March was an entertaining, however quiet month in the Octagon, with only a pair of struggle playing cards and just one member of the Sporting Information MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings getting into the UFC cage and registering a victory.
Whereas Cris Cyborg’s over Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222 was as dominant and one-sided as ever, the ladies’s featherweight champion still hasn’t moved up in the rankings, because the 4 fighters forward of her on this listing are at present in a category of their very own.
Right here’s a take a look at how our Prime 10 shakes out.
These are the Sporting Information MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings for April 2018.
The query of whether or not or not Rose Namajunas was a fluke following her UFC 217 victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk was answered at UFC 223.
Namajunas handed with flying colours, retaining her title over the previous champion in their rematch at 223. Whereas she didn’t win this one in the primary spherical like she did at UFC 217, Namajunas confirmed championship mettle, going 5 rounds. When the strain is at its highest getting into the fifth, you need to dig in deep such as you by no means have earlier than, and Namajunas did simply that.
Namajunas confirmed she is for actual. Let’s keep in mind, she’s solely 25 and still has loads of room to develop. — Muehlhausen
Not all was misplaced for the ladies’s bantamweight champion in any case, as she defends her title towards Raquel Pennington at UFC 224.
If Nunes get by Pennington, a showdown towards Cris Cyborg to find out the most effective feminine fighter on the planet might happen later in 2018. — Muehlhausen
This was alleged to be the place I arrange what was at stake for Ferguson in his showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, however as a result of we will’t have good issues and the MMA gods have a merciless humorousness, that battle was scrapped for the fourth time on April Fools’ Day.
Now, not preventing Nurmagomedov doesn’t diminish something that “El Cucuy” has completed during the last 10 fights or someway change his standing in the division — he’s still been masterful and stays one of many very best lightweights in the world — however lacking out on this chance does imply he misses out on the prospect to maneuver up in these rankings. — Kyte
The truth that individuals truly got here away from UFC 223 unimpressed with “The Eagle” is thoughts-numbing to me.
Right here’s a man who’s unbeaten in 26 skilled fights, who calmly handled two opponent’s being pressured out of the struggle — one roughly 36 hours earlier than go time — and still strolled into the Octagon and put up scores of fifty-forty four, 50-forty three, 50-forty three whereas displaying enchancment in the putting division.
The concept Nurmagomedov’s displaying in Brooklyn was poor is laughable and the truth that he confronted every little thing he confronted and didn’t flinch whereas dominating Al Iaquinta ought to inform you every little thing you could know concerning the Dagestani grappling machine’s focus.
No matter whether or not he faces Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor subsequent, the unbeaten celebrity can already make a case for being the very best fighter in the light-weight division and would cement his standing with an win over both one. — Kyte
Lower than every week after defeating Francis Ngannou at UFC 220, the UFC introduced Miocic can be defending his heavyweight title towards Daniel Cormier in the primary occasion of UFC 226. Becoming, as a result of they will additionally be coaches on the upcoming season of “The Final Fighter.”
Although he holds the document for many consecutive title defenses, a win over Cormier — who earlier than shifting right down to mild heavyweight was thirteen-zero and captured the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix championship — wouldn’t solely give him the most important win of his profession however the title of biggest heavyweight of all time. — Muehlhausen
Cyborg did what Cyborg does at UFC 222, driving out Kunitskaya’s preliminary takedown to return to open area, wallop her with an enormous proper hand and pound out the end.
The efficiency pushed her unbeaten streak to twenty fights (and counting) and additional upped the curiosity in a possible showdown with bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes, who has a battle lined up with Raquel Pennington in Might to get by means of first. Quite than holding out for an all-Brazilian conflict of the champions, Workforce Cyborg must be persevering with to push for extra frequent alternatives towards whoever is out there.
No matter occurs, Cyborg stays a drive of pure and a fixture in these rankings. — Kyte
Woodley is sidelined as a consequence of shoulder surgical procedure, however from all indications given to Sporting Information, an early summer time return is being focused. Woodley would face the winner of the reported interim title battle between Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 224.
Why the UFC would make an interim title battle is past me. Woodley final competed in July, so it isn’t like he’s been inactive for an extended time period.
It seems the rationale the UFC made the interim title struggle was simply to load up the cardboard, which is the mistaken cause to make the battle. — Muehlhausen
Like everybody else, I used to be bummed that Holloway busted up his ankle and was pressured out of his bout with Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, however then he went and volunteered to struggle Khabib Nurmagomedov on six days discover at UFC 223 and I used to be like, “We don’t deserve Max Holloway!”
However then he was pulled from that struggle as a result of medical considerations and I simply wept into my palms for some time, questioning why the MMA gods are so merciless.
Despite the fact that we have gone again-to-again months with Holloway being scheduled and still not getting into the cage, he stays one of many very best fighters on the planet and the truth that he was prepared to step in towards Nurmagomedov stands as Exhibit A in the case for “Blessed” being a licensed badass. Not solely did he bounce on the alternative, he was pumped to check himself towards the unbeaten light-weight standout. Do not be stunned if he chases that struggle once more in the longer term.
For now, we simply have to attend for the UFC to guide him with Brian Ortega and cross our fingers that each males make it by way of camp and into the cage in optimum situation as a result of in the event that they do, that featherweight title battle will probably be fireworks. — Kyte
With Jon Jones more likely to be suspended for awhile, the sunshine heavyweight division is Cormier’s. Maybe it ought to have all the time been that method.
Some did not give Cormier credit score for the wins he earned — perhaps he would have defeated Jones if the previous lengthy-time reigning champion wasn’t on PEDs.
Cormier has a chance to grow to be an all-time nice and grow to be solely the second fighter in UFC historical past to carry two titles on the as soon as if he can greatest Miocic at UFC 226. — Muehlhausen
Together with his showdown towards bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw seemingly lifeless, DJ will probably discover himself sharing the cage with Henry Cejudo for a second time each time he returns to motion later this yr.
Which may make some individuals unhappy, however Cejudo has improved exponentially since their first struggle and I feel Johnson will truly benefit from the alternative to show his superiority towards the previous Olympic gold medalist once more. Whereas it’s not a superfight, it’s an excellent battle nonetheless.
General, “Mighty Mouse” stays probably the most dominant male fighter in the game, arguably probably the most full fighter in the sport and still the person on prime of the Sporting Information MMA pound-for-pound rankings. — Kyte