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UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following TUF China Finale

Sean SmithAnalyst IMarch 4, 2014

UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following TUF China Finale

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    Victor Fraile/Getty Images

    An event put together to help build the UFC brand in China, the The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale was owned by Korean Dong Hyun Kim.

    In the card's featured attraction, "Stun Gun" stopped John Hathaway with a spinning back elbow. The knockout is an early candidate for Knockout of the Year and will likely remain a nominee by the time 2014 comes to an end.

    Having entered the TUF: China Finale as the No. 11 welterweight on the UFC roster, Kim should now be considered a serious title threat in the 170-pound class. Was his victory enough to make him a Top 10 welterweight, though?

    With TUF: China Finale in the books and UFC Fight Night 38 ahead on Saturday, here are the latest official UFC rankings.

Pound-for-Pound

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

    With his excellent performance against Jon Jones at UFC 165, Alexander Gustafsson became recognized as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.

    At UFC Fight Night 38, he will look to inch closer to the Top 10 with a victory over Jimi Manuwa.

    Beating Manuwa would do more than improve the Swedish light heavyweight fighter's position in the pound-for-pound rankings, though. It would likely earn "The Mauler" a shot at the winner of an upcoming 205-pound championship bout between Jones and Glover Teixeira.

     

    Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    As great as he was and can still be when he returns, Anderson Silva is no longer a UFC champion. Recovering from a gruesome broken leg, he also won't be making his way to the Octagon in the coming months.

    Until "The Spider" steps in the cage again and proves he's still among the best in the world, he should probably be ranked behind most or all UFC titleholders. That's why bumping Anthony Pettis above Silva in the pound-for-pound rankings was a good call by the voters.

     

    Bad Call

    Chris Weidman looks to be a fighter who could hold onto the middleweight championship for years. However, right now, he only has successfully defended his belt on one occasion. 

    Demetrious Johnson, on the other hand, already has three title defenses on his resume as flyweight champion. Even though Weidman dethroned the best ever, "Mighty Mouse" deserves a spot above the 185-pound king in the pound-for-pound rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Pound-for-Pound Fights

    • No. 14 Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa

Heavyweight

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    Xaume Olleros/Getty Images

    In the lone heavyweight bout at the TUF: China Finale, Matt Mitrione picked up an important win.

    Heading into this past weekend with three losses out of four prior bouts, he likely needed a victory over Shawn Jordan to keep his UFC job. The TUF veteran ate some big shots early on, but he finished the first round strong and stopped Jordan at the horn.

    With back-to-back losses, Jordan is now in danger of losing his spot on the UFC roster.

     

    Official UFC Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Cain Velasquez

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    It looks odd to have Daniel Cormier ranked below multiple heavyweights he's defeated. 

    Still, the rankings panel is headed in the right direction by dropping "DC" two spots. Now competing in the light heavyweight division, he should only be ranked at 205 pounds unless he announces a return to the heavyweight class.

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Heavyweight Fights

    • Matt Mitrione defeated Shawn Jordan by (T)KO in the first round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Heavyweight Fights

    • None

Light Heavyweight

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    Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa won't be the only light heavyweights competing on Saturday.

    UFC Fight Night 38 will also feature a 205-pound bout between Cyrille Diabate and Ilir Latifi.

    Diabate is coming off a loss to Manuwa and will look to rebound against Latifi, who was defeated by Gegard Mousasi in his first Octagon showing. The Swede took that bout with Mousasi on short notice, but he'll likely need a win or strong showing this weekend to maintain a spot on the UFC roster.

     

    Official UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings

    Champion: Jon Jones

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    Inactive for 13 months, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira should start falling in the light heavyweight rankings.

    The Brazilian is coming off a win over Rashad Evans, but he's been out too long to get an accurate idea of where he currently stands among 205-pound contenders. Daniel Cormier may not have met any elite light heavyweights, but he's remained active and was a top contender in the heavyweight division, so there shouldn't be much disagreement with him surpassing Nogueira.

     

    Bad Call

    There were no bad calls in this edition of the light heavyweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Light Heavyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Light Heavyweight Fights

    • No. 1 Alexander Gustafsson vs. No. 11 Jimi Manuwa
    • Cyrille Diabate vs. Ilir Latifi

Middleweight

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    After a break in action at the TUF: China Finale, the middleweight division will return to competition at UFC Fight Night 38.

    Two 185-pound bouts will be contested on Saturday, but neither is likely to have an impact on the Top 15 rankings, as TUF veterans Luke Barnatt and Bradley Scott will welcome respective opponents Mats Nilsson and Claudio Henrique da Silva to the Octagon.

    With a title fight between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida looming, the middleweight rankings won't stay quiet for long, though.

     

    Official UFC Middleweight Rankings

    Champion: Chris Weidman

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    No changes were made to the middleweight rankings.

     

    Bad Call

    No changes were made to the middleweight rankings.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Middleweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Middleweight Fights

    • Luke Barnatt vs. Mats Nilsson
    • Bradley Scott vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva

Welterweight

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    Xaume Olleros/Getty Images

    In addition to Dong Hyun Kim's clash with John Hathaway, the TUF: China Finale featured two welterweight bouts between the reality show's contestants.

    First, Wang Anying roughed up Albert Cheng and forced a doctor stoppage to ensure himself more opportunities inside the Octagon. 

    Then, in the co-main event, the TUF: China 170-pound finalists Zhang Lipeng and Wang Sai battled to a close decision. Controversially, Lipeng was named the winner and could now become the face of Chinese MMA moving forward.

     

    Official UFC Welterweight Rankings

    Champion: N/A

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    It took Demian Maia losing again, but Jake Shields has finally surpassed the opponent he defeated in his most recent outing.

