With a second-round submission of Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, Jon Jones is still rolling. | Photo: Sherdog.com
So far, December has witnessed the usual: the champions fought, and the champions won.
At UFC 140 on Dec. 10, Jon Jones had his most trying fight in memory, as Lyoto Machida was able to stifle Jones for all of five minutes. However, in round two, “Jonny Bones” flipped the switch and choked the former UFC champion out cold, putting a capper on what has been hailed as the best single-year campaign in MMA history.
A week later in San Diego, Calif., Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez boxed circles over Jorge Masvidal for 25 minutes, taking a dominant-if-unthrilling unanimous decision verdict. The win likely didn’t win him any new fans, but did reaffirm the MMA world’s desire to see Melendez against the 155-pound division’s finest.
Even though things have been status quo thus far, December promises to see some shakeup, as UFC 141’s lineup will force some final fluctuations in 2011, with multiple fights featuring ranked fighters or contenders-listers going head-to-head. Ripe with bantamweight and featherweight action, even Dream’s New Year’s Eve bill could factor into the rankings picture before the calendar rolls over.
We have gotten word however that the rankings will really get a facelift in 2012, as the flyweight division will enter the UFC’s Octagon. Come March, flyweight standouts Ian McCall and Yasuhiro Urushitani will welcome bantamweight stars Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez to 125 pounds. Easily the most significant flyweight happening to date, 2012 will give this sport its first look at a truly internationalized 125-pound ranking, a luxury long overdue for MMA’s flyweights.
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