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UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC 168

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 3, 2017

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC 168

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    For years, Anderson Silva sat at the top of the middleweight UFC rankings. At UFC 168, his torch was officially passed to new 185-pound champion Chris Weidman.

    In July, "The Spider" was caught with a left hook while taunting Weidman. The resulting knockout marked Silva's first loss inside the Octagon. On Saturday, Weidman made it two defeats in a row for the Brazilian.

    Weidman knocked Silva down in the first round and dominated the rest of the stanza with ground-and-pound. In the second frame, Silva had a heavy leg kick checked, causing his lower leg to snap in brutal fashion, an injury that could end the legend's MMA career.

    It may not matter moving forward, but how will Silva's standing in the pound-for-pound rankings be impacted as a result of back-to-back losses? Will Weidman inch closer to becoming top five in the pound-for-pound rankings?

    With UFC 168 in the books and UFC Fight Night 34 ahead, here are the latest official UFC rankings.

Pound for Pound

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    At UFC 168, Anderson Silva had a chance to reclaim his spot atop the pound-for-pound rankings. Instead, he might never see the top five again.

    Chris Weidman broke the Brazilian's leg by checking a leg kick in the second round. At 38 years old, Silva will have a rough time returning to the Octagon from such a significant injury, and he is already dropping quickly in the pound-for-pound rankings following consecutive losses.

    While Weidman received a bump in the rankings as a result of his win on Saturday, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey dropped one position despite defending her title for a second time.

    No top-15 pound-for-pound fighters will compete at UFC Fight Night 34, a fight card that instead features many Asian prospects.


    Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

    1. Jon Jones 
    2. Jose Aldo 
    3. Cain Velasquez (+1) 
    4. Demetrious Johnson (+1)
    5. Chris Weidman (+3) 
    6. Renan Barao 
    7. Anderson Silva (-4)
    8. Anthony Pettis (-1)
    9. Benson Henderson
    10. Johny Hendricks (NR)
    11. Ronda Rousey (-1)
    12. Vitor Belfort (NR)
    13. Dominick Cruz (NR)
    14. Urijah Faber (NR)
    15. Gilbert Melendez (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Although Weidman has only defended his belt one time, he deserves his spot among the top five pound-for-pound UFC fighters. In addition to Silva, Weidman surpassed Renan Barao and Anthony Pettis to take his current position in the rankings.

    While Barao has two title defenses, he's not an undisputed champion. Should he beat Dominick Cruz in February, he'll have a much stronger case to be ranked above Weidman. Pettis, meanwhile, has not defended his belt and didn't earn it by beating the best fighter in UFC history.

     

    Bad Call

    If Johny Hendricks' resume is strong enough to be ranked above Rousey's, then Urijah Faber's and Gilbert Melendez's should be as well. Like Hendricks, Faber and Melendez are not far removed from controversial title-fight losses and are still considered elite contenders in their respective divisions.

    The women's bantamweight division is either strong enough for its champion to be considered higher in the pound-for-pound rankings than top contenders in all-male divisions or none of them. I'll leave that decision up to the rankings panel, but it needs to make up its mind next time around.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • No. 5 Chris Weidman defeated No. 7 Anderson Silva by (T)KO in the second round.
    • No. 11 Ronda Rousey defeated Miesha Tate by submission in the third round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

Heavyweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Travis Browne is on his way toward a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

    At UFC 168, Browne met former champion Josh Barnett and stopped the veteran with a knee and some brutal elbows while defending against a takedown. Now, Browne finds himself lined up with a fight against No. 2 contender Fabricio Werdum, and the winner should be the next to challenge heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez.

    Despite losing decisively on Saturday, Barnett curiously moved upward and into the top five heavyweight contenders. Still, Barnett is now likely several wins away from getting another shot at regaining the heavyweight belt that was stripped from him many years ago.

    No heavyweights will appear at UFC Fight Night 34, so the division's rankings should hold steady for a few weeks. 

