Tag: ufc rankings

PREVIEW | UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor – Full card and predictions

THE UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2021 sees its biggest draw return to the octagon atop a stacked main card to be hosted at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Fighters littered up and down the card will be keen to latch onto the attention garnered though the highly-anticipated main event, with plenty of statements to be made on the famed Fight Island.

>> SCROLL for the full card and predictions

Just over a year removed from his spectacular showing at UFC 246, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor steps into the octagon for a second time against Dustin Poirier, but much has changed since their first meeting in 2014.

Both have gone on to claim UFC gold in the lightweight division but will be out to impress current title holder, Khabib Nurmagomedov and potentially earn rematches against the undefeated Dagestani champion.

They won’t be the only 155-pounders eager to claim their contendership status, with the co-main event pitting vicious New Zealand striker Dan Hooker against UFC newcomer Michael Chandler.

Hooker’s last bout saw him edged by Poirier in a five-round war, while Chandler has held brass in Bellator’s lightweight division and now makes the long-awaited move to MMA’s leading promotion.

Another title eliminator of sorts takes place as women’s flyweight contenders Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood lock horns, with both eager to climb back into the top five and claim challenger status.

Another women’s bout slots into the main card as Brazilian prospects Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Ribas do battle, both on hot streaks and holding the potential to rise steeply with an impressive outing.

A potential banger between two men with some of the best monikers going around rounds out the main card action, as Matt ‘The Steamrolla’ Frevola meets Ottman ‘Bulldozer’ Azaitar. The undefeated Azaitar has shown plenty during his short time in the UFC, but comes up against a tough Long Island favourite in this bout.

FULL CARD AND PREDICTIONS:

FOTN: Hooker vs. Chandler
POTN: McGregor, Ribas, Azaitar
Prelim banger: Arman Tsarukyan vs. Nasrat Haqparast

MAIN CARD

Lightweight | Dustin Poirier [2] vs. Conor McGregor [4]
Prediction: McGregor by T/KO

Lightweight | Dan Hooker [6] vs. Michael Chandler
Prediction: Chandler by decision

W. Flyweight | Jessica Eye [6] vs. Joanne Calderwood [7]
Prediction: Eye by decision

Lightweight | Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
Prediction: Azaitar by T/KO

W. Strawweight | Marina Rodriguez [8] vs. Amanda Ribas [10]
Prediction: Ribas by submission

PRELIMINARY CARD

Lightweight | Arman Tsarukyan vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Prediction: Tsarukyan by decision

Middleweight | Brad Tavares [14] vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
Prediction: Tavares by T/KO

W. Bantamweight | Julianna Peña [7] vs. Sara McMann [9]
Prediction: McMann by decision

Light Heavyweight | Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio
Prediction: Rountree Jr. by T/KO

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD

Middleweight | Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
Prediction: Muradov by T/KO

Catchweight (150lbs) | Nik Lentz vs. Movsar Evloev
Prediction: Evloev by decision

Flyweight | Amir Albazi [15] vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Prediction: Albazi by submission

Image Credit: UFC – (Retrieved via) Main Event

State of Play: 10 UFC fights to book before the end of 2020

WITH over half the year already behind us and the leading mixed martial arts promotion back into the swing of things, we put on our matchmaking hat to bring you 10 fights the UFC should make before the end of 2020.

Having done the same before Conor McGregor famously head-kicked (or shouldered) the year off in style, we know there are plenty of variables to play out yet, but think these are the matchups which will take fans’ minds most off the shambles we are currently experiencing amid a global pandemic.

Note: The proposed fights are ordered by weight class, working down from heavyweight.

>> UFC Rankings
>> UFC Pound-for-pound

Heavyweight | Stipe Miocic [C]/Daniel Cormier [1] vs. Francis Ngannou [2]

No, we’re not already looking past the trilogy fight between Miocic and Cormier, pegged as the UFC 252 headliner in August, but this is rather a point to say that Ngannou deserves a second title shot. The scarily powerful Cameroonian has been on a tear since late-2018, embarking on a four-fight run of first round KO/TKO finishes. Of his victims, former champion Junior dos Santos lasted longest – 71 seconds.

