New UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw jumped into the pound-for-pound Top-15 in the latest release of the UFC official rankings. Dillashaw defeated Renan Barao over the weekend at UFC 173.
Dillashaw is now ranked No. 11 on the list, right behind UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Barao, who was third overall, fell to No. 8, allowing champions Cain Velasquez, Demetrious Johnson, Chris Weidman and Anthony Pettis to all pass him.
The bantamweight division saw some movement, as Johnny Eduardo improved three spots, cracking the Top-10 at No. 9. Former champion Dominick Cruz remains ranked despite having not fought in over two years.
Matt Brown, who was just announced for a fight later this year against Robbie Lawler, moved up to No. 5 in the welterweight division. Lawler, fresh off a finish of Jake Ellenberger, is the top-ranked contender to Johny Hendricks.
Ellenberger fell two spots after the loss, as Hector Lombard also passed him.
Daniel Cormier is now ranked ahead of both Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira at No. 2 in the light heavyweight division. Cormier asked to be the next man to challenge Jon Jones for the belt after Jones faces Alexander Gustafsson later this summer.
Daniel Cormier dominated Dan Henderson Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 173 and called out Jon Jones after.
The victory pushed Cormier’s record to 15-0 and he made no bones about wanting to square off with “Bones” for his UFC light heavyweight title next.
“Jon Jones, you can’t run away from me forever,” Cormier said. “I’m that kid at the wrestling tournament who is always in your bracket. You better hurry, because I’m only getting better.”
Cormier had no trouble taking Henderson (30-12) down time and time again in a battle of former U.S. Olympic wrestlers. “DC” made sure to let Jones know he would do the same thing if they meet up.
“Nobody can wrestle me,” Cormier said. “If I decide to take Jon Jones down 100 times, I will take him down 100 times. This is my Octagon. I’m the man.”
After winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix with wins over Josh Barnett an Antonio Silva, Cormier came to the UFC and defeated Roy Nelson and Frank Mir before moving to light heavyweight. He was convincing in his 205-pound debut earlier this year, dominating Patrick Cummins.
Jones is scheduled to meet Alexander Gustafsson next, with the bout rumored for August. The two fought to a decision last year.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos continues to rehab from a hand injury that knocked him out of a planned showdown with Stipe Miocic later this month.
While he does that, dos Santos also decided to get a new look.
No, not really, but it is pretty amazing what a full head of hair can do to a fighter.
“The remedy to grow hair is working,” dos Santos wrote. “What do you think? The medicine to grow hair is working well.”
Since “Cigano” is a beast of a man who could easily destroy most – other than Cain Velasquez – I’m just going to leave this alone and post the picture for your viewing pleasure.
UFC president Dana White went on the offensive through Twitter recently, firing back at an article entitled “The hard sell: Renan Barao is the world’s best fighter.”
The column, written by MMAjunkie.com’s Ben Fowlkes, does an excellent job of breaking down why Barao has failed to register with the casual UFC fan, but also makes sure to provide you with the reasons behind White’s continued push to bring him into the forefront.
A 33-fight unbeaten streak. The UFC bantamweight title. Wins over Urijah Faber (twice), Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland and others. He returns to action this Saturday against T.J. Dillashaw in the main event of UFC 173.
Barao is one of the elite fighters in the world, that is a point that cannot be argued.
Is he the best right now? That is up for debate, especially in a time of MMA with the likes of Jon Jones, Chris Weidman, Jose Aldo, Cain Velasquez, Demetrious Johnson, Anthony Pettis and Ronda Rousey dominating foe after foe after foe.
As he does, White responded in typical Dana White fashion, posting on Twitter to Fowlkes that “if you don’t know how good Renan is (you) should cover another sport.” White referred to parts of the story as being a “stupid statement” and said again that Barao is a “BAD ASS who finishes people. If (your) a fight fan he’s what (you) are looking for.”
White isn’t going to back down from anybody, as he’s shown in the past, but he hit the nail on the head for me with the last comment mentioned.
“If (your) a fight fan he’s what (you) are looking for.”
The term “fight fan” is difficult to distinguish and White should know that first-hand. You have those that will watch each and every single MMA fight they can get in front of, whether it be on television or via online stream. They are the die-hard fans, the ones who could care less if it’s two nobodies or has-been fighters, or a match for a world title.
You also have the type of fan who will catch the main cards, such as pay-per-view ones and others that air on major networks, or will watch a smaller one if it happens to fit their schedule. Maybe they DVR some of the other events, but they know the majority of the fighters.
Another group is the fight fan who wants nothing more than blood. They don’t care about skills or techniques or seeing wrestling or grappling, they just want fists after fists after fists to the face.
There are other categories of fans, such as the casual ones who will “talk shop” when Jones, Velasquez, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz are competing or the hot topic,” but those fans aren’t interested in Barao.
And neither are the majority of the other ones.
It’s a cold-hard fact that if you can’t speak the language, it’s nearly impossible to gain a strong following in the U.S. Sure, Barao can become a star in Brazil, but the UFC remains focused on becoming a major sport here still, and to do that, they need champions that will be widely accepted.
People didn’t really open up to Silva much during his title reign, and a lot of that had to do with his decision to not speak English while promoting fights.
Barao can continue to finish fighters and leave them in his path, but unless he starts conducting his post-fight interviews in English, he’s going to remain behind the eight-ball in the fan pound-for-pound rankings – and the more important rankings, that of PPV buy rates and television ratings.