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Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Middle of the Road

John Brannigan/Sherdog.com illustration


Jared Cannonier maintained his footing in the middleweight division by the slimmest of margins on Saturday night.

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“The Killa Gorilla” emerged from the UFC Fight Night 216 headliner with a split-decision triumph against Sean Strickland at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t exactly the type of effort that will propel the MMA Lab product back into immediate title contention. Still, a victory over a Top 10 opponent is not insignificant, and it allows Cannonier to keep his No. 4 ranking in Sherdog’s latest middleweight poll. Strickland, after losing a decision that could have easily gone his way, also stays put at ninth.

Meanwhile, Arman Tsarukyan authored a suffocating performance in the “UFC Vegas 66” co-main event, using takedowns and clinch work to end Damir Ismagulov’s 19-fight professional winning streak. Tsarukyan has won six of his last seven promotional appearances — a streak that could easily be seven in a row were it not for a narrow loss to Mateusz Gamrot earlier this year. As it stands, the 26-year-old Russian moves to 10th in the rankings, and there’s plenty of room for upward movement in 2023.

Elsewhere, both Manel Kape and Amir Albazi continued their momentum in the flyweight division. Kape earned his third straight triumph at 125 pounds by knocking off the previously 10th-ranked David Dvorak, while Albazi secured his fourth straight UFC triumph — and fifth consecutive win overall — with a third-round KO of newcomer Alessandro Costa. As a result, both gained ground in the latest flyweight divisional poll.

Note: Previous rankings listed in brackets.

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