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MMA rankings: Ryan Bader continues to roll in Bellator

MMA rankings: Ryan Bader continues to roll in Bellator
Ryan Bader (Gregory Payan / AP)

The Times’ MMA rankings for October, as compiled by Todd Martin.

Heavyweight

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1. Daniel Cormier

2. Stipe Miocic

3. Curtis Blaydes

4. Derrick Lewis

5. Vitaly Minakov

6. Alexander Volkov

7. Francis Ngannou

8. Alistair Overeem

9. Junior Dos Santos

10. Tai Tuivasa

Derrick Lewis was down big to Alexander Volkov late in their fight when he landed an emphatic blow that dropped Volkov and secured a dramatic come-from-behind win. It also earned Lewis the biggest opportunity of his career, as he will challenge Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title in Madison Square Garden November 3.

Light Heavyweight

1. Daniel Cormier

2. Ryan Bader

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3. Alexander Gustafsson

4. Phil Davis

5. Volkan Oezdemir

6. Ilir Latifi

7. Glover Teixeira

8. Dominick Reyes

9. Jimi Manuwa

10. Misha Cirkunov

Ryan Bader continues to roll in Bellator, dominating Matt Mitrione with his wrestling and advancing to the finals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix where he will compete against the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. Dominick Reyes picked up an important win, besting veteran Ovince St. Preux via decision and nearly scoring a knockout at the end.

Middleweight

1. Robert Whittaker

2. Yoel Romero

3. Gegard Mousasi

4. Luke Rockhold

5. Chris Weidman

6. Kelvin Gastelum

7. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

8. David Branch

9. Derek Brunson

10. Israel Adesanya

UFC 230 has a preponderance of middleweight battles. The biggest of the evening pits former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Also on the card, veteran Derek Brunson takes on rising star Israel Adesanya and former WSOF champion David Branch contests Jared Cannonier.

Welterweight

1. Tyron Woodley

2. Colby Covington

3. Darren Till

4. Stephen Thompson

5. Rory MacDonald

6. Kamaru Usman

7. Rafael Dos Anjos

8. Douglas Lima

9. Robbie Lawler

10. Santiago Ponzinibbio

It was a slow month for the welterweight division and there isn’t much scheduled in the next month. A notable exception is Santiago Ponzinibbio headlining the first UFC show in his native Argentina against Neil Magny.

Lightweight

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

2. Tony Ferguson

3. Conor McGregor

4. Dustin Poirier

5. Kevin Lee

6. Eddie Alvarez

7. Justin Gaethje

8. Edson Barboza

9. James Vick

10. Al Iaquinta

Khabib Nurmagomedov left no doubt in the Octagon against Conor McGregor, submitting the former lightweight champion to solidify his claim as the world’s best lightweight. Next up hopefully will be Tony Ferguson, who continued his long win streak in a violent clash against Anthony Pettis. Ferguson might have to wait, however, as Nurmagomedov faces sanctions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for jumping into the crowd to start a fight after his bout with McGregor. Eddie Alvarez made news by announcing he signed a lucrative deal to join Asian MMA outfit One Championship.

Featherweight

1. Max Holloway

2. Brian Ortega

3. Jose Aldo

4. Frankie Edgar

5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

6. Chad Mendes

7. Renato Moicano

8. Mirsad Bektic

9. Alexander Volkanovski

10. Zabit Magomedsharipov

Bellator’s next card will be headlined November 15 in Israel by Patricio Freire’s next featherweight title defense against Emmanuel Sanchez. Sanchez has won four straight and seven of his last eight.

Bantamweight

1. T.J. Dillashaw

2. Cody Garbrandt

3. Dominick Cruz

4. Raphael Assuncao

5. Marlon Moraes

6. Jimmie Rivera

7. Aljamain Sterling

8. John Lineker

9. Bibiano Fernandes

10. Darrion Caldwell

Now 38, One Championship bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes hasn’t lost since 2010. Kevin Belingon will look to end that run November 9 in Singapore. In the UFC, most top bantamweights fought recently and are now waiting for the next run of significant contests to be booked.

Women’s Bantamweight

1. Amanda Nunes

2. Julianna Pena

3. Ketlen Vieira

4. Cat Zingano

5. Aspen Ladd

6. Sarah Kaufman

7. Tonya Evinger

8. Raquel Pennington

9. Marion Reneau

10. Sara McMann

Aspen Ladd made an emphatic statement when she stopped the experienced and talented Tonya Evinger in less than a round. This division needs some fresh blood and Ladd adds some welcome excitement.

Flyweight

1. Henry Cejudo

2. Demetrious Johnson

3. Kyoji Horiguchi

4. Jussier Formiga

5. Sergio Pettis

6. Joseph Benavidez

7. Ray Borg

8. Deiveson Figueiredo

9. Alexandre Pantoja

10. Wilson Reis

Jussier Formiga has worked for years trying to earn an elusive title shot but hasn’t been able to string together the right winning streak at the right time. His clear decision win over Sergio Pettis is a key one as it puts him as close to that shot as he’s ever been.

Women’s Strawweight

1. Rose Namajunas

2. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

3. Jessica Andrade

4. Claudia Gadelha

5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

6. Tatiana Suarez

7. Livia Renata Souza

8. Tecia Torres

9. Carla Esparza

10. Jessica Aguilar

Michelle Waterson picked up an important win over Felice Herrig is just outside the top ten in the deepest women’s division in the sport. Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s impending move to 125 pounds will open some opportunities for other fighters in this division.

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