UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 35

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2014

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 35

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    At UFC Fight Night 35, Luke Rockhold was finally able to show UFC fans why he deserves to be a highly ranked fighter in the middleweight division.

    The former Strikeforce champion required less than three minutes to stop Costas Philippou with body kicks. Following a disappointing loss to Vitor Belfort in his first UFC showing, Rockhold's victory on Wednesday served as a reminder that he's still among the best in the 185-pound division.

    Heading into UFC Fight Night 35 as the No. 6 contender on the UFC roster, was Rockhold's knockout against Philippou enough to push the American Kickboxing Academy product into a Top Five position? 

    With UFC Fight Night 35 in the books and UFC on Fox 10 ahead, here are the latest official UFC rankings.

Pound-for-Pound

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    Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Still clinging to a Top 10 position in the pound-for-pound rankings, Benson Henderson's potentially long climb back to another shot at the 155-pound championship begins at UFC on Fox 10.

    Coming off of his second loss in two fights with Anthony Pettis, Henderson might need some help to get another shot at the lightweight strap. A third fight with "Showtime" isn't likely to happen soon, so Henderson will be rooting against the champion from now on.

    At UFC on Fox 10, Henderson will meet Josh Thomson. The Strikeforce veteran recently became the first fighter to stop Nate Diaz inside the Octagon and will be looking to earn a title shot of his own by beating Henderson.

    Beating Thomson decisively would strengthen the former champion's hold on his Top 10 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings. However, a loss to "The Punk" could bounce Henderson from the list of elite pound-for-pound fighters on the UFC roster. 


    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 
    11. Johny Hendricks 
    12. Vitor Belfort  
    13. Urijah Faber (+1)
    14. Gilbert Melendez (+1)
    15. Dominick Cruz (-2) 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Dominick Cruz is going on three years without stepping into the Octagon.

    It's near impossible to say how good he'll be when he returns from multiple injuries and such a long hiatus from competition. For that reason, he should be removed from the pound-for-pound rankings until he comes back and proves his skills have not diminished.

    With Cruz falling two spots in this edition of the rankings, it appears the voters are adopting that line of thinking.

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • No. 9 Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson

Heavyweight

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

    A relatively new face in the heavyweight Top 10, Stipe Miocic will be looking to keep his momentum going against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC on Fox 10.

    With back-to-back knockout wins, Gonzaga is also creeping toward title contention. Released from the UFC roster following a loss to Brendan Schaub in 2010, Gonzaga has reinvented himself in a second run with the world's top MMA promotion.

    Beating Miocic could earn Gonzaga a spot among the Top 10 heavyweights, which seemed a near impossible task for the Brazilian only a couple years ago.

    A second heavyweight contest between prospects Walt Harris and Nikita Krylov will also be held at UFC on Fox 10.

     

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

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

     

    Bad Call

    Antonio Silva has only lost to Cain Velasquez since beating Travis 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. 

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Heavyweight Fights

    • No. 8 Stipe Miocic vs. No. 12 Gabriel Gonzaga
    • Walt Harris vs. Nikita Krylov

Light Heavyweight

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

    The light heavyweight division is in the midst of a break in action.

    No 205-pound bouts were contested at UFC Fight Night 35, and none are scheduled to be on display at UFC on Fox 10.

    At UFC 170, Rashad Evans will bring the light heavyweight class back into focus when he welcomes Daniel Cormier to the division. The winner of that matchup could be a leader in the race to earn a shot at the winner of an April title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. 

     

    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 35 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Middleweight

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    With a win over Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night 35, Brad Tavares emerged as a Top 15 UFC middleweight.

    A winner of five straight fights, Tavares appears to be putting it all together, as he made rare use of his wrestling to bump Larkin from the rankings. At 26 years old, he's becoming one of the more promising fighters to come out of The Ultimate Fighter recently.

    Yoel Romero also broke through with a victory on Wednesday. With a come-from-behind win over Derek Brunson, Romero improved to 3-0 inside the Octagon.

