Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Power Rankings: Light-Heavyweight Division

Here’s a look at my updated power rankings for all UFC light-heavyweights. These ratings are based on my proprietary statistical model and are based on the following statistics (identified by the model as being the best predictive factors): significant strikes, knockdowns, takedowns, age, and Fight Matrix rating.

Unsurprisingly, Jon Jones is the top fighter in these rankings. Anthony Johnson is number two after his destruction of Alexander Gustafsson, but he was number two in these rankings even before that fight. I didn’t personally believe it but now it’s hard to deny.

It’s appropriate that Phil Davis and Ryan Bader are so closely rated after they went to split decision. Davis gets far less respect than he deserves. He’s basically the Myles Jury of the light-heavyweight division (or Jury is the Davis of the lightweight division). They’re both fighters who are offensively limited but outstanding defensively. Sometimes their offense is too limited to take them to victory, and when that happens, it leaves people wondering what all the hype was about.

What’s more interesting is that Daniel Cormier is basically rated the same as Davis and Bader. I find myself thinking that Cormier deserves to be rated higher but I’m hesitant to even think that after being wrong (and the stats being right) about the Johnson-Gustafsson fight.

These rankings also highlight how thin the light-heavyweight division is in terms of high-level contenders. There’s basically a top seven (Jones to Evans) and then there’s everybody else. Jones has already defeated Cormier, Bader, Gustafsson, and Evans. With Davis having just lost to Bader, that leaves Johnson as the obvious choice to challenge Jones for the title and nobody in place to challenge after that.

The two prospects the model really likes: Corey Anderson and Patrick Cummins. Keep an eye on those guys.

Rank Fighter Rating
 1 Jon Jones 4.04
 2 Anthony Johnson 3.31
 3 Phil Davis 2.47
 4 Daniel Cormier 2.45
 5 Ryan Bader 2.45
 6 Alexander Gustafsson 2.04
 7 Rashad Evans 2.02
 8 Glover Teixeira 0.96
 9 Ovince St-Preux 0.83
 10 Corey Anderson 0.71
 11 Patrick Cummins 0.56
 12 Mauricio Rua 0.51
 13 Jan Blachowicz 0.45
 14 Jimi Manuwa 0.40
 15 Quinton Jackson 0.32
 16 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 0.25
 17 Ryan Jimmo 0.09
 18 Marcos Rogerio de Lima 0.09
 19 Nikita Krylov 0.05
 20 Fabio Maldonado -0.04
 21 Patrick Walsh -0.19
 22 Hans Stringer -0.27
 23 Robert Drysdale -0.32
 24 Ilir Latifi -0.34
 25 Sean O’Connell -0.53
 26 Francimar Barroso -0.55
 27 Antonio Carlos Junior -0.55
 28 Keith Berish -0.61
 29 Matt Van Buren -0.62
 30 Chris Dempsey -0.62
 31 Anthony Perosh -0.77
 32 Gian Villante -0.80
 33 Rafael Cavalcante -0.83
 34 Stanislav Nedkov -1.09
 35 Justin Jones -1.45
 36 Igor Pokrajac -1.48
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2 responses to “UFC Power Rankings: Light-Heavyweight Division

  1. Howard Morton January 27, 2015 at 1:18 am

    #6 Gustafsson versus #19 Krylov at the next European UFC card. It would be way better than Gonzaga v. Cro Cop 2

    • David Williams January 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Stuff like Gonzaga-Cro Cop being a main event in 2015 makes me think I’m living in bizarro world. I’ll take Gustafsson-Krylov over Gonzaga-Cro Cop as a main event in a heartbeat.

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