UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 42
With two losses to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson might need some help to get a shot at reclaiming UFC gold.
Henderson took a big step back toward the top on Saturday, though. The former titleholder weathered the storm that was Rustam Khabilov's wrestling and took home a submission victory with a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
Although he might not have a belt around his waist now, Henderson remains one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Did his win over Khabilov move him any closer to a Top 10 position in the pound-for-pound rankings?
Beating Khabilov was not enough to improve Henderson's position in the pound-for-pound rankings. However, it did strengthen his position over Alexander Gustafsson and Gilbert Melendez in the Top 15.
In order to make a real move in these rankings, it is apparent that Henderson will need to reclaim the 155-pound championship. With Pettis expected to defend his title against Melendez in December, Henderson will have to wait until at least 2015 for his opportunity.
At UFC 174, Demetrious Johnson will look to elevate himself in the pound-for-pound rankings by defeating Ali Bagautinov. Mighty Mouse will be the only Top 15 pound-for-pound fighter competing on Saturday.
While no heavyweights competed at UFC Fight Night 42, the division is about to get more interesting.
Returning from a few years of promotion-hopping, Andrei Arlovski will step into the Octagon this weekend. The former heavyweight champion has not competed under the UFC banner since a March 2008 win over Jake O'Brien.
One change was made to the heavyweight rankings this time around, with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira taking the No. 13 position from Brendan Schaub. Because Nogueira has only lost to Top 10 fighters since knocking out Schaub in August 2011, it was a good call.
That said, Schaub will have a chance to make a rebuttal with a win over Arlovski on Saturday.
|2||Junior dos Santos|
|13||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+1)|
|14||Brendan Schaub (-1)|
In stopping Roger Narvaez in the second round, Patrick Cummins recorded the only light heavyweight win at UFC Fight Night 42. Considering the lack of depth in the 205-pound class, Cummins could sneak into the Top 15 eventually, but he'll need a few more wins.
Unrelated to Saturday's fight card, Ovince St. Preux surpassed Vitor Belfort in the light heavyweight rankings. Because Belfort is looking to earn a shot at the 185-pound championship, it's hard to fault the move too much, as long as the Brazilian is completely removed from the 205-pound rankings soon.
At UFC 174, Ryan Bader will attempt to maintain his Top 10 position against fellow competitor Rafael Cavalcante. Feijao recently picked up a win over Igor Pokrajac and is looking to become a serious title contender.
|13||Ovince St. Preux (+1)|
|14||Vitor Belfort (-1)|
|15||James Te Huna|
With no middleweights competing at UFC Fight Night 42, it was supposed to be a quiet week for the 185-pound rankings.
Instead, Mark Munoz, who was formerly No. 9, was removed from the rankings. With his recent loss to Gegard Mousasi, Munoz fulfilled his UFC contract and is now no longer signed on with the promotion. At 36 years old, and with losses in three of his past four appearances, retirement isn't out of the question.
The middleweight class really should quiet down now, though. No ranked middleweights are expected to compete until UFC 175, where Chris Weidman will defend his championship against Lyoto Machida.
|9||Costas Philippou (+1)|
|10||CB Dollaway (+2)|
|12||Francis Carmont (+1)|
|13||Tim Boetsch (+1)|
|14||Brad Tavares (+1)|
|15||Thales Leites (NR)|
The welterweight division was represented by Lance Benoist and Bobby Voelker at UFC Fight Night 42, where the former picked up a ho-hum decision win over the latter.
With Benoist and Voelker seemingly battling for their UFC jobs, neither had a chance to reach the Top 15 with a win. So, as expected, no changes were made to the welterweight rankings this time around.
UFC 174 promises more meaningful welterweight action, with Top Five 170-pounders Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley scheduled to battle in a bout that could determine Johny Hendricks' next challenger.
|9||Dong Hyun Kim|
Headlined by 155-pounders Henderson and Khabilov, UFC Fight Night 42 produced multiple changes to the Top 10 lightweight rankings.
Most notably, Henderson surpassed Melendez to take the No. 1 contender position. Although Melendez is next in line for a shot at the belt, Henderson does have the better resume, which includes a decision victory over the former Strikeforce champion.
Also, Rafael dos Anjos broke his tie with Donald Cerrone by beating Jason High. With a dominant win over Cerrone in August 2013, it's hard to understand why the Brazilian was tied with Cowboy to begin with.
In another switch that shouldn't have had to be made, Myles Jury grabbed the No. 8 position from Michael Johnson. Fury has not lost since beating Johnson in December 2012.
|1||Benson Henderson (+1)|
|2||Gilbert Melendez (-1)|
|5||Rafael dos Anjos|
|6||Donald Cerrone (-1)|
|8||Myles Jury (+1)|
|9||Michael Johnson (-1)|
The featherweight rankings remained static in this edition, as no 145-pounders competed over the weekend. With no featherweights set to compete at UFC 174, it seems likely the rankings will remain as they are for at least a couple of more weeks.
On June 28, the weight class could see some major overhaul, though.
In the morning, on a New Zealand main card, Hatsu Hioki will meet Charles Oliveira. Neither fighter is currently ranked, but both are sitting just outside the Top 15.
Later, during an event in San Antonio, Top 10 featherweights Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens will look to make their cases for a shot at 145-pound champion Jose Aldo. Additionally, Ricardo Lamas will attempt to rebound against Hacran Dias.
|5||Chan Sung Jung|
With his win over Erik Perez on Saturday, Bryan Caraway made a surprising entrance into the bantamweight Top 10. Although he didn't make the finals on The Ultimate Fighter 14, Caraway is deserving of his position, with a strong 4-1 UFC record.
Meanwhile, Perez and Dominick Cruz fell two spots in the bantamweight rankings. Cruz is going on three years without competing, while Perez is still looking for a win over a Top 15 bantamweight.
At UFC 174, Mike Easton may be fighting for his UFC career. He's a Top 10 bantamweight, but The Hulk has already lost three in a row and could need a win over Yves Jabouin.
|10||Bryan Caraway (+4)|
|12||Dominick Cruz (-2)|
|14||Erik Perez (-2)|
On Saturday, John Dodson made a bid to become the next flyweight title challenger.
The Magician stopped former title challenger John Moraga landing a nose-breaking knee in the second round. With back-to-back knockout wins since a narrow loss to champion Demetrious Johnson, Dodson could be ready to a rematch with the 125-pound king.
In beating Moraga, Dodson broke his tie with Joseph Benavidez, which makes sense considering the Team Alpha Male fighter was knocked out by Mighty Mouse in his latest quarrel with the champion.
At UFC 174, Johnson will defend his belt against Ali Bagautinov. The winner could be next for Dodson.
|2||Joseph Benavidez (-1)|
|9||Tim Elliott (+1)|
No females competed UFC Fight Night 42, but the division will return to action on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly, no changes were made to the women's bantamweight rankings.
At UFC 174, Valerie Letourneau and Milana Dudieva will make their UFC debuts. It will be tough for either to make an immediate entrance into the Top 15, but the division is still developing, and neither would be far from title contention with a win.
|12||Germaine de Randamie|