The guy is nuts, but if his latest victory (a 20-second KO over Jairzinho Rozenstruik) is anything to go by, the questions surrounding his technique, maturity, and avenues to victory remain. Miocic managed to thwart Ngannou last time out to retain his heavyweight belt, and Cormier didn’t seem overly impressed by his wild combinations while on comms, but we’re sure the number two ranked fighter has a point to prove. He only needs one shot, and hopefully doesn’t have to wait too long to get the chance to land it.

Middleweight | Israel Adesanya [C] vs. Paulo Costa [2]

Has it been made yet or not? Many media outlets have gone with the story, but UFC president Dana White insists the dotted lines remained unsigned. Even before dispatching of Yoel Romero in one of the more forgettable title fights of all time, Adesanya’s most worthy next opponent has long been Costa. Injury has kept the Brazilian on the sidelines for a while, and he has made no secret of the fact he is chomping at the bit to be given a shot at UFC gold.

It is the fight that makes the most sense, despite the UFC bizarrely querying on social media whether the winner of Robert Whittaker and Darren Till‘s Fight Island bout should be next in line for a crack at ‘Stylebender’. In an interesting quirk, which only adds to the intrigue of the matchup, it would be only the second UFC title fight between two undefeated men since Rashad Evans took on Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in 2009. Make it happen.

Middleweight | Robert Whittaker [2]/Darren Till [5] vs. Jack Hermansson [6]

This one has only piqued the interest of late, and promises to keep things moving at middleweight. While Whittaker and Till will have their focus firmly fixed on coming out on top in their bout at the weekend, Hermansson has already made it known that he has eyes on the winner.

It makes sense too, with ‘The Joker’ fresh off a first round submission victory over former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum, while the remaining pair in question are arguably the most deserving title contenders after Costa (see above). Hermansson’s grappling prowess promises to test the two polished strikers, with both also boasting terrific takedown defence. A good test all-round, but with parts still moving.

Welterweight | Colby Covington [2] vs. Jorge Masvidal [4]

MMA fans have an almost perverse obsession with the old ‘friends-turned-enemies’ storyline, so this fight promises to give all you sickos a fix. After ‘Gamebred’ stepped in on late notice to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight belt, his stocks are as high as ever, even in defeat. Covington has a lot less admires, including former teammate and best buddy, Masvidal, but is right up there with the world’s best 170-pound contenders.

Both now have a common defeat on their records, and it narrative aside, need to bounce back from those losses. With the likes of Gilbert Burns and Leon Edwards also looming as fresh and worthy adversaries for Usman, these two will need to again prove that they belong in the title conversation. Of course, they could be playing us all with an act, but we’d still like to see them go toe-to-toe.

Lightweight | Khabib Nurmagomedov [C] vs. Justin Gaethje [IC]

Arguably the fight which seems most certain on this list is the one to unify the lightweight championship. The only factor which could possibly derail the plan of Gaethje earning his shot at undisputed glory, and rightly so, is the unexpected passing of Khabib’s legendary father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. While the champ deserves all the time in the world to mourn and get back on track, if he decides to do so, this bout has been pitched for UFC 253 in September. Gaethje has also been offered Conor McGregor in the meantime, but… no.

Lightweight | Dustin Poirier [2] vs. Tony Ferguson [3]

We’re all for keeping divisions moving, and what better way to produce the next lightweight contender than to have these two go at it. The two never produce boring fights, period, and have both been so close to the undisputed crown having held the interim strap at varying points in time. Remarkably, the perennial contenders have yet to meet in the octagon.

