UFC Fight Night 37 Results: Updating the Light Heavyweight Rankings

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2014

Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Alexander Gustafsson fights Mauricio Rua (not pictured) during their light heavyweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Fight Night 37 brought forth two light heavyweight bouts, but only one affected the rankings in the division.

No. 1-ranked Alexander Gustafsson squared off against No. 11-ranked Jimi Manuwa in the main event from London.

Gustafsson dominated and finished Manuwa. After a controlling first round in which Gustafsson looked for a submission, he returned in the second with stand-up attrition. Knees and punches connected on Manuwa's face. The referee called a stop to the action just 1:18 into the second frame.

After the fight, UFC President Dana White made it known that Gustafsson is the top contender in the division. Should Jon Jones successfully defend his belt against No. 2-ranked Glover Teixeira, then we will see a rematch between those two elite 205 pounders later this year.

The contest did not shake up the division that much. Gustafsson is already the No. 1-ranked contender, and thus, he cannot move up in the rankings any higher. What about Manuwa?

The loss to Gustafsson was the first of his career, and in spite of getting TKO'd in the second round, he did show off new elements to his game in the first round.

He defended Gustafsson's submission attempts well. He has not been on his back much throughout his career, but his first-round performance showcased his defensive abilities.

This is how the light heavyweight division ranks following UFC Fight Night 37.

Projected UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings
RankFighter NameLast ResultWin Streak
ChampionJon JonesW - DEC vs. Alexander Gustafsson10
1Alexander GustafssonW - TKO vs. Jimi Manuwa1
2Glover TeixeiraW - TKO vs. Ryan Bader20
3Rashad EvansW - TKO vs. Chael Sonnen2
4Phil DavisW - DEC vs. Lyoto Machida3
5Daniel CormierW - TKO vs. Patrick Cummins (LHW debut)14
6Antonio Rogerio NogueiraW - DEC vs. Rashad Evans2
7Mauricio "Shogun" RuaW - KO vs. James Te Huna1
8Dan HendersonL - KO vs. Vitor Belfort0 (lost three straight)
9Chael SonnenL - TKO vs. Rashad Evans0
10Ryan BaderW - DEC vs. Anthony Perosh1
11Vitor BelfortW - KO vs. Dan Henderson3 (two at middleweight)
12Gegard MousasiL - DEC vs. Lyoto Machida0 (loss to Machida at MW, four straight wins at LHW)
13Jimi ManuwaL - TKO vs. Alexander Gustafsson0
14James Te HunaL - KO v. Shogun Rua0 (lost two straight)
15Rafael CavalcanteW - SUB vs. Igor Pokrajac1

UFC 172 in Baltimore on April 26 will be the key show to watch for the light heavyweight division. Not only is the title up for grabs between Jones and Teixeira, but the co-main event features No. 4-ranked Phil Davis against potential top-15 light heavyweight Anthony Johnson.

For Gustafsson, and No. 5-ranked Daniel Cormier, UFC 172 will be the event to watch. Significant rankings and championship fallout will occur in Baltimore.