UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC 159

Sean SmithAnalyst IApril 29, 2013

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC 159

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    Jon Jones took another step toward greatness at UFC 159.

    In beating Chael Sonnen, Jones defended his UFC title for a fifth consecutive time, which tied him with Tito Ortiz for the light heavyweight record. At only 25 years old, Jones' name is already alongside or above some of the best ever in the UFC history books. 

    Was Jones' record-tying victory enough to boost him past long-reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the UFC's official pound-for-pound rankings? That was decided on by several members of the MMA media over the weekend.

    With UFC 159 in the books and UFC on FX 8 ahead, let's take a look at the latest official UFC rankings


1 of 10

    Jon Jones has his sights set on Anderson Silva now.

    The 25-year-old champion is already widely considered the best light heavyweight in MMA history and has the potential to become the greatest pound-for-pound fighter to ever step into the Octagon.

    Although he didn't surpass Silva with a win over Sonnen, Jones may have the chance to prove himself in a superfight at some point down the road. 

    There will be no fights of immediate significance to the pound-for-pound rankings at UFC on FX 8. However, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will be given an opportunity to climb the list when he meets Antonio Silva at UFC 160 on May 25. 

    Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

    1. Anderson Silva
    2. Jon Jones
    3. Georges St-Pierre
    4. Jose Aldo
    5. Benson Henderson
    6. Cain Velasquez
    7. Demetrious Johnson
    8. Renan Barao
    9. Dominick Cruz
    10. Frankie Edgar

    UFC 159 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • No. 2 Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen by first-round knockout.

    UFC on FX 8 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None


2 of 10

    Roy Nelson made a statement in his fight with Cheick Kongo on the UFC 159 main card.

    Although he's already lost to some of the UFC's top heavyweights, Nelson has broken into the top five with his third straight knockout win. Tied with Alistair Overeem in voting points, Nelson is now listed above the former Strikeforce champion in the UFC rankings.

    While no heavyweight bouts are set to be contested at UFC on FX 8, UFC 160 will feature a title fight between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva. Also, Junior dos Santos will try to bounce back from losing his title when he meets the surging Mark Hunt.

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

    1. Junior dos Santos
    2. Daniel Cormier 
    3. Fabricio Werdum 
    4. Antonio Silva 
    5. Roy Nelson (+1)
    6. Alistair Overeem (-1) 
    7. Frank Mir 
    8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 
    9. Mark Hunt
    10. Travis Browne

    UFC 159 Heavyweight Fights

    • No. 5 Roy Nelson defeated Cheick Kongo by first-round knockout.

    UFC on FX 8 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Light Heavyweight

3 of 10

    Jon Jones maintained his dominance at 205 pounds on Saturday, out-wrestling Chael Sonnen and finishing his opposing TUF coach with ground-and-pound before the first round came to an end. Now, Jones could meet either Lyoto Machida or Alexander Gustafsson.

    Because Sonnen was not previously ranked in the light heavyweight division, the rankings remained unchanged from the previous edition.

    The light heavyweight division will cool down for UFC on FX 8, where only the non-ranked Fabio Maldonado and Roger Hollett will compete at 205 pounds. 

    Official UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Jon Jones

    1. Lyoto Machida
    2. Alexander Gustafsson
    3. Dan Henderson
    4. Glover Teixeira
    5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    6. Rashad Evans 
    7. Mauricio Rua 
    8. Phil Davis
    9. Gegard Mousasi
    10. Ryan Bader

    UFC 159 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • (C) Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen by first-round knockout.
    • No. 8 Phil Davis defeated Vinny Magalhaes by unanimous decision.
    • Ovince St-Preux defeated Gian VIllante by majority decision.

    UFC on FX 8 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • Fabio Maldonado vs. Roger Hollett


4 of 10

    Michael Bisping rebounded at UFC 159, beating Alan Belcher in an impressive striking performance after suffering a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort.

    Though Bisping's win on Saturday didn't improve the Englishman's standing in the middleweight rankings, it did result in Belcher falling out of the top 10. Replacing Belcher in the No. 10 spot is Tim Boetsch, who has only lost to Costa Philippou since moving to the 185-pound class.

