MMA rankings: Jon Jones retains top light-heavyweight spot

MMA rankings: Jon Jones retains top light-heavyweight spot

Times' MMA ranking for January.

Heavyweight

 

1. Cain Velasquez

2. Fabricio Werdum

3. Junior Dos Santos

4. Travis Browne

5. Stipe Miocic

6. Josh Barnett

7. Mark Hunt

8. Antonio Silva

9. Ben Rothwell

10. Alistair Overeem

 

It was an uneventful month for heavyweight MMA. The biggest bout next month takes place February 22 when Frank Mir seeks to rebound from a four fight losing streak against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

 

Light Heavyweight

 

1. Jon Jones

2. Anthony Johnson

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Alexander Gustafsson

5. Rashad Evans

6. Ryan Bader

7. Phil Davis

8. Glover Teixeira

9. Ovince St. Preux

10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

 

In contrast to the heavyweight division, it was the busiest month in years for the 205-pound division. UFC champion Jon Jones won one of the biggest fights of his career, ending the undefeated record of highly skilled challenger Daniel Cormier. It was then revealed that Jones failed a drug test for cocaine prior to the bout, further deteriorating Jones’ troubled public image. A new top contender for Jones also emerged when Anthony “Rumble” Johnson knocked out Alexander Gustafsson in emphatic fashion in the first round of their Fox main event. Gustafsson was fighting in front of 30,000 fans in his native Swede but they couldn’t help him against the powerful knockout artist. In other action, Ryan Bader picked up arguably the biggest win of his career in a dull affair over Phil Davis.

 

Middleweight

 

1. Chris Weidman

2. Anderson Silva

3. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

4. Lyoto Machida

5. Vitor Belfort

6. Luke Rockhold

7. Gegard Mousasi

8. Yoel Romero

9. Tim Kennedy

10. Thales Leites

 

This Saturday night, all-time legend Anderson Silva returns from a broken leg to fight Nick Diaz in a highly anticipated contest. It will be interesting to see if Silva is able to demonstrate the form that allowed him to dominate the middleweight division for years. Lyoto Machida crushed C.B. Dollaway’s dreams of middleweight contention with a brutal body kick that finished Dollaway in a little over a minute. Gegard Mousasi rebounded from a decisive loss to Jacare Souza by quickly finishing Dan Henderson with strikes. There was some controversy about the timing of the stoppage but Henderson showed little ability to deal with Mousasi’s speed and striking ability.

 

Welterweight

 

1. Robbie Lawler

2. Rory MacDonald

3. Johny Hendricks

4. Tyron Woodley

5. Ben Askren

6. Hector Lombard

7. Carlos Condit

8. Matt Brown

9. Demian Maia

10. Dong Hyun Kim

 

Hector Lombard won his third straight fight at UFC 182 with a decision over Josh Burkman. Lombard is looking to move into welterweight contention but there is no shortage of contenders jockeying for the next shot at champion Robbie Lawler. It’s easily the deepest list of potential opponents for any UFC champion.

 

Lightweight

 

1. Anthony Pettis

2. Khabib Nurmagomedov

3. Rafael Dos Anjos

4. Donald Cerrone

5. Ben Henderson

6. Gilbert Melendez

7. Eddie Alvarez

8. Will Brooks

9. Edson Barboza

10. Jim Miller

 

Anthony Pettis’ next title defense was announced for March 14 in Dallas, when he takes on Rafael Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos has won 8 of his last 9 fights but will be a prohibitive underdog against the dominant and explosive Pettis. Donald Cerrone pulled off the neat trick of scoring not only the biggest lightweight win of the month, but the two biggest. The popular “Cowboy” bested Myles Jury and then Ben Henderson in a two week span. However, the wins could not have been any more different. Cerrone outclassed and exposed Jury while most felt Henderson should have won the decision in his fight with Cerrone.

 

Featherweight

 

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Frank Edgar

4. Cub Swanson

5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

6. Conor McGregor

7. Ricardo Lamas

8. Dennis Bermudez

9. Dustin Poirier

10. Pat Curran

 

Bellator featherweight king Patricio “Pitbull” Freire struggled early against challenger Daniel Straus, but rebounded for a fourth round submission. Even on an off night, he got the win. Conor McGregor couldn’t have looked much more impressive, dismantling Dennis Siver in Boston, generating a massive rating, and building tremendous interest for his title challenge against champion Jose Aldo.

 

Bantamweight

 

1. T.J. Dillashaw

2. Dominick Cruz

3. Renan Barao

4. Urijah Faber

5. Raphael Assuncao

6. Michael McDonald

7. Takeya Mizugaki

8. Bibiano Fernandes

9. Joe Warren

10. Iuri Alcantara

 

Renan Barao will get another crack at champion T.J. Dillashaw April 25, although it was more because of scheduling issues and injuries than anything else. Barao looked extremely unimpressive in a win over lightly regarded Mitch Gagnon and demonstrated little to suggest he will fare any better against Dillashaw than he did the first time.

 

Women’s Bantamweight

 

1. Ronda Rousey

2. Cat Zingano

3. Sarah Kaufman

4. Miesha Tate

5. Sara McMann

6. Alexis Davis

7. Jessica Eye

8. Jessica Andrade

9. Bethe Correia

10. Amanda Nunes

 

Ronda Rousey defends her UFC women’s bantamweight title in Los Angeles late February against top challenger Cat Zingano in the biggest upcoming women’s fight. In another important fight, top contenders Miesha Tate and Sara McMann will fight Saturday night looking to work their way into a rematch with Rousey.

 

Flyweight

 

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. John Dodson

4. Ian McCall

5. John Moraga

 

Women’s Strawweight

 

1. Jessica Aguilar

2. Carla Esparza

3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

4. Claudia Gadelha

5. Joanne Calderwood

 

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