Photo Credit: COSAS/BJPenn.com

Drake’s Top 10 MMA Rankings

A former title challenger jumps directly into the mix in a new division
I have continually been attempting to construct the perfect set of MMA rankings for years now and the goal has always remained the same: to find the very best and most accurate rankings possible, by comparing the UFC’s official rankings with the best in the world overall. Everyone will always have some different opinions, which is why feedback is ALWAYS welcome to help better improve. Hopefully we can find the most agreeable and accurate rankings we can  as MMA fans. Rankings are updated weekly. Enjoy!

Notes:
+ (C) = champion & title fight
+ UFCO = UFC Official Ranking
+ Fighters who have yet to fight in a new division stay ranked in their old division until the fight in new division happens.
+ Fighters will be eliminated from the rankings once given their suspensions for failed drug tests or due to inactivity.
+ The UFC’s official rankings are not included into the divisional changes.
+ The women’s Featherweight division is only a top 5 because of the UFC’s lack of official rankings/fighters.
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Click here for: Previous rankings
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Heavyweight (207-265 lbs.):
– After surviving early adversity against one of the division’s most dangerous strikers, “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt, Curtis Blaydes was able to rally at the start of the second round.  From there, Blaydes did what he does best by securing several takedowns en route to a big unanimous-decision victory in enemy territory.

Photo credit: Lowkick MMA

Overall Changes: Lewis (previously #10) exits, Blaydes enters
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UFC Changes: Blaydes(prev. #10)
Upcoming fights:
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura at UFC Austin
Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski (UFCO #12) at UFC 222
Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Volkov at UFC London
(C) Stipe Miocic vs. (C-LHW) Daniel Cormier at UFC 226
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Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.):
– Things are getting crazy atop the heaviest divisions in MMA. For 2018’s international fight week, the light heavyweight and heavyweight champions will collide when Daniel Cormier attempts to dethrone Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.

Photo credit: MMAJunkie

Changes: None
Upcoming fights:
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ilir Latifi at UFC on Fox 28
HW – Ryan Bader vs. Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal at Bellator 199
Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz (UFCO #11) at UFC London
Corey Anderson vs. Pat Cummins (UFCO #10) at UFC Atlantic City
HW – (C-HW)Stipe Miocic vs. (C) Daniel Cormier at UFC 226
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Middleweight (185 lbs.):
– He wasn’t eligible to win the interim title last Saturday, but he still got the job done. Yoel Romero filled in for the injured champion, Robert Whittaker to take on former champion, Luke Rockhold. The result? Yet another emphatic third-round knockout by Romero in vintage fashion.

Photo credit: MMAFighting

Overall Changes: Rockhold & Mousasi swap
Upcoming fights:
David Branch vs. Thiago Santos (UFCO #11) at UFC Atlantic City
LHW – (LHW C) Tomasz Narkun vs. (C) Mamed Khalidov at KSW 42
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Welterweight (170 lbs.):
– Rory MacDonald achieved his very first major world title when he defeated the two-time Bellator champ, Douglas Lima at Bellator 192. MacDonald didn’t easily earn the win though as hee had to overcome some late adversity from Lima’s leg kicks. With that being said, “The Red King” still was able to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Photo credit: MMAJunkie

Overall Changes: MacDonald and Dos Anjos swap

 Upcoming fights:
None
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Lightweight (155 lbs.):
– Violence follows Justin Gaethje in every fight– he’s made a career off of it! His next opponent will be coming onto Gaethje’s turf ready to engage in war. Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje headlines UFC on Fox 29 in Glendale, Arizona on April 14.

Photo credit: UFC

Changes: None
 Upcoming fights:
Francisco Trinaldo vs.  James Vick (UFCO #12) at UFC Austin
Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis (UFCO #13) at UFC 223
(IC) Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223
Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fox 29
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Featherweight(145 lbs):
– Darren Elkins just can’t seem to stop finding ways to win. After fighting through adversity once again, he was able to rally and pull off a slick submission over the featherweight newcomer and former top lightweight contender, Michael Johnson at UFC St. Louis.

