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Posts Tagged ‘Rankings’

UFC titles continue being the hottest of potatoes, as Cain Velasquez joined Anthony Pettis, Carla Esparza and Jon Jones in the “former champion” club at UFC 188. As with Esparza and Pettis, that transition came in shockingly lopsided fashion, as the now-undisputed heavyweight kingpin Fabricio Werdum scored an impressive Round 3 submission after some intense, back-and-forth exchanges.

On top of that, veteran stalwarts dropped fights to new names across multiple divisions. It’s a compelling time in MMA, with a swell of talent across all divisions. Here are the notes for this month:

  • The August edition of the rankings will come after WSOF 22 and UFC 190, which are scheduled for August 1. Look for them to arrive the following Tuesday.
  • UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett remains a par of the Bleacher Report rankings. While Barnett has been out of the cage for longer than 18 months, his scheduled fight with Roy Nelson keeps him eligible for rankings consideration. Should he withdraw without the fight being rescheduled, however, he will be taken out of the pool.

Flyweight

Henry Cejudo still has a blindingly bright future ahead of him, but he got something of a reality check from Chico Camus at UFC 188. The former Olympic gold medalist was largely unable to work his wrestling skills and was forced to tie up Camus in the clinch to get points from the judges. While it was a clear win for Cejudo, it put the brakes on the “he’s ready for a title shot” hype train.

Bantamweight

Alex Caceres‘ days as a fringe top-10 bantamweight are done, courtesy of a brutal, 21-second knockout delivered by Francisco Rivera. Rivera takes his place, and while he doesn’t quite pop into the top-10, one more win will likely do the trick.

Featherweight

It looked like Patricio “Pitbull” Freire‘s days as the Bellator featherweight champion were done. The largely unknown Dan Weichel nearly knocked him out in the first round but didn’t have the opportunity to seal the deal before the bell sounded. Freire was still clearly wounded entering the second but somehow mustered up a picture-perfect left hand that put Weichel out cold.

The Brazilian is quickly becoming one of the most exciting fighters in Bellator and has found a knack for Eddie Alvarez-like, come-from-behind wins. It will be interesting to see how long he can hold onto that belt, given how much trouble he keeps finding himself in.

Lightweight

Speaking of Eddie Alvarez-like, come-from-behind-wins, Eddie Alvarez posted a come-from-behind win at UFC 188 over Gilbert Melendez. After having his eye swell shut in the first round of their fight, the former Bellator champ battled back and eked out a razor-thin victory that shook up the bottom half of the lightweight top-10.

Welterweight

No welterweight bouts in June had a major effect on the top-10 rankings. However, July is absolutely packed with big fights. Expect this top-10 to look radically different come August.

Middleweight

The Machida Era is over. The Age of Romero has begun.

At UFC Fight Night 70, Lyoto Machida and Yoel Romero played cat-and-mouse for 10 minutes before Romero snapped Machida in half at the waist and called it a takedown. From there, the Olympic silver medalist smashed Machida unconscious with six short elbows, taking the win and Machida‘s spot in the rankings.

Light Heavyweight

As with 170 pounds, 205 was quiet in June. July, however, won’t be much different. Business is set to pick up in August, when Ovince Saint Preux takes on Glover Teixeira.

Heavyweight

Ben Rothwell is making it harder and harder to ignore him. The former IFL bruiser scored yet another impressive stoppage victory in June, this time a first-round submission of Matt Mitrione

While he is anything but elegant and while his technique is anything but crisp, Rothwell‘s iron chin and heavy hands are enough to beat almost any heavyweight in the game. While his resurgence couldn’t have come at a worse time (Andrei Arlovski, Stipe Miocic, Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem are also on career upswings), he is still a fighter worth watching and, at long last, a clear-cut top-10 heavyweight.

Oh, and a certain heavyweight champion got dethroned. That’s a big deal too, I guess…

Top-5 Fighters Fighting in July

  • Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor (UFC 189)
  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald (UFC 189)
  • TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao (UFC on Fox 16)

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – MMA

Yoel Romero was at it again at UFC Fight Night 70, where he stopped Lyoto Machida and continued to prove he is one of the best and most entertaining competitors at 185 pounds.

Now 6-0 inside the Octagon, Romero is making a strong case for a shot at the middleweight championship. There are a few still ahead of him in line for a crack at Chris Weidman, but Romero shouldn’t be more than one win away.

