1. Teofimo Lopez: Vasyl Lomachenko puzzlingly waited until about the eighth round to start boxing, meanwhile, Lopez was looking crisp, sharp, and landing early and often on the former best lb-for-lb boxer in the world. He’s now the king at lightweight after a win in the most highly-anticipated matchup in a long time.
2. Brian Ortega: Fought an incredibly smart, defense-first, strategic, and technical game against an absolute killer in Chan-Sung Jung, knocking off any ring rust that may have accumulated over nearly two years away from the cage. He took that time away to learn, adapt, and evolve, and looked absolutely terrific in the process.
3. Cris Cyborg: It wasn’t her usual CYBORG SMASH victory, but it was smart. She saw Arlene Blenclowe was weak on the ground, and then remembered that she is, in fact, an Andre Galvao brown belt, and took the striker’s neck to retain her Bellator Women’s Featherweight championship with her first career submission win.
4. Jessica Andrade: Andrade loves to knock out tall fighters in spectacular ways. Against Katlyn Chookagian, she chose to chop her down at the legs, then work her body with nasty strikes, flew in for a flying knee to the body when she saw she had her hurt, then finished her with one of my absolute favorites, a body-shot KO, to work her way to the front of the line at 125lbs in the co-main of UFC Fight Night at Fight Island.
5. Arnold Barboza Jr.: It wasn’t pretty, but Barboza and Alex Saucedo battled in the co-main of Lopez-Loma, with Barboza hitting the canvas in the seventh round, but battled back to win a decision, stay undefeated, and work towards a title shot at 140.
6. Hiroki Akimoto: Was victorious by a split-decision over Zhang Chenglong in the main event on Friday’s ONE: Reign of Dynasties II.
7. Daizo Sasaki: He was supposed to defend his Krush 65kg championship, but Kota Nakano missed weight, and was rewarded with a UD loss to Sasaki, who took a main event win and what should’ve been a title defense.
8. Jimmy Crute: Made quick work of Modestas Bukauskas with a ragdoll knockout in a battle of 205ers who want to take the next step, earning a tidy $50k bonus for his troubles.
9. Jon Blank: The new Fight To Win Black Belt middleweight champion after a main event win over Manuel Ribamar Filho with a heel hook in F2W’s return to Philadelphia.
10. Aaron Jeffrey: Handed Andre Petroski his first professional loss, thanks to his elbow and knee in the main event of Legacy Fighting Alliance 93.
11. Bobo O’Bannon: MