UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 36

Sean SmithAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2014

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 36

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    At UFC Fight Night 36, Lyoto Machida may have earned a shot at the UFC Middleweight Championship.

    "The Dragon" used kicks and leg sweeps en route to a comfortable decision victory over Gegard Mousasi on Saturday. The win improved Machida to 2-0 since he made his move to the 185-pound class, making him one of the more intriguing contenders in the division.

    Fellow Brazilian Ronaldo Souza also made an argument for a shot at the middleweight strap over the weekend. By beating Francis Carmont with his world-class grappling, "Jacare" improved to 3-0 inside the Octagon.

    Does Machida or Souza have the edge in the 185-pound rankings?

    With UFC Fight Night 36 in the books and UFC 170 ahead, here are the latest official UFC rankings.

Pound-for-Pound

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Gilbert Melendez is currently one of the Top 15 pound-for-pound fighters competing inside the Octagon, but he could soon be leaving the UFC for rival promotion Bellator MMA.

    The former Strikeforce champion completed his contract with an exciting decision win over Diego Sanchez and has been negotiating since October.

    Despite being one of the top contenders in the UFC lightweight division, Melendez recently agreed to terms with Bellator MMA, per the promotion's website. While the UFC will have a chance to match the contract, he might be leaving the world's premier MMA organization.

    Although the UFC has many excellent contenders at 155 pounds, allowing a fighter like Melendez to join Bellator MMA would hurt the organization. It could even allow some to argue that Bellator MMA will have a lightweight division that is equally as impressive as UFC's at the top end. 

     

    Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Despite a second loss to Renan Barao, Urijah Faber remains one of the best in the bantamweight division. Still, his position behind Gilbert Melendez is warranted.

    Having only lost in a controversial decision against Benson Henderson since joining the UFC roster, Melendez is now closer to a championship than Faber. Of course, he'll be eliminated from the UFC rankings altogether, if goes to Bellator MMA.

    Now with two losses to Barao, Faber will need to go on another impressive run to earn another shot at a UFC championship. Even then, he might need someone else to dethrone Barao to be considered an intriguing title challenger again.

     

    Bad Call

    There were no bad calls in this edition of the pound-for-pound rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

     

    UFC 170 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • No. 9 Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann

Heavyweight

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    The heavyweight division is looking at a lull in significant action over the next several weeks.

    No more heavyweight bouts are scheduled to occur in February, and the only heavyweight contest booked for March is a matchup between non-ranked fighters Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan.

    Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are the next ranked heavyweights expected to step into the Octagon. However, they will not compete until UFC Fight Night 40 in April.

     

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the heavyweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the heavyweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC 170 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Light Heavyweight

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Daniel Cormier was supposed to be thrust into light heavyweight title contention at UFC 170. 

    Instead, he'll get a warm-up with UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins. Following an injury to Rashad Evans, Cormier's originally scheduled adversary, Cummins stepped in as a replacement on short notice. 

    While the change is far from ideal, Cormier will at least get to test his cut to 205 pounds before meeting an elite light heavyweight. It's possible this could end up being a blessing in disguise for the former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner.

     

    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. Mauricio Rua (+1)
    7. Dan Henderson (-1)
    8. Chael Sonnen 
    9. Ryan Bader (+1)
    10. Jimi Manuwa (+1)
    11. Gegard Mousasi (-2)
    12. Vitor Belfort (+1)
    13. James Te Huna (+2)
    14. Rafael Cavalcante (NR)
    15. Lyoto Machida (-1)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi seem committed to the middleweight division now. 

    Unless they make a return to the light heavyweight class, both men should be ranked at 185 pounds from now on.

    It appears some voters have begun to adopt that thinking, which is good. Hopefully, others will follow quickly to prevent Machida and Mousasi from being shown below fighters whom they are clearly more accomplished than in the 205-pound division.

     

    Bad Call

    Dan Henderson has lost three fights in a row. However, two of those fights ended in split decisions against highly ranked fighters Rashad Evans and Machida. Meanwhile, the third came against a possessed Vitor Belfort in Brazil.

    Mauricio Rua has beaten James Te Huna and Brandon Vera since losing to "Hendo" at UFC 139. "Shogun" was expected to beat those opponents and didn't look great in victory against Vera.

    While Henderson has been struggling lately, Rua hasn't proved he's closed the gap between him and the American. Luckily, the pair will meet in March to bring some clarity to the situation.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC 170 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins

Middleweight

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Brazilians Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo Souza are in a tight race to earn a shot at the winner of a May title fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.

