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Times' MMA rankings for December

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

There was more high level action at heavyweight than any other division in the past month. In the biggest fight of the period, Junior Dos Santos won a hard fought decision over Stipe Miocic. Both men exhibited great heart and Miocic’s stock rose even in defeat. Travis Browne also excelled, stopping Brendan Schaub in the first round and showing why he remains one of the biggest threats in the division. Alistair Overeem sneaks back into the top 10 with a win over Stefan Struve.

Light Heavyweight

1. Jon Jones

2. Alexander Gustafsson

3. Daniel Cormier

4. Anthony Johnson

5. Rashad Evans

6. Phil Davis

7. Glover Teixeira

8. Ryan Bader

9. Ovince St. Preux

10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

One of the biggest fights of the past few years will take place January 3 when Daniel Cormier finally challenges Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. The two have been rivals for years and dominated all previous opponents. It’s a big, big fight.

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. C.B. Dollaway

UFC 184 in Los Angeles is shaping up to be a big card in the middleweight division, featuring a title bout between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort, as well as a top contender bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza looking to secure a title shot against the destroyer Yoel Romero.

Welterweight

1. Robbie Lawler

2. Rory MacDonald

3. Johny Hendricks

4. Tyron Woodley

5. Ben Askren

6. Carlos Condit

7. Matt Brown

8. Hector Lombard

9. Demian Maia

10. Dong Hyun Kim

Robbie Lawler capped off a long career journey by capturing the UFC welterweight title from Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 181. It was a strange fight. Lawler seemed oddly passive for most of the fight, only really looking good at the beginning of the first round and the end of the last. Hendricks, meanwhile, seemed to coast through the fourth and fifth figuring he had the decision secured and paid dearly for it.

Lightweight

1. Anthony Pettis

2. Khabib Nurmagomedov

3. Rafael Dos Anjos

4. Gilbert Melendez

5. Donald Cerrone

6. Ben Henderson

7. Eddie Alvarez

8. Myles Jury

9. Will Brooks

10. Jim Miller

Anthony Pettis scored arguably the most impressive MMA victory of the year 2014, becoming the first man to ever stop world class challenger Gilbert Melendez. Melendez looked on top of his game prior to getting caught with a shot and submitted in the second round of his fight with Pettis. Pettis’ emphatic win sets up a likely title showdown with Rafael Dos Anjos, who scored a dominant win in his own right over Nate Diaz.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Frank Edgar

4. Cub Swanson

5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

6. Ricardo Lamas

7. Conor McGregor

8. Dennis Bermudez

9. Dustin Poirier

10. Pat Curran

Bellator’s January 16 card will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and challenger Daniel Straus. Freire is one of the very best fighters outside the UFC.

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

Urijah Faber had a rough night at UFC 181. The “California Kid” looked flat early against Francisco Rivera and then won by capitalizing on an accidental eye poke. The crowd proceeded to boo the popular Faber after the fight.

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

The next significant women’s bantamweight contest takes place January 31, when top contenders Miesha Tate and Sara McMann square off looking to work their way towards a rematch with champion Ronda 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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