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Johny Hendricks retains top welterweight spot in MMA rankings

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Johny Hendricks, who pulled out a courageous win over Robbie Lawler by coming on strong in the second half of the final round on Saturday, moves to the top of this month's welterweight rankings.

 

Heavyweight

 

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Junior Dos Santos

3. Fabricio Werdum

4. Travis Browne

5. Antonio Silva

6. Josh Barnett

7. Alistair Overeem

8. Stipe Miocic

9. Mark Hunt

10. Stefan Struve

 

April 19 on Fox, Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum will fight to determine the next contender for UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Either will be a deserving challenger, but it is slim pickings after that in what has become a thin MMA heavyweight division.

 

 

 

 

 

Light Heavyweight

 

1. Jon Jones

2. Alexander Gustafsson

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Rashad Evans

5. Phil Davis

6. Glover Teixeira

7. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

8. Ryan Bader

9. Dan Henderson

10. Chael Sonnen

 

A pair of elite light heavyweight contenders made strong statements in the past month. Daniel Cormier was impressive in his light heavyweight debut, destroying inexperienced Patrick Cummins with ease via first round TKO. Meanwhile, Swede Alexander Gustafsson set himself up for a potential rematch with UFC champion Jon Jones by ending the undefeated record of Jimi Manuwa in a second round TKO. If Jones is able to get by the tough challenge of Glover Teixeira in Baltimore, he won’t be lacking for dangerous future opponents.

 

 

 

 

 

Middleweight

 

1. Chris Weidman

2. Anderson Silva

3. Vitor Belfort

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

6. Luke Rockhold

7. Gegard Mousasi

8. Yushin Okami

9. Tim Kennedy

10. Mark Munoz

 

When Nevada announced that it would no longer allow testosterone replacement theory, it had quick repercussions for the middleweight division. Vitor Belfort pulled out of a proposed title fight with Chris Weidman and will need to find alternate ways to continue his remarkable post-age 35 surge in strength, muscle mass and knockout power. Stepping into the next title fight with Weidman is Lyoto Machida, a nightmare matchup for the young, undefeated champion. Machida has always excelled against wrestlers and Weidman will have to solve the riddle that is Machida’s distinct style.

 

 

 

 

 

Welterweight

 

1. Johny Hendricks

2. Rory MacDonald

3. Jake Ellenberger

4. Tyron Woodley

5. Carlos Condit

6. Robbie Lawler

7. Ben Askren

8. Hector Lombard

9. Jake Shields

10. Dong Hyun Kim

 

The welterweight division became basically impossible to order in the space of a month, with many major fights and fighters up and down the division now having both key wins and key losses to other top 10 fighters. In the most high profile fight, Johny Hendricks pulled out a courageous win over Robbie Lawler by coming on strong in the second half of the final round. Hendricks is now the UFC welterweight champion and top 170 pound fighter. From there, it’s chaos. Tyron Woodley defeated Carlos Condit with wrestling, punching power and an unfortunate knee injury. Rory MacDonald returned to his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Demian Maia. Hector Lombard bested Jake Shields solidly but not in an exciting manner. And Dong Hyun Kim kept winning with a spectacular main event knockout of John Hathaway. Where do things stand now? Who knows? But one thing’s for sure: there is no lack of quality fighters and intriguing matchups going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

Lightweight

 

1. Anthony Pettis

2. Gilbert Melendez

3. Ben Henderson

4. T.J. Grant

5. Eddie Alvarez

6. Michael Chandler

7. Khabib Nurmagomedov

8. Josh Thomson

9. Nate Diaz

10. Rafael Dos Anjos

 

UFC elected to match Bellator’s contract offer for Gilbert Melendez, retaining one of the world’s best lightweights. Now, Melendez and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will coach opposite each other in one of the most interesting Ultimate Fighter matchups in ages and then square off at the end of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

Featherweight

 

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Cub Swanson

4. Frank Edgar

5. Pat Curran

6. Ricardo Lamas

7. Daniel Straus

8. Dustin Poirier

9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

10. Dennis Bermudez

 

Pat Curran avenged a loss to Daniel Straus by submitting Straus late in their Bellator featherweight title fight. Curran is once again on top in Bellator’s best division. Dennis Bermudez cracks the top 10 with a stoppage win over Jimy Hettes, his sixth straight.

 

 

 

 

 

Bantamweight

 

1. Renan Barao

2. Dominick Cruz

3. Urijah Faber

4. Raphael Assuncao

5. Michael McDonald

6. Eddie Wineland

7. Bibiano Fernandes

8. Eduardo Dantas

9. Takeya Mizugaki

10. T.J. Dillashaw

 

Raphael Assuncao won his sixth straight UFC fight via decision over Pedro Munhoz, establishing himself as one of the bantamweight division’s top contenders. If Dominick Cruz isn’t able to fight Renan Barao in the near future, Assuncao will likely get the next shot.

 

 

 

 

 

Flyweight

 

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. John Dodson

4. Ali Bagautinov

5. Ian McCall

 

Women’s Bantamweight

 

1. Ronda Rousey

2. Cat Zingano

3. Alexis Davis

4. Sara McMann

5. Jessica Eye

ALSO:

Johny Hendricks defeats Robbie Lawler at UFC 171

L.A. KISS connects for 41-38 victory over Talons in debut

USC quarterback Max Browne tries to work himself into starter equation

 

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