With UFC Vegas 39 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.

Women’s Strawweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Marina Rodriguez#4 (+2)
Yan Xiaonan#5 (-1)
Mackenzie Dern#6 (-2)
Women’s Strawweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

The most obvious movement starts with Marina Rodriguez, who impressed in her five-round headliner against Mackenzie Dern at UFC Vegas 39. She not only pieced up Dern on the feet, but looked solid defensively grappling against Dern as well. She even threw up an oddly angled d’arce choke from bottom side control that seems to make the jiu jitsu ace sweat a bit. As a result, Rodriguez leapfrogs Dern and Yan Xiaonan to make it into the top 5 of the official rankings. She only doesn’t move forward further due to a loss to current #3 Carla Esparza, who seems to be in line for a title shot.

Mackenzie Dern does not slip too far in the rankings despite getting beat pretty handedly. She falls only behind Rodriguez and the aforementioned Yan Xiaonan.

Women’s Bantamweight

The Movement

FighterPlacement
Pannie Kianzad#13 (+1)
Julia Avila#14 (-1)
Women’s Bantamweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

This is truly one of the headscratchers when it comes to weekly movement in the UFC’s official rankings. Not only did neither of these two fight, but nobody within their division fought this weekend at UFC Vegas 39. This makes it even hard to assume there was some mathematical reason behind it that involves an aggregate score being altered by an invisible third part.

However, I do think that’s still probably what happened here. Most likely, someone had Norma Dumont ranked at bantamweight. When her fight started approaching and it happened to be at featherweight, that person may have dropped her from the rankings. If that person already had her behind Avila, but this allowed Kianzad to get better votes, it could have caused this switch.

Heavyweight

The Movement

FigtherPlacement
Serghei Spivak#14 (+1)
Sergei Pavlovich#15 (-1)
Heavyweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

This is another switch in which neither of the fighters saw action this weekend at UFC Vegas 39. However, this one is far easier to explain. The movement in this division likely has to do with Alexandr Romanov. Romanov beat Jared Vanderaa rather easily this weekend. It picked his record up to 4-0 in his UFC career (although the win over Juan Espino is somewhat debated). Romanov is undoubtedly garnering votes in the heavyweight rankings. I’m assuming some upward movement following his win this weekend affected Pavlovich more significantly than Spivak. As a result, Spivak moved up a bit, with Pavlovich being the one to take the slide.

Flyweight

The Movement

FigtherPlacement
Matheus Nicolau#8 (+3)
Matt Schnell#9 (-1)
Tim Elliott#11 (-2)
Flyweight Rankings Change

The Breakdown

Finally, movement that is a lot more straight-forward. Matheus Nicolau moved up following his win this past weekend at UFC Vegas 39. In that fight, he took on Tim Elliott, who had previously been ranked at #9. While Elliott took the first round, he clearly lost the last two and Nicolau took it on all three judges scorecards. For that win, he jumps up to Elliott’s prior spot, but also passes Matt Schnell, who has an upcoming bout with Alex Perez in December.

Elliott saw his two fight win streak snapped and has now lost his spot in the UFC flyweight top 10. He falls two spots to #11, which is previously where Nicolau had been ranked. So essentially, with the Schnell exception, they pretty much switched spots in the rankings following the fight.

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.