Movers & Shakers summarizes changes to the MMA Ratings Top 15 Weekly Men's Divisional Rankings across the various weight classes, based on the previous week's fights. As fighter rankings move, and divisions are shaken up, it attempts to explain the rationale behind the shifts, based on our Rankings methodology. It also highlights the fights and fighters to watch for the current week.
There are no changes at Flyweight or Bantamweight this week, but the coming weekend features two major matchups between Top 10 fighters at 135. #2 bantamweight Urijah Faber takes on #10 Yuri Alcantara, and #3 Michael McDonald and #7 Brad Pickett square off, at UFC Fight Night 26. Alcantara could see his position in the rankings rapidly improve with a win, while McDonald could fall rapidly with a loss, as he has no wins against current Top 15 fighters.
At Lightweight, the only fight with any rankings significance is Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson. The undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov sits at #15, and if Lauzon stumbles, Nurmagomedov could slip in ahead of him and Johnson. Frankie Edgar, whom many consider at worst a Top 3 lightweight, departs the rankings due to inactivity at 155. It remains to be seen whether the move to 145 proves worth it to "The Answer."
The matchup between Mike Pyle and Matt Brown, in addition to having tremendous "Fight of the Night" potential, offers the opportunity for "The Immortal" to make a huge impact with a win, as he'd likely ascend into the Top 15 with a win over Pyle at #14. It would be quite the leap, as Brown has made the turnaround from a fighter on the verge of getting cut every time out to someone who can sniff the championship "mix."
main event and co-main event have divisional significance, as Chael Sonnen could secure himself a Top 10 ranking with a win over "Shogun" Rua, while the #5 and #9 heavyweights jockey for position in a division with no real consistent hierarchy, short of the UFC champion and his UFC 166 challenger. However, Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos could be a division killer, as neither man has lost to anyone but the other, and they will have fought three times. With Daniel Cormier intending to drop to 205, the division could see Todd Duffee or Brendan Schaub gracing it's Top 15 before long.
UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen is due to take place on August 17, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Click HERE for the full rankings, and check back next week to find out how the rankings move, and the divisions shake out.