     

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

    1. Junior dos Santos 
    2. Fabricio Werdum
    3. Travis Browne (+2) 
    4. Daniel Cormier (-1)
    5. Josh Barnett (+1)
    6. Antonio Silva (-2)
    7. Mark Hunt 
    8. Alistair Overeem  
    9. Stipe Miocic (+1) 
    10. Frank Mir (-1)
    11. Roy Nelson (NR)
    12. Gabriel Gonzaga (NR)
    13. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (NR)
    14. Stefan Struve (NR)
    15. Brendan Schaub (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Now scheduled to compete in the light heavyweight division, Daniel Cormier should begin sliding downward in the heavyweight rankings. While Browne may have lost to Antonio Silva, a fighter Cormier defeated under the Strikeforce banner, "DC" is no longer a heavyweight and is certainly not as relevant in the division's title picture as the UFC 168 winner is. 

     

    Bad Call

    Antonio Silva has only lost to Cain Velasquez since beating Travis Browne at UFC on FX 5. Still, after being steamrolled by Browne on Saturday, Barnett surpassed Silva in the heavyweight rankings. Right now, the Brazilian and an opponent he recently fought to a draw with, Mark Hunt, should probably be ranked above Barnett. 

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Heavyweight Fights

    • No. 3 Travis Browne defeated No. 5 Josh Barnett by (T)KO in the first round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Light Heavyweight

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    No light heavyweight bouts were contested at UFC 168, but some adjustments were made to the division's rankings.

    In addition to the expansion to a top 15, Dan Henderson surpassed Mauricio Rua. Also, now-middleweight Lyoto Machida continued his slide and is clinging to the No. 14 position in the light heavyweight standings.

    The 205-pound rankings should remain static for the next few weeks, with no light heavyweights competing at UFC Fight Night 34. 

     

    Official UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Jon Jones

    1. Alexander Gustafsson 
    2. Glover Teixeira 
    3. Rashad Evans 
    4. Phil Davis 
    5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 
    6. Dan Henderson (+1)
    7. Mauricio Rua (-1)
    8. Chael Sonnen 
    9. Gegard Mousasi 
    10. Ryan Bader (NR)
    11. Jimi Manuwa (NR)
    12. Thiago Silva (NR)
    13. Vitor Belfort (NR)
    14. Lyoto Machida (-4)
    15. James Te-Huna (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Henderson has lost three in a row since beating Rua, but he's been facing elite competition. The only wins "Shogun" has picked up since that loss came opposite unranked Brandon Vera and barely ranked James Te-Huna. It's not by a wide margin, but Henderson deserves his spot above Rua right now.

     

    Bad Call

    While Machida is falling quickly in the light heavyweight rankings, scheduled opponent Gegard Mousasi still owns a top-10 position despite moving to the middleweight division. It's time the former Strikeforce champion starts sliding as well.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Middleweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    It's a new era for the middleweight division.

    Chris Weidman defeated Anderson Silva in a second straight fight on Saturday and will now move on to new challengers. Next up for the American is Vitor Belfort, who has scored three straight knockout victories.

    Despite his loss, Silva is still the No. 1 middleweight contender. However, as a result of his leg injury, the former champion isn't likely to appear in 2014 and may never step into the Octagon again.

    No middleweights will fight at UFC Fight Night 34. 

     

    Official UFC Middleweight Rankings

    Champion: Chris Weidman

    1. Anderson Silva 
    2. Vitor Belfort
    3. Ronaldo Souza  
    4. Lyoto Machida 
    5. Michael Bisping 
    6. Luke Rockhold 
    7. Mark Munoz 
    8. Francis Carmont  
    9. Tim Kennedy 
    10. Costa Philippou 
    11. Tim Boetsch (NR)
    12. Alan Belcher (NR)
    13. Chael Sonnen (NR)
    14. Lorenz Larkin (NR)
    15. Thales Leites (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher were fairly clearly the last two fighters outside the top 10. With the move to a top 15, the panel made a good decision to rank Boetsch above Belcher. "The Barbarian" owns a fairly recent win over Yushin Okami, who defeated Belcher at UFC 155.

