With UFC 268 in the books, the ranking panelists went back to update their personal rankings (myself included). There were some divisions that saw major shake-ups, and others that saw virtually no movement. Let’s take a look at who moved and what the reason might be for it.
|Pedro Munhoz||#8 (+1)|
|Marlon Moraes||#9 (+1)|
|Dominick Cruz||#10 (+1)|
|Marlon Vera||#11 (+2)|
|Frankie Edgar||#12 (-4)|
|Raphael Assuncao||#13 (-1)|
The bantamweight division was one of the most shaken up by UFC 268. With the champions and number one contenders all staying put – it was a different main card fight that provided some action in the rankings. Even the barn-burner between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler didn’t provide any ups or downs. Instead, it was the tilt between Marlon Vera and Frankie Edgar that got things rollings.
Marlon Vera landed a gnarly third-round front kick that smashed Frankie Edgar’s jaw. Although it was a huge win for his career, the victory over a former champion only saw him move up two spots. Some of this is due to the fact that Edgar seems to be a much different version of himself. It also may partially be due to the fact that Vera is now just 3-2 in his last five fights with a loss to unranked Song Yadong in there. Still, he wakes up this morning just a single spot outside of the top ten.
Edgar takes a bit more meaningful of a dive. The loss, his fourth in his last five fights, dropped him from #8 to #12. The lone win in there being over current #8 Pedro Munhoz likely accounts for why he hasn’t fallen all the way out of the rankings at this point.
|Uriah Hall||#9 (+1)|
|Kelvin Gastelum||#10 (-1)|
|Brad Tavares||#11 (+1)|
|Nassourdine Imavov||#12 (NR)|
|Kevin Holland||#12 (+2)|
|Chris Weidman||#14 (-1)|
|Edmen Shahbazyan||#15 (-4)|
|Andre Muniz||#NR (-1)|
Middleweight also saw some significant jostling. This division was shaken up on the prelim portion of UFC 268. On the first fight of the regular prelims, Nassourdine Imavov dominated Edmen Shahbazyan en route to a second-round finish. He not only showed off the striking people has been excited about, but also worked in the grappling too. The finish even came from the mat with a crucifix TKO. The well-roundedness along with the previous ranking of Shahbazyan accounts for the fact that Imavov enters the rankings as high as he does.
The loss is the third straight for Shahbazyan, which drops him four spots – similar to Frankie Edgar. Also, like Edgar, he appears to have maintained his spot in the rankings with a previous quality win. Just before he began this losing streak, Shahbazyan had defeated Brad Tavares, who still sits at #11. That quality win is likely a big part of why he hasn’t fallen out of the rankings entirely.
Two fighters saw a change in their rankings in ways outside of their control. Kelvin Gastelum dropped a spot to just behind Uriah Hall. This is most likely due to the aforementioned fight between Imavov and Shahbazyan. A panelist, or multiple, must have either previously had Shahbazyan ahead of Hall and then moved him under – which would, in turn, raise the aggregate score of Hall above Gastelum. The other explanation would be that a panelist, or multiple, would have had to move Imavov ahead of Gastelum and not Hall, lowering Gastelum’s aggregate.
|Jessica Penne||#14 (NR)|
|Felice Herrig||#NR (-2)|
After nine fights in the UFC, Felice Herrig was dropped from the rankings. With just the title fight in her division at UFC 268, we have to assume this move was not based on any actual fighting. Instead, this was a move due to either inactivity or removal from the roster. We’ll be watching closely for a statement from Herrig as, at the time of writing, there has not been one. Fellow veteran, Jessica Penne, takes her spot instead.