UFC Fight Night 28 Results: Ranking the Top 10 Middleweights in the UFC
UFC Fight Night 28 brought a big shakeup to the middleweight division in the form of "Jacare." That's right, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza made a huge jump up the rankings with his dominant, devastating performance over Yushin Okami.
The 185-pound division may be the most underrated weight class in terms of talent. The top 10 are all title contenders, as are a handful that fall outside the official rankings.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 middleweights in the UFC.
10. Tim Boetsch
Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Mark Munoz
Next Fight: N/A
It wasn't long ago that Tim Boetsch had revitalized his career and gone on an astounding four-fight win streak that made him a contender at middleweight.
Now riding two straight losses, he is another loss away from not only dropping out of the Top 10 but losing employment with the UFC. He may need to pump the brakes in terms of taking fights with Top 10 talent, as he has dropped his past two to Mark Munoz and Costa Philippou.
He is not scheduled to fight again yet, but a fight against a midcarder like CB Dollaway or Rafael Natal would be a good rebound test.
9. Alan Belcher
Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Michael Bisping
Next Fight: N/A
We have not seen Alan Belcher since his technical-decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 159. That was the American's second straight loss, both against top-ranked Yushin Okami and Bisping.
He was riding a hot hand before that, shooting off four straight wins at middleweight. The most impressive of those was a drubbing of Rousimar Palhares after escaping one of the Brazilian's signature leglocks.
He isn't scheduled to return yet, but like Tim Boetsch, he needs a midcard fight to get back on track.
8. Mark Munoz
Last Fight: Decision win vs. Tim Boetsch
Next Fight: vs. Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 30
A long layoff may have been the best thing for Mark Munoz. Upon returning from his injuries, he dominated Tim Boetsch to get his name thrown back into the Top 10.
He looked great in that fight. He had all the vigor of a man possessed to make a run at 185. Plus, he has his eyes set on the next Top 10 middleweight he plans on knocking off.
He meets Michael Bisping next month in Manchester, England. The home crowd will be on Bisping's side, so Munoz has his work cut out for him.
7. Yushin Okami
Last Fight: Knockout loss vs. Ronaldo Souza
Next Fight: N/A
Yushin Okami was thought to be a competitive test for Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fight Night 28. In less than one round, Souza thoroughly dismantled him.
Okami is between a rock and a hard place. That loss pushes him away from the title picture for at least a couple of wins. The loss to Souza reversed a three-fight win streak over the likes of Alan Belcher, Buddy Roberts and Hector Lombard.
He obviously does not have a fight lined up yet, but he needs to go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong in his bout with Souza.
6. Costa Philippou
Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Tim Boetsch
Next Fight: vs. Francis Carmont at UFC 165
It seems like Costa Philippou has been on the shelf for a little while, as he has not fought since UFC 155 in December. However, he is one of the hottest commodities in the division, riding a five-fight win streak over the likes of Tim Boetsch, Riki Fukuda and Court McGee.
His technical power boxing and great takedown defense have been the key to his rise. He will look to continue that later this month in Toronto when he takes on French grinder Francis Carmont.
5. Michael Bisping
Last Fight: Decision win vs. Alan Belcher
Next Fight: vs. Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30
Michael Bisping is always a finger's reach away from the title. He just hasn't been able to reach that extra inch to get a shot at the belt.
He has had two title eliminators in the past two years. He was first grinded out of it by Chael Sonnen before getting his head kicked off by Vitor Belfort in the other.
He won his last fight against Alan Belcher, which has put him on the right track. He now must beat Mark Munoz impressively to make a statement that he is ready to fight for the belt at last.
4. Ronaldo Souza
Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Yushin Okami
Next Fight: N/A
Ronaldo Souza has the biggest stock increase as of late at 185. His performance at UFC Fight Night 28 is evidence of that.
Jacare only needed one round to show off his vastly improved striking against Yushin Okami. He hurt the Japanese fighter multiple times before the ref mercifully stopped the fight.
He has to be considered the top contender outside of Anderson Silva. However, it depends on how Silva vs. Chris Weidman II plays out to determine whether Souza will get the next shot or if we'll see a rubber match.
3. Vitor Belfort
Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Luke Rockhold
Next Fight: vs. Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32
Vitor Belfort should be the No. 1 contender at middleweight, but he is now taking a fight at light heavyweight against Dan Henderson. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense.
Belfort's journey back to a title shot has been a whirlwind of dominance since he lost to Anderson Silva (at least at middleweight). Jon Jones did rebuke his light heavyweight title shot, but his last two fights have seen him decimate Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping with head kicks.
We will see where he goes after the Henderson fight.
2. Anderson Silva
Last Fight: Knockout loss vs. Chris Weidman
Next Fight: vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 168
The once immortal Anderson Silva got rocked off his throne by Chris Weidman, effectively losing his middleweight title and No. 1 position at 185 in his last fight. It was shocking to some, but Silva will get a chance to erase some of that memory at UFC 168.
A win for Silva would get him his gold back, his No. 1 ranking and likely a rubber match.
1. Chris Weidman
Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Anderson Silva
Next Fight: vs. Anderson Silva at UFC 168
Chris Weidman is the new middleweight champion enjoying the luxury of being No. 1. His knockout of Anderson Silva was one of the biggest wins in UFC history and launched him to the top of the rankings.
Of course, he will face Silva again at UFC 168 with a chance of being the only man to ever defeat Silva twice. We will see what happens.