Poirier has made it clear that he wants either a big name or a title shot having edged Dan Hooker via decision last month, and Ferguson deserves the same treatment having only just had his 12-fight win streak broken by Gaethje in May. Of course, the pair could wait for the Khabib-Gaethje matchup to pan out, but the best way to stake your claim is always to add a big name to your resume. Fans will always yearn for Ferguson to fight Khabib, too, so this may provide an avenue to that bout at long last.

Featherweight | Brian Ortega [3] vs. Chan Sung Jung [4]

While these two seemed cordial in the build-up to their proposed bout in December of last year, it would be no surprise to hear them both quote Uncle Dana in saying the other “was never (their) friend”. Things turned sour between the pair after Ortega pulled out of that main event dig with a knee injury, and was only made worse after ‘T-City’ slapped up Zombie’s translator.

They have been going back-and-forth for a while now and, pandemic permitting, should settle the beef this year in what would be an incredible fight. The featherweight title was only recently put on the line, and Aussie champion Alexander Volkanovski needs a new number one contender. Both may thing they are worthy, but arguably remain a win off that honour alongside Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Bantamweight | Petr Yan [C] vs. Aljamain Sterling [2]

Alright, we understand if Yan wants to spend some time with his belt before even thinking of his first defence, but it seems as if the decision has already been made for him. The Russian himself even acknowledged Sterling as the clear, undeniable contender, and it would only makes sense to finally give ‘Funkmaster’ a well-earned shot at the belt. In reality, this should have been the matchup made at UFC 252 for the vacant title, but alas we may get to see it soon enough. Let’s have it, that 135-pound division is stacked.

Bantamweight | Cody Garbrandt [3] vs. Sean O’Malley [14]

We just told you the bantamweight division is stacked, and a matchup between these two would only confirm that. This potential bout already has some wheels, with the two indirectly going back-and-forth over social media. The former champion has been there and done that, but only now looks like returning to his former glory after a redemptive win over Raphael Assuncao last month. The undefeated ‘Suga’ Sean is fresh of an equally devastating KO victory on that same June night, and looks to be the next big thing among the 135-pound shark tank. The fans love it, and it seems both fighters will too.

W. Strawweight | Weili Zhang [C] vs Rose Namajunas [1]

Another fight which looks extremely likely to eventuate is that between these two strawweight queens. It’s the only female matchup on our list, but man is it a corker. Zhang is still riding the wave of her maiden title defence in what was a fight of the year contender against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and has already acknowledged the skillset of ‘Thug’ Rose.

The respect is clearly mutual, with a rejuvenated Namajunas enjoying the sound of this billed fight for the 115-pound strap, right after her entertaining decision win over Jessica Andrade. While Rose is arguably the most well-rounded fighter in the division, Zhang is a scary-good athlete with enormous power – a factor which wore on Namajunas in her most recent bout. It makes for an interesting stylistic matchup, and one we’re so keen to see.

UFC Rankings update: May-June 2020

THE UFC has resumed full-time operations and with it comes the ever-changing rankings landscape. Four events have gone down since the promotion’s emphatic return at UFC 249 on May 9, with the only belt to change hands that of the interim lightweight strap belonging to Justin Gaethje. Among the big winners have been Gilbert Burns, Glover Teixeira, and Alistair Overeem, while their opponents all suffered drops down the rankings. The full, updated UFC rankings can be found here, and pound-for-pound list, here with changes soon to come after the weekend’s event.

HEAVYWEIGHT (206-265lbs)

Augusto Sakai ⬆️ [10]
Blagoy Ivanov ⬇️ [15]

Sakai’s co-main event decision victory over Ivanov saw him jump three places into 10th spot, while the Bulgarian slid the same amount to number 15 as the last of the ranked heavyweights. A random shuffle saw former champion Junior dos Santos move down to fifth, leaving Derrick Lewis clear in the number four spot. Those ranked 11-14 also moved around the two active men, with the MMA community now eagerly awaiting a trilogy fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier at the top.


