1. Caleb Plant: Aaaaand NEW! Plant wasn’t just an overhyped American challenger for Jose Uzcategui, the Volunteer State native put Uzcategui on his wallet. And after only four and a half years of being a professional, Plant is the IBF Super Middleweight Champion.
2. Devin Haney: Graduated from the ShoBox ranks with an easy main event win on Friday, and is ready to jump into big-time fights. He says championship fights, but I’d pump the brakes on that for a couple co-mains first.
3. Gabriel Arges: Won the absolutely loaded Abu Dhabi King of Mats tournament, defeating Isaque Bahiense 6-2 in the finals, becoming the new middleweight king.
4. Brandon Figueroa: Destroyed former interim world champ Moises Flores within the third round in the co-main of Sunday’s post-NFL FS1 card. This was a WBA eliminator, so Figueroa is on to bigger and better things at only 22 years of age.
5. Tex Johnson: Is the new Fight To Win Masters Heavyweight No-Gi champion after defeating fellow heavyweight heavy-hitter Eliot Kelly in the main event of Fight To Win Pro 97, THEN stepped up on super short notice to fight Keenan Cornelius on the same weekend at Third Coast grappling.
6. Keenan Cornelius: In the main event of Houston’s Third Coast Grappling, hung an unbelievable on Tex Johnson, who was stepping up on short notice and already had a Fight To Win title bout earlier in the weekend, but 34 is 34 and that’s unreal.
7. Ruben Villa: The featherweight is still undefeated, pitching an 8-0 shutout in the co-main of ShoBox.
8. Victor Pozas: Tapped out Bill Cooper with a heel hook in the co-main event of Third Coast Grappling, which is a damned-fine feather in Pozas’s cap.
9. Ahmed Elbiali: Defeating Allan Green may not have much cache in 2019, or probably not many years after 2010, but Green is still a decent name, and a destruction of him, as Elbiali provided, will raise some eyebrows and keep his trajectory going upward.
10. Guillermo Rigondeaux: Sure, this was a comic mismatch, but it still behooves Rigo to bank a fun first-round knockout to add to his highlight reel and try to dispel his reputation as boring, but reshape it as “tactical”.