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MMA Latest News Fighter Rankings: Post Historic UFC 200 Fight Week

Brice Schroeder



We have a new pound for pound king!

Jon Jones’ failed drug test paved the way for Demetrious Johnson to claim the top spot in our newest fighter rankings. Jones has been all but invincible inside the cage, but has repeatedly stumbled outside of it. These mishaps have finally convinced our panel that Johnson deserves the title of best fighter in MMA.

The Jon Jones saga was not the only event to shake up our rankings following that massive lineup of fights last week. There were plenty of high profile matches and several upsets making this edition of fighter rankings drastically different than the last.

Please feel free to harass our Twitter account @MMALatestNws and let us know where we screwed up and how you would rank them (and possibly even congratulate us on a job well done).

Here is a quick rundown on how the rankings will be compiled going forward:

-We will be ranking the top ten fighters in every UFC weight division and an inter-gendered pound for pound top ten.

-All fighters are eligible.  Panelists may include fighters from all organizations.  Any suspended fighters are also eligible, but may be penalized to each panelists choosing.

-Fighters will only be ranked in one weight class.  We will decide which weight class to place them based on their most likely weight class going forward.

-Eight MMA Latest writers, including myself, make up our rankings panel.  Each panelist submits their ballots to me to be tallied.  The rankings will be updated after every UFC pay-per-view.


Without further ado, here is the newest edition of the MMA Latest fighter rankings!


  1.  Joanna Jędrzejczyk – UFC – (12-0) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Cláudia Gadelha – UFC – (13-2)
  3. Carla Esparza – UFC – (11-3)
  4. Rose Namajunas – UFC – (5-2)
  5. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – UFC – (9-0)
  6. Jessica Aguilar – UFC – (19-5)
  7. Tecia Torres – UFC – (7-1)
  8. Joanne Calderwood – UFC – (11-1)
  9. Alexa Grasso – Invicta FC – (7-0)
  10. Valérie Létourneau – UFC – (8-5)

Others Receiving Votes – Maryna Moroz, Angela Hill, Jessica Andrade

Women’s Bantamweight

  1. Amanda Nunes – UFC – (13-4) – 7 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Holly Holm – UFC – (10-1) – 1 out of 8 1st place votes
  3. Ronda Rousey – UFC – (12-1)
  4. Miesha Tate – UFC – (18-6)
  5. Julianna Peña – UFC – (8-2)
  6. Cat Zingano – UFC – (9-2)
  7. Sara McMann – UFC – (9-3)
  8. Tonya Evinger – Invicta FC – (17-6)
  9. Valentina Shevchenko – UFC – (12-2)
  10. Alexis Davis – UFC – (17-6)

Others Receiving Votes – Germaine de Randamie, Liz Carmouche, Raquel Penington


  1. Demetrious Johnson – UFC – (24-2) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Joseph Benavidez – UFC – (24-4)
  3. Henry Cejudo – UFC – (10-1)
  4. Kyoji Horiguchi – UFC – (17-2)
  5. Jussier Formiga – UFC – (18-4)
  6. Wilson Reis – UFC – (20-6)
  7. Ian McCall – UFC – (13-5)
  8. Ali Bagautinov – UFC – (14-4)
  9. Louis Smolka – UFC – (11-1)
  10. John Moraga – UFC – (16-5)

Others Receiving Votes – Justin Scoggins, Zach Makovsky, Matheus Nicolau

Men’s Bantamweight

  1. Dominick Cruz – UFC – (22-1) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. T.J. Dillashaw – UFC – (13-3)
  3. Urijah Faber – UFC – (33-9)
  4. Bryan Caraway – UFC – (21-7)
  5. John Lineker – UFC – (28-7)
  6. Raphael Assunção – UFC – (23-5)
  7. Bibiano Fernandes – ONE Championship – (19-3)
  8. Cody Garbrandt – UFC – (9-0)
  9. John Dodson – UFC – (18-7)
  10. Marlon Moraes – WSOF – (16-4)

Others Receiving Votes – Aljamain Sterling, Michael McDonald, Eduardo Dantas, Thomas Almeida


  1. Conor McGregor – UFC – (19-3) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. José Aldo – UFC – (26-2)
  3. Max Holloway – UFC – (16-3)
  4. Frankie Edgar – UFC – (20-5-1 Draw)
  5. Chad Mendes – UFC – (17-4)
  6. Ricardo Lamas – UFC – (16-5)
  7. Cub Swanson – UFC – (22-7)
  8. Charles Oliveira – UFC – (21-5-1 NC)
  9. Jeremy Stephens – UFC – (25-12)
  10. Daniel Straus – Bellator – (25-6)

