MMA rankings: Luke Rockhold puts middleweight division on notice

MMA rankings: Luke Rockhold puts middleweight division on notice

Heavyweight
 
1. Cain Velasquez
2. Fabricio Werdum
3. Junior Dos Santos
4. Travis Browne
5. Stipe Miocic
6. Josh Barnett
7. Mark Hunt
8. Ben Rothwell
9. Alistair Overeem
10. Andrei Arlovski
 
There have been no fights in the last month involving top 10 heavyweights. The next two such bouts on tap are a fun May 10 showdown in Australia pitting veteran Mark Hunt against the rising Stipe Miocic and a June 6 fight in New Orleans featuring strikers Ben Rothwell and Matt Mitrione.
 
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. Liam McGeary
 
Ovince St. Preux picked up another impressive victory in Newark on Fox, bouncing back from Patrick Cummins’ takedowns and knocking him out in the first round of their contest. With 7 wins in his last 8 fights, OSP is ready to be tested in big fights on a regular basis.
 
Middleweight
 
1. Chris Weidman
2. Luke Rockhold
3. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
4. Anderson Silva
5. Vitor Belfort
6. Lyoto Machida
7. Gegard Mousasi
8. Yoel Romero
9. Thales Leites
10. Tim Kennedy
 

Luke Rockhold put the entire middleweight division on notice with his two round destruction of Lyoto Machida. Few fighters have ever dominated the crafty Machida in that way. Rockhold will probably get his shot in the fall after the drug tainted Vitor Belfort battles champion Chris Weidman. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza could be next after that, as he has already done more than enough for a title shot with 8 straight wins (7 via stoppage). Jacare most recently made quick work of Chris Camozzi, submitting him inside three minutes with an armbar. There’s a lot of excitement in the 185-pound division.

 
Welterweight
 
1. Robbie Lawler
2. Rory MacDonald
3. Johny Hendricks
4. Tyron Woodley
5. Ben Askren
6. Hector Lombard
7. Demian Maia
8. Carlos Condit
9. Matt Brown
10. Dong Hyun Kim
 
Demian Maia picked up the 20th win of his career on March 21, defeating formerly undefeated Ryan LaFlare via unanimous decision. The submission ace surprisingly only has one submission since 2009, but that hasn’t stopped him from competing at a high level against the world’s best.
 
Lightweight
 
1. Rafael Dos Anjos
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Anthony Pettis
4. Donald Cerrone
5. Ben Henderson
6. Gilbert Melendez
7. Eddie Alvarez
8. Will Brooks
9. Michael Johnson
10. Tony Ferguson
 
Ranking the lightweight division is a nearly impossible task. While other divisions struggle to fill a solid top 10, the lightweight division easily goes 25 deep. After Dos Anjos, Nurmagomedov, Pettis, Cerrone, Henderson and Melendez, who have to be ranked, it’s a chaotic logjam to fill the final four slots. Justin Gaethje, the 14-0 WSOF champion coming off the best fight of the year against Luis Palomino? Left off. Surging Al Iaquinta, who just scored the biggest win of his career over Jorge Masvidal and winner of 7 of his last 8? Sorry. Beneil Dariush, 11-1, also just having won the biggest fight of his career over gritty veteran Jim Miller? Nope. Top notch featherweight Dustin Poirier moved up in weight and picked up his third impressive KO win in four fights, but is left on the outside looking in. Then there’s Nate Diaz, Myles Jury, Bobby Green, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson and the names just keep going. Sorry lightweights, it’s difficult to stand out in this shark tank.
 
Featherweight
 
1. Jose Aldo
2. Chad Mendes
3. Frankie Edgar
4. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire
5. Conor McGregor
6. Max Holloway
7. Cub Swanson
8. Ricardo Lamas
9. Dennis Bermudez
10. Daniel Straus
 

Chad Mendes was explosive again in Fairfax, Va., knocking out Ricardo Lamas in the first round. The only losses of Mendes’ career are to champion Jose Aldo and he has dominated the rest of the division. Max Holloway, still just 23, looked the best he ever has in a win over tough contender Cub Swanson. Holloway has fought 12 of his 16 career fights inside the UFC and appears to have an extremely bright future ahead of him.

 
Bantamweight
 
1. T.J. Dillashaw
2. Dominick Cruz
3. Renan Barao
4. Urijah Faber
5. Raphael Assuncao
6. Michael McDonald
7. Bibiano Fernandes
8. Aljamain Sterling
9. Marlon Moraes
10. Takeya Mizugaki
 
Aljamain Sterling proved himself ready for top level opposition, submitting Takeya Mizugaki in the third round of their fight. The opportunity is there for him to get more significant fights in the near future as the bantamweight division is currently pretty wide open.
 
Women’s Bantamweight
 
1. Ronda Rousey
2. Miesha Tate
3. Cat Zingano
4. Sarah Kaufman
5. Sara McMann
6. Alexis Davis
7. Jessica Eye
8. Bethe Correia
9. Amanda Nunes
10. Holly Holm
 
Amanda Nunes rebounded from a loss to Cat Zingano by stopping Shayna Baszler with strikes in the first round in Rio de Janeiro. Returning to the scene is Julianna Pena. After a horrific injury kept her out a year and a half, she looked good in defeating Milana Dudieva.
 
Flyweight
 
1. Demetrious Johnson
2. Joseph Benavidez
3. John Dodson
4. John Moraga
5. Ian McCall
 
Women’s Strawweight
 
1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
2. Claudia Gadelha
3. Jessica Aguilar
4. Carla Esparza
5. Jessica Penne

 

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