    Shields beat Maia via decision in October. Nonetheless, he's remained below the Brazilian in the rankings for five months.

    That has finally been corrected after Maia's UFC 170 loss to Rory MacDonald. 

     

    Bad Call

    Kim's win over Hathaway was impressive, but moving the Korean above Tyron Woodley in the rankings seems a bit shortsighted. 

    While Kim has now won four in a row, none of those victories came against Top 15 welterweights. Woodley, meanwhile, recently stopped the No. 15 170-pounder, Josh Koscheck, with a devastating knockout of his own.

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Welterweight Fights

    • No. 10 Dong Hyun Kim defeated John Hathaway by (T)KO in the third round.
    • Zhang Lipeng defeated Wang Sai by split decision.
    • Wang Anying defeated Albert Cheng by (T)KO in the first round.

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Welterweight Fights

    • Gunnar Nelson vs. Omari Akhmedov
    • Igor Araujo vs. Danny Mitchell

Lightweight

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Following back-to-back losses to Myles Jury and Reza Madadi, Michael Johnson has stormed into lightweight title contention.

    The TUF veteran has beaten Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau in his past two appearances. At UFC Fight Night 38, he'll look to make it three in a row against Melvin Guillard.

    Guillard is also on the rebound. After a win over Mac Danzig, "The Young Assassin" looked to be on his way to victory against Ross Pearson before hitting the Englishman with an illegal knee, which resulted in no-contest for the matchup.

     

    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 Khabilov. 

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

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Lightweight Fights

    • Yui Chul Nam defeated Kazuki Tokudome by split decision.

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Lightweight Fights

    • No. 14 Michael Johnson vs. Melvin Guillard

Featherweight

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    Victor Fraile/Getty Images

    At the TUF: China Finale, Hatsu Hioki likely saved his UFC job.

    The Japanese featherweight entered this past weekend with three straight losses. Although it didn't elevate him into the Top 15, a win over Ivan Menjivar guaranteed Hioki a few more appearances inside the Octagon.

    Menjivar, on the other hand, is now the fighter with three consecutive defeats. It remains to be seen whether the UFC will retain him.

     

    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. Dennis Bermudez (+1)
    13. Tatsuya Kawajiri (+1) 
    14. Conor McGregor (-2)
    15. Erik Koch 

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    While Conor McGregor has outstanding potential, he's only picked up two wins inside the Octagon and fought regional competition prior to joining the world's top MMA promotion.

    Dennis Bermudez and Tatsuya Kawajiri have much longer resumes than McGregor. For now, they both deserve their spots above the Irishman.

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Featherweight Fights

    • Hatsu Hioki defeated Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision.
    • Mark Eddiva defeated Jumabieke Tuerxun by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Featherweight Fights

    • None

Bantamweight

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    At the TUF: China Finale, Vaughan Lee picked up one of the biggest victories of his MMA career.

    The Englishman dominated Nam Phan from start to finish to pick up a unanimous-decision win. In beating Phan, Lee avoided a second straight loss and can now attempt to gain some momentum in the bantamweight division.

    Conversely, Phan has now lost three in a row. Although he's had some highly entertaining fights inside the Octagon, it might be time for the UFC to part ways with the TUF veteran.

     

    Official UFC Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Renan Barao

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

     

    Rankings Analysis

    Good Call

    While he's coming off a loss to Iuri Alcantara, Wilson Reis deserves his Top 15 position.

    A fighter he defeated in September, Ivan Menjivar, moved to featherweight over this past weekend and was beaten by Hatsu Hioki. No longer a bantamweight and having recently lost to Reis, Menjivar was rightly bumped from the rankings.

     

    Bad Call

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

     

    Results and Upcoming Fights

    TUF: China Finale Bantamweight Fights

    • Vaughan Lee defeated Nam Phan by unanimous decision.

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Bantamweight Fights

    • David Grant vs. Roland Delorme

Flyweight

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Brad Pickett is set to make his UFC flyweight debut on Saturday.

    Still ranked in the Top 10 at 135 pounds, he could make a serious run at the 125-pound championship as long as he makes a healthy cut to his new division. The Englishman is the only fighter other than Dominick Cruz to defeat flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

    Originally expected to fight Ian McCall this weekend, Pickett will now welcome Neil Seery to the Octagon.

     

    Official UFC Flyweight Rankings

    Champion: Demetrious Johnson

    1. John Dodson 
    2. Joseph Benavidez 
    3. Ian McCall
    4. John Moraga
    5. Ali Bagautinov  
    6. Jussier Formiga (+1)
    7. John Lineker (-1) 
    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

    While Jussier Formiga only has one UFC win, he had a stronger resume than John Lineker prior to the organization's introduction of a 125-pound class.

    Formiga has also made weight regularly since joining the UFC roster. Lineker, meanwhile, has missed weight for half of his UFC bouts and nearly came in overweight again for his most recent fight against Ali Bagautinov.

    At some point, competing as a bantamweight in the flyweight division has to start hurting Lineker in the rankings.

     

    Bad Call

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

    TUF: China Finale Flyweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Flyweight Fights

    • Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery
    • No. 11 Louis Gaudinot vs. Phil Harris

Women's Bantamweight

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    The women's bantamweight division is taking a short break in action.

    Following Ronda Rousey's win over Sara McMann at UFC 170, no female bouts were contested at the TUF: China Finale, and none will be on display at UFC Fight Night 38. The next women's bantamweight bout will feature Raquel Pennington and Jessica Andrade at UFC 171.

     

    Official UFC Women's Bantamweight Rankings

    Champion: Ronda Rousey

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

    TUF: China Finale Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

     

    UFC Fight Night 38 Women's Bantamweight Fights

    • None

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