    UFC on FX 8 will be a pivotal event for the middleweight division, as former Strikeforce champions Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza will be welcomed to the Octagon by respective opponents Vitor Belfort and Philippou.

    Official UFC Middleweight Rankings

    Champion: Anderson Silva

    1. Chris Weidman
    2. Vitor Belfort
    3. Yushin Okami
    4. Michael Bisping
    5. Luke Rockhold 
    6. Costa Philippou 
    7. Mark Munoz
    8. Ronaldo Souza 
    9. Chael Sonnen 
    10. Tim Boetsch (NR)

    UFC 159 Middleweight Fights

    • No. 4 Michael Bisping defeated Alan Belcher by unanimous decision.

    UFC on FX 8 Middleweight Fights

    • No. 2 Vitor Belfort vs. No. 5 Luke Rockhold
    • No. 6 Costa Philippou vs. No. 8 Ronaldo Souza
    • Rafael Natal vs. Chris Camozzi


5 of 10

    After failing to make weight on Friday, Nick Catone was sent to the hospital and removed from his UFC 159 bout with James Head. That unfortunately left Head without an opponent and the welterweight division without a bout on Saturday's fight card.

    That matchup between Catone and Head would not have had an impact on the top-10 welterweight rankings anyway, so the list was not altered at all from the previous version.

    Things have slowed in the welterweight division since UFC 158, when five of the UFC's seven best 170-pound fighters competed. The only welterweight contest at UFC on FX 8 will be between Paulo Thiago and UFC newcomer Michel dos Prazeres.

    Official UFC Welterweight Rankings

    Champion: Georges St-Pierre

    1. Johny Hendricks
    2. Carlos Condit
    3. Rory MacDonald 
    4. Jake Ellenberger 
    5. Demian Maia 
    6. Nick Diaz 
    7. Martin Kampmann
    8. Tarec Saffiedine
    9. Robbie Lawler
    10. Josh Koscheck

    UFC 159 Welterweight Fights

    • None

    UFC on FX 8 Welterweight Fights

    • Paulo Thiago vs. Michel dos Prazeres


6 of 10

    Pat Healy made a huge splash in his Octagon debut, outlasting Jim Miller in a grinding battle and submitting the UFC veteran in the third round.

    With the win, Healy broke into the top 10, though he oddly sits behind Miller for now. A similar issue occurred after Josh Thomson's knockout victory over Nate Diaz. Thomson was ranked below Diaz after UFC on Fox 7, but that has now been adjusted, with Thomson jumping to No. 4 and Diaz falling to No. 7.

    The 155-pound class will remain busy at UFC on FX 8, where Rafael dos Anjos will try to remain a top-10 lightweight with a win over the resurgent Evan Dunham. Longtime UFC lightweight Gleison Tibau will also appear on the fight card, along with a handful of 155-pound prospects.

    Official UFC Lightweight Rankings

    Champion: Benson Henderson

    1. Gilbert Melendez
    2. Anthony Pettis
    3. Gray Maynard
    4. Josh Thomson (+4)
    5. Donald Cerrone 
    6. T.J. Grant (+1)
    7. Nate Diaz (-1)
    8. Jim Miller (-4) 
    9. Pat Healy (NR)
    10. Rafael dos Anjos (-1)

    UFC 159 Lightweight Fights

    • No. 9 Pat Healy defeated No. 8 Jim Miller by third-round submission.
    • Rustam Khabilov defeated Yancy Medeiros by first-round knockout.

    UFC on FX 8 Lightweight Fights

    • No. 10 Rafael dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham
    • Francisco Trinaldo vs. Mike Rio
    • Gleison Tibau vs. John Cholish
    • Lucas Martins vs. Jeremy Larsen


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    Cody McKenzie picked up an important win on Saturday, beating Leonard Garcia to maintain a spot on the UFC featherweight roster. With five straight losses, it's unlikely Garcia will be allowed to stick around any longer.

    Steven Siler was also victorious at 145 pounds at UFC 159, but he and McKenzie are very far away from the top 10, which remained unchanged in this edition.

    At UFC on FX 8, two featherweights who have quickly made an impact on the division will face off for a spot in the top-10 rankings. Coming off a win over Diego Nunes, Nik Lentz will battle Hacran Dias, who defeated a previously surging Yuri Alcantara in his Octagon debut.

