After Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fell out of the headliner a week out from the event, UFC Fight Night 117 from Saitama, Japan, was not likely to be remembered fondly. However, it did break one crystallized notion about MMA's hierarchy: The women's strawweight division is not “Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia Gadelha and everybody else.” If anything, it is now “Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade and everybody else.”
While Ovince St. Preux made the most of his main event against late replacement Yushin Okami -- he won with his record-setting third shoulder choke in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and second this year alone -- beating a faded middleweight like Okami is not enough for “OSP” to rejoin our top-10 mix at 205 pounds. Rather, it was UFC Fight Night 117 co-headliner Andrade making moves, as she overcame a hot start from Gadelha to dominate the final two rounds, turning her fellow Brazilian into a bloody mess. As it pertains to these rankings, Andrade's gruesome treatment of Gadelha sees her vault “Claudinha” in the 115-pound ranks, jumping from fifth to No. 2 at strawweight.
The last two weeks have provided a series of other interlocking changes, giving new faces to other weight classes. Heavy-handed journeyman Paul Daley clobbered previously eighth-ranked welterweight Lorenz Larkin, knocking him off of our 170-pound list and permitting Kamaru Usman to make his top-10 debut; Uriah Hall's upset of bubble-lister Krzysztof Jotko has put Thiago Santos back on the top-15 map; Iony Razafiarison dropped from 145 to 125 pounds and beat Diana Belbita to claim a place on the contenders list; and perhaps you saw Daniel Cormier is the No. 1 light heavyweight and UFC 205-pound champion again, courtesy of Jon Jones' corroborated malfeasance. Some things never change,.
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