Donkey Kong" power might be the thing to derail one of the most anticipated rematches in the UFC's history. Maybe forever.

As for Michael Bisping, he had little trouble with Jason Miller in the anticlimactic "Ultimate Fighter" finale, scoring a third-round TKO. It wasn't so much that Bisping looked good in the win (which he did), but that Miller looked so bad in defeat. In the end, all the talk that he belonged on the same stage as Bisping proved to be blather. Bisping is closing in on a title shot, but will have to take at least one more fight beforehand, and one name that's being bandied about is Alan Belcher.

Meanwhile the rest of the top 10 have fights coming up. Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold will meet stalwart Keith Jardine in a head-scratching title defense, and Vitor Belfort will welcome Anthony Johnson to the middleweight division on Jan. 14. Yushin Okami has a date with Tim Boetsch in Japan, and Bellator's Hector Lombard continued his unbeaten streak by making quick work of journeyman Trevor Prangley.