New contenders rise up – UFC rankings update

After his first fight since 2020, Henry Cejudo has returned to the UFC rankings in third at bantamweight.

By: Jack Wannan | 3 weeks ago
New contenders rise up – UFC rankings update
Henry Cejudo is a ranked UFC fighter once again. | IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

While last weekend was an unsuccessful title bid for former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, he has re-entered the UFC rankings following his five-round performance against Aljamain Sterling. “Triple C,” who fought for the first time since 2020 at UFC 288 last weekend, now sits third in the bantamweight rankings, with Sean O’Malley and Merrab Dvalishvili above him and of course Sterling up top as champion.

The move shifts names like Cory Sandhagen, Petr Yan, Marlon Vera and others down by one spot as a new name comes into the 135-pound picture, per the official UFC rankings site.

Cejudo fought in the main event of UFC 288 against Sterling, going a total of five rounds before losing a close split decision result. Cejudo was unranked heading into the bout, although prior to a brief retirement from the sport was a champion in the division.

Muhammad up one more spot

Belal Muhammad has continued to rise up the welterweight rankings. Following his five-round unanimous decision win over Gilbert Burns this week, Muhammad has surpassed Khamzat Chimaev and is now sitting third in the 170-pound standings.

Saturday was Muhammad’s ninth win since 2019. He has steadily climbed the rankings over the past few years, beating notable names like Sean Brady, Stephen Thompson, and Vicente Luque. His new placement in the division makes him the highest-ranked fighter who has never held a title or challenged for one before.

Yan makes big moves

Strawweight Yan Xiaonan saw herself make take leaps up two different leaderboards after last weekend. Yan picked up a quick win against former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade, finishing her in the first round with strikes.

The victory helped Yan crash the women’s pound-for-pound rankings, putting her 10th in the standings. She also climbed three spots in the strawweight rankings and now sits third in the division.

Also at strawweight, Virna Jandiroba became tied for 10th place with Amanda Ribas after scoring a decision win against Marina Rodriguez on Saturday’s prelims.

Upcoming moves to watch

This weekend’s UFC Fight Night card from Charlotte, North Carolina includes three matchups with ranked fighters. Most notably, ninth-ranked heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruick will meet 12th-place Jailton Almeida in the five-round main event of the evening.

Movement could also happen at light heavyweight, as the division’s fifth-place fighter Anthony Smith will take on #7 Johnny Walker.

15th-place welterweight Daniel Rodriguez will also meet undefeated and unranked talent Ian Machado Garry. The fight could help Rodriguez move up, or help Garry debut in the rankings.

UFC Rankings: Henry Cejudo returns, women’s pound-for-pound receives shake-up, and more

As is usually the case after a pay-per-view card, there were lots of movement in the UFC rankings this week. What we discussed above are just some of the changes that occurred. You can check out the full list of rankings here, or see the most notable updates below:

Men’s Pound-For-Pound: Alex Pereira has dropped to 10th place after previously being tied for ninth with Brandon Moreno. Max Holloway has also passed Dustin Poirier to take 12th on the list

Flyweight: No changes.

Bantamweight: Henry Cejudo has re-entered the bantamweight rankings in third place.

Featherweight: No changes.

Lightweight: Matt Frevola enters the lightweight rankings at 14th place. He replaces Drew Dober, who is no longer ranked.

Welterweight: Belal Muhammad has passed Khamzat Chimaev for third in the division.

Middleweight: No changes.

Light Heavyweight: Khalil Rountree passes Jimmy Crute to take 13th place.

Heavyweight: No changes.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound: Erin Blanchfield overtakes Jessica Andrade for eighth place in the standings. Yan Xiaonan enters the standings in 10th place.

Strawweight: Yan Xiaonan has moved up to third at strawweight, passing Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade. Virna Jandiroba has moved up three spots and now is in sixth, going by Marina Rodriguez, Mackenzie Dern, and Tecia Torres.

Flyweight: No changes.

Bantamweight: No changes.

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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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