UFC Rankings for Each Weight Division Following UFC Fight Night 48 and 49
Following UFC Fight Night 48, it didn't look like the UFC rankings would be shaken up too much.
Middleweight contender Michael Bisping disposed of unranked former Strikeforce champion Cung Le in the main attraction. Similarly, Tyron Woodley steamrolled Dong Hyun Kim, who was ranked lower than him in the welterweight division.
Then, UFC Fight Night 49 came on Saturday evening and caused all kinds of chaos.
Thales Leites knocked out Francis Carmont, who was ranked three positions higher than the Brazilian heading into the weekend. Unranked welterweight Jordan Mein likely bounced Mike Pyle from the ranking with a knockout victory of his own. Finally, and most surprisingly, Rafael dos Anjos stunned former lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the headlining matchup.
Pound for Pound
|4||Chris Weidman (+1)|
|5||Demetrious Johnson (-1)|
|9||Johny Hendricks (+1)|
|10||Ronda Rousey (-1)|
|13||Alexander Gustafsson (+1)|
|14||Daniel Cormier (+1)|
|15||Gilbert Melendez (NR)|
No good calls were made in this edition of the pound-for-pound rankings.
I am not in agreement with any of the three shifts made in the pound-for-pound rankings, but we'll focus on the one caused by Henderson's loss to Dos Anjos on Saturday.
Reasonably, Henderson was bounced from the Top 15 rankings. However, replacing him was fellow lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez, who happens to be only one appearance removed from a decision loss to Henderson.
There were multiple fighters who would have been better candidates to assume the No. 15 position. Taking their respective divisional champions to close decisions recently, Lyoto Machida and Robbie Lawler both would have been stronger options.
|2||Junior dos Santos|
|13||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira|
No good calls were made in this edition of the heavyweight rankings.
No bad calls were made in this edition of the heavyweight rankings.
|4||Anthony Johnson (+1)|
|7||Ryan Bader (+1)|
|8||Dan Henderson (-1)|
|10||Ovince Saint Preux|
|14||Antonio Rogerio Nogueira|
With two straight Top 15 wins since returning to the UFC roster, Anthony Johnson is a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division. His resume is equally as strong as Glover Teixeira's, and it could even be argued the former welterweight has a stronger track record recently.
As excellent as he's looked against everybody not named Jon Jones, Teixeira has only beaten one Top 15 light heavyweight, that being Ryan Bader, inside the Octagon.
Having beaten Phil Davis, who is ranked slightly higher than Bader right now, Johnson is completely deserving of being tied with Teixeira on the 205-pound ladder. With another big win, I expect he'll surpass the Brazilian and possibly even Blackzilian teammate Rashad Evans.
At 44 years old, Dan Henderson isn't the fighter he once was, but he still has a stronger record than Bader by a slight margin.
Henderson has beaten No. 9 Mauricio Rua twice in his past six fights, while he also fought to split-decision losses against Evans and Lyoto Machida. Meanwhile, the most highly ranked opponent Bader has defeated was No. 10 Ovince Saint Preux in his latest outing. Notably, Bader was also knocked out by Machida in August 2012.
Based on their performances against a common opponent in Machida and the fact that Henderson owns a win over a more highly ranked light heavyweight than Bader does, the decision to move The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner above the former Pride FC champion was the wrong call.
|10||Yoel Romero (+1)|
|11||Costas Philippou (-1)|
|12||Thales Leites (+3)|
|15||Francis Carmont (-3)|
No good calls were made in this edition of the middleweight rankings.
Carmont's collapse has really caused some problems at the bottom of the Top 15 rankings. Because he beat Costas Phillippou, who defeated Tim Boetsch, who edged out CB Dollaway, who later ended up beating Carmont, it's tough to say where everybody belongs. However, the rankings panel definitely botched the ordering.
With wins over Dollaway and Boetsch, in addition to having not lost to anybody outside the Top 10, Mark Munoz should probably hold the No. 9 position behind Bisping. Behind Munoz and in the No. 10 slot should be Leites, who defeated Carmont more decisively than Dollaway did.
In the No. 11 through No. 14 positions, Dollaway, Carmont, Costas Philippou and Boetsch could be lined up in about any order depending on one's reasoning. Then, despite his run of success, Yoel Romero should probably round out the Top 15, as he doesn't have a Top 15 win on his record.
|3||Tyron Woodley (+1)|
|4||Carlos Condit (-1)|
|7||Demian Maia (+1)|
|8||Jake Ellenberger (-1)|
|10||Dong Hyun Kim|
|13||Jordan Mein (NR)|
|15||Mike Pyle (-2)|
It shouldn't have taken a win over Dong Hyun Kim, but Tyron Woodley is now where he belongs, which is above Carlos Condit in the welterweight rankings.
