1. Cris Cyborg: That makes Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC, and now Bellator world championships that Justino has collected. Budd was game, and tough, and admitted her mistakes after the fight and was kicking herself, but she’s a fight or two away from that rematch. As of right now, it’s Cyborg’s cage.
2. Michael Chiesa: Chiesa claimed the biggest win of his entire career, defeating an undisputed workd champion and doing it in dominant fashion. His last three fights are wins over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and Rafael dos Anjos. So he’s breezing through names, and he’s ready for a bigger challenge.
3. Curtis Blaydes: Put a thorough beating on Junior dos Santos in the main event for the UFC’s trip to the Carolinas on Saturday. He’s in a tough spot, because he’s 8-2 in the UFC, including now a win over a former UFC champion, but both of his losses were to Francis Ngannou. He just can’t seem to get by him, and that makes a difficult road to a title shot.
4. Sammy Sasso: It wasn’t without controversy, as Sasso did just enough to win in double overtime over #1-ranked Pat Lugo, and hung on by the skin of his teeth without doing much of anything to win, but a win is a win. They’ll meet again in the NCAAs, and no doubt the Iowa senior will look for revenge against the redshirt freshman from Ohio State.
5. Darrion Caldwell: Advanced in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Pris after a rear-naked choke over previously undefeated Adam Borics at Bellator 238. Now, AJ McKee awaits.
6. Danny Garcia: After another tune-up win for Garcia over Ivan Redkach and nine months after yet another tune-up win over Adrian Granados. Garcia hasn’t always been the most anxious to jump into marquee bouts, but it’s hard to justify him waiting any longer or taking any more clear A-sides. It’s been nearly a year and a half since he fought Shawn Porter, and he’s on the wrong side of 30. It’s time to make hay while the sun is still shining.
7. Tomoyuki Hashimoto/Michael Musumeci Jr./Isaac Doederlein/Jonnatas Gracie Araujo da Silva/Tommy Lilleskog Langaker/Manuel Ribamar V. de Oliveira Filho/Keenan Cornelius/Patrick Pontes/Igor Gregório Schneider/Fellipe Silva/Mayssa Bastos/Ana Cristina Araujo Rodrigues/Amal Amjahid/Ffion Davies/Thamara Ferreira Silva/Sábatha Laís Francisco dos Santos/Laura Barker/Jessica da Silva: Your 2020 IBJJF Black Belt European Jiu Jitsu champions. Extra credit to Fellipe Silva and Ffion Davies for winning their openweight divisions.
8. Stephen Fulton: Defended his IBO junior featherweight championship, as well as winning a WBO eliminator for a title shot currently held by Emanuel Navarrete.
9. Matt Bessette: After signing with the UFC, Bessette vacated his CES featherweight championship. After dropping two, he was back and fighting for the title he left behind, knockout out Charles Cheeks III in the third round to reclaim his title.
10. Gonnapar Weerasakreck: Takumi Yokayama put up a much better fight than anticipated, but Gonnapar just had more horses in defeating the Japanese challenger by majority decision to retain his Krush lightweight championship at Korakuen Hall in the main event of Krush 110 on Saturday.
11. Juan Archuleta: Was able to outwork Henry Corrales to take a win at Bellator 238, and lower my record on picks.
12. Greg Rebello: Successfully defended his CES MMA heavyweight championship against Jordan Mitchell, in what was potential the champ’s final fight.
13. Blaine Shutt: Edged out crowd-favorite Johnny Lopez by split-decision to become the inaugural CES MMA flyweight champion.
14. Hideaki Yamazaki: Turned out Tsubasa Horii’s lights in the very first round, earning the eighth and final T/KO win in the co-main event of Krush 110.
15. Emilee King: Hit the biggest upset of the weekend, submitting former boxing world champion Ava Knight on the main card at Bellator 238.