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Conor McGregor drops out of the top 10 in Times’ MMA rankings

The Times’ MMA rankings for April, as compiled by Todd Martin.

Heavyweight

1. Stipe Miocic

2. Francis Ngannou

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3. Alistair Overeem

4. Alexander Volkov

5. Fabricio Werdum

6. Cain Velasquez

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7. Junior Dos Santos

8. Vitaly Minakov

9. Matt Mitrione

10. Derrick Lewis

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It has been an uneventful month in the heavyweight division and there isn’t much of note scheduled in May either. The next heavyweight bout with major ranking repercussions is Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes, scheduled to take place at UFC 225 in June.

Light Heavyweight

1. Daniel Cormier

2. Alexander Gustafsson

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3. Ryan Bader

4. Phil Davis

5. Glover Teixeira

6. Volkan Oezdemir

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7. Ilir Latifi

8. Misha Cirkunov

9. King Mo Lawal

10. Nikita Krylov

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Daniel Cormier will move up in weight class in July to challenge Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title. The win would be a critical one for Cormier’s legacy. Meanwhile, challengers like Alexander Gustafsson and Ilir Latifi wait for their opportunity.

Middleweight

1. Robert Whittaker

2. Yoel Romero

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3. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

4. Gegard Mousasi

5. Luke Rockhold

6. Chris Weidman

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7. Kelvin Gastelum

8. Michael Bisping

9. David Branch

10. Derek Brunson

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David Branch rebounded nicely from a setback against Luke Rockhold by knocking out dangerous striker Thiago Santos in the first round. Branch doesn’t generate a lot of fan excitement but he’s a tough challenge for anyone. In other action, Antonio Carlos Junior picked up another impressive win with his submission of Tim Boetsch. Carlos Junior has won five straight and looks like he could be a real factor at 185.

Welterweight

1. Tyron Woodley

2. Stephen Thompson

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3. Rafael Dos Anjos

4. Robbie Lawler

5. Rory MacDonald

6. Douglas Lima

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7. Colby Covington

8. Demian Maia

9. Darren Till

10. Santiago Ponzinibbio

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The scourge of unnecessary interim UFC titles continues at UFC 225 when Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington fight for an interim title despite Tyron Woodley being ready to compete in the very near future. Covington has repeatedly disparaged Brazil and Dos Anjos will look to silence his controversial foe.

Lightweight

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

2. Tony Ferguson

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3. Kevin Lee

4. Dustin Poirier

5. Eddie Alvarez

6. James Vick

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7. Justin Gaethje

8. Edson Barboza

9. Michael Chiesa

10. Al Iaquinta

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It was a big month in the lightweight division, with a great many moments of consequence. Khabib Nurmagomedov was crowned UFC lightweight champion with a win over Al Iaquinta when Tony Ferguson and then Max Holloway were unable to compete. Conor McGregor is dropped from the rankings, not having fought in MMA since 2016 and now facing legal peril over an attack on a bus. Kevin Lee leaps up to #3 with a dominant performance over Edson Barboza, with Dustin Poirier taking #4 after a thrilling battle with Justin Gaethje. Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Michael Chandler also scored solid wins and are looking to work their way into the top mix.

Featherweight

1. Max Holloway

2. Brian Ortega

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3. Jose Aldo

4. Frankie Edgar

5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

6. Ricardo Lamas

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7. Cub Swanson

8. Chan Sung Jung

9. Darren Elkins

10. Jeremy Stephens

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Frankie Edgar returned to the winner’s circle with a clear decision victory over Cub Swanson and will look to work his way back to a title shot that fell through when he was knocked out by Brian Ortega. Zabit Magomedsharipov could find himself in the top 10 soon as he has shown great skill and will likely end up in major fights in short order.

Bantamweight

1. T.J. Dillashaw

2. Cody Garbrandt

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3. Dominick Cruz

4. Raphael Assuncao

5. Marlon Moraes

6. Jimmie Rivera

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7. Bibiano Fernandes

8. Darrion Caldwell

9. John Lineker

10. Cody Stamann

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Aljamain Sterling picked up an important win when he handed Brett Johns the first loss of Johns’ career. Sterling was once considered an elite prospect and he still hopes to reach the heights once predicted for him.

Women’s Bantamweight

1. Amanda Nunes

2. Julianna Pena

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3. Ketlen Vieira

4. Raquel Pennington

5. Sarah Kaufman

6. Cat Zingano

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7. Marion Reneau

8. Sara McMann

9. Katlyn Chookagian

10. Aspen Ladd

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The UFC women’s bantamweight title will be on the line in Rio de Janeiro when Amanda Nunes defends against Raquel Pennington. Pennington is returning from major injury and hasn’t competed since 2016. Aspen Ladd was supposed to compete in Atlantic City but she missed weight and her fight fell through.

Flyweight

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Joseph Benavidez

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3. Henry Cejudo

4. Kyoji Horiguchi

5. Jussier Formiga

6. Sergio Pettis

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7. Ray Borg

8. John Moraga

9. Brandon Moreno

10. Wilson Reis

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A pair of key flyweight bouts were scheduled to take place this month. In one, John Moraga scored a unanimous decision win over Wilson Reis. The other was supposed to be Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno but that was one of the casualties of the Conor McGregor bus attack as Borg’s eyes were injured by shattered glass.

Women’s Strawweight

1. Rose Namajunas

2. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

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3. Jessica Andrade

4. Claudia Gadelha

5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

6. Tecia Torres

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7. Carla Esparza

8. Jessica Aguilar

9. Livia Renata Souza

10. Cynthia Calvillo

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Rose Namajunas proved that her first win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk was no fluke, as she bested the former strawweight champion for a second time. It was an excellent, competitive bout but Namajunas deserved the win. Karolina Kowalkiewicz also scored a high quality win as she ended the winning streak of Felice Herrig. In other action, Michelle Waterson picked up a split decision victory over Cortney Casey.


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