Where did this past weekend’s win put Romero in the 185-pound rankings? How much did another stoppage loss hurt Machida’s positioning?

Here is a look at the good calls and bad calls made in the latest official UFC rankings.

Begin Slideshow

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MMA in April was defined by action out of the cage. Titles were stripped, gavels were banged, and free agents found new homes.

However, action in the cage defined MMA in May. The UFC and Bellator both put forward some of their top talent, which shook up the rankings accordingly. 

Check out our rules and requirements for rankings here. Here are our special notes for this month:

  • Bellator stripped former middleweight champion Brandon Halsey of the title for missing weight ahead of his bout with Kendall Grove, but he will remain on the 185-pound rankings. This will change should he opt to move to the light heavyweight division.
  • Benson Henderson, despite discussing his interest in making a full-time move to the welterweight division, will remain in consideration for the lightweight rankings. This will change, however, should he be scheduled for another fight at 170 pounds.
  • We removed UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald from consideration due to inactivity. He will be eligible once again following his return to active competition.

 

Flyweight

Three bouts involving two top-10 flyweights went down in May with few surprises. John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez took decisions at UFC 187 over Zach Makovsky and John Moraga, respectively. Jussier da Silva, meanwhile, pulled off a big win over Wilson Reis at Fight Night 67.

None of the wins were particularly impressive, but all were good enough to keep any doubt regarding their place in the rankings from seeping in.

 

Bantamweight

The bantamweight division was deceptively quiet in May, with the only especially relevant fight being a Bellator showdown between Mike Richman and Eduardo Dantas.

Dantas put on a solid performance against a spry (read: overweight) Richman and did his part to keep the promotion’s top trio of bantamweights hard to figure out. Dantas, former champion Joe Warren and current champion Marcos Galvao have all demonstrated great skill but have glaring holes in their games. Couple that with their rock-paper-scissors matchups against one another, and it’s easy to wonder whether one, two, all or none deserve top-10 status.

In the UFC, Urijah Faber took a (seemingly) one-off featherweight fight bout opposite Frankie Edgar, which he lost decisively. The poor outing saw him bumped out of a fourth-place tie with Raphael Assuncao.

 

Featherweight

As stated, Frankie Edgar defeated Urijah Faber. That was not particularly surprising and only served to reinforce what we already know: Edgar is one of the best fighters in MMA today.

The biggest shake-up came following UFC Fight Night 67, which saw Charles Oliveira pull off a huge win over Nik Lentz. After two rounds of back-and-forth action, Oliveira locked up a downright scary guillotine choke that folded Lentz in half. It was a huge win for the rising Brazilian, who gets to keep himself in the thick of a fast-moving, talent-rich featherweight division.

 

Lightweight

It was mostly quiet on the lightweight front in May unfortunately. The UFC scrapped the highly anticipated top contender bout between Donald Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov when Nurmagomedov withdrew due to a knee injury. Cerrone instead dominated an overmatched John Makdessi and earned himself a crack at the title.

While it did little for him in terms of his position in the rankings, it certainly helped him get to the next level in his career. The title fight is likely to go down in the fall, so anticipate a big rankings shake-up before the holidays.

 

Welterweight

Carlos Condit is back, folks. At UFC Fight Night 67, NBK demolished a resurgent Thiago Alves and reasserted himself as one of the top dogs at 170 pounds. While Alves isn’t an elite talent these days, Condit‘s win was convincing and removed any doubt about his health following 14 months out of the cage due to a knee injury.

 

Middleweight

Gegard Mousasi continued to rebuild his contender status by lighting up Costas Philippou at UFC Fight Night 66. Mousasi was heavily favored entering the fight and lived up to the expectations, maintaining his standing in the rankings.

At UFC 187, Chris Weidman made his return to the Octagon and absolutely mauled a frail, deflated Vitor Belfort. It was a strong win for Weidman, but a loss that made it easy to question whether a post-TRT Belfort could be considered a legitimate threat in the cage.

 

Light Heavyweight

Like it or not, Daniel Cormier is now the UFC light heavyweight champion and the top-ranked light heavyweight in MMA after thrashing Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Johnson slides back into the second-place spot, and Alexander Gustafsson moves to third. Expect things to stay that way until Jon Jones’ return.

