With flyweight and pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson closing as high as a -1100 favorite entering his UFC on Fox 24 headliner against Wilson Reis on April 15, no one expected to see a new UFC 125-pound champion crowned in Kansas City, Missouri; those expectations were on the money. “Mighty Mouse” assaulted Reis for almost 15 minutes before coolly armbarring him to notch his UFC record-tying 10th consecutive title defense.
In this edition of the Sherdog.com rankings, Johnson does not have to move a muscle, retaining his No. 1 spot at flyweight. However, the rest of the UFC on Fox 24 main card was filled with up-and-coming fighters seizing the moment on primetime network television.
In the co-feature, Rose Namajunas earned her fourth win in her last five bouts by dominating former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Michelle Waterson, as she landed a nasty head kick and followed up with a rear-naked choke in the second round. As a result, “Thug Rose” is on the move again, rising one spot on our 115-pound list, from fifth to fourth.
Before Namajunas took the cage, New Zealand's Robert Whittaker put on a show, as the 26-year-old “Reaper” earned the biggest win of his career, using his own second-round head kick to drop longtime elite middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza before finishing with ground-and-pound. Polishing off the grappling legend moved Whittaker to 6-0 as a middleweight and makes him our biggest mover in this rankings update, as “Bobby Knuckles” jumps from No. 7 to the fourth spot at 185.
The biggest surprise of all came in the first main card bout, as undefeated Renato “Moicano” Carneiro took a massive leap up in competition to face power-punching veteran Jeremy Stephens. Despite his underdog status, the lanky Brazilian rose to the occasion and took a well-earned split verdict over “Lil Heathen.” With the win, Carneiro makes his debut on our list, taking the No. 10 spot while the previously eighth-ranked Stephens falls to our featherweight contenders list.
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