With UFC Vegas 42 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.
|Joanne Wood||#5 (+1)|
|Viviane Araujo||#6 (+1)|
|Andrea Lee||#7 (+5)|
|Cynthia Calvillo||#9 (-4)|
|Taila Santos||#10 (-1)|
|Alexa Grasso||#11 (-1)|
|Roxanne Modafferi||#12 (-1)|
The big movement of the week belongs to Andrea Lee. Her TKO finish of Cynthia Calvillo at UFC Vegas 42, which came with Calvillo was unable to answer the bell for the third round, shoot Lee up the rankings quick. Despite having three straight losses recently, she’s now won two straight. This win over a previously top five opponent has her knocking on that distinction for herself. It’s worth noting that this win moves her ahead a woman who she has previously lost to in Roxanne Modafferi. However, with the recent results of the two women, I don’t think many would argue with that.
Conversely, the biggest fall of the week belongs to Cynthia Calvillo. She drops out of the top five and to the #9 slot. Similar to Lee, it’s worth noting that this drop puts her behind a woman who she has previously beat in Jessica Eye. The three straight losses by Calvillo make that acceptable though.
|Raphael Assuncao||#12 (+1)|
|Frankie Edgar||#13 (-1)|
|Song Yadong||#14 (+1)|
|Cody Stamann||#15 (-1)|
Some of the movement at bantamweight will immediately make sense, while some will take some parsing to understand. Song Yadong‘s movement ahead of Cody Stamann is easy enough. Yadong won his fight this weekend against Julio Arce in impressive fashion at UFC Vegas 42. He and Stamann had drawn in the past and it seems like this was enough to move Yadong up a spot ahead of Stamann.
On the other hand, Raphael Assuncao moving ahead of Frankie Edgar seems like a confusing move. Neither men fought this past weekend, so movement is sometimes hard to understand under those circumstances. However, this is a pretty simple explanation. When some panelists moved Song Yadong up, they likely moved him up a couple of spots (not just ahead of Stamann). If the panelists who did that also moved him ahead of Edgar, or at least did so at a higher rate than those moving him ahead of Assuncao, this movement is what would result.
|Brianna Van Buren||#14 (+1)|
|Jessica Penne||#15 (-1)|
The movement here is another of those that will make a lot of people scratch their head. Not only did neither of these women fight, but nobody in their division did this past weekend at UFC Vegas 42. It’s movement like this that gives a lot of people doubts in the system. However, as always, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this movement.
Although neither of these women fought, a member of their division was recently released. Randa Markos fought out her UFC contract and was not renewed. As a result, this week, she was no longer eligible to be ranked. Following her one-sided win over Livinha Souza, she likely picked up a couple votes. When she was removes, those votes likely went to Brianna Van Buren or at least did so at a higher rate than Jessica Penne. As a result, the aggregate scores flipped in terms of who was higher.
|Joel Alvarez||#15 (NR)|
|Thiago Moises||#NR (-1)|
Lightweight is a nice reprieve from the confounding movement of strawweight. This change could not be simpler than it is. Thiago Moises was #15 in the rankings. He lost to Joel Alvarez at UFC Vegas 42. Joel Alvarez took that spot. It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of fighters on the edge that likely could have also taken this spot. Guys like Damir Ismagulov certainly have a claim to that spot, but the panelists sided with the recent win over a ranked opponent.