 

Heavyweight

The heavyweight division was shuffled up in a big way in May. Stipe Miocic trounced Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 65, returning to his wrestling base and showing improved cardio in a performance that made it easy to wonder if he might be the first man to truly challenge Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title. Two weeks later, Andrei Arlovski continued his improbable run back to the top of the UFC, as he defeated Travis Browne with a surprising knockout.

Needless to say, the rankings look a fair bit different today than they did a month ago.

 

Top-5 Fighters Fighting in June:

  • Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum (UFC 188)
  • Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero (The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 Finale)

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – MMA

At UFC Fight Night 66, Frankie Edgar bested Urijah Faber to cement his place as next in line for a shot at the 145-pound championship.

Edgar has now won four in a row since losing in a decision against Jose Aldo in his featherweight debut. During his streak, The Answer beat former UFC champion B.J. Penn and a former WEC champion in Faber.

Meanwhile, Faber slipped up on an opportunity to get back into the 145-pound title shot conversation. As a result, it seems likely The California Kid will return to the bantamweight division, where he has competed over the past several years.

Was the win enough to earn Edgar a spot in the top-15 pound-for-pound rankings? Did it elevate him to the No. 1 contender position in the featherweight rankings?

Here is a look at the good calls and bad calls made in the latest official UFC rankings.

Begin Slideshow

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Los Angeles Times
Ronda Rousey, Cain Velasquez still dominate MMA rankings
Los Angeles Times
It was a terrible beating for the 41-year-old Hunt as he approaches the end of his MMA career. Miocic set himself up for a potential title shot in the near future with the win. If Cain Velasquez defeats Fabricio Werdum in their UFC heavyweight title

and more »

View full post on MMA -mobile – Google News

At UFC Fight Night 65, Stipe Miocic picked up a dominant win over Mark Hunt and emerged as one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

Though Miocic was putting a beating on Hunt, it looked like the judges would determine the outcome on Saturday. However, some Miocic ground-and-pound midway through the fifth and final round forced referee John Sharp to end the contest.

Was the victory enough to elevate Miocic‘s already lofty position in the heavyweight rankings? Did the loss result in Hunt’s removal from the Top Five heavyweight contenders?

Here is a look at the good calls and bad calls made in the latest official UFC rankings.

Begin Slideshow

View full post on Bleacher Report – MMA

Man, April was quite the month for the UFC and MMA as a whole, wasn’t it? The Jon Jones hit-and-run. The Rampage Jackson vs. Bellator lawsuits. Major prospect signings in basically every promotion. Phil Davis leaving the UFC for Bellator through free agency. Even surprise pregnancies. It had it all!

Oh, and fights. Lots of those happened as well, with four UFC events, and appearances from Bellator, WSOF and One FC. There were some major shakeups this month across numerous divisions, so let’s jump right in.

You can check out our rules and eligibility requirements here. Here are the special notes for this month:

  • Now-former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is removed from consideration due to the suspension leveled against him by the UFC. While the original rules stipulate that fighters are automatically removed by drug-test suspensions, no such considerations were made regarding suspensions for Code of Conduct violations. Jones will be removed for the time being. When he will be re-added will depend on the length of his suspension, and the total time he spends out of the cage.
  • UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans has been removed from consideration in the rankings due to inactivity. He last fought in November of 2013, and does not currently have a fight scheduled. He will be considered once again following his return to the cage.
  • UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald and UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett will be removed from consideration next month, unless they are scheduled for a bout before the June edition of the rankings.

Flyweight

Demetrious Johnson toyed with Kyoji Horiguchi before scoring a last-second armbar win at UFC 186. Impressive, lopsided victories are par for the course for Johnson and, despite the setback, Kyoji Horiguchi remains an intriguing prospect. Hopefully his growth as a fighter doesn’t get too stunted by this loss.

Bantamweight

At UFC on Fox 15, Aljamain Sterling thrashed Takeya Mizugaki, effortlessly controlling him with his grappling skills before sealing the deal with an impressive third-round submission. Sterling is a much-needed dose of young, high-level talent in a division that has long been dominated by middling veterans. While he’s likely not ready for a fight with a top-five opponent, he is most certainly somebody to keep an eye on. 

Featherweight

April was big for the featherweight division from beginning to end. At UFC Fight Night 63, Chad Mendes continued cruising through everyone not named Jose Aldo by demolishing Ricardo Lamas. A couple of weeks later, April’s No. 7 featherweight Cub Swanson was absolutely manhandled by the previously No. 10-ranked Max Holloway. 

