UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 34

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 7, 2014

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 34

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    Saffiedine finally made his UFC debut on Saturday.
    Saffiedine finally made his UFC debut on Saturday.Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

    Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine finally made his way to the Octagon over the weekend. 

    Nearly 12 months following his win over Nate Marquardt on the final Strikeforce fight card, Saffiedine was welcomed to the UFC by Hyun Gyu Lim. Heavily utilizing leg kicks, the Belgian broke Lim down over five rounds and coasted to the finish for a decision victory.

    In picking up a win in his first UFC showing, Saffiedine strengthened his position as a contender in the welterweight division. How far did he rise in the 170-pound rankings as a result of his victory over the Korean on Saturday?

    With UFC Fight Night 34 in the books and UFC Fight Night 35 ahead, here are the latest official UFC rankings.

Pound-for-Pound

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    Rousey is back in the Top 10 following her second win over Tate at UFC 168.
    Rousey is back in the Top 10 following her second win over Tate at UFC 168.Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    No elite pound-for-pound fighters competed at UFC Fight Night 34, but the rankings saw one change.

    Coming off her second UFC title defense, Ronda Rousey slid into the Top 10, passing Johny Hendricks. Already booked for a February matchup with Sara McMann, she will have a chance to distance herself from Hendricks before the top welterweight contender battles for the vacant welterweight championship against Robbie Lawler.

    With no Top 15 pound-for-pound fighters appearing at UFC Fight Night 35, the rankings should remain steady for a couple of weeks.


    Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    One change was made to the pound-for-pound rankings, and it was a bad call.

     

    Bad Call

    If Benson Henderson's resume is strong enough to be ranked above Rousey, then Hendricks' should be as well. Henderson may be a former champion, but Hendricks arguably should be a current one, after many believe that he deserved a win over Georges St-Pierre.

    The women's bantamweight division is either strong enough for its champion to be considered higher up on 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 they need to make up their mind next time around.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

Heavyweight

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    Silva is moving up despite failing his UFC Fight Night 33 drug screening.
    Silva is moving up despite failing his UFC Fight Night 33 drug screening.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Although no heavyweights fought at UFC Fight Night 34, multiple changes were made to the division's rankings.

    On the heels of his draw with Mark Hunt, Antonio Silva surpassed Josh Barnett, who was quickly stopped by Travis Browne at UFC 168. Also, Stipe Miocic gained ground on Alistair Overeem, who still hasn't won since retiring Brock Lesnar in December 2011.

    With no heavyweights set to compete at UFC Fight Night 35, these rankings could remain the same for a couple of weeks.

     

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Silva has only lost to Cain Velasquez since beating Browne at UFC on FX 5. He  failed his UFC Fight Night 33 drug screening, but Barnett has notoriously failed drug tests before as well and is coming off a decisive loss to Browne at UFC 168. Right now, the Brazilian and even Mark Hunt should probably be ranked above Barnett. 

     

    Bad Call

    Because Overeem hasn't won in so long, a strong case can be made for ranking Miocic above him. However, Overeem has only lost to Top Five heavyweights since joining the UFC roster, while Miocic lost to No. 14 contender Stefan Struve and only defeated Roy Nelson, who hasn't show up since then. If Overeem beats Frank Mir at UFC 169, he should regain his spot above Miocic in the rankings. 

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Light Heavyweight

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    Cormier will cut down to 205 pounds for the first time in February.
    Cormier will cut down to 205 pounds for the first time in February.Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    No light heavyweight bouts were contested at UFC Fight Night 34, so there weren't any adjustments to the division's rankings.

    The 205-pound rankings should remain static for the next few weeks, with no light heavyweights competing at UFC Fight Night 35. Until Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier meet at UFC 170, no Top 15 light heavyweights will step into the Octagon. 

     

    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 
    7. Mauricio Rua 
    8. Chael Sonnen 
    9. Gegard Mousasi 
    10. Ryan Bader 
    11. Jimi Manuwa 
    12. Thiago Silva 
    13. Vitor Belfort 
    14. Lyoto Machida 
    15. James Te-Huna 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the light heavyweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the light heavyweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Middleweight

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    Luke Rockhold will look for his first UFC win at UFC Fight Night 35.
    Luke Rockhold will look for his first UFC win at UFC Fight Night 35.Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

    No middleweights appeared at UFC Fight Night 34.

    Still, one alteration was made to the 185-pound rankings. Exactly 18 months since he last fought in the middleweight division, Chael Sonnen is slowly fading from the rankings.

