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MMA rankings: Jorge Masvidal continues his star-making rise

UFC 244 Masvidal v Diaz
Jorge Masvidal celebrates his win over Nate Diaz.
(Steven Ryan / Getty Images)

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

Heavyweight

1. Stipe Miocic

2. Francis Ngannou

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3. Daniel Cormier

4. Curtis Blaydes

5. Junior Dos Santos

6. Alistair Overeem

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7. Derrick Lewis

8. Alexander Volkov

9. Ryan Bader

10. Vitaly Minakov

Derrick Lewis showed a lot of heart in Madison Square Garden against Blagoy Ivanov, powering out of submission attempts and returning to his feet to throw fierce punches. It earned him a split-decision win in a competitive fight. Alexander Volkov also picked up a win, besting late replacement Greg Hardy by unanimous decision. Hardy did pretty well given his experience level but Volkov clearly won the fight.

Light Heavyweight

1. Jon Jones

2. Ryan Bader

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3. Dominick Reyes

4. Thiago Santos

5. Corey Anderson

6. Anthony Smith

7. Glover Teixeira

8. Jan Blachowicz

9. Phil Davis

10. Volkan Oezdemir

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Corey Anderson picked up a statement win, stopping rising star Johnny Walker with strikes in a little over two minutes. The win was his fourth straight and the most impressive of the bunch. Jan Blachowicz cracks the top ten with his sixth win in seven fights, this time over former elite middleweight Ronald “Jacare” Souza.

Middleweight

1. Israel Adesanya

2. Robert Whittaker

3. Paulo Costa

4. Yoel Romero

5. Gegard Mousasi

6. Jared Cannonier

7. Rafael Lovato Jr.

8. Jack Hermansson

9. Darren Till

10. Kelvin Gastelum

Darren Till moves into the middleweight top ten with a split decision win over contender Kelvin Gastelum. Till was a welterweight star and it remains to be seen how well he will adjust to the new weight class.

Welterweight

1. Kamaru Usman

2. Colby Covington

3. Tyron Woodley

4. Jorge Masvidal

5. Douglas Lima

6. Stephen Thompson

7. Leon Edwards

8. Rory MacDonald

9. Santiago Ponzinibbio

10. Demian Maia

The “BMF title” fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz ended in disappointing fashion, with a doctor stoppage after the third round. However, it was an exciting fight to that point and the stoppage was justified given the damage and punishment Diaz had taken. The rapid rise to superstar status of the longtime veteran Masvidal is arguably the most noteworthy MMA story of the year. In other action on the same card, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson put on a clinic against the surging Vicente Luque and won a wide unanimous decision.

Lightweight

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

2. Tony Ferguson

3. Dustin Poirier

4. Justin Gaethje

5. Islam Makhachev

6. Kevin Lee

7. Donald Cerrone

8. Al Iaquinta

9. Gregor Gillespie

10. Paul Felder

Kevin Lee scored one of the most brutal knockouts you’re ever going to see against formerly unbeaten Gregor Gillespie, finishing him with an explosive kick to the head. The win reestablishes Lee as one of the division’s best after he struggled in some recent fights against top competition. Lee’s win unfortunately knocks Charles Oliveira out of the top 10 despite Oliveira knocking out Jared Gordon in 86 seconds the same month.

Featherweight

1. Max Holloway

2. Alexander Volkanovski

3. Brian Ortega

4. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire

5. Zabit Magomedsharipov

6. Jose Aldo

7. Frankie Edgar

8. Josh Emmett

9. Calvin Kattar

10. Yair Rodriguez

Zabit Magomedsharipov’s unanimous decision victory over Calvin Kattar offered some reasons for optimism and caution. Magomedsharipov looked crisp and impressive early in the fight but he tired late. That could be a problem as he advances to more five-round fights.

Bantamweight

1. Henry Cejudo

2. Marlon Moraes

3. Cory Sandhagen

4. Petr Yan

5. Raphael Assuncao

6. Aljamain Sterling

7. Jimmie Rivera

8. Cody Stamann

9. Pedro Munhoz

10. Bibiano Fernandes

A couple of interesting bantamweight fights were recently signed. Petr Yan will get the biggest name opponent of his career when he takes on the popular Urijah Faber in an important bout for both men. Meanwhile, Cory Sandhagen will welcome Frankie Edgar to the 135-pound division after Edgar thrived at 155 pounds and 145 pounds.

Women’s Bantamweight

1. Amanda Nunes

2. Ketlen Vieira

3. Germaine de Randamie

4. Julianna Pena

5. Aspen Ladd

6. Raquel Pennington

7. Yana Kunitskaya

8. Holly Holm

9. Marion Reneau

10. Irene Aldana

Early December will be an important period for the women’s bantamweight division. Champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title against Germaine de Randamie in what could be a challenging style matchup for the Brazilian great. Top contenders Ketlen Vieira and Aspen Ladd will also both return to the Octagon, with Vieira meeting Irene Aldana December 14 and Ladd taking on Yana Kunitskaya December 7.

Women’s Flyweight

1. Valentina Shevchenko

2. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

3. Katlyn Chookagian

4. Jennifer Maia

5. Joanne Calderwood

6. Andrea Lee

7. Jessica Eye

8. Liz Carmouche

9. Viviane Araujo

10. Vanessa Porto

Katlyn Chookagian cemented her status as the top contender for Valentina Shevchenko with a unanimous decision win over Jennifer Maia. That bout with Shevchenko would be a massive opportunity, but Chookagian would go in as a strong underdog.

Women’s Strawweight

1. Weili Zhang

2. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

3. Jessica Andrade

4. Rose Namajunas

5. Tatiana Suarez

6. Nina Ansaroff

7. Claudia Gadelha

8. Carla Esparza

9. Michelle Waterson

10. Cynthia Calvillo

The top of the UFC women’s strawweight division is crowded, and it will be interesting to see which fighters get the most high profile bouts when the next round of top fights is announced.


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