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.

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