Rose Namajunas: Proved it wasn’t a fluke by outdueling Joanna (ex-) Champion over five rounds to retain her UFC strawweight championship. She has Joanna’s number, and she’ll have to start a level below and climb her way back up for first time. What an impressive performance, goddamn.
Jarrett Hurd: Didn’t get caught in Erislandy Lara’s trap and didn’t fight his fight, and sent Lara to the canvas in the twelfth round to seal the win and is now the IBF and WBA world junior middleweight champion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: Bullshit aside, Khabib still had a fighter he wasn’t gameplanning for, a tough one, at that, and dominated en route to finally earning UFC gold.
James DeGale: Regained hid IBF World Super Middleweight Championship in a rematch with Caleb Truax that didn’t do him any favors in another uninspired performance.
Raymond Daniels: Defended his Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight title with a dominant 50-44 (x3) performance against Djibril Ehouo in the main event of Bellator Kickboxing 9.
6. Benson Henderson: Took care of business against Roger Huerta, in an interesting bit of matchmaking. Regardless, he locked on a guillotine and earned a main event win at Bellator 196 in Hungary.
7. Saemapetch Fairtex: Elbowed his way to Charlie Peters’s welterweight title at MTGP Presents: Lion Fight 41.
8. Jason Soares: The undefeated prospect is now 11-0 and took the Titan Fighting Championship featherweight title from Luis Gomez in the main event of Titan Fighting Championship 49. A move up to the UFC can’t be far away.
9. Chris Curtis: CES’s best fighter defended his welterweight title for the second time with a UD over fellow strong journeyman Jason Norwood in the main event of CES MMA 49.
10. Vitor Oliveira: Took a decision win over Keith Miner in the main event of Fight To Win Pro 69.
11. Olivier Aubin-Mercier: Dispatched Evan Dunham faster than anyone has in his 26 pro fights and also handed him his first loss in nearly four years.
12. Ed Ruth: The Penn State wrestling legend is now 5-0, with this win being his first to go the distance. The future is bright for Ruth and it’s time he deserves a jump in competition.
13. Jose Caceres: Claimed the vacant Titan Fighting Championship welterweight championship in the championship rounds at TFC 49.
14. Dennis Hogan: Now owns both WBO secondary titles at junior middleweight, and a world title mandatory is probably next.
t15. Jorina Baars: Still undefeated after dispatching Julie Burton at Bellator Kickboxing 9.
t15. Denise Kielholtz: The kickboxing legend earned her first MMA win with a scarfhold submission over Jessica Middleton at Bellator 196.