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Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Vacant Sentiment

John Brannigan/Sherdog.com illustration


Consider it a night of lost opportunity for both Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz.

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In the end, the only thing definitive to emerge from the UFC 282 main event was that neither Ankalaev nor Blachowicz will be getting another crack at light heavyweight gold following their split draw at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Instead, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White announced that Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill will square off for the still vacant belt at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 21.

While the UFC light heavyweight division remains in limbo, other fighters made significant statements over the weekend. That began at Bellator 289, where Patrick Mix and Raufeon Stots advanced to the finals of the Bellator MMA bantamweight grand prix. Mix was impressive with a submission of Magomed Magomedov, while interim champ Stots survived a grinder to take a split verdict over Danny Sabatello. Mix’s recent run allows him to make his Top 10 debut in the divisional rankings at 135 pounds, while Stots climbs a couple spots on the bubble.

Elsewhere, Paddy Pimblett drew more than his fair share of fanfare heading into UFC 282, but perhaps no fighter from Saturday’s card has a brighter future than featherweight contender Ilia Topuria. The Spaniard handed fellow ranked 145-pounder Bryce Mitchell his first career defeat, tapping out “Thug Nasty” in the second round of their preliminary encounter. With that, the still-unbeaten Topuria climbs from 15th to 11th at 145 pounds.

Finally, Liz Carmouche improved to 2-0 against Juliana Velasquez in the Bellator 289 co-main event. The second triumph was much more definitive than the first, and it allows “Girl-Rilla” to keep her No. 2 spot at 125 pounds. Velasquez, meanwhile, takes a tumble to fifth.

Note: Previous rankings listed in brackets.

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