Others Receiving Votes – Dennis Bermudez, Brian Ortega


  1. Eddie Alvarez – UFC – (28-4) – 6 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC – (23-0) – 2 out of 8 1st place votes
  3. Tony Ferguson – UFC – (21-3)
  4. Rafael dos Anjos – UFC – (25-8)
  5. Donald Cerrone – UFC – (30-7-1 NC)
  6. Edson Barboza – UFC – (17-4)
  7. Nate Diaz – UFC – (19-10)
  8. Will Brooks – UFC – (19-1)
  9. Dustin Poirier – UFC – (20-4)
  10. Anthony Pettis – UFC – (18-5)

Others Receiving Votes – Michael Chiesa, Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush,


  1. Robbie Lawler – UFC – (27-10-1 NC) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Stephen Thompson – UFC – (13-1)
  3. Tyron Woodley – UFC – (15-3)
  4. Demian Maia – UFC – (23-6)
  5. Rory MacDonald – UFC – (18-4)
  6. Carlos Condit – UFC – (30-9)
  7. Ben Askren – ONE Championship – (14-0-1 NC)
  8. Neil Magny – UFC – (18-4)
  9. Kelvin Gastelum – UFC – (12-2)
  10. Johny Hendricks – UFC – (17-5)

Others Receiving Votes – Matt Brown, Andrey Koreshkov


  1. Michael Bisping – UFC – (29-7) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Luke Rockhold – UFC – (15-3)
  3. Chris Weidman – UFC – (13-1)
  4. Yoel Romero – UFC – (12-1)
  5. Jacaré Souza – UFC – (23-4-2 NC)
  6. Anderson Silva – UFC – (33-8-1 NC)
  7. Gegard Mousasi – UFC – (39-6-2 Draw)
  8. Vitor Belfort – UFC – (25-12)
  9. Lyoto Machida – UFC – (22-7)
  10. Robert Whittaker – UFC – (16-4)

Others Receiving Votes – Uriah Hall, David Branch

Light Heavyweight

  1. Jon Jones – UFC – (22-1) – 5 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Daniel Cormier – UFC – (18-1) – 3 out of 8 1st place votes
  3. Anthony Johnson – UFC – (21-5)
  4. Alexander Gustafsson – UFC – (16-4)
  5. Phil Davis – Bellator – (16-3-1 NC)
  6. Glover Teixeira – UFC – (25-4)
  7. Ryan Bader – UFC – (20-5)
  8. Ovince Saint Preux – UFC – (19-8)
  9. Liam McGeary – Bellator – (11-0)
  10. Muhammed Lawal – Bellator – (19-5-1 NC)

Others Receiving Votes – Shogun Rua, Rashad Evans


  1. Stipe Miocic – UFC – (15-2) – 8 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Fabrício Werdum – UFC – (20-6-1 Draw)
  3. Cain Velasquez – UFC – (14-2)
  4. Alistair Overeem – UFC – (41-14-1 NC)
  5. Junior dos Santos – UFC – (18-4)
  6. Ben Rothwell – UFC – (36-10)
  7. Andrei Arlovski – UFC – (25-12-1 NC)
  8. Derrick Lewis – UFC – (16-4-2 NC)
  9. Travis Browne – UFC – (18-4-1 Draw)
  10. Mark Hunt – UFC – (12-10-1 Draw)

Others Receiving Votes – Vitaly Minakov, Josh Barnett

Pound For Pound

  1. Demetrious Johnson – UFC – (24-2) – 5 out of 8 1st place votes
  2. Jon Jones – UFC – (22-1) – 3 out of 8 1st place votes
  3. Dominick Cruz – UFC – (22-1)
  4. Robbie Lawler – UFC – (27-10-1 NC)
  5. Daniel Cormier – UFC – (18-1)
  6. Conor McGregor – UFC – (19-3)
  7. Joanna Jędrzejczyk – UFC – (12-0)
  8. Eddie Alvarez – UFC – (28-4)
  9. José Aldo – UFC – (26-2)
  10. Stipe Miocic – UFC – (15-2)

Others Receiving Votes – Michael Bisping

This week’s panel includes:

Nicole Bosco – @NikBos

Derek Bowe – @DerekBowe7

Chase Carle – @CSquared1709

Vinny Craig – @vinny_craig

Rodney James Edgar – @RodneyJames138

Stephen Rivers – @stephenjrivers

Brice Schroeder – @BriceJSchroeder

Tony Sisombath – @Trigga_MMA

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Fighter to Watch

Exclusive: Mike Ekundayo, “He could come with anything, I don’t care”



In a little less than a week, Rise of Champions crowns its inaugural bantamweight champion. The crowning of the first 135 lb. champion marks the young promotions first champion. It makes sense why the promotion owned and operated by UK MMA star, Brad Pickett, and Team Titan head coach, Mickey Papas plan to crown the promotions first champion in the bantamweight division. Pickett competed in the division throughout his tenure with the WEC, and ultimately the entity which absorbed the light weight promotion, the UFC. Even more-so, two young and rising prospects of the division. One undefeated in his professional and amateur career, the other riding a seven consecutive victories, five by submission. The two meet February 17th, Mike Ekundayo puts his career unbeaten streak up against Jonas Magard’s at ROC 5, for the aforementioned, inaugural bantamweight championship.

