Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

SILVA Scores for MMA’s Top 25 Heavyweights

Sometimes I have trouble thinking of things to write about, but then I thought… since it’s the new year, why not take a look at the SILVA scores for top 25 ranked fighters? If nothing else, it might set the stage for determining which fighters might rise in the rankings in 2012, and which fighters are in danger of falling.

Here are the top 25 heavyweights, as determined by the USA Today / MMA Nation consensus rankings, as of December 30th, meaning that neither UFC 141 nor the New Year’s Eve Dream event are factored into this list. This will list the fighter’s rank, name, and SILVA score.

  1. Junior dos Santos – 87.42
  2. Cain Velasquez – 77.08
  3. Alistair Overeem – 81.64
  4. Brock Lesnar – 70.95
  5. Frank Mir – 80.84
  6. Fabricio Werdum – 63.12
  7. Shane Carwin – 58.02
  8. Daniel Cormier – 81.42
  9. Josh Barnett – 63.21
  10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – 68.21
  11. Antonio Silva – 75.47
  12. Fedor Emelianenko – 69.87
  13. Cheick Kongo – 55.77
  14. Roy Nelson – 45.75
  15. Brendan Schaub – 64.83
  16. Sergei Kharitonov – 55.81
  17. Travis Browne – 67.32
  18. Mike Russow – 72.96
  19. Cole Konrad – 73.81
  20. Matt Mitrione – 65.27
  21. Stefan Struve – 54.44
  22. Mark Hunt – 42.06
  23. Pat Barry – 39.85
  24. Dan Henderson – 74.57
  25. Dave Herman – 62.97

Here are those same 25 fighters, but ranked by their SILVA score, and then listed with their rank.

  • Junior dos Santos – 87.42 (1)
  • Alistair Overeem – 81.64 (3)
  • Daniel Cormier – 81.42 (8)
  • Frank Mir – 80.84 (5)
  • Cain Velasquez – 77.08 (2)
  • Antonio Silva – 75.47 (11)
  • Dan Henderson – 74.57 (24)
  • Cole Konrad – 73.81 (19)
  • Mike Russow – 72.96 (18)
  • Brock Lesnar – 70.95 (4)
  • Fedor Emelianenko – 69.87 (12)
  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – 68.21 (10)
  • Travis Browne – 67.32 (17)
  • Matt Mitrione – 65.27 (20)
  • Brendan Schaub – 64.83 (15)
  • Josh Barnett – 63.21 (9)
  • Fabricio Werdum – 63.12 (6)
  • Dave Herman – 62.97 (25)
  • Shane Carwin – 58.02 (7)
  • Sergei Kharitonov – 55.81 (16)
  • Cheick Kongo – 55.77 (13)
  • Stefan Struve – 54.44 (21)
  • Roy Nelson – 45.75 (14)
  • Mark Hunt – 42.06 (22)
  • Pat Barry – 39.85 (23)

With those lists having been established, let’s look at which fighters may rise in 2012, and which may fall.


  • Daniel Cormier: One of the brightest moments of my analysis in 2011 was watching SILVA favorite Daniel Cormier rated as an elite heavyweight, and then fulfill that rating by running through Jeff Monson and Antonio Silva. The Silva win was no fluke. Look for Cormier to beat Josh Barnett to win the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament, and possibly challenge for the UFC heavyweight championship in late 2012.
  • Cole Konrad: The best way for Konrad to rise in the rankings is to get out of Bellator, but at an undefeated 8-0, Konrad is a very good prospect, and if he ever makes his way to the UFC, he will be a very difficult opponent for anybody to beat.
  • Mike Russow: He might not be the most visually impressive fighter, but his success shouldn’t be completely ignored either. Russow is on a 10-fight winning streak, including 3-0 in the UFC. The problem is that one of those wins, over Todd Duffee, showed Russow being a punching bag until getting a sudden KO in the third round, not the kind of performance that’s inspiring for the future. So watch Russow in 2012, but he’s just as likely to go bust as he is to go boom.
  • Matt Mitrione: I’m still on the Mitrione bandwagon, despite Mitrione’s loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 137. The thing to remember is that Mitrione still had less than two years of professional MMA experience when he fought Kongo; in other words, Mitrione is still developing as an MMA fighter. I think Mitrione comes back strong in 2012, and could possibly even break into title contention towards the end of the year.


  • Brock Lesnar: The big “duh” of this list. Lesnar retired from MMA after his loss to Alistair Overeem, in which Lesnar inexplicably decided to try his luck at striking with the K-1 World Grand Prix champion. Zach Arnold at Fight Opinion has been calling Lesnar’s retirement for over a year now, and because of that, I don’t think anybody should think a Lesnar comeback is even a slight possibility.
  • Fabricio Werdum: Werdum is a quality fighter, and certainly deserving of a place in the top 25 somewhere, but top 10 is probably a bit much for Werdum to maintain. Werdum is 6-4 in his last 10 fights, and while his level of competition has been excellent, in order to be one of the best fighters in the world, you need to be able to win more consistently than Werdum does.
  • Shane Carwin: Carwin’s entire status as a top 10 heavyweight was built on a KO win over Frank Mir. Carwin has serious power, but serious flaws as well, particularly his stamina, and possibly his submission defense. If Carwin continues to face elite heavyweight talent, I don’t think he’ll be able to cover up his flaws.
  • Roy Nelson: I think Nelson’s status as a ranked fighter is an overreaction to the belief some may have that a fighter who looks like Nelson can’t be very good. How else to explain a fighter being ranked #14 when his two best wins are a KO of a green Brendan Schaub and a TKO of Stefan Struve? Nelson isn’t dreadful or anything, but I expect him to lose to Fabricio Werdum, and there’s no way Nelson is able to maintain his ranking.
  • Mark Hunt and Pat Barry: I have a feeling these guys are only in the top 25 because of the thin nature of the MMA heavyweight division. Both guys are powerful strikers with serious problems on the ground, and they’re almost guaranteed to lose fights in the UFC in 2012 by submission, and drop back out of the top 25.

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