With UFC 269 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.

Heavyweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Tai Tuivasa#11 (NR)
Augusto Sakai#12 (-1)
Blagoy Ivanov#13 (-1)
Walt Harris#14 (-1)
Sergei Pavlovich#15 (-1)
Serghei Spivak#NR (-1)
Heavyweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

The big winning in the UFC’s official rankings this week is Tai Tuivasa. The Australian heavyweight was riding a three-fight losing streak just a few years ago. After the third straight loss, Tuivasa announced the UFC had released him from his contract. Luckily for him, and us, they gave him a second chance before he ever fought for another promotion. The outcome – a four-fight winning streak that was capped off with a victory over eleventh-ranked Augusto Sakai. With that win, Tuivasa moved up to the spot previously occupied by his opponent.

A number of fighters slid one spot to accommodate the inclusion of the newcomer. The one who appears to have gotten the worst of that skid was Serghei Spivak, who drops out of the rankings entirely.

Bantamweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Dominick Cruz#7 (+2)
Marlon Vera#8 (+3)
Marlon Moraes#9 (+1)
Pedro Munhoz#10 (-2)
Frankie Edgar#11 (+2)
Sean O’Malley#13 (NR)
Bantamweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

The bantamweight rankings saw a huge shake-up thanks to two fights of interest at UFC 269. One of those included fan-favorite Sean O’Malley, as he put on another impressive performance. O’Malley battered and then finished Raulian Paiva on the pay-per-view main card. The self-proclaimed champion of the unranked fighters may no longer have a case for that title, as he slides into the thirteenth spot in the rankings. No fighter had to be removed to add him in as Cody Garbrandt was removed due to changing divisions.

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Much of the other movement was due to the fight of the night between Pedro Munhoz and Dominick Cruz. After being badly dropped in the first round, Cruz stormed back to win the last two rounds and take the unanimous decision. For his troubles, he earned two spots in the rankings, which was essentially just moving ahead of Munhoz and gaining a spot for the Garbrandt removal. Munhoz dropped two spots for the loss.

One other peculiar bit of movement was the rise of Marlon Vera. Despite not fighting, Vera grabbed three spots in the rankings (one of which can be attributed to Garbrandt). The reason for this could be a couple of different things. The first is that having a win over O’Malley as he surges actually helps his case for a higher ranking. A second would be that the movement up and down of Munhoz and Cruz just helped his aggregate score more than others. In the end, it’s likely a combination of these two factors.

Women’s Bantamweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Julianna Pena#C (+4)
Amanda Nunes#1 (-1)
Holly Holm#2 (-1)
Irene Aldana#3 (-1)
Pannie Kianzad#12 (-1)
Karol Rosa#13 (+1)
Women’s Bantamweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

The movement at women’s bantamweight is mostly just due to Julianna Pena ascending the throne. Amanda Nunes drops to the number one spot and no further due to her unmatched resume. However, there was a slight change at the bottom of the rankings where Pannie Kianzad passed Karol Rosa. It is possible that the win of Pena could have affected this, but only if at least one panelist had Rosa ahead of Pena. The only other explanation for this would be somebody changing their mind about placement a week after the removal of Germaine de Randamie.

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Flyweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Sumudaerji#12 (+1)
Amir Albazi#13 (-1)
Flyweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

Bantamweight had some big movers and shakers and a lot of it was due to Cody Garbrandt. I’m pretty positive that this change can also be attributed to “No Love” as well. While he is still winless at flyweight, the flyweight rankings are thin. Some may have seen his performance and put it in conjunction with his overall resume – which may have been enough to rank him anyways. If this affected Albazi disproportionately to Sumudaerji, then he may fall a spot even though we don’t see Garbrandt in these rankings.

Featherweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Josh Emmett#6 (+2)
Arnold Allen#7 (-1)
Giga Chikadze#8 (-1)
Featherweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

The return of Josh Emmett means a return to his forward movement up the rankings. After eighteen months away, Emmett beat Dan Ige by unanimous decision, which moved him in front of Arnold Allen and Giga Chikadze. While Allen and Chikadze have been more active, neither has as highly ranked of a win as Josh Emmett does. As a result, he grabs the number six spot.

Also of note is the fact that Dan Ige did not fall at all in the rankings. The strength of schedule he’s faced is one of the reasons that even without the positive result, he stays put.

Middleweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Andre Muniz#13 (NR)
Chris Weidman#14 (-1)
Kevin Holland#15 (11)
Edmen Shahbazyan#NR (-1)
Middleweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

Andre Muniz, like Tai Tuivasa, made a heck of a statement and storms into the rankings. Muniz was previously in the rankings following his submission win over Jacare Souza, but additions of people like Nassourdine Imavov afterward dropped him from the list. This impressive win over Eryk Anders makes it four straight and puts him high enough up that he should be safe from those newcomers now. Each fighter lower than him drops a spot to make room for him, including Edmen Shahbazyan, who falls out of the list entirely.

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Women’s Flyweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Cynthia Calvillo#9 (+1)
Jessica Eye#10 (-1)
Women’s Flyweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

Neither Jessica Eye nor Cynthia Calvillo fought this past weekend, so to an untrained eye, this may seem like an awkward movement. However, Erin Blanchfield is in this division and undoubtedly got votes in the flyweight division. Her dismantling of Miranda Maverick put her as a top prospect to keep an eye on. During her inclusion on some panelists’ rankings, Jessica Eye must have been more heavily affected than Cynthia Calvillo. This would cause her aggregate score to slide below Calvillo.

Lightweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Justin Gaethje#1 (+1)
Dustin Poirier#2 (-1)
Lightweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

After losing out on his second chance at an undisputed title, Dustin Poirier also lost a spot in the rankings. He falls to number two behind Justin Gaethje. Although he beat Gaethje back in 2018, the move does appear to make sense. Poirier is just 2-2 in his last four with only wins over Conor McGregor. Gaethje is 3-1 in that same span and is coming off of a fight of the year performance against Michael Chandler.

Is there movement in the rankings that you still don’t understand? Ask us on Twitter (@TheAllStarSport) and we’ll make sure Gumby answers it for you. You can also ask him directly (@GumbyVreeland).

Daniel "Gumby" Vreeland has been an MMA writer for over a decade. He currently hosts The Top Turtle Podcast and is a member of the UFC's ranking panel.

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