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Times MMA rankings: Alistair Overeem is back in the title mix

Times MMA rankings: Alistair Overeem is back in the title mix
Alistair Overeem (Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)

The Times' MMA rankings for March:

Heavyweight

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1. Stipe Miocic

2. Fabricio Werdum

3. Cain Velasquez

4. Alistair Overeem

5. Junior Dos Santos

6. Derrick Lewis

7. Ben Rothwell

8. Vitaly Minakov

9. Francis Ngannou

10. Travis Browne

Alistair Overeem picked up an impressive win over Mark Hunt, knocking out the hard headed Hunt with knees and a punch. The victory was Overeem's fifth in his last six fights, a strong run against some of the biggest name fighters in the division. Overeem is right in the title mix after appearing like he might be spent as a force a few years back.

Light Heavyweight

1. Daniel Cormier

2. Anthony Johnson

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3. Phil Davis

4. Alexander Gustafsson

5. Glover Teixeira

6. Ryan Bader

7. Jimi Manuwa

8. Liam McGeary

9. Misha Cirkunov

10. Mauricio Rua

MMA legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua returns to the top ten after a TKO win over Gian Villante, his third straight victory. Rua clearly isn't the fighter he once was but his skill and power continue to make him a dangerous opponent. Jimi Manuwa scored a one punch knockout of Corey Anderson in his native England, likely setting up a big fight next time out. Manuwa is one of the most exciting fighters in the division and there are plenty of fresh matchups to be made with him.

Middleweight

1. Michael Bisping

2. Yoel Romero

3. Luke Rockhold

4. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza

5. Chris Weidman

6. Gegard Mousasi

7. Robert Whittaker

8. Kelvin Gastelum

9. Krzysztof Jotko

10. David Branch

The middleweight division remains on hold as Michael Bisping is scheduled to take another attraction fight rather than competing against a top contender. Bisping after winning the title from Luke Rockhold first fought Dan Henderson in Henderson's final fight in a rematch of a famous fight at UFC 100. Now, Bisping will take on the legendary Georges St. Pierre in St. Pierre's return. It's understandable Bisping and St. Pierre would want the fight but it's a tough break for fighters like Yoel Romero and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza who richly deserve title shots. Meanwhile, Kelvin Gastelum picked up a great win over Vitor Belfort in Brazil. Gastelum stood and traded hands with Belfort and knocked him out in the process.

Welterweight

1. Tyron Woodley

2. Demian Maia

3. Robbie Lawler

4. Stephen Thompson

5. Rory MacDonald

6. Ben Askren

7. Carlos Condit

8. Dong Hyun Kim

9. Neil Magny

10. Jorge Masvidal

Tyron Woodley retained the UFC welterweight title in a dreadful bout against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson at UFC 209. Neither fighter did much but Woodley at least made an effort to push the action on a couple of occasions while Thompson showed little initiative for the entirety of the fight.

Lightweight

1. Conor McGregor

2. Khabib Nurmagomedov

3. Tony Ferguson

4. Eddie Alvarez

5. Rafael Dos Anjos

6. Edson Barboza

7. Nate Diaz

8. Justin Gaethje

9. Michael Chiesa

10. Beneil Dariush

For most of their recent contest, Beneil Dariush demonstrated to Edson Barboza why Dariush is one of the most underrated fighters in the sport. Dariush challenged the lethal Barboza with consistent aggression and many felt he was winning the fight. Unfortunately for Dariush, all it took was one small opening and Barboza flattened Dariush with a spectacular flying knee knockout. It was another reminder of just how dangerous Barboza is on the feet, where Barboza has one of the most impressive highlight reels in the sport.

Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo

2. Max Holloway

3. Frankie Edgar

4. Cub Swanson

5. Ricardo Lamas

6. Daniel Straus

7. Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

8. Jeremy Stephens

9. Anthony Pettis

10. Doo Ho Choi

Cub Swanson's next opponent following his classic fight with Doo Ho Choi is a bit of a head scratcher. On April 22, he'll be matched with the 13-12-1 (1 NC) Artem Lobov, a training partner of Conor McGregor. It's certainly a big opportunity for Lobov and a favorable style matchup as that as Lobov much prefers to strike with opponents and Swanson has no problem with that.

Bantamweight

1. Cody Garbrandt

2. Dominick Cruz

3. T.J. Dillashaw

4. Marlon Moraes

5. Raphael Assuncao

6. Bibiano Fernandes

7. John Lineker

8. Eduardo Dantas

9. Jimmie Rivera

10. Thomas Almeida

Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw will be showcased on the new season of the Ultimate Fighter, building up their upcoming fight for the UFC bantamweight title. It's an intriguing matchup as the undefeated Garbrandt captured the gold with power and skilled striking while many consider Dillashaw's overall game to be the best in the division.

Women's Bantamweight

1. Amanda Nunes

2. Valentina Shevchenko

3. Julianna Pena

4. Cat Zingano

5. Sara McMann

6. Raquel Pennington

7. Alexis Davis

8. Sarah Kaufman

9. Tonya Evinger

10. Liz Carmouche

There have been few significant women's bantamweight contests in the past month. The division is wide open after Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko rematch for the UFC women's bantamweight title.

Flyweight

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

3. Henry Cejudo

4. Kyoji Horiguchi

5. Wilson Reis

Women's Strawweight

1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

2. Claudia Gadelha

3. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

4. Jessica Andrade

5. Jessica Aguilar

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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