Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Changing Landscape

Sep 27, 2009
The landscape is changing in the heavyweight division, but flyweight standouts are holding firm for now.

UFC 103 saw the emergence of 25-year-old prospect Junior dos Santos, who battered longtime heavyweight standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic over 12 one-sided minutes. The impressive victory from the upstart Brazilian was symbolic of the continuing shift to the next generation of young heavyweight talents who continue to overtake those who reigned over the majority of the decade.

However, first-round stoppages marked much of the evening. In the headlining bout, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort returned to the Octagon and halted former middleweight titlist Rich Franklin just over three minutes into their 195-pound catchweight bout. At 170 pounds, despite Josh Koscheck punching out sturdy veteran Frank Trigg in the first frame, the night belonged to British hitter Paul Daley, who clobbered would-be title contender Martin Kampmann and announced his arrival in the UFC’s welterweight division.

On the slighter end of the scale, four ranked flyweights were in recent action, with three of them -- Yuki Shojo, Yasuhiro Urushitani and Masaaki Sugawara -- getting victories to keep pace in Shooto’s 123-pound division. However, the weeks to come should impact the 125-pound division considerably, as King of Pancrase Mitsuhisa Sunabe prepares to defend his title, hot prospect Alexis Vila returns to action and John Dodson and Pat Runez square off on Oct. 3 in the most significant flyweight fight to date on this side of the Pacific.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>