Glover Teixeira rises in the light heavyweight rankings after spoiling the homecoming of Ovince St. Preux.
The main event of UFC Fight Night on Aug. 8 in Nashville saw Teixeira ground, pound and ultimately choke out the former University of Tennessee football player. The 35-year-old Brazilian’s offensive pressure and strong top game were too much for St. Preux, who looked exhausted even before succumbing to a third-round rear-naked choke. The victory halts a two-fight losing skid for ex-title challenger Teixeira, who moves up to No. 7 in the 205-pound rankings; St. Preux drops one spot to No. 8 in defeat.
In a crucial lightweight affair, Beneil Dariush eked out a controversial split decision to continue his winning streak and halt the momentum of Michael Johnson. Though many fans and pundits believed Johnson’s fast hands and takedown defense should have earned him the nod, Dariush came on strong in the latter frames and was able to sway two judges. Formerly seventh-ranked Johnson drops to No. 9 with the hard-luck loss, while previously ninth-ranked Dariush ascends one place to No. 8.
With Ronda Rousey having all but cleared out her division, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is starved for fresh challengers at 135 pounds. It may have found one in Amanda Nunes, who put on a career-best performance against Sara McMann on the Nashville undercard. The “Lioness” denied takedown attempts from the Olympic wrestler before flooring McMann with punches and finishing with a rear-naked choke less than three minutes into the opening frame. Previously unranked, Nunes vaults into the women’s bantamweight top 10 in the No. 5 spot, bumping former No. 10 Marion Reneau to the list of contenders.
In other action, No. 9 bantamweight Frankie Saenz maintains his ranking after a hard-fought decision victory over unranked prospect Sirwan Kakai, and fringe flyweight Dustin Ortiz makes the move into the No. 10 spot with an impressive third-round stoppage against the dangerous Willie Gates.
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