While Condit's knee injury rendered Woodley's UFC 171 win over The Natural Born Killer less impressive than it could have been, it was still a matchup that Woodley won. Considering Condit hasn't fought since then, he doesn't deserve to be ranked above Woodley until he proves that result was a fluke inside the Octagon.
They have very comparable resumes, but Jake Ellenberger should own the No. 7 position over Demian Maia.
Both have recent decision losses to Rory MacDonald. Maia stopped Rick Story, but Ellenberger stopped Mike Pyle, who holes a split-decision win over Story.
The head-to-head performance against Jake Shields is the real tiebreaker, though. While Maia was defeated by Shields in a close decision, Ellenberger stopped the former Strikeforce champion in the opening round.
|1||Gilbert Melendez (+1)|
|2||Khabib Nurmagomedov (+1)|
|3||Rafael dos Anjos (+2)|
|4||Benson Henderson (-3)|
|5||Donald Cerrone (-1)|
With his win on Saturday, Dos Anjos surpassed more than Henderson. The Brazilian also moved above Donald Cerrone in the lightweight rankings.
Having defeated Cowboy in August 2013, Dos Anjos should have already been ranked above the WEC veteran. However, the wrong has now been righted with Dos Anjos' stunning victory over Henderson in the UFC Fight Night 49 main attraction.
Only one fight removed from a loss to Henderson, it's surprising to see that Melendez's stock didn't take a hit in the lightweight rankings.
Having only lost to Henderson over the past several years, Melendez is obviously an elite 155-pounder. Nonetheless, I'm not sure his recent performances have been as strong as Khabib Nurmagomedov's or Dos Anjos' have been.
Melendez will have an opportunity to change that when he challenges Anthony Pettis for the lightweight championship soon, though.
|6||Chan Sung Jung|
No good calls were made in this edition of the featherweight rankings.
No bad calls were made in this edition of the featherweight rankings.
|5||Takeya Mizugaki (+1)|
|6||Eddie Wineland (-1)|
|15||Yves Jabouin (NR)|
While Wineland has the ability to compete with some of the very best in the 135-pound class, it's hard to call him a Top Five bantamweight following a loss to Johnny Eduardo.
The most highly ranked bantamweight Wineland has beaten is No. 15 Yves Jabouin. Takeya Mizugaki, meanwhile, has won five in a row, including a victory over No. 11 Francisco Rivera.
With Eduardo currently sitting at No. 9, Wineland is honestly still a bit lucky to be ranked as high as he is even after falling below Mizugaki.
Although Jabouin was a deserving addition to the 135-pound rankings, he's still lower than he should be currently.
In June, Jabouin defeated Mike Easton soundly. Nonetheless, the Haitian still finds himself behind Easton in the Top 15 rankings. This despite the fact that neither man has fought since that meeting at UFC 174 in Vancouver, Canada.
|6||John Lineker (+1)|
|7||Ali Bagautinov (-1)|
|9||Zach Makovsky (+1)|
|10||Tim Elliott (+1)|
|11||Brad Pickett (-1)|
Brad Pickett has the potential to become a serious title threat at 125 pounds, but he hasn't earned a Top 10 position.
The Englishman is still looking for his first UFC win over a Top 15 flyweight and has lost to Scott Jorgensen, who was defeated by Zach Makovsky in December 2013. Tim Elliott has also defeated a Top 15 flyweight in Louis Gaudinot.
Until Pickett picks up a win over a 125-pound contender inside the Octagon, it's hard to put him in the Top 10.
Ali Bagautinov's failed drug test is the only logical reason for him falling below John Lineker, but that failed drug test was not in connection with the bout between the two flyweight contenders.
Lineker lost to Bagautinov by a significant margin at UFC 169. Since then, the Brazilian has only beaten unranked Alptekin Ozkilic, while Bagautinov has only lost to champion Johnson.
If Bagautinov is going to be penalized for failing a drug test, he should be removed from the rankings completely. Keeping him in the rankings while placing him below fighters he defeated makes little to no sense right now.
|12||Germaine de Randamie|
|15||Lauren Murphy (NR)|
An 0-1 UFC record wouldn't be enough to earn a fighter a spot in the Top 15 in any other division, but it is rightly enough to earn Lauren Murphy the No. 15 position in the women's bantamweight class.
On Saturday, Murphy fought to a split-decision loss against the No. 3 contender, Sara McMann. Considering the former No. 15 contender, Jessica Rakoczy, was also 0-1 inside the Octagon, with her only fight being against No. 11 Julianna Pena, Murphy has somehow done enough to enter the Top 15 rankings.
No bad calls were made in this edition of the women's bantamweight rankings.