WELTERWEIGHT (170lbs)

Gilbert Burns ⬆️ [1]
Tyron Woodley ⬇️ [4]

The big story to come out of the welterweight division was Burns’ rise to number one contendership, leapfrogging his opponent in former champion, Woodley, and the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and Leon Edwards. The Brazilian earned a title shot against Kamaru Usman with his dominant decision victory, and it remains to be seen whether Conor McGregor, who swapped places with Anthony Pettis down to number 15, will be removed upon his shock retirement.


LIGHTWEIGHT (155lbs)

Justin Gaethje ⬆️ [IC]
Beneil Dariush ⬆️ [14]
Drew Dober ⬆️ [15]

The big risers at 155 pounds were Darisuh and Dober, who each earned berths in the rankings of late. Most recently, Dober’s eye-catching TKO of former ranked lightweight Alex Hernandez earned him a spot, while stretching his win streak out to three. Random shuffles saw the aforementioned pair land at 14 and 15 respectively, while Donald Cerrone swapped places with Islam Makhachev to move to 12th, and the McGregor situation makes for some confusion at the top. Of course, Gaethje earned a title unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov after defeating perennial contender, Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.


FEATHERWEIGHT (145lbs)

Calvin Kattar ⬆️ [6]
Dan Ige ⬆️ [11]
Arnold Allen ⬇️ [12]

A couple of rising prospects made the most significant leaps at featherweight, with Kattar moving to number six after defeating Jeremy Stephens at a 150-pound catchweight, while Ige continued his impressive run by defeating former lightweight contender, Edson Barboza via split decision. Allen, whose last fight was in January, was level with Ige in 11th spot, but moved one down to 12th in a random restructuring. A rematch between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway has also been marked for UFC 251.


BANTAMWEIGHT (135lbs)

There will soon be some division-defining movement at 135-pounds, with three massive bantamweight fights going down on the UFC 250 main card. Number two ranked Aljamain Sterling made yet another claim for his long-awaited title shot by submitting Cory Sandhagen in quick time, but it seems Jose Aldo [6] and Petr Yan [3] will scrap for the vacant belt. Former champ Cody Garbrandt [9] got back to winning ways with a massive knockout of veteran contender Raphael Assuncao [5], while Sean O’Malley pushed his case for a ranking with his own statement KO on the same night.


FLYWEIGHT (125lbs)

Brandon Royval ⬆️ [11]
Tim Elliott ⬇️ [12]
Mark De La Rosa ⬇️ [NR]

Royval is the new prospect on the block, debuting at number 11 in the flyweight rankings after defeating former title challenger, Elliott in a fight of the night scrap on the Woodley vs. Burns undercard. Numbers 12-15, including Elliott were shuffled down, with De La Rosa pushed out of his number 15 spot and thus, the rankings altogether. Alex Perez [9] will also be a big mover having defeated Jussier Formiga [4] on the latest card, with Joseph Benevidez and Deiveson Figueiredo set to rematch for the vacant title.

MENS POUND-FOR-POUND

Francis Ngannou ⬆️ [14]
Dominick Reyes ⬆️ [15]
Tyron Woodley ⬇️ [NR]
Henry Cejudo ⬇️ [NR]

WOMEN’S POUND-FOR-POUND

Nina Ansaroff ⬇️ [15]


WOMEN’S DIVISIONS

There has been no movement in any of the women’s divisions, but that may be soon about to change as flyweights Jessica Eye [1] and Cynthia Calvillo [10 SW] headline the promotion’s upcoming Fight Night. Amanda Nunes of course successfully defender her featherweight belt against Felicia Spencer in the latest PPV event, while number two flyweight Katlyn Chookagian dismantled Antonina Shevchenko [12] in their bout, and Angela Hill was denied a berth in the rankings after losing a tight decision to Claudia Gadelha. Carla Esparza and Sijara Eubanks were other ranked winners, and Mackenzie Dern may find herself among the strawweight numbers after submitting Hannah Cifers in quick time.