Speaking to the undefeated Ekundayo before his fight, he believes this opportunity to be inevitable. Born in Hackney, (a borough of London) early in life, Ekundayo was no stranger to cramming his belongings into large cardboard boxes. At the age of 7, he moved from Hackney to Herne Hill, a district located in South London. Two years later he found himself in similar situation, moving from his vaguely new home in Herne Hill to Brixton. A road trip in the car to his new home, took approximately 5 minutes.

It is admittedly, not an easy life. In a harrowing article describing the horrors of gang life in London by the, former gang member turned community activist, made the claim, “When you are from Brixton, from Peckham, west London, anywhere in London, you are seeing hardship where a lot of communities can’t reach their full potential”.

In his own words, Ekundayo describes his home as, “not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing”. But that couldn’t matter any less for him. Not only does the London resident consistently work to grow his potential, he gets to see it every day. His coaches Brad Pickett and Mickey Papas hold the knowledge as well as first-hand experience, increasing his limits with every session. “We’re all close”, speaking of his coaches and team. “My head coach is Mickey Papas, he’s very knowable in the game. He’s been around for a very long time. He teaches me a lot, I can learn a lot of stuff from Mickey Papas. Sometimes I just think, how does he know all of this? Where did he get this information from?”

He continued, “While I was coming up through amateur, Brad (Pickett) was still an active fighter, but nowadays he’s taken a coaching approach. So he’s coaching us prospects getting us to where he got to and further… He’s been through it all, gotten to the top, and stayed at the top”.

Further discussing his coach, “For UK MMA, you could definitely call Brad a legend. He’s done a lot in his career, and someone who I rate highly as an MMA fighter is Demetrious Johnson, and of course Brad has got a win over (him). I feel like just being surrounded by someone like Brad, you’re working towards the right things. When he passes information onto you, you respect it that bit more because of far he got in his career. He’s definitely given me the right guidance, I trust his guidance”.

When it comes to the upcoming title fight, confidence poured out from where praise and respect had once been. “I just think it’s my time, to be honest. I really do believe it’s my time for all of this. The work I put in, certain things become inevitable”, he said. “I actually called this after I won my third fight, I called for belts and big shows. I spoke it to existence”. He continued, “It’s my time to finally to get a strap of some sort. All the straps is what we’re going for, all of them. We’re going for every one”.

“Rise of Champions is my show… That’s how I feel when I’m performing on ROC, it’s just my show, it’s my time to shine. Everyone knows who there here to see, there not really there to see the other guys. It’s my time, it’s my show and I’m going to put on a show on February 17th and I’m going to win that belt”.

The infectious nature of his positive attitude was palpable. Although we only spoke through small rectangular devices, I could feel his energy in the room. His attitude shined brightest when talking about what it would mean to be the first ever ROC Bantamweight champion. Ekundayo claimed, “It just means a lot to have my first belt in anything to be honest… Within myself, I call myself a champion, every day. But now, other people would have to call me a champion because I’ve got a belt… And one thing I really want to do is, which sounds a bit weird, I just want to take the belt home to my area, to Brixton.”

“I just want to take it to my area, and just show the people of that area what hard work can achieve… I want to just take it to my people and show them that not for nothing, we are from Brixton, it’s not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing but you can rise above it and you can achieve your goals and that’s what the belt will mean”.

When the conversation shifted to the topic of his opponent, Ekundayo had less encouraging words rolling off his tongue. Jonas Magard, the second half of the ROC 5 main event, holds a record of 7-4. Currently he owns a seven fight win streak after starting his career 1-3. Ekundayo thought, “He did fight quite decent guys in his three loses… but in the seven fight win streak, none of his opponents have been of caliber”.

He elaborated further, “What’s in my thoughts is more me, then it is of him. So, he could come with anything, I don’t care. I’m just focused on how I’m going to be picture perfect. How I’m going to paint a masterpiece, how I’m going to make it a beautifully perfect performance. That’s what my primary focus is on, so what he does to me is irrelevant, I’m just going to focus on how I’m going to be perfect on the night of February 17th”.

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UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega



UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child



Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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