Francis Ngannou on Jan. 28 earned his fifth win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in just 14 months, as he clattered former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in just 92 seconds at UFC on Fox 23 in Denver. However, that does not mean Ngannou is alone in shaking up his division.
On account of his brutal blistering of “The Pitbull,” the 30-year-old Ngannou -- one of MMA’s most coveted heavyweight prospects in years -- jumps from the Sherdog.com bubble list into a plush spot at No. 8 in our ranking of the sport’s big men. Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Arlovski’s fourth straight loss signals his exit from the top 10 after a surprising late-career run.
On the same bill, Jorge Masvidal earned his signature breakthrough victory on network television after nearly 14 years in the game, knocking out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone twice in six minutes. After a string of close fights and questionable decisions in his welterweight tenure, “Gamebred” is firmly in the UFC title race at 170 pounds.
The changes at welterweight are not just confined to Masvidal’s resounding win over Cerrone. With former UFC interim champ Carlos Condit still inactive and One Championship titlist Ben Askren not having fought in the weight class for over a year, both fall outside of the Sherdog top 10 -- a reflection of a welterweight division in global flux.
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