With recent months in the Ultimate Fighting Championship offering so many shake-ups in the official Sherdog.com rankings, this update is different in a way, with many stars reaffirming their status in unique ways.
Conor McGregor’s status atop the 145-pound division was not at stake at UFC 202 on Aug. 20, but the Irishman’s rematch with Nate Diaz was still of massive importance. After being embarrassed by Diaz at UFC 196 in March, McGregor turned in a career-defining performance in another 170-pound contest, winning a majority decision over Diaz in an instant classic. Despite his top spot in the featherweight division, evening the score with Diaz does not assure that McGregor will have a second meeting with Jose Aldo, given that “The Notorious” one is already angling for 155-pound contendership.
Donald Cerrone had his third straight welterweight fight in the Octagon and looked brilliant in dispatching Rick Story in the second round. Previously, we announced our preference to continue ranking “Cowboy” at 155 pounds in spite of his recent 170-pound activity. Now, Cerrone is not only ranked as a lightweight but debuts on our welterweight bubble list, to boot. Further complicating the Jackson-Wink MMA product’s status is Cerrone’s declaration that he wants a rematch with new lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez; UFC President Dana White remains adamant that Cerrone’s future is at 170 pounds.
Meanwhile, Anthony Johnson wiped out perennial 205-pound contender Glover Teixeira in just 13 seconds with a savage uppercut. With three consecutive and brutal knockouts on his resume, “Rumble” would typically be on the move up our top 10 list, but owing to Jon Jones’ murky status atop our 205-pound rankings and Johnson’s head-to-head loss with Daniel Cormier, he remains stuck in our third spot.
There are some notable changes to these lists. Also at UFC 202, Lorenz Larkin’s fourth win in five fights since downshifting to 170 pounds saw him positively destroy Neil Magny, dropping the previously seventh-ranked Elevation Fight Team rep out of our top 10 and taking that final spot in his UFC debut. On that same bill, Raquel Pennington earned her third straight win with a decision over Elizabeth Phillips, moving from 10th to ninth in our women’s bantamweight rankings.
Outside of UFC 202, long-time strawweight standout Jessica Aguilar’s year of inactivity due to an ACL tear sees her exit our 115-pound rankings. At the same time, Alexa Grasso returned after 17 months away from the cage at Invicta Fighting Championships 18 on July 29, dominating Jodie Esquibel over three brutal rounds. With Aguilar’s exit and Grasso’s win, the undefeated Mexican prospect re-enters our strawweight list ahead of her announced UFC debut against Heather Clark on Nov. 5 in her native Mexico.
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