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MMA rankings: Daniel Cormier is the king of two divisions

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

Heavyweight

1. Daniel Cormier

2. Stipe Miocic

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3. Curtis Blaydes

4. Alexander Volkov

5. Derrick Lewis

6. Francis Ngannou

7. Alistair Overeem

8. Fabricio Werdum

9. Junior Dos Santos

10. Vitaly Minakov

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Daniel Cormier pulled off the showcase victory of his career, knocking Stipe Miocic out in the first round to capture the UFC heavyweight title. Cormier now reigns over two divisions, while planning to retire in early 2019. It’s unclear what will come, other than a big money fight with the returning Brock Lesnar. In other action, Junior Dos Santos returned to action to defeat Blagoy Ivanov via decision in Ivanov’s UFC debuts. Also, Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou pulled off an all-time stinker, a no action decision that went Lewis’ way.

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. Nikita Krylov

10. Jimi Manuwa

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It has been an uneventful month in the light-heavyweight division, but there are two key fights this weekend as the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua looks to win his fourth straight against Anthony Smith while veteran Glover Teixeira takes on up-and-comer Corey Anderson.

Middleweight

1. Robert Whittaker

2. Yoel Romero

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3. Gegard Mousasi

4. Luke Rockhold

5. Chris Weidman

6. Kelvin Gastelum

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7. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

8. David Branch

9. Derek Brunson

10. Israel Adesanya

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Michael Bisping announced his retirement from MMA after an excellent career, taking on the best fighters in the world for a decade and capping things off by winning the UFC middleweight title from Luke Rockhold. The undefeated Israel Adesanya breaks into the top 10 with a win in Las Vegas over veteran Brad Tavares.

Welterweight

1. Tyron Woodley

2. Colby Covington

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3. Darren Till

4. Stephen Thompson

5. Rory MacDonald

6. Kamaru Usman

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7. Rafael Dos Anjos

8. Douglas Lima

9. Robbie Lawler

10. Santiago Ponzinibbio

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An excellent tournament is on the horizon as Bellator puts on a welterweight grand prix tournament featuring a host of top notch competitors including Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov, Michael “Venom” Page and Lorenz Larkin. Koreshkov offered an appetizer for that tournament with a quick destruction of the hopelessly mismatched Vaso Bakocevic in Rome.

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. Al Iaquinta

10. Anthony Pettis

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Former champion Anthony Pettis breaks back into the top 10 with an impressive submission win over Michael Chiesa. Pettis has struggled in recent years but has plenty of time to get things fully back on track. Dan Hooker continued his rise up the lightweight ranks with a fourth-straight dominant win, this time over Gilbert Burns. Hooker could pose big problems for some elite lightweights.

Featherweight

1. Max Holloway

2. Brian Ortega

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3. Jose Aldo

4. Frankie Edgar

5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

6. Chad Mendes

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7. Cub Swanson

8. Mirsad Bektic

9. Alexander Volkanovski

10. Chan Sung Jung

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Sadly, a scheduled UFC featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega didn’t take place when Holloway had to pull out the week of the fight. Hopefully the affable and dynamic Holloway will be back to his normal self sooner rather than later. Chad Mendes returns to the top 10 after a two-year suspension, as he knocked out Myles Jury in his first fight back. Meanwhile, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire defeated Daniel Weichel in a competitive title fight in Bellator and Alexander Volkanovski makes it into the top 10 with a unanimous decision over Darren Elkins.

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. John Lineker

8. Bibiano Fernandes

9. Darrion Caldwell

10. Cody Stamann

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Raphael Assuncao just keeps winning, as he secured a clear decision over Rob Font. It’s hard to argue the merits of Assuncao getting a title shot given he has won 11 of 12 in the UFC but he doesn’t tend to win in a way that captures the public imagination unfortunately.

Women’s Bantamweight

1. Amanda Nunes

2. Julianna Pena

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3. Ketlen Vieira

4. Cat Zingano

5. Sarah Kaufman

6. Raquel Pennington

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7. Marion Reneau

8. Sara McMann

9. Katlyn Chookagian

10. Aspen Ladd

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Cat Zingano scored an important victory over Marion Reneau in Boise, Idaho via decision. The title picture in the UFC women’s bantamweight division is unclear so the win puts the marketable Zingano in a good spot.

Flyweight

1. Demetrious Johnson

2. Henry Cejudo

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3. Sergio Pettis

4. Kyoji Horiguchi

5. Joseph Benavidez

6. Jussier Formiga

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7. Ray Borg

8. John Moraga

9. Alexandre Pantoja

10. Wilson Reis

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With Demetrious Johnson resolute in his unwillingness to take on the challenge of T.J. Dillashaw, he is scheduled to defend his flyweight title in August for the third time against an opponent he has already defeated. This time it will be Henry Cejudo seeking to turn the tables on the king of the 125 pounders.

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. Tatiana Suarez

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Jessica Aguilar picked up her first UFC victory by besting Jodie Esquibel. Aguilar entered the UFC one of the more accomplished female fighters but having competed since 2006, she has more mileage than many of her young competitors.


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