UFC Rankings update: January 2020

WITH two memorable pay-per-view cards marking the end of 2019 and start of the new year respectively, there have been plenty of movers and sliders in the Official UFC Rankings. A raft of up-and-comers have staked their claims for top-10 status, while others have found homes in new divisions, with the promotion also introducing a new pound-for-pound system which splits the men’s and women’s rankings. The full, updated list of UFC rankings can be found here, and the new pound-for-pound format, here.

HEAVYWEIGHT

Derrick Lewis -1 [6]

There was plenty of potential for movement among the heavyweights as two top-fivers went to war in the UFC Raleigh main event, but both Curtis Blaydes [3] and Junior dos Santos [4] maintain their spots after the American’s TKO victory. Derrick Lewis, who is set to face the unranked Illir Latifi at UFC 247, has now been officially moved down to number six after previously being ranked equal-fifth alongside Jairzinho Rozenstruik. With the title picture remaining murky, this could be a division to watch in 2020 despite early stalling.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

Volkan Oezdemir +1 [7]
Alexander Gustafsson -1 [8]

A rather uneventful month for the light heavyweights, but that could soon all change as Jon Jones takes on Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 for the world title. Latifi could move out of the rankings upon his heavyweight debut on the same card, while Corey Anderson [5] fights Jan Blachowicz [6] in a possible title eliminator, and former title challenger Anthony Smith [3] makes his return against veteran Glover Teixeira [9]. The only change comes as Volkan Oezdemir swaps places with the questionably retired Alexander Gustafsson to slot into rank number seven.

MIDDLEWEIGHT

Omari Akhmedov +1 [12]
Ian Heinisch -1 [13]

Another division with seemingly not much happening over the last month, but plenty to occur over the next few. The only ranking change sees Omari Akhmedov [12] swap places with Ian Heinisch [13] after defeating the American in their December bout, but all eyes will be on shuffling at the top end. Champion Israel Adesanya gets his wish in a match-up with former challenger Yoel Romero at UFC 248, while Derek Brunson [8] will look to shake the gatekeeper tag when he meets undefeated prospect Edmen Shahbazyan [9] on the same card. Former champion Robert Whittaker has left Jared Cannonier [4] without an opponent on the night, with potential fill-in, Darren Till [5] remaining on the sidelines alongside worthy number one contender, Paulo Costa. Plenty to play out here, it should be a big year at 185lbs.

WELTERWEIGHT

Michael Chiesa NR [7]
Rafael dos Anjos -3 [8]
Anthony Pettis -2 [13]
Conor McGregor NR [15]
Neil Magny NR

Division-shifters defined much of the movement at 170lbs, with Conor McGregor‘s statement-making return helping him debut at number 14 in the welterweight rankings, since moving down to 15 with Neil Magny omitted. Another to do so was Michael Chiesa, who beat-out perennial contender and fellow former lightweight Rafael dos Anjos via decision to slot in at number seven. ‘RDA’ slid down three spots to be eighth-ranked, while Anthony Pettis – another former 155lbs champion – moved down two spots following his loss at UFC 246. The top of the tree is set to shake as Jorge Masvidal [3] jockeys for a fight against champion Kamaru Usman, while Tyron Woodley [1] and Leon Edwards [4] are set to meet in London for a bout which could decide the next number one contender.

LIGHTWEIGHT

Justin Gaethje -1 [4]
Diego Ferreira NR [11]
Anthony Pettis NR

It took a sixth-consecutive win, but Diego Ferreira finally cracked the lightweight rankings with his well-constructed submission victory over former champion, Anthony Pettis. The impressive performance puts him in at number 11, while also seeing Pettis removed from the rankings altogether. A touch further up the order, and Conor McGregor has taken sole ownership of the number three spot after formerly sharing it with Justin Gaethje, with the two likely to face each other next for the number one contender spot. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is booked to finally face Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, while Paul Felder [6] and Dan Hooker [7] make up another lightweight main event in their Auckland fight night headliner, and Kevin Lee [8] takes on the dangerous Charles Oliveira [13].

