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Cain Velasquez remains atop the heavyweight MMA rankings

Cain Velasquez concluded his trilogy with Junior Dos Santos in impressive fashion. Velasquez got Dos Santos tired with his constant work in the first two rounds and then punished his opponent for the final three en route to a fifth round TKO win. Dos Santos has nothing to be ashamed of, but Velasquez was the better man.

 

Heavyweight

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Fabricio Werdum

5. Josh Barnett

6. Antonio Silva

7. Travis Browne

8. Alistair Overeem

9. Frank Mir

10. Stipe Miocic

 

 Perhaps the most dangerous opponent in the division for Velasquez is Daniel Cormier, but the two are training partners. As such, Cormier is likely to move to light heavyweight where he would present problems for champion Jon Jones.

 

 

 

 

 

Light Heavyweight

 

1. Jon Jones

2. Alexander Gustafsson

3. Phil Davis

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Glover Teixeira

6. Rashad Evans

7. Dan Henderson

8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

9. Ryan Bader

10. Chael Sonnen

 

There were no losers when Jon Jones fought Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight title. The two had easily one of the best fights of the year. It was a hard fought, competitive and exciting bout where both men had their moments. Jones will defend his title next against Glover Teixeira, but Jones has not seen the last of Gustafsson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middleweight

 

1. Chris Weidman

2. Anderson Silva

3. Vitor Belfort

4. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

5. Yushin Okami

6. Luke Rockhold

7. Mark Munoz

8. Michael Bisping

9. Tim Kennedy

10. Mamed Khalidov

 

Yushin Okami was surprisingly cut by the UFC following his most recent loss to Jacare Souza. Okami isn’t the most exciting of fighters and wasn’t in the immediate title mix, so UFC decided to let him go. Okami was quickly scooped up by the World Series of Fighting, where he will hope to fare better post-UFC than similarly situated Jon Fitch did. Beyond the top 8, the middleweight division has become something of a mess. Francis Carmont has 11 straight wins, but has never beaten a top flight opponent in anything resembling impressive fashion. Tim Boetsch returned to the winner’s circle against C.B. Dollaway, but only via a befuddling judges’ decision in a fight where Dollaway outstruck Boetsch every round and scored three takedowns to Boetsch’s zero. That allows Kennedy and Khalidov to sneak in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welterweight

 

1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Johny Hendricks

3. Carlos Condit

4. Rory MacDonald

5. Ben Askren

6. Jake Ellenberger

7. Jake Shields

8. Demian Maia

9. Nick Diaz

10. Hector Lombard

 

If the middleweight division has gotten thinner in recent years, the welterweight division is more stacked than ever. Fully deserving fighters like Matt Brown and Martin Kampmann can’t sneak into the top 10 because of the preponderance of elite welterweight talent. Perhaps the most impressive performance of the past month was Hector Lombard’s knockout of Nate Marquardt in his welterweight debut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightweight

 

1. Anthony Pettis

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Ben Henderson

4. T.J. Grant

5. Michael Chandler

6. Khabib Nurmagomedov

7. Gray Maynard

8. Josh Thomson

9. Nate Diaz

10. Eddie Alvarez

 

Gilbert Melendez put himself in position for a fight with Anthony Pettis by defeating Diego Sanchez in an exciting fight. Melendez outstruck Sanchez over 2 to 1 in a fight that wasn’t competitive save for a home run uppercut by Sanchez in the third. Khabib Nurmagomedov continues to dominate, beating his toughest opponent to date in Pat Healy. The undefeated Nurmagomedov is approaching the title picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featherweight

 

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Ricardo Lamas

4. Pat Curran

5. Cub Swanson

6. Frank Edgar

7. “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung

8. Dustin Poirier

9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

10. Erik Koch

 

It’s a dry period for the featherweight division, without any significant UFC featherweight fights in the past month and none until Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz on December 14. Pat Curran will defend his Bellator featherweight title in 2 weeks on the first Bellator pay-per-view against Daniel Straus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bantamweight

 

1. Renan Barao

2. Dominick Cruz

3. Michael McDonald

4. Urijah Faber

5. Eddie Wineland

6. Bibiano Fernandes

7. Raphael Assuncao

8. Brad Pickett

9. Eduardo Dantas

10. Iuri Alcantara

 

Renan Barao at this point has to be recognized as the world’s best 135 pound fighter. Former champion Dominick Cruz will likely finally return to action in early 2014, but Barao is 5-0 with wins over the #3, #4, #5 and #8 bantamweights since he left. Cruz will face an extremely difficult task if he fights Barao in his first fight back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flyweight

 

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. John Dodson

4. Ian McCall

5. John Moraga

 

Women’s Bantamweight

 

1. Ronda Rousey

2. Cat Zingano

3. Miesha Tate

4. Jessica Eye

5. Sara McMann

 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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