Miesha Tate rises to the top spot in the women’s bantamweight rankings after ending the brief reign of Holly Holm in the co-main event of UFC 196.
The 29-year-old Washington native seemed outmatched on the feet against former boxing champ Holm through the middle rounds of their March 5 encounter. However, true to her old nickname, “Takedown Tate” took control of the fight on the ground and put Holm to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the waning minutes of the fifth and final frame. Tate struck gold on her second attempt after a failed December 2013 bid to capture the UFC belt from Ronda Rousey, with whom Tate now seems destined for a third meeting.
With the ascent of previously third-ranked Tate, Holm drops to the second position while Rousey is bumped to the No. 3 spot. Rising up to join the group at No. 4 is Amanda Nunes, who made her case for a title bid by out-grappling sixth-ranked Valentina Shevchenko for the better part of three rounds on the UFC 196 main card.
Light heavyweight prospect Corey Anderson makes his first appearance in the rankings, displacing Jimi Manuwa at the No. 10 spot. Less than 10 bouts into his professional career, “Beastin’ 25/8” has compiled a three-fight winning streak against more experienced opposition such as Fabio Maldonado, Jan Blachowicz and, most recently, Tom Lawlor. Meanwhile, a double shift on the list of 205-pound contenders sees Ilir Latifi and Tomasz Narkun take the places of Emanuel Newton and David Branch.
In other activity, Darren Elkins replaces Chas Skelly on the featherweight bubble after besting Skelly via unanimous decision, and Darrion Caldwell’s impressive finish of Joe Warren at Bellator 151 lands “The Wolf” on the bantamweight contenders list.
Finally, after one year of inactivity and with no upcoming fight scheduled, Alexa Grasso has been removed from the list of 115-pound contenders, replaced by UFC strawweight Juliana Lima.
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