     

    Bad Call

    They haven't fought in 13 months, but it's a tad surprising to see Cung Le and Rich Franklin snubbed while Thales Leites cracked the top 15 coming off of a win over Ed Herman. If inactivity is the reason for their exclusion, then it's odd to include Sonnen, who hasn't competed at 185 pounds since July 2012.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Middleweight Fights

    • (C) Chris Weidman defeated No. 1 Anderson Silva by (T)KO in the second round.
    • Uriah Hall defeated Chris Leben by (T)KO in the first round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Middleweight Fights

    • None

Welterweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    John Howard is quietly creeping toward title contention.

    On Saturday, Howard improved to 2-0 since returning to the world's top MMA organization. With wins over dangerous strikers Uriah Hall and Siyar Bahadurzada, Howard appears ready to take a step up to the next level of competition.

    While "Doomsday" didn't make the cut for the top 15 in the welterweight division, he did get some help with the removal of Nick Diaz from the UFC rankings. 

    At UFC Fight Night 34, No. 10 170-pounder Tarec Saffiedine will attempt to hold off rising fighters such as Howard with a win over up-and-comer Hyun Gyu Lim, who has scored knockouts in his first two UFC appearances.

     

    Official UFC Welterweight Rankings

    Champion: N/A

    1. Johny Hendricks
    2. Carlos Condit
    3. Robbie Lawler 
    4. Rory MacDonald    
    5. Jake Ellenberger 
    6. Demian Maia       
    7. Jake Shields 
    8. Matt Brown 
    9. Martin Kampmann 
    10. Tarec Saffiedine (NR)
    11. Tyron Woodley (NR)
    12. Dong Hyun Kim (NR)
    13. Hector Lombard (NR)
    14. Josh Koscheck (NR)
    15. Rick Story (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Saffiedine and Tyron Woodley were two of the best welterweights left out of the top 10 in the last version of the 170-pound rankings. With the removal of Diaz, the Strikeforce veterans are now rightfully Nos. 10 and 11 in the welterweight standings.

    Though Woodley owns a win over Saffiedine, it also seems accurate to place the final Strikeforce champion above the All-American wrestler. Both fought Nate Marquardt in their final Strikeforce appearances, with Saffiedine winning and Woodley losing.

     

    Bad Call

    With the expansion to a top 15, some good fighters were questionably excluded.

    Rick Story was given the No. 15 position despite being only one fight removed from a loss to unranked Mike Pyle. 

    Erick Silva could also arguably be ranked above Story. Within his past four fights, the Brazilian defeated Charlie Brenneman, a former UFC fighter who owns a win over Story.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Welterweight Fights

    • John Howard defeated Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision.
    • William Macario defeated Bobby Voelker by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Welterweight Fights

    • No. 10 Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
    • Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Luiz Dutra

Lightweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    After nearly 12 months without a win, Jim Miller bounced back in a big way at UFC 168.

    The New Jersey native needed only one round to submit a solid grappler in Fabricio Camoes. In doing so, Miller surpassed former title challenger Gray Maynard in the lightweight rankings. 

    Also, Michael Johnson snuck into the top 15 with an impressive knockout win over UFC veteran Gleison Tibau. Prior to his win over the Brazilian, Johnson also picked up a key victory over a tough opponent in Joe Lauzon.

    UFC Fight Night 34 is not likely to have an impact on the rankings, with four newcomers to the UFC lightweight division being the only fighters competing at 155 pounds.

     

    Official UFC Lightweight Rankings

    Champion: Anthony Pettis

    1. Benson Henderson 
    2. Gilbert Melendez 
    3. TJ Grant 
    4. Josh Thomson 
    5. Nate Diaz  
    6. Rafael dos Anjos
    7. Khabib Nurmagomedov   
    8. Donald Cerrone 
    9. Jim Miller (+1)
    10. Gray Maynard (-1)
    11. Edson Barboza (NR)
    12. Bobby Green (NR)
    13. Diego Sanchez (NR)
    14. Michael Johnson (NR)
    15. Rustam Khabilov (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Maynard has been facing stiff competition, but his only win since 2010 came in a narrow decision with Clay Guida. Miller, meanwhile, has earned four wins over the same time period while only losing to Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. 