    Because Tavares and Romero elevated themselves into the 185-pound rankings, light heavyweight Chael Sonnen was finally removed from the middleweight Top 15.

     

    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. Brad Tavares (NR)
    14. Yoel Romero (NR)
    15. Thales Leites 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Sonnen hasn't competed in the middleweight class since UFC 148, where he was defeated by former champion Anderson Silva. With no bout scheduled at 185 pounds, Sonnen should solely be ranked as a 205-pounder, and now he is.

     

    Bad Call

    All changes made to the middleweight rankings were good calls.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Middleweight Fights

    • No. 6 Luke Rockhold defeated No. 10 Costas Philippou by (T)KO in the first round.
    • No. 13 Brad Tavares defeated Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision.
    • No. 14 Yoel Romero defeated Derek Brunson by (T)KO in the third round.
    • Trevor Smith defeated Brian Houston by split decision.

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Middleweight Fights

    • None

Welterweight

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Following his decision to take a break from competition, Martin Kampmann was removed from the welterweight rankings.

    Benefitting from Kampmann's removal was Mike Pyle, who slid into the No. 15 position in this edition of the 170-pound rankings. Pyle recently saw a four-fight winning streak come to an end against a surging Matt Brown.

    No UFC on Fox 10 competitors are likely to threaten Pyle's ranking, with UFC newcomers George Sullivan and Mike Rhodes being the only fighters scheduled to appear at 170 pounds.

     

    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 
    10. Tyron Woodley 
    11. Dong Hyun Kim
    12. Hector Lombard
    13. Rick Story (+1)
    14. Josh Koscheck (-1)
    15. Mike Pyle (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    With wins over Rick Story, John Hathaway and others, Pyle had a stronger resume than any fighter not previously ranked. The panel made the right to decision to include him as a result of Kampmann's removal from the rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    He may have a win over No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks on his record, but Story has won only half of his eight fights since then.

    A dominant win over Brian Ebersole at UFC 167 probably made Story deserving of a Top 15 position. But it didn't prove he has surpassed Pyle, who has only lost to Top 10 welterweight Matt Brown since beating Story this past May.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Welterweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Welterweight Fights

    • George Sullivan vs. Mike Rhodes

Lightweight

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    In addition to an important contest between Top Five lightweight contenders Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson, UFC on Fox 10 will feature Donald Cerrone—another Top 10 155-pounder.

    Cerrone will meet Adriano Martins on the fight card. With back-to-back wins, the Brazilian is one of the more promising up-and-comers in the lightweight class and could make a huge move with a win over "Cowboy" in Chicago.

    Should Cerrone take care of business, he may be able to return to competition with elite fighters in the 155-pound division.

     

    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 
    14. Diego Sanchez (+1)
    15. Rustam Khabilov (-1)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Rustam Khabilov had looked great through his first three UFC bouts, but he still has some work to do before he matches the accomplishments of Diego Sanchez—a former lightweight title challenger. For now, Sanchez deserves to be ranked above the Russian.

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Lightweight Fights

    • Ramsey Nijem defeated Justin Edwards by unanimous decision.
    • Elias Silverio defeated Isaac Vallie-Flagg by unanimous decision.
    • Vinc Pichel defeated Garett Whiteley by unanimous decision.
    • Beneil Dariush defeated Charlie Brenneman by submission in the first round.

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Lightweight Fights

    • No. 1 Benson Henderson vs. No. 4 Josh Thomson
    • No. 8 Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins
    • Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio

Featherweight

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Cole Miller picked up an important win over Sam Sicilia at UFC Fight Night 35 and is becoming a fighter to watch in the featherweight division. It wasn't enough to earn "Magrinho" a spot in the Top 15, though.

    At UFC on Fox 10, Jeremy Stephens will look to beat Miller to the rankings. Unbeaten in his first two fights at 145 pounds, Stephens will meet No. 10 contender Darren Elkins, who is quickly becoming the featherweight division's gatekeeper.

