For all its bombast, Bellator MMA’s “Dynamite” mega-card was at its core a bare showcase for the organization’s thriving light heavyweight division.
The 205-pounders on display did not disappoint, as champion Liam McGeary and new acquisition Phil Davis had impressive outings on Sept. 19 in San Jose, Calif. McGeary defended his Bellator belt in style with an inverted triangle choke which derailed the comeback of former UFC champ Tito Ortiz. Davis, meanwhile, made a great first impression with his new employer by steamrolling through the evening’s four-man tournament, putting away Emanuel Newton and tourney alternate Francis Carmont, both inside five minutes.
Davis remains ranked at No. 6 in this edition of Sherdog.com’s light heavyweight top 10, while McGeary maintains his position at No. 9. Newton, now on his first losing streak since 2009, falls from the No. 10 spot to the list of the other contenders, making room for Jimi Manuwa to rejoin the ranks. Two-division World Series of Fighting champ David Branch also joins the contenders list at 205 pounds, while simultaneously maintaining a top-10 spot at middleweight.
Unbeaten WSOF lightweight champ Justin Gaethje keeps his place on the list of 155-pound contenders after laying waste to challenger Luis Palomino in their rematch at WSOF 23.
The streaking Tonya Evinger slides up one spot to No. 7 in the women’s bantamweight rankings after winning her eighth straight with a dominant stoppage of Pannie Kianzad at Invicta Fighting Championships 14.
Finally, former Invicta strawweight Katja Kankaanpaa announced her retirement after suffering a decision loss to DeAnna Bennett at Invicta 14. The Finn’s exit leaves a hole in the rankings at No. 10 which is filled by Tecia Torres. Bennett, who missed weight for her fight with Kankaanpaa, joins the list of 135-pound contenders.
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