Two title belts changed hands at UFC 185, and that means two divisional top 10s with fresh faces in the No. 1 spot.
The first is Rafael dos Anjos, who, having toiled in the Octagon since 2008, finally struck gold in his 18th Ultimate Fighting Championship appearance. The ever-improving Brazilian snatched Anthony Pettis’ lightweight crown in Dallas, dominating “Showtime” on the feet and the floor for five rounds in a way no opponent had before. While the new 155-pound champ is without a clear-cut challenger at the moment, that should not be the case for long: The last man to beat dos Anjos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, will face Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 in a likely title eliminator.
Also at UFC 185, Joanna Jedrzejczyk became the UFC’s second women’s strawweight champion, ending Carla Esparza’s reign after three short months. The Polish striker was unrelenting and utterly dominant as she sprawled upon and battered Esparza to earn a second-round knockout in the finest showing of her young career. The victory propels the undefeated Jedrzejczyk to the No. 1 spot at 115 pounds, displacing World Series of Fighting ace Jessica Aguilar and bumping Esparza down to the No. 4 position.
After losing his belt in December, ex-welterweight champ Johny Hendricks got back on track before a hometown crowd, grinding out a unanimous decision against Matt Brown, who drops one spot to No. 8.
Alistair Overeem climbed back onto the list of heavyweight contenders with a sterling performance against Roy Nelson, who has been dropped from the rankings after his fourth loss in five fights.
In flyweight activity, Henry Cejudo entered the rankings at No. 10 thanks to a successful 125-pound debut against Chris Cariaso, while One Championship titleholder Adriano Moraes maintained his spot on the contenders’ list with a hard-earned, five-round title defense against game Japanese challenger Asuka Mikami.
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