    At UFC Fight Night 36, Machida and Souza both earned decision victories. The results only made it tougher to determine which fighter is more deserving of a shot at the championship, so the UFC brass will now have to decide between asking one of them to wait a few months or attempting to force "The Dragon" and "Jacare" to fight each another in a title-shot eliminator.

    Meanwhile, UFC Fight Night 36 losers Gegard Mousasi and Francis Carmont will likely have to gain some momentum before getting another shot at Top Five middleweights.

     

    Official UFC Middleweight Rankings

    Champion: Chris Weidman

    1. Anderson Silva 
    2. Vitor Belfort 
    3. Lyoto Machida (+1)
    4. Ronaldo Souza (-1)
    5. Michael Bisping 
    6. Luke Rockhold 
    7. Mark Munoz  
    8. Tim Kennedy (+1)
    9. Francis Carmont (-1)
    10. Costas Philippou 
    11. Tim Boetsch 
    12. Gegard Mousasi (NR)
    13. Alan Belcher
    14. Brad Tavares 
    15. Chael Sonnen (NR)

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    The voters could have omitted Gegard Mousasi from the middleweight rankings following a loss to Lyoto Machida in his return to the division. However, they made the right move and included the former Strikeforce champion in the Top 15 in the UFC Fight Night 36 aftermath.

    While he hasn't picked up a win in the UFC 185-pound class, Mousasi looked a lot better against Machida than many highly ranked middleweights would. It could even be argued that he should have an even higher position, as No. 7 middleweight Mark Munoz was recently stopped by Machida in the first round.

     

    Bad Call

    Chael Sonnen has returned to the middleweight rankings. 

    Sonnen has not competed at 185 pounds since July 2012. Scheduled to meet Wanderlei Silva at 205 pounds, Sonnen should only be ranked at light heavyweight until he makes his return to the middleweight division.

    Rising middleweights like Yoel Romero and Thales Leites could replace Sonnen in that No. 15 position.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Middleweight Fights

    • No. 3 Lyoto Machida defeated No. 12 Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision.
    • No. 4 Ronaldo Souza defeated No. 9 Francis Carmont by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC 170 Middleweight Fights

    • None

Welterweight

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Erick Silva is back on track to become a contender in the welterweight division.

    At UFC Fight Night 36, the Brazilian stopped UFC newcomer Takenori Sato. It was an expected victory but one that he needed to remain on the fringe of championship contention.

    Since he joined the UFC roster, he has been heralded as a future title threat, but he's been slow to develop and is now sitting outside the Top 15 at 29 years old. It'll take another win or two, but Silva shouldn't be far from another chance to show he can compete with elite welterweights. 

     

    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. Josh Koscheck 
    14. Rick Story 
    15. Mike Pyle 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the welterweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the welterweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Welterweight Fights

    • Erick Silva defeated Takenori Sato by (T)KO in the first round.
    • Nicholas Musoke defeated Viscardi Andrade by unanimous decision.
    • Ildemar Alcantara defeated Albert Tumenov by split decision.

     

    UFC 170 Welterweight Fights

    • No. 4 Rory MacDonald vs. No. 6 Demian Maia
    • No. 15 Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger
    • Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson

Lightweight

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    Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Erik Koch will make his UFC lightweight debut on Saturday.

    After starting his UFC career with wins over Raphael Assuncao and Jonathan Brookins, Koch was considered a top contender in the featherweight division. However, injuries that he and Jose Aldo suffered prevented a title shot from ever happening for him.

    Two losses later, he decided he was ready for a change in scenery and will now look to make a run 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 
    10. Gray Maynard 
    11. Edson Barboza 
    12. Bobby Green 
    13. Rustam Khabilov (+1)
    14. Michael Johnson (-1)
    15. Diego Sanchez  

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Undefeated inside the Octagon and coming off a win over Jorge Masvidal, Rustam Khabilov is already close to becoming a Top 10 UFC lightweight.

    Michael Johnson has a similarly strong resume, but he should be ranked lower than he currently is. 

    At UFC 155, Johnson was dominated on the ground by Myles Jury; however, Jury does not even own a spot in the Top 15 right now.

     

    Bad Call

    There were no bad calls made in this edition of the lightweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Lightweight Fights

    • Joe Proctor defeated Cristiano Marcello by unanimous decision.
    • Rodrigo Damm defeated Ivan Jorge by unanimous decision.
    • Francisco Trinaldo defeated Jesse Ronson by split decision.

     

    UFC 170 Lightweight Fights

    • Rafaello Oliveira vs. Erik Koch
    • Ernest Chavez vs. Yosdenis Cedeno

Featherweight

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Charles Oliveira avoided a third straight loss at UFC Fight Night 36.

