With UFC 267 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.
|Jorge Masvidal||#7 (-1)|
|Khamzat Chimaev||#10 (NR)|
|Geoff Neal||#11 (-1)|
|Jingliang Li||#12 (-1)|
|Santiago Ponzinibbio||#13 (-1)|
|Sean Brady||#14 (-1)|
|Daniel Rodriguez||NR (-2)|
It may come as no surprise that Khamzat Chimaev made his emphatic return to the UFC’s official rankings. Chimaev was previously ranked at #15 in the welterweight rankings, but was bumped out following some wins by other fringe top 15 guys and inactivity on his part. Now, with a big win over previously ranked #11 Jingliang Li, Chimaev has grabbed not just a spot in the rankings, but makes his way into the top 10 as well. He is likely to be booked with another top 10-level fighter, although there are still rumblings of him continuing to compete at middleweight as well.
While plenty of fighters fell back a spot due to Chimaev entering the rankings, two took a particularly bad fall. The first is Daniel Rodriguez, who fell from #14 all the way out of the rankings. He falls even behind Muslim Salikhov, who holds steady at #15. While this seems non-sensical, it’s important to remember that everyone has fighters at different numbers and that this is not a singular choice. What likely happened is that more people had slotted Chimaev ahead of Rodriguez and there may be some that didn’t even move Khamzat ahead of Salikhov. It is also possible that some people moved Salikhov ahead of Jingliang in their rankings due to the loss, while fewer moved Rodrgiuez ahead.
Another fighter taking an unfortunate step back is Jorge Masvidal. While Chimaev did not pass him in the rankings, he did fall out of a tie he was previously in with Michael Chiesa. This would need just one person to move Khamzat ahead of Masvidal, which would cause that tie to be broken.
|Islam Makhachev||#4 (+1)|
|Michael Chandler||#5 (-1)|
|Rafael dos Anjos||#6 (+2)|
|Dan Hooker||#8 (-2)|
The movement at lightweight was a tad more straightforward than what we saw with Khamzat’s victory. In this case, Islam Makhachev defeated Dan Hooker with a quick first round kimura. As a result, Makhachev moved up a single spot, ahead of Michael Chandler who fights this weekend. Hooker, on the other hand, fell back two spots behind Rafael dos Anjos and Tony Ferguson. Apart from that simple fight, there was no other movement in the lightweight division.
|Tagir Ulanbekov||#14 (+1)|
|Tyson Nam||#15 (-1)|
No major ripples at flyweight either, as Tagir Ulanbekov perhaps didn’t cause the same waves as Khamzat Chimaev. He picked up a split decision victory to kick off the night over Allan Nascimento. The decision was an interesting one as clearly one of the judges valued the attacks from the Brazilian off of his back. Each judge gave Nascimento the second round despite being taken down early and spending nearly the whole round with Ulanbekov on top in the guard. However, two of the three judges gave him the odd rounds and awarded him the fight. That close victory was enough to get him ahead of Tyson Nam, but no further than that.
|Jan Blachowicz||#1 (-1)|
|Magomed Ankalaev||#6 (+1)|
|Dominick Reyes||#7 (-1)|
After losing his belt to Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz comes in at #1. Wins over Dominick Reyes and Israel Adesanya certainly have not hurt his chances to stay up high. Still, the Poland native does not expect to be the number one contender for the belt right now. He’s content with having to fight again and ceding the next opportunity to Jiri Prochazka, who stayed behind him in the official rankings.
Also moving up at 205lbs is Magomed Ankalaev. The Russian won a unanimous decision over Volkan Oezdemir. He jumped ahead of Dominick Reyes with that win. Oddly, Volkan Oezdemir did not drop at all despite this being his fifth loss in his last seven fights. One of those two wins being a decision over current #3 Alexander Rakic may explain why so many panelists did not drop the Swiss fighter.
|Marcin Tybura||#9 (-1)|
|Tom Aspinall||#10 (+1)|
Heavyweight may be the only division that is quite as odd as the movement of the welterweight class thanks to Khamzat Chimaev. In this one, Marcin Tybura falls a spot, but not behind anyone at all. He simply moved out of a tie with Shamil Abdurakhimov. This means at least one panelist would have had to drop him at least one spot, which would break the tie.
Meanwhile, Tom Aspinall moves up a spot to being tied with Augusto Sakai – both of which didn’t fight. The only explanation for this would be that the person, or people, who dropped Tybura did so in favor of Aspinall. That raised his aggregate score enough to reach a tie with Sakai. As a result, we see two people move with no consequences for fighters around them.
Also worth noting is that Alexander Volkov did not move up following his win over Tybura. This can easily be attributed to the fact that he has a loss to the man ranked directly in front of him in #4 Curtis Blaydes.
|Angela Hill||#12 (+1)|
|Virna Jandiroba||#13 (-1)|
The last and final move of the week is another simple one. With a loss to Amanda Ribas at UFC 267, Virna Jandiroba dropped a single spot in the rankings. This fight left her at just 2-2 in her last four fights, which is still one fight better than Angela Hill at 1-3. Enough panelists must have prioritized Hill’s strong strength of schedule in weighing this change, and saw her come out a spot higher as a result.