10. Mauricio Rua Points: 9 Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Light heavyweight Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil. Record: 16-3 Last month's ranking: unranked Most recent result: lost to Forrest Griffin, submission, Sept. 22 Analysis: Shogun sat at No. 11 since his loss to Griffin, when he dropped all the way from the No. 2 spot. But with Matt Hughes and Gilbert Melendez out, and Faber vaulting up, Shogun nudged back into the Top 10. He's presently rehabbing after knee surgery. 9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Points: 33 Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Heavyweight Hometown: Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil Record: 30-4-1 Last month's ranking: 8 Most recent result: def. Heath Herring, unanimous decision, July 7. Analysis: Nogueira already established himself with UFC fans when he rallied from a nasty high kick against Herring and scored the win. Now he has a chance to be the saving grace of a heavyweight division with no Emelianenko, no Randy Couture, and a fan base that doesn't want a third Tim Sylvia title reign. Nogueira faces Sylvia for the interim title at UFC 81. 8. Urijah Faber Points: 38 Affiliation: WEC Weight class: Featherweight (WEC featherweight champion) Hometown: Sacramento, Calif. Record: 20-1 Last month's ranking: unranked Most recent result: def. Jeff Curran, submission R2, Dec. 12 Analysis: It became impossible to deny the WEC featherweight champion his spot after his live, nationally televised win over Jeff Curran on Dec. 12. Faber used world-class defense to fend off a bad situation in the first round, then showed his trademark inventiveness en route to submitting a BJJ black belt for his 12th consecutive win. 7. B.J. Penn Points: 46 Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Lightweight Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii Record: 11-4-1 Last month's ranking: 8 Most recent result: def. Jens Pulver, Round 2 TKO, June 23. Analysis: With Sean Sherk's steroid situation resolved, the lightweight title is finally off ice. Penn, a former UFC welterweight champ, will look to join the short list of multiple weight class champions when he faces Joe Stevenson for the vacant title on Jan. 19. 6. Dan Henderson Points: 62 Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Light heavyweight/middleweight (final PRIDE 183 lb. champion) Hometown: Victorville, Calif. Record: 22-6 Last month's ranking: 5 Most recent result: lost to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, decision, Sept. 8 Analysis: Even with a bunch of strong cards on the horizon, Henderson's March 1 matchup against Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title stands out as one to circle on the calendar. 5. Randy Couture Points: 64 Affiliation: Under contract to UFC Weight class: Heavyweight Hometown: Gresham, Ore. Record: 16-8 Last month's ranking: 6 Most recent resuls: def. Gabriel Gonzaga, Round 3 TKO, Aug. 25 Analysis: Randy won't be fighting again anytime soon, which will eventually affect his eligibility, as fighters cannot be considered if they go a full year without fighting until they compete again. But the fact Couture moved up a spot in spite of his inactivity is a testament to the respect he holds for his tremendous accomplishments inside the octagon. 4. Fedor Emelianenko Points: 102 (2 first-place votes) Affiliation: M-1 Weight class: Heavyweight Hometown: Stary Oskol, Russia Record: 27-1 (1 no-contest) Last month's ranking: 1 Most recent result: Defeated Hong Man-Choi, Round 1 submission, Dec. 31. Analysis: The more Emelianenko sullies his reputation by fighting cream puffs, the less his long-awaited showdown with Couture will mean, regardless of which promotion hosts the event, if it ever happens. A match with Josh Barnett, the only world-class caliber free agent heavyweight, is the only match that could turn around opinion at this point. 3. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson Points: 105 (1 first-place vote) Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Light heavyweight (UFC lt. heavyweight champion) Hometown: Memphis, Tenn. Record: 28-6 Last month's ranking: 2 Most recent result: def. Dan Henderson, decision, Sept. 8 Analysis: Since the last poll, it was announced that Rampage would serve as a coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, opposite Forrest Griffin. This all but assures Rampage will defend the title against Griffin sometime over the summer, and also will give Jackson a chance to heal nagging injuries. 2. Georges St. Pierre Points: 118 (2) Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Welterweight (interim welterweight champion) Hometown: Ste. Isidore, Quebec Record: 15-2 Last month's ranking: 4 Most recent result: Def. Matt Hughes, Round 2 submission, Dec. 29. Analysis: If GSP hadn't lost to Matt Serra last year, he could very well hold the top spot right now. If he does beat Serra, in a match that could take place in Montreal on April 19 if the ailing champion can return from injury in time, voters are going to face a very tough choice on their No. 1. 1. Anderson "Spider" Silva Points: 131 (9 first-place votes) Affiliation: UFC Weight class: Middleweight (UFC middleweight champion) Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil Record: 20-4 Last month's ranking: 2 Most recent result: def. Rich Franklin, Round 2 TKO, Oct. 20 Analysis: Does Silva deserve the top spot? We know one thing: He's not going to back down from the toughest challenges out there. He already took on Rich Franklin in Franklin's hometown, and now he's preparing to take on Henderson, the No. 6 fighter in the poll. More Votes for others: Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell 7; Kid Yamamoto, J.Z. Calvan 6; Lyoto Machida, Jon Fitch, Paulo Filho 5; Takanori Gomi 4; Matt Serra, Wanderlei Silva 2; Gilbert Melendez, Robbie Lawler 1. Upcoming matches for Top 10 fighters: No. 1 Anderson Silva vs. No. 6 Dan Henderson, March 1, Columbus; No. 7 B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson, Jan. 19, Newcastle, England; No. 8 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia, Feb. 2, Las Vegas.