    They're nearly equally talented, but Miller's recent resume is stronger than Maynard's.

     

    Bad Call

    Michael Johnson has been on a roll and deserves his spot in the top 15.

    However, all Myles Jury has done is win since beating Johnson comfortably at UFC 155. Until he loses, Jury should be ranked above Johnson.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Lightweight Fights

    • No. 9 Jim Miller defeated Fabricio Camoes by submission in the first round.
    • No. 14 Michael Johnson defeated Gleison Tibau by (T)KO in the second round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Lightweight Fights

    • Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern
    • Mairbek Taisumov vs. Tae Hyun Bang

Featherweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver solidified themselves as top-10 featherweights at UFC 168.

    Despite facing a heavier Diego Brandao, Poirier breezed through the Brazilian on Saturday. Facing a tough foe in Manny Gamburyan, Dennis Siver returned to the win column to remain in title contention at 145 pounds.

    At UFC Fight Night 34, Tatsuya Kawajiri will make his UFC debut and attempt to jump right into title contention. The Japanese fighter has won five in a row since a loss to Gilbert Melendez under the Strikeforce banner.

     

    Official UFC Featherweight Rankings

    Champion: Jose Aldo

    1. Chad Mendes
    2. Ricardo Lamas
    3. Frankie Edgar
    4. Cub Swanson 
    5. Chan Sung Jung 
    6. Dustin Poirier 
    7. Dennis Siver 
    8. Nik Lentz 
    9. Clay Guida 
    10. Erik Koch (NR)
    11. Darren Elkins (-1)
    12. Conor McGregor (NR)
    13. Dennis Bermudez (NR)
    14. Diego Brandao (NR)
    15. Jeremy Stephens (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    With the exception of Hatsu Hioki, who arguably defeated No. 9 contender Clay Guida, the rankings panel filled the top 15 accurately. The ordering could be argued, but those who were added to the expanded rankings are the most talented featherweights who were not previously ranked.

     

    Bad Call

    Since joining the UFC featherweight division, Darren Elkins has only lost to Chad Mendes while beating the likes of No. 14 contender Diego Brandao and Hatsu Hioki. Meanwhile, Erik Koch has lost two in a row and owns zero wins over current UFC featherweights.

    Elkins deserves the top-10 position over Koch right now.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Featherweight Fights

    • No. 6 Dustin Poirier defeated Diego Brandao by (T)KO in the first round.
    • No. 7 Dennis Siver defeated Manny Gamburyan by unanimous decision.
    • Robbie Peralta defeated Estevan Payan by (T)KO in the third round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Featherweight Fights

    • Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano
    • Max Holloway vs. Will Chope

Bantamweight

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    No bantamweights competed at UFC 168.

    However, several 135-pound prospects will compete at UFC Fight Night 34.

    None of the eight fighters competing in the bantamweight division on Saturday is ranked in the top 15, but several have the potential to become contenders. One of them, Dustin Kimura, will try to bounce back from his first UFC loss in a matchup with UFC newcomer Jon Delos Reyes.

     

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Dominick Cruz

    1. Renan Barao (interim champion)
    2. Urijah Faber
    3. Michael McDonald 
    4. Raphael Assuncao 
    5. Eddie Wineland 
    6. Brad Pickett 
    7. TJ Dillashaw 
    8. Mike Easton 
    9. Takeya Mizugaki
    10. Iuri Alcantara (NR)
    11. Francisco Rivera (NR)
    12. Bryan Caraway (NR)
    13. Erik Perez (NR) 
    14. Scott Jorgensen (-4)
    15. Ivan Menjivar (NR) 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Now competing at 125 pounds, Scott Jorgensen continues to plummet in the bantamweight rankings.