FEATHERWEIGHT

Calvin Kattar +1 [10]
Jose Aldo -2 [11]
Sodiq Yusuff NR [14]
Arnold Allen NR [15]
Mirsad Bektic NR

A couple of exciting contenders have fought their way into the featherweight rankings, with ‘Super’ Sodiq Yusuff and Arnold Allen respectively taking up the last two spots after impressive decision wins this month. While Contender Series alum Yusuff debuts at number 14, Allen’s return to the 15th spot sees Mirsad Bektic lose his ranked status. Elsewhere, some shuffling sees Calvin Kattar move up into tenth spot, while former champion Jose Aldo slides to number 11 as he pushes for a bantamweight title shot despite losing via decision in his last bout. There may not be much movement at the top with injuries impacting almost all of the top five, including the champion, but there are obvious match-ups to make in time.

BANTAMWEIGHT

Jose Aldo +1 [7]
Jimmie Rivera -1 [8]
Song Yadong +1 [12]
John Dodson -1 [13]

It has been a rather subdued month or two among the ranked bantamweights, with only a couple of minor shuffles helping to better set the scene for likely future bouts. Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo looks poised to be next in line for a bantamweight title shot with Henry Cejudo also pushing for the bout to go ahead. Thus, Aldo moves up to number seven and pushes Jimmie Rivera down to eighth, making the gap a touch more respectable. Chinese youngster Song Yadong has also moved up a spot to number 12, ahead of John Dodson [13] in a random move, with much of the division appearing a touch stagnant. Hopefully some movement from the champion gets things going.

FLYWEIGHT

Askar Askarov +6 [12]
Alex Perez +3 [9]
Tim Elliott -3 [11]
Ryan Benoit NR

A pair of rising contenders made statements over the last month to push their case in the flyweight rankings, with Askar Askarov and Alex Perez both breaking into the division’s top 10. Askarov defeated former title challenger and TUF alum Tim Elliott [11] to soar up to number six, while Perez shot up to number nine after defeating the now-twelfth-ranked Jordan Espinosa. Somewhat bizarrely, only 14 men make up the flyweight rankings as Ryan Benoit has been cut from his post at number 15, and the upcoming removal of Henry Cejudo as champion could further shorten the roster. They are great to watch, so hopefully the crowning of a new champion and those rising contenders can revitalise the division.

W. BANTAMWEIGHT

Holly Holm +1 [2]
Sara McMann +1 [9]

Another division with a lack of clarity at the top is that of the women’s bantamweights, with a fresh and truly deserving number one contender remaining out of sight. Holly Holm, a former champion and challenger, put up her hand with a dominant decision victory at UFC 246 to swap once again into second spot in front of Aspen Ladd, while Irene Aldana‘s rise into the top five makes her a possible future challenger. Further down the list, Sara McMann jumped into ninth spot upon a victorious return to action, pushing Marion Reneau down to tenth, with not a whole lot of action set to come.

W. FLYWEIGHT

Antonina Shevchenko +1 [11]
Poliana Botelho NR [15]
Paige VanZant NR

The women’s flyweight division is set to heat up in 2020, with contenders shifting up the order in anticipation of February’s title bout. Roxanne Modafferi halted the run of one of those, Maycee Barber [9], to rightfully take up rank number five, while movement down the order is also worth note. Antonina Shevchenko [11] swaps with Montana de la Rosa [12], while Paige VanZant has been removed from the rankings following her injury and bout cancellation. Poliana Botelho takes up her spot at number 15, and former strawweight Alexa Grasso could be another to slot into the numbers after declaring she would be moving up to 125lbs.

W. STRAWWEIGHT

The top end of the women’s strawweight division looks ridiculously good, and is set for a shake-up in the upcoming months with four of the top five fighters set to face off. There has been no movement as of late, or as of yet, but Alexa Grasso looks likely to be removed from the rankings once she completes a move up to flyweight after having her bout with Claudia Gadelha cancelled due to weight-cutting issues.

