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Fightmania June Rankings

By on June 28, 2016

BispingJune was sort of the calm before the storm as July will bring UFC 200, Bellator Dynamite 2 and a ton of other big events that are sure to bust up the rankings. In the meantime, let’s take our typical end-of-month look at what happened in June and where things stand now.

As always, these rankings are subjective. To read a rather extensive explanation of my methodology, check out the rankings manifesto.

FLYWEIGHT DIVISION (125 LBS.)

1. Demetrious Johnson
2. Joseph Benavidez
3. John Dodson
4. Henry Cejudo
5. Kyoji Horiguchi
6. Jussier da Silva
7. Wilson Reis
8. John Moraga
9. Zach Makovsky
10. Magomed Bibulatov

None of these fighters were active in June and everyone stays put for now. Of course, business will pick up in July as Johnson is set to defend his UFC belt against Reis and Moraga will face Matheus Nicolau Pereira.

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 LBS.)

1. Dominick Cruz
2. TJ Dillashaw
3. Urijah Faber
4. Marlon Moraes
5. Cody Garbrandt
6. Bryan Caraway
7. Aljamain Sterling
8. Thomas Almeida
9. Jimmie Rivera
10. John Lineker

Cruz made it look relatively easy with a one-sided decision win over Faber this month, but I’m not dropping Faber for losing to the champ. After all, if Cruz is truly the best, that’s what’s supposed to happen. Lineker will face Michael McDonald on July 13, four days after Dillashaw and Raphael Assuncao rematch at UFC 200. Garbrandt and Takeya Mizugaki will face off at UFC 202 in August.

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 LBS.)

1. Conor McGregor
2. Jose Aldo
3. Frankie Edgar
4. Max Holloway
5. Chad Mendes
6. Cub Swanson
7. Jeremy Stephens
8. Charles Oliveira
9. Ricardo Lamas
10. Renan Barao

Holloway and Lamas fought this month, with Holloway winning a one-sided decision. However, Barao himself just lost to Stephens, so I wouldn’t feel good about rewarding him for Lamas’ loss against the fourth-best featherweight in the world. Outside of the cage, Mendes was cited for an out-of-competition violation by the USADA. Aldo and Edgar will do battle on July 9 at UFC 200, while McGregor will take another out-of-division battle against Nate Diaz in August. Swanson and Oliveira will be active in August, as well.

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (155 LBS.)

1. Rafael dos Anjos
2. Donald Cerrone
3. Eddie Alvarez
4. Khabib Nurmagomedov
5. Tony Ferguson
6. Edson Barboza
7. Anthony Pettis
8. Will Brooks
9. Nate Diaz
10. Michael Chandler (NR)

Dropped out: Michael Chiesa (10)

Cerrone knocked out Patrick Cote at welterweight on June 18, but with dos Anjos facing a tough test against Eddie Alvarez in July, I’m going to keep Cerrone here for now. Should dos Anjos falter, I can see Cerrone getting the next shot, which would certainly bring him back to 155 pounds. July will feature Ferguson against Chiesa and Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez. Brooks will make his UFC debut against Ross Pearson next month, too. Pettis will be ranked here until his first featherweight fight in August. That will give Chiesa anf opportunity to get back in after Chandler took his spot with a scintillating knockout that gave him the Bellator Lightweight Championship once again.

WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170 LBS.)

1. Robbie Lawler
2. Tyron Woodley (3)
3. Stephen Thompson (4)
4. Demian Maia (5)
5. Rory MacDonald (2)
6. Carlos Condit
7. Johny Hendricks
8. Andrey Koreshkov
9. Rick Story
10. Ben Askren

Thompson makes the leap this week, moving up a spot after his spotless victory over a deflated Rory MacDonald, who fought like he’s expecting to be cashing Bellator checks later this year.

Woodley will get the next title shot against Lawler at UFC 201 on July 30, the same night when Matt Brown and Jake Ellenberger will meet. Hendricks takes on Kevin Gastelum in July. After a long stretch where he left his future up in the air, Condit has decided to fight Maia at UFC 202 in August in what will be a huge showdown.

MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185 LBS.)

1. Michael Bisping (6)
2. Luke Rockhold (1)
3. Chris Weidman (2)
4. Yoel Romero (3)
5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (4)
6. Lyoto Machida (5)
7. Robert Whittaker
8. Derek Brunson
9. Vitor Belfort
10. Uriah Hall

Yes, I hate having Bisping at the top of the rankings. It’s a tough decision- do you not have the UFC champ at the top even if you think he’s not the best fighter in the world? Either Bisping will lose or he’ll keep winning and justify his spot, so it will take care of itself. If he had won a terrible decision, it’d be different, but he knocked the champ out.

What’s next for Bisping? Who knows, as hey may even end up fighting Dan Henderson, who would have trouble placing even if I ranked 15 middleweights. Brunson will face Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200. Romero and Machida are still being held up by various banned substance-related issues.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205 LBS.)

1. Jon Jones
2. Daniel Cormier
3. Anthony Johnson
4. Alexander Gustafsson
5. Glover Teixeira
6. Phil Davis
7. Ryan Bader
8. Ovince St. Preux
9. Liam McGeary
10. Nikita Krylov

We’re all waiting for Jon Jones to defend his half of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Cormier, especially now that Johnson has been forced to withdraw from his July bout with Teixeira. Gustafsson and Bader will both be in action on Sept. 3, though not against one another. Davis is set to face Bellator champion McGeary later this year. Finally, Krylov will have a very winnable fight against Ed Herman at the end of next month.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (265 LBS.)

1. Stipe Miocic
2. Fabricio Werdum
3. Cain Velasquez
4. Alistair Overeem
5. Junior dos Santos
6. Ben Rothwell
7. Andrei Arlovski
8. Mark Hunt
9. Travis Browne
10. Vitaly Minakov

Overeem will face a tough style match-up as he takes a shot at Miocic’s gold at UFC 203. The same night, Werdum and Rothwell will face off. Before any of that happens, though, Velasquez will face Browne at UFC 200. And, lest we forget, former UFC champion Brock Lesnar will be facing Mark Hunt at UFC 200. That fight’s kinda flying under the radar; you may not have heard about it. Barnett could sneak back into the top ten in September, depending on what Minakov does, how Hunt fares against Lesnar, and whether the long-time veteran can prevail against Arlovski.

POUND-FOR-POUND (No Limit)

1. Demetrious Johnson
2. Jon Jones
3. Raphael dos Anjos (4)
4. Daniel Cormier (5)
5. Conor McGregor (6)
6. Robbie Lawler (7)
7. Dominick Cruz (NR)
8. Stipe Miocic
9. Frankie Edgar
10. Jose Aldo

Dropped out: Luke Rockhold (3)

There are regular rankings, which are extremely subjective, and then there are pound-for-pound rankings, which are insane. In the latter, Rockhold’s knockout loss to Bisping takes him from the third spot to the outside of the rankings entirely. I took the opportunity to put Cruz where he belongs, as well.

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