    Beating Stephens would likely give Elkins a break from gatekeeping duties to make another run toward a shot at the 145-pound championship. 

     

    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 
    11. Erik Koch  
    12. Conor McGregor 
    13. Dennis Bermudez 
    14. Tatsuya Kawajiri 
    15. Diego Brandao  

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the featherweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the featherweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Featherweight Fights

    • Cole Miller defeated Sam Sicilia by submission in the second round.

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Featherweight Fights

    • No. 10 Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens

Bantamweight

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    TJ Dillashaw entered the Top Five with a win over Mike Easton on Wednesday.

    The Team Alpha Male member dominated Easton over three rounds to prove he's going to be a force in the bantamweight division for years. At 27 years old, Dillashaw's shot at a 135-pound championship is looking like an eventuality.

    Had he not been edged in a narrow decision with Raphael Assuncao, Dillashaw would be right up there with teammate Urijah Faber in the hunt for a shot at the bantamweight strap. 

     

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Renan Barao

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Not only did Brad Pickett recently fight to a split decision with Easton, but he's also now scheduled to compete at 125 pounds. The combination of those two things makes Dillashaw surpassing the British fighter an easy and correct decision.

     

    Bad Call

    More than two years removed from his last appearance, Dominick Cruz was finally removed from the bantamweight rankings in the last edition. It was a great call by the voters, but now the former champion is back in the rankings and sits in the No. 12 position.

    Until he competes again, Cruz should either be ranked near the top or not at all.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 5 TJ Dillashaw defeated No. 8 Mike Easton by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 4 Eddie Wineland vs. Yves Jabouin
    • Alex Caceres vs. Sergio Pettis
    • Chico Camus vs. Yaotzin Meza
    • Junior Hernandez vs. Hugo Viana

Flyweight

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Louis Smolka became an intriguing addition to the flyweight division at UFC Fight Night 35, where he picked up a win over Alptekin Ozkilic on the scorecards. In the developing 125-pound class, the win already makes Smolka a potential contender in the making.

    Also on Wednesday, former title challenger John Moraga returned to the win column against Dustin Ortiz.

    Despite the loss, Ortiz took an elite flyweight opponent to a split decision and elevated his standing in the process. It wasn't a great showing from Moraga, but he maintained his Top Five position with the victory.

     

    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. Dustin Ortiz (+2)
    14. Darrell Montague (-1) 
    15. Darren Uyenoyama (-1) 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    It's not often victories emerge from defeats in MMA, but Ortiz's split decision loss to Moraga at UFC Fight Night 35 was as beneficial as a win over any non-ranked 125-pounder. Darrell Montague and Darren Uyenoyama went without wins inside the Octagon in 2013, so Ortiz deserved to surpass them.

     

    Bad Call

    Yeah, it's only a win, but Smolka should be ranked above Uyenoyama with a win over Ozkilic on Wednesday. Ozkilic was coming off of a win over Uyenoyama, and Smolka defeated Ozkilic unanimously. MMA math doesn't work for predicting fights, but it's essentially the only way to objectively rank fighters.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 35 Flyweight Fights

    • No. 4 John Moraga defeated No. 15 Dustin Ortiz by split decision.
    • Louis Smolka defeated Alptekin Ozkilic by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Flyweight Fights

    • None

Women's Bantamweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Although she just competed at UFC 168, Ronda Rousey is making a quick turnaround and will be one of the next female fighters to step into the Octagon.

    No ladies competed at UFC Fight Night 35, and none will appear at UFC on Fox 10.

    Headlined by Rousey and Sara McMann, UFC 170 will be the next fight card to feature women's bantamweight bouts. Alexis Davis and Jessica Eye will also compete at the event in a matchup that could possibly determine the next title challenger.

     

    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 35 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC on Fox 10 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None