    The Brazilian caught Andy Ogle in a triangle choke to earn Performance of the Night honors on Saturday. Despite his recent struggles against top-notch featherweights, he could soon see himself back in the Octagon with highly ranked 145-pounders.

    At 24 years old, he is still growing as a fighter. While it has taken him some time to reach contender status, it seems he'll get there eventually.

     

    Official UFC Featherweight Rankings

    Champion: Jose Aldo

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

     

    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 36 Featherweight Fights

    • Zubaira Tukhugov defeated Douglas Silva de Andrade by unanimous decision.
    • Charles Oliveira defeated Andy Ogle by submission in the third round.
    • Felipe Arantes defeated Maximo Blanco by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC 170 Featherweight Fights

    • None

Bantamweight

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Iuri Alcantara held onto his Top 10 position in the bantamweight rankings by a narrow margin at UFC Fight Night 36.

    Facing fellow Brazilian Wilson Reis, Alcantara managed a split-decision victory on Saturday. With the win, Alcantara improved to 5-2 inside the Octagon.

    Reis, meanwhile, barely missed on an opportunity to become a serious 135-pound contender. Coming off a win over Ivan Menjvar, beating Alcantara would have put Reis in the title-shot conversation in the wide-open bantamweight division. 

     

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Renan Barao

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    There were no good calls made in this edition of the bantamweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    Despite another solid performance over the weekend, even though it resulted in a loss, Wilson Reis is not ranked among the Top 15 bantamweights.

    Meanwhile, a fighter he defeated in September, Ivan Menjivar, is on the rise in the rankings. Instead of moving Menjivar up to the No. 14 position, he should have been replaced by Reis.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 10 Iuri Alcantara defeated Wilson Reis by split decision.

     

    UFC 170 Bantamweight Fights

    • No. 3 Raphael Assuncao vs. Pedro Munhoz
    • Cody Gibson vs. Aljamain Sterling

Flyweight

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    After beating Scott Jorgensen in his UFC debut, Zach Makovsky will look to remain a Top 10 flyweight when he meets Josh Sampo at UFC 170.

    Sampo stepped into the Octagon for the first time in November. By submitting Ryan Benoit, he become one of the 125-pound division's more intriguing newcomers.

    Whoever wins this matchup on Saturday could put themselves in the hunt for a shot at flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who is already looking for fresh challengers.

     

    Official UFC Flyweight Rankings

    Champion: Demetrious Johnson

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    There were no good calls in this edition of the flyweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    Scott Jorgensen is still looking for his first win at 125 pounds. The former bantamweight was beaten in his divisional debut against Makovsky and will look to get the wheels turning against Jussier Formiga in March.

    Although Dustin Ortiz only has one UFC win, he deserves a higher ranking than Jorgensen right now. The 25-year-old arguably defeated former title challenger John Moraga in January, falling in a controversial split decision.

    With Moraga sitting in the No. 4 position, Ortiz should be sitting higher than Jorgensen, who was defeated more convincingly by the No. 10 125-pounder.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Flyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC 170 Flyweight Fights

    • No. 10 Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo

Women's Bantamweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    At UFC 170, Ronda Rousey will look to defend her women's bantamweight championship against fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann.

    While McMann has only one UFC win under her belt, she's also undefeated. Her wrestling background makes her one of Rousey's toughest challenges inside the Octagon to date.

    Additionally, Alexis Davis and Jessica Eye will compete on Saturday. The winner of that matchup could be next in line for a shot at the winner of UFC 170's main attraction.

     

    Official UFC Women's Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Ronda Rousey

    1. Cat Zingano 
    2. Miesha Tate 
    3. Alexis Davis
    4. Sara McMann 
    5. Jessica Eye (+1)
    6. Sarah Kaufman (-1)
    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

    Considering how close their fight was at UFC 166, Sarah Kaufman and Eye were interchangeable to begin with in the women's bantamweight rankings.

    While Eye failed her drug test following that bout and had her win taken away, it was because she tested positive for marijuana. It's not a valid excuse to have her win reinstated, as she did break the rules, but Eye probably wasn't helped to victory by the illegal drug.

    For now, she should be considered a slightly better fighter than Kaufman. 

     

    Bad Call

    There were no bad calls in this edition of the women's bantamweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    UFC Fight Night 36 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC 170 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • (C) Ronda Rousey vs. No. 4 Sara McMann
    • No. 3 Alexis Davis vs. No. 5 Jessica Eye