    While he was a talented fighter in the bantamweight division, he shouldn't be ranked in the weight class unless he returns. Barring a 135-pound booking for the former title challenger, Jorgensen should be completely removed from the top 15 soon.

     

    Bad Call

    Although he is coming off of a win over Ivan Menjivar, Wilson Reis was snubbed in the bantamweight rankings.

    On the UFC 165 fight card, Reis defeated Menjivar in a decision. Still, Menjivar is in the No. 15 position, but Reis is nowhere to be found.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Bantamweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Bantamweight Fights

    • Kyung Ho Kang vs. Shunichi Shimizu
    • Royston Wee vs. Dave Galera
    • Dustin Kimura vs. Jon Delos Reyes
    • Leandro Issa vs. Russell Doane

Flyweight

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    No flyweight fighters were contested at UFC 168.

    UFC Fight Night 34 will also be without any 125-pound bouts. 

    At UFC Fight Night 35, though, former title challenger John Moraga will return to the Octagon for a bout with the rising Dustin Ortiz.  

     

    Official UFC Flyweight Rankings

    Champion: Demetrious Johnson

    1. John Dodson 
    2. Joseph Benavidez 
    3. Ian McCall
    4. John Moraga
    5. John Lineker 
    6. Jussier Formiga 
    7. Ali Bagautinov 
    8. Tim Elliott 
    9. Chris Cariaso 
    10. Zach Makovsky (NR)
    11. Louis Gaudinot (-1)
    12. Scott Jorgensen (NR)
    13. Darren Uyenoyama (NR)
    14. Darrell Montague (NR)
    15. Dustin Ortiz (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Coming off of a win over Scott Jorgensen, Zach Makovsky deserves to be ranked above Louis Gaudinot.

    While Gaudinot does own a win over the surging John Lineker, he hasn't won since that fight more than 19 months ago. Even if that victory had come more recently, Lineker is not as accomplished as Jorgensen, who was taken down six times by Makovsky en route to a decision loss. 

     

    Bad Call

    It was a close matchup, but Alptekin Ozkilic did defeat Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on Fox 9.

    Nonetheless, Uyenoyama sits in the No. 13 position, while Ozkilic is currently not ranked. That needs to change the next time the rankings are released. 

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Flyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Flyweight Fights

    • None

Women's Bantamweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Ronda Rousey took care of business again on Saturday.

    In her rematch with Miesha Tate, Rousey was finally forced into a second and third round, but she still locked up an armbar for the win. Next up for Rousey will be fellow Olympic medalist Sarah McMann.

    No females will compete at UFC Fight Night 34, so the rankings should stay steady now for a few weeks.

     

    Official UFC Women's Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Ronda Rousey

    1. Cat Zingano 
    2. Miesha Tate 
    3. Alexis Davis
    4. Sara McMann
    5. Jessica Eye (+2) 
    6. Sarah Kaufman (-1)
    7. Liz Carmouche (-1)
    8. Amanda Nunes 
    9. Jessica Andrade 
    10. Julianna Pena (NR)
    11. Germaine de Randamie (-1)
    12. Bethe Correia (NR)
    13. Raquel Pennington (NR)
    14. Jessamyn Duke (NR)
    15. Jessica Rakoczy (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    It took two months, but Jessica Eye is now ranked above Sarah Kaufman.

    At UFC 166, Eye defeated Kaufman in a decision. It is about time the Ohio native was given her rightful spot above the Canadian in the women's bantamweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    On The Ultimate Fighter 18, Jessica Rakoczy defeated Raquel Pennington immediately after "Rocky" defeated Jessamyn Duke in the quarterfinals.

    Still, the TUF runner-up is ranked below both Pennington and Duke in the UFC rankings. While the TUF bouts are technically exhibitions, they gave a good indication that Rakoczy should be ranked No. 13 among women's bantamweight contenders.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC 168 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • (C) Ronda Rousey defeated No. 2 Miesha Tate by submission in the third round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 34 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

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