UFC Rankings update: December 2019

THE post-UFC 245 fallout has seen magnets shuffle across seven of the promotion’s divisions, headlined by the crowning of a new featherweight king. We break down every move in the seven featured divisions, with plenty of risers and sliders on the board. You can find the full updated list of UFC rankings here.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:

Ian Heinisch #12 (-2)
Omari Akhmedov #13 (-1)

Omari Akhmedov‘s unanimous decision victory over Ian Heinisch was not enough to see the Russian leapfrog his opponent in the rankings, but it boosted him up to 13th place as Antonio Carlos Junior moves down to 14th. On the other hand, Heinisch moves back two spots behind Brad Tavares and Uriah Hall to 12th, with plenty of journeymen in the back end of the 185lbs top 15th. With not much booked at the top end, we might not see much more shuffling for a little while.

WELTERWEIGHT:

Geoff Neal #12 (+2)

Contender Series alum Geoff Neal moves past Vicente Luque and Gilbert Burns into number 12 among a raft of high level welterweights after his impressive TKO victory over Mike Perry. There was not any movement at the top as Kamaru Usman retained his belt, but we may see some in 2020 with Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards waiting in the wings and some mouthwatering fights to me made among the top five.

LIGHTWEIGHT:

Justin Gaethje #3 (+1)

A simple shuffle for the lightweights with Justin Gaethje moving up into third to join former-champion, Conor McGregor. While the ‘Notorious One’ is booked for a welterweight bout in early-2020, Gaethje may be waiting on next year’s title bout before making his next move. The Khabib-Conor rematch has been hinted at, but this move leans towards McGregor staying at 170lbs pending his fight with Donald Cerrone.

FEATHERWEIGHT:

Alexander Volkanovski CHAMPION (+1)
Max Holloway #1 (-1)
Jose Aldo #8 (-5)

A new king was crowned at UFC 245 as Alexander Volkanovski fought to a decision victory over the consensus greatest ever featherweight champion, Max Holloway. The result obviously saw the two swap places, with a rematch looking likely for 2020. Another former champion, Jose Aldo made the move down to 135lbs and slid five places after his loss, as the third to seventh ranked fighters all moved up one spot. The upcoming bout between Frankie Edgar and ‘The Korean Zombie‘ should also yield some movement. Elsewhere, a random shuffle at the back end saw Ryan Hall move ahead of Arnold Allen into 14th.

BANTAMWEIGHT:

Petr Yan #3 (+1)
Jose Aldo #9 (NR)
Urijah Faber NR

Former featherweight champion Aldo enters the bantamweight rankings at ninth after his tight decision loss to Marlon Moraes, with the latter remaining in the number one spot. Aldo’s entry saw each fighter ranked 10-13 move down one spot, while Casey Kenney jumped Marlon Vera into 14th. The other main card bantamweight bout saw Petr Yan knock Urijah Faber out and also move him out of the rankings, seeing the Russian overtake Cory Sandhagen into third spot.

FLYWEIGHT:

Kai Kara-France #8 (-2)

A simple one for the flyweights with just one fight on the UFC 245 card, as Kai Kara-France slides down two spots after losing to fifth ranked Brandon Moreno via decision. The result sees Tim Elliott and Rogerio Bontorin leapfrog the Kiwi, but the division may be stalled for some time with champion Henry Cejudo looking for a bantamweight matchup against Aldo as Joseph Benavidez waits in the wings.

W. BANTAMWEIGHT:

Irene Aldana #5 (+5)
Ketlen Vieira #7 (-5)

The belt may not have changed hands as Amanda Nunes retained, but new number one contenders have shuffled up the order in the women’s bantamweight division. Aspen Ladd moves up into second after her recent win, with former second ranked Ketlen Vieira sliding down five spots after a knockout loss to Irene Aldana. The Mexican moves up five spots on the back of her highlight reel win, sitting just behind fellow riser, Julianna Pena in fifth.