    Official UFC Featherweight Rankings

    Champion: Jose Aldo

    1. Chad Mendes
    2. Ricardo Lamas
    3. Frankie Edgar
    4. Chan Sung Jung
    5. Cub Swanson
    6. Dennis Siver
    7. Dustin Poirier
    8. Clay Guida
    9. Erik Koch
    10. Nik Lentz

    UFC 159 Featherweight Fights

    • Cody McKenzie defeated Leonard Garcia by unanimous decision.
    • Steven Siler defeated Kurt Holobaugh by unanimous decision.

    UFC on FX 8 Featherweight Fights

    • No. 10 Nik Lentz vs. Hacran Dias


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    Bryan Caraway got back into the win column on the UFC 159 preliminary card. After losing a controversial decision to Takeya Mizugaki, Caraway accepted Saturday's bout with Johnny Bedford on short notice and still had a clear edge on the ground.

    Despite the win, Caraway is still a couple wins away from the top-10 bantamweight rankings, so there were no updates to this list this time around.

    While it's not a bout between elite bantamweights, the lone 135-pound contest at UFC on FX 8 will be intriguing. After a disappointing no-contest in his initial bantamweight appearance, Yuri Alcantara will try to earn his first win at 135 pounds when he welcomes fellow Brazilian Iliarde Santos to the Octagon. 

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Dominick Cruz

    1. Renan Barao (interim champion)
    2. Urijah Faber
    3. Michael McDonald
    4. Eddie Wineland
    5. Brad Pickett
    6. Raphael Assuncao
    7. Scott Jorgensen
    8. Brian Bowles
    9. Mike Easton
    10. Ivan Menjivar

    UFC 159 Bantamweight Fights

    • Bryan Caraway defeated Johnny Bedford by third-round submission.

    UFC on FX 8 Bantamweight Fights

    • Yuri Alcantara vs. Iliarde Santos


9 of 10

    With the division still filling up, there were no flyweight bouts contested at UFC 159.

    Because of that, no changes we made to the division's rankings, but that is unlikely to be the case after the UFC's next fight card.

    UFC on FX 8 will help paint a clearer picture of the 125-pound division. The fight card will feature three top-10 flyweights, as Jussier Formiga looks for his first UFC win against Chris Cariaso and John Lineker welcomes Azamat Gashimov to the division.

    Official UFC Flyweight Rankings

    Champion: Demetrious Johnson

    1. Joseph Benavidez
    2. John Dodson
    3. Ian McCall
    4. John Moraga
    5. Jussier Formiga
    6. Louis Gaudinot
    7. Chris Cariaso
    8. John Lineker 
    9. Darren Uyenoyama 
    10. Tim Elliott

    UFC 159 Flyweight Fights

    • None

    UFC on FX 8 Flyweight Fights

    • No. 8 John Lineker vs. Azamat Gashimov
    • No. 5 Jussier Formiga vs. No. 7 Chris Cariaso

Women's Bantamweight

10 of 10

    Sara McMann made a successful UFC debut on Saturday, using her world-class wrestling to take Sheila Gaff down and score a knockout win by landing unanswered punches from the mounted crucifix position.

    With her victory, McMann jumped two spots in the women's bantamweight rankings. At No. 4, McMann and her wrestling make her one of the biggest threats to champion Ronda Rousey.

    Because of the loss in her first Octagon appearance, Gaff dropped below Germain de Randamie and into the No. 10 position. 

    Though there will be no women's bantamweight fights at UFC on FX 8, there have been a number of bouts booked in the division recently, so things should heat up soon in the UFC's only female class.

    Official UFC Women's Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Ronda Rousey

    1. Cat Zingano
    2. Sarah Kaufman 
    3. Miesha Tate
    4. Sara McMann (+2)
    5. Liz Carmouche (-1) 
    6. Alexis Davis (-1)
    7. Amanda Nunes
    8. Julie Kedzie 
    9. Germaine de Randamie (+1)
    10. Sheila Gaff (-1)

    UFC 159 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 4 Sara McMann defeated No. 10 Sheila Gaff by first-round knockout.

    UFC on FX 8 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None