Justin Gaethje’s head-kick knockout of Dustin Poirier on Saturday on the Delta Middle in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, in the primary occasion of UFC 291 was set-up superbly and gave “The Spotlight” what could effectively have been his most important victory.
It additionally returned him to the Yahoo Sports activities’ pound-for-pound rankings, which had been up to date for the primary time since June 20. With two UFC pay-per-view playing cards in July, I opted to attend till each had been accomplished to replace the rankings.
Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC’s featherweight champion, had been No. 3, however he jumped to No. 2, swapping locations with light-weight champion Islam Makhachev after Volkanovski’s dominant win over Yair Rodriguez.
However Gaethje’s KO booted Henry Cejudo from the tenth spot within the rankings. Regardless that Cejudo misplaced to bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288 in Could, he fought effectively after a virtually three-year absence and deserved a spot within the rankings.
On Saturday, although, Gaethje and lightweight heavyweight Alex Pereira made a case for that spot. Gaethje KO’d the estimable Poirier, whereas Pereira slipped previous former mild heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz within the co-main occasion of UFC 291.
Pereira is 2-1 in his final three, with a win over the middleweight champion and former mild heavyweight champion sandwiched round a loss to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Gaethje, although, has been on a roll. He’s now 25-4 however is 7-2 in his final 9. He misplaced to Khabib Nurmagomedov, arguably one of many 5 best fighters in UFC historical past, and to Charles Oliveira in a light-weight title struggle. However in that span, he’s defeated Poirier, Rafael Fiziev, Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza and James Vick.
That’s performing some work, and it put him into my rankings at No. 10.
Nothing modified on the ladies’s aspect, however with most of the high fighters energetic within the subsequent two months, there ought to be a shakeup there quickly, as effectively.
Males’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings as of Aug. 1
1. Jon Jones (27-1), UFC heavyweight champion. Earlier Rating: 1.
2. Alexander Volkanovski (25-2), UFC featherweight champion. Earlier Rating: 3.
3. Islam Makhachev (24-1), UFC light-weight champion. Earlier Rating: 2.
4. Israel Adesanya (24-2), UFC middleweight champion. Earlier Rating: 4.
5. Leon Edwards (21-3), UFC welterweight champion. Earlier Rating: 5.
6. Khamzat Chimaev (12-0) UFC welterweight/middleweight contender. Earlier Rating: 6.
7. Aljamain Sterling (23-3) UFC bantamweight champion. Earlier Rating: 7.
8. Kamaru Usman (20-3), former UFC welterweight champion. Earlier Rating: 8.
9. Charles Oliveira (33-9), former UFC light-weight champion. Earlier Rating: 9.
10. Justin Gaethje (25-4), UFC BMF champion. Earlier Rating: NR.
Ladies’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings as of Aug. 1
1. Julianna Peña (12-5), UFC bantamweight contender. Earlier Rating: 1.
2. Alexa Grasso (16-3), UFC flyweight champion. Earlier Rating: 2.
3. Valentina Shevchenko (23-4), UFC flyweight contender. Earlier Rating: 3.
4. Zhang Weili (23-3), UFC strawweight champion. Earlier Rating: 4.
5. Erin Blanchfield (11-1), UFC flyweight contender. Earlier Rating: 5.
6. Manon Fiorot (10-1), UFC flyweight contender. Earlier Rating: 6.
7. Taila Santos (19-2), UFC flyweight contender. Earlier Rating: 7.
8. Amanda Lemos (13-2-1), UFC strawweight contender. Earlier Rating: 8.
9. Raquel Pennington (15-8), UFC bantamweight contender. Earlier Rating: 9.
10. Larissa Pacheco (21-4), 2022 PFL light-weight champion. Earlier Rating: 10.