1. Curtis Blaydes: Said exactly what he was going to do, and what out and did it, taking down Alexander Volkov from pillar-to-post and securing a unanimous decision victory to stay right behind Francis Ngannou in the heavyweight logjam.
2. Lucas Barbosa: Hulk wanted Rafael Lovato’s F2W gold, and he was aims to take it. After an armbar and a Submission of the Night bonus, Barbosa did just that, becoming the Fight To Win Light Heavyweight champion.
3. Josh Emmett: As Emmett put it in his post-fight interview, it was “power vs. precision” with power coming out on top. His hands were electric, and he moved like a gazelle in the cage, securing an upset win over Shane Burgos. As he said, he’s done fighting behind him, and he wants fighters ahead of him, which he’s earned.
4. Victor Hugo: One week after winning Fight To Win heavyweight gold, Hugo followed that up with a heavyweight tournament victory at Third Coast Grappling’s KUMITE 8-manner. NOT A BAD MONTH.
5. Mike Plania: On Tuesday’s Top Rank card, Plania picked up a bit of an upset in the main event, besting Joshua Greer Jr. by majority decision after dropping him twice.
6. Craig Jones: And still Submission Underground champion after going to overtime with Gabriel Checco.
7. Nathalie Ribeiro: Ribeiro and Talita Alencar are two of the top women’s grapplers in the world, and it was a hell of a co-main event on a loaded F2W card. It went the distance with Ribeiro getting the better of the cards by split-decision, claiming F2W bantamweight gold in the process.
8. Giovani Santillan: I said in my picks on Tuesday that DeMarco’s a gatekeeper, but the only fighters that get past him these days are world champions, which is a damned-good omen for Santillan, who snuck by him via majority decision.
9. Mason Fowler: In the main event of Submission Underground 15, Fowler submitted Roberto Jimenez in overtime to win the one-night tournament, earn a cool $10k, and earning a shot at Craig Jones’s championship at the next SUG event.
10. Gabriel Flores Jr.: In the makeshift main event of Thursday’s Top Rank card, Flores earned a decision win over Josec Ruiz in a lightweight scrap.
11. Jim Miller: He’s not dead yet! Miller came in as a big underdog to rising Roosevelt Roberts, then proceeded to slap on an armbar from underneath, get a verbal tap, and earned his 32nd career win with a nice $50,000 bonus with it.
12. Justin Jaynes: Came in on less than a week’s notice, facing an opponent who missed weight, in Frank Camacho, and STILL earned a finish and the biggest upset of the weekend.
13. Edwin Palomares: The main event with Emanuel Navarrete was a goddamned sham that should have never happened, but the co-main was a fun scrap with two fighters who actually had something to prove and gain, with Palomares finishing Carlos Ornelas in the fifth.
14. Clay Collard: The Prospect Stopper strikes again! The former UFC fighter who has developed a second career as a prospect-defeating boxer struck again, defeating David Kaminsky and handing him his first professional loss, which is what he does.
t15. Amanda Loewen: Jessica Eye losing in combat sports twice in one week is the kind of good shit this country needs to heal. She tapped out Eye with an armbar at Submission Underground 15. Thank you, based Chael.
t15. Wanheng Menayothin: a.k.a. Chayaphon Moonsri has decided to call it a career at 54-0 and as the WBC World Minimumweight champion. It would have been nice to see him fight outside of Thailand, which he was supposed to before the shutdown. Alas, at age 34, he walks away with a pristine record and twelve world title defenses. He also as a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, which helps in his next career.