Those two bouts shook up the rankings in a big way. While no one entered or exited the top-10, things have been thoroughly shuffled.

Lightweight

After a hectic March, the lightweight division calmed down in April. While there were a few interesting bouts with fringe names like Al Iaquinta and Beneil Dariush, the only ranked fighter to compete was Bellator lightweight champ Will Brooks, who took a fairly clear-cut 49-46 decision win. While some were critical of Brooks’ performance, his place in the rankings held steady.

Welterweight

One FC welterweight champ Ben Askren finally returned to the cage…and it wasn’t pretty. Against Brazilian veteran Luis Santos, Askren shot for takedowns for two minutes before an unintentional eyepoke led to a controversial no-contest ending. Reaction to the fight was mixed, with some expressing concern over the former Olympian helplessly flailing for takedowns in vain while others dismissed the fight entirely due to its brevity and quirky ending.

Middleweight

April was huge month for the middleweight division, with four top-10 fighters competing within the month. 

UFC on Fox 15 was responsible for a major shakeup in the top five of the division, with Luke Rockhold beating Lyoto Machida in devastating fashion. The win firmly cements Rockhold as one of the top middleweights in MMA today, and removes any doubts regarding his elite status. For Machida, the lopsided loss (coupled with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza cruising to victory over Chris Camozzi) opens up questions regarding how much longer he can remain in the sport.

Not only that, but Michael Bisping retained his top-10 status with his razor-close win over CB Dollaway at UFC 186. The win did little to inspire confidence in terms of him advancing much further than the No. 10 spot but it showed, at least for now, that he remains one of the best middleweights today.

Light Heavyweight

Yes, Ovince Saint Preux blew away Patrick Cummins at UFC on Fox 15. Yes, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson extended his winning streak to four at the expense of Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186. Yes, Jimi Manuwa stopped the rise of Polish sensation Jan Blachowicz at Fight Night 64.

That said, the greatest shake-up in the rankings didn’t come from actual in-cage action. It came from not one, but two top-five fighters getting bumped from the rankings. Needless to say, plenty has changed over the last month.

Heavyweight

Nothing particularly noteworthy happened in heavyweight MMA in April (with the exception of Mirko Cro Cop returning to the UFC and knocking out Gabriel Gonzaga). There will be some serious shakeups in May, though, with Stipe Miocic vs. Mark Hunt and Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski both in the pipe.

Top-5 Fighters Fighting in May:

  • Stipe Miocic vs. Mark Hunt (UFC Fight Night 65)
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber (UFC Fight Night 66)
  • Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier (UFC 187)
  • Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort (UFC 187)
  • Donald Cerrone vs. TBD (UFC 187)
  • Travis Browne vs. Andre Arlovski (UFC 187)
  • John Dodson vs. Zach Makovsky (UFC 187)
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga (UFC 187)

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – MMA

With his win at UFC 186, Demetrious Johnson became the fifth person in UFC history to record six consecutive title defenses.

Even in a bout where he was a massive favorite, Mighty Mouse found a way to impress. Late in the fifth round, he easily could have coasted to a decision win from the top position, but he instead took a risk and locked up an armbar submission with one second remaining.

As Johnson continues to cement his name in the MMA history books, he’s been solidifying his place among the top pound-for-pound competitors in the sport. Was his win over Kyoji Horiguchi enough to elevate him in the official UFC rankings?

Here is a look at the good calls and bad calls made in the latest official UFC rankings.

Begin Slideshow

View full post on Bleacher Report – MMA


ESPN (blog)
Jon Jones pulled from UFC rankings following suspension, stripping of title
MMA Fighting
They also found paperwork that referenced MMA and Nevada. Jones was incommunicable for more than 24 hours until a warrant was issued for his arrest Monday afternoon. Arrangements were made at that time for Jones to turn himself in to the Albuquerque …
Michael Bisping: The UFC 'had to make an example out of Jon Jones'MMAjunkie.com
Disappointed Johnson now turns attention toward CormierESPN (blog)
3 ways suspending Jon Jones truly hurts the UFCPro MMA Now
MMA News –5thRound.com –MMA Kanvas
all 119 news articles »

View full post on MMA -mobile – Google News

If the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s recent course of action is any indication, Jon Jones might not be setting foot in the Octagon for quite some time.

View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

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