Photo credit: MMAFighting

Overall & UFC Changes: Elkins (prev. #8)
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UFC Changes: Bermudez (prev. #10) exits, Stephens enters
Upcoming fights:
Josh Emmett vs. Jeremy Stephens at UFC on Fox 28
Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega at UFC 222
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Bantamweight (135 lbs.):
– A plethora of exciting matchups are on the horizon in one of MMA’s most stacked weight classes, but one might not be as potentially record-breaking as the one between ONE champion, Bibiano Fernandes and ONE lightweight and featherweight champion, Martin Nguyen. Nguyen will be looking to become a TRIPLE division champion when he fights for Fernandes title in March.

Photo credit: Conan Daily

UFC Changes: Almeida (prev. #10) exits, Munhoz enters
Upcoming fights:
Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann (NR) at UFC 222
John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz at UFC 222
Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns (UFCO #14) at UFC Atlantic City
(C) Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo at Bellator 195
(C) Bibiano Fernandes vs. (LW&FW C) Martin Nguyen at ONE 68
Kyogi Horiguchi vs. Ian McCall at RIZIN 9
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Flyweight (125lbs.):
– Jussier Formiga continued to show why he has been one of the staples at 125 since its inception. The former #1 flyweight in the world went into enemy territory to take on Ben Nguyen at UFC 221. The Brazilian came away with the impressive third-round submission victory after knocking Nguyen down with a beautiful spinning backfist.

Photo credit: MMA Weekly

Overall Changes: Elliott (prev. #10) exits, Formiga enters
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UFC Changes: Formiga (prev. #10)
Upcoming fights:
Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno at UFC 223
Wilson Reis vs. John Moraga (UFCO #10) at UFC on Fox 29
BW – Kyogi Horiguchi vs. Ian McCall at RIZIN 9
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Women’s Featherweight:
– It will be a relatively quick turnaround for UFC Women’s Featherweight Queen, Cris Cyborg. After a successful defense at UFC 219 to close out 2017, Cyborg is back to save the UFC 222 card after it’s original headliner fell through. Cyborg will now defend against the Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion, Yana Kunitskaya in her UFC debut and return to 145lbs.

Photo credit: UFC

Changes: None
Upcoming fights:
(C) Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya (NR) at UFC 222
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Women’s Bantamweight:
– No bigger of an impact has been made as of late as the one that the departing Valentina Shevchenko made at UFC Belem in her UFC flyweight debut. She absolutely decimated the newcomer, Priscila Cachoeira for a round and a half before Shevchenko locked in a fight-finishing rear naked choke. It would be a surprise to many if she doesn’t fight for the title in her next outing.

Photo credit: MMAJunkie

Overall & UFC Changes: Shevchenko (prev. #2) exits
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Overall Changes: Kaufman enters
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UFC Changes: Reneau enters
Upcoming fights:
Sara McMann vs. Marion Reneau (BW UFCO #8) at UFC on Fox 28
Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano at UFC 222
FW – (C) Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222
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Women’s Flyweight:
– The momentum continues for Jessica-Rose Clark at her new home of 125lbs. At UFC St. Louis, she defeated Paige VanZant by unanimous decision to extend her current winning streak to three.

Photo credit: Bloody Elbow

Overall & UFC Changes: Shevchenko enters
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Overall Changes: Porto & Montano swap, Honchak (prev. #10) exits
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UFC Changes: Clark (prev. #9), Davis (prev. #8) and Faria (prev. #10) exit, Chookagian enters
Upcoming fights:
None
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Strawweight (115lbs.):
– It was so close, yet so far away for the former Invicta FC champ, Livia Renata Souza. Souza was supposed to compete this Sunday in her UFC debut against the former WSOF champion, Jessica Aguilar. Unfortunately, Souza suffered a hand injury and was forced to pull out of the bout. No replacement was found and Aguilar has now been pulled from the card as well.

Photo credit: Invicta

Changes: None.
Upcoming fights:
Jessica Andrade vs. Tecia Torres at UFC on Fox 28
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig at UFC 223
(C) Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejcyzk at UFC 223
Michelle Waterson vs. Cortney Casey (UFCO #12) at UFC on Fox 29
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Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and follow me on Twitter: @Dre_Kriggs 
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Drake Riggs is an MMA writer who specializes in rankings, the women's fight scene and breaking down cards. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake also currently writes for BJPenn.com along with Fansided and is a former contributor to Sherdog. He is a die-hard fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars as well.

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