    UFC Fight Night 35 will be a big fight card for the middleweight class. Three Top 15 fighters will make their way to the Octagon, with the event being headlined by Luke Rockhold and Costas Philippou.

     

    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. Costas Philippou 
    11. Tim Boetsch 
    12. Alan Belcher
    13. Lorenz Larkin (+1)
    14. Chael Sonnen (-1)
    15. Thales Leites 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Chael Sonnen should probably be removed from the Top 15 altogether, but at least he's headed in the right direction in a division that he hasn't competed in since UFC 148. For now, he is a light heavyweight, and that's where he should be ranked exclusively.

     

    Bad Call

    One change was made to the middleweight rankings, and it was a good call.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Middleweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Middleweight Fights

    • No. 6 Luke Rockhold vs. No. 10 Costas Philippou
    • No. 13 Lorenz Larkin vs. Brad Tavares
    • Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson
    • Trevor Smith vs. Brian Houston

Welterweight

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    Saffiedine and Lim traded shots on Saturday.
    Saffiedine and Lim traded shots on Saturday.Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

    With a win in his long-awaited UFC debut, Tarec Saffiedine solidified his spot as a contender in the welterweight division.

    In the UFC Fight Night 34 headliner, he defeated Hyun Gyu Lim with a barrage of leg kicks. By doing so, he elevated himself to the No. 9 position in the 170-pound rankings, surpassing Martin Kampmann.

    Following an important fight for the welterweight class, no 170-pound fighters are scheduled to compete at UFC Fight Night 35.

     

    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. Tarec Saffiedine (+1)
    10. Martin Kampmann (-1)
    11. Tyron Woodley 
    12. Dong Hyun Kim
    13. Hector Lombard
    14. Josh Koscheck
    15. Rick Story 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    One change was made to the welterweight rankings, and it was a bad call.

     

    Bad Call

    Saffiedine turned in a solid performance at UFC Fight Night 34, but ranking him above Kampmann seems shortsighted. Yes, Kampmann has lost two in a row, but those fights were against elite welterweights Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit. Prior to those bouts, he defeated Jake Ellenberger, a much tougher opponent than anyone Saffiedine has beaten.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Welterweight Fights

    • No. 9 Tarec Saffiedine defeated Hyun Gyu Lim by unanimous decision.
    • Kiichi Kunimoto defeated Luiz Dutra by disqualification in the first round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Welterweight Fights

    • None

Lightweight

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    Brenneman trades with Erick Silva at UFC on FX 3.
    Brenneman trades with Erick Silva at UFC on FX 3.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC Fight Night 34 featured two lightweight bouts, but wins from Katsunori Kikuno and Mairbek Taisumov did not impact the Top 15 rankings.

    Still, a change was made, with Diego Sanchez falling two spots. After surpassing the former title challenger, Michael Johnson and Rustam Khabilov have their sights set on the Top 10 now.

    At UFC Fight Night 35, four more 155-pound fights will be contested. One will feature the return of Charlie Brenneman, who defeated Top 15 welterweight Rick Story before being cut from the UFC roster following a loss to Kyle Noke in September 2012.

     

    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 
    10. Gray Maynard 
    11. Edson Barboza 
    12. Bobby Green 
    13. Michael Johnson (+1)
    14. Rustam Khabilov (+1)
    15. Diego Sanchez (-2) 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    One change was made to the lightweight rankings, and it was a bad call.

     

    Bad Call

    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. Still, while Johnson now has a firm grasp on a Top 15 position, Jury is nowhere to be seen. Until he loses, Jury should be ranked above Johnson.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Lightweight Fights

    • Katsunori Kikuno defeated Quinn Mulhern by unanimous decision.
    • Mairbek Taisumov defeated Tae Hyun Bang by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Lightweight Fights

    • Ramsey Nijem vs. Justin Edwards
    • Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs. Elias Silverio
    • Vinc Pichel vs. Garett Whiteley
    • Charlie Brenneman vs. Beneil Dariush

Featherweight

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    Kawajiri celebrates his first UFC win.
    Kawajiri celebrates his first UFC win.Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

    With a win over Sean Soriano in his UFC debut, Tatsuya Kawajiri is already a contender in the UFC featherweight division.

    Previously fighting for smaller Asian promotions, he slid into the No. 14 position following his first appearance inside the Octagon. Jeremy Stephens was bounced from the Top 15 due to Kawajiri's inclusion.

    In another small change to the rankings, Darren Elkins took Erik Koch's spot in the Top 10.

    At UFC Fight Night 35, Cole Miller and Sam Sicilia will appear in the lone featherweight matchup. No matter the result, neither is likely to jump into the Top 15 right away.

     

    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. Darren Elkins (+1)
    11. Erik Koch (-1) 
    12. Conor McGregor 
    13. Dennis Bermudez 
    14. Tatsuya Kawajiri (NR)
    15. Diego Brandao (-1) 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Since joining the UFC featherweight division, Elkins has only lost to Chad Mendes while beating No. 14 Diego Brandao and Hatsu Hioki. Meanwhile, 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.

     

    Bad Call

    Kawajiri may not have much UFC experience, but he's far more proven than Conor McGregor. The Irishman is only two fights into his UFC career, while Kawajiri has been fighting the best available outside the UFC for years.

    Although McGregor has a higher ceiling, Kawajiri should have a spot above the 25-year-old.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Featherweight Fights

    • No. 14 Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Sean Soriano by submission in the second round.
    • Max Holloway defeated Will Chope by (T)KO in the second round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Featherweight Fights

    • Cole Miller vs. Sam Sicilia

Bantamweight

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    Dillashaw will look to enter the Top Five at UFC Fight Night 35.
    Dillashaw will look to enter the Top Five at UFC Fight Night 35.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Four bantamweight fights were contested at UFC Fight Night 34, but the biggest impact on the 135-pound class occurred outside the Octagon.

    Injured and forced out of his fight with Renan Barao, Dominick Cruz was stripped of his bantamweight title and is no longer ranked. Formerly carrying the interim tag, Barao is now the undisputed bantamweight champion and will rematch Urijah Faber.

    At UFC Fight Night 35, Faber's teammate TJ Dillashaw will try to inch closer to the top of the division with a win over fellow contender Mike Easton.

     

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Renan Barao

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    More than two years removed from his last appearance, it is impossible to tell where Dominick Cruz will stand in the bantamweight division upon his eventual return. It's best to just remove him from rankings consideration until he competes again. 

    His spot in the pound-for-pound rankings should also go soon.

     

    Bad Call

    Although he is coming off a win over Ivan Menjivar, Wilson Reis finds himself behind "The Pride of El Salvador" in the bantamweight rankings. Considering Reis beat Menjivar in September, the Brazilian should be ranked higher on the 135-pound ladder.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Bantamweight Fights

    • Kyung Ho Kang defeated Shunichi Shimizu by submission in the third round.
    • Royston Wee defeated Dave Galera by unanimous decision.
    • Dustin Kimura defeated Jon Delos Reyes by submission in the first round.
    • Russell Doane defeated Leandro Issa by submission in the second round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 6 TJ Dillashaw vs. No. 7 Mike Easton

Flyweight

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    Moraga will try to get back on track at UFC Fight Night 35.
    Moraga will try to get back on track at UFC Fight Night 35.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    No flyweight fights were contested at UFC Fight Night 34.

    Nonetheless, a change was made to the rankings. Darrell Montague, despite losing to John Dodson in his UFC debut, surpassed a slumping Darren Uyenoyama. 

    At UFC Fight Night 35, though, former title challenger John Moraga will return to the Octagon for a bout with the rising Dustin Ortiz. Also, Alptekin Ozkilic and Louis Smolka will make bids for a spot in the Top 15 rankings. 

     

    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 
    11. Louis Gaudinot 
    12. Scott Jorgensen  
    13. Darrell Montague (+1)
    14. Darren Uyenoyama (-1) 
    15. Dustin Ortiz 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    It's tough to compare Montague and Uyenoyama, as they have no overlapping competition, but the former does have a slightly stronger resume. While Uyenoyama is coming off a loss to the non-ranked Ozkilic, Montague has only lost to Top Three contenders John Dodson and Ian McCall along with 145-pounder Robbie Peralta.

     

    Bad Call

    One change was made to the flyweight rankings, and it was a good call.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Flyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Flyweight Fights

    • No. 4 John Moraga vs. No. 15 Dustin Ortiz
    • Alptekin Ozkilic vs. Louis Smolka

Women's Bantamweight

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    Rousey is staying busy with two fights in less than two months.
    Rousey is staying busy with two fights in less than two months.Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    With no women's bantamweight fights at UFC Fight Night 34, zero changes were made to the division's rankings.

    No women will compete at UFC Fight Night 35, so the rankings should remain steady for a few weeks.

    The next scheduled female fights won't occur until UFC 170 in February, when Ronda Rousey will try to defend her championship for a third time against fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann.

     

    Official UFC Women's Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Ronda Rousey

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the women's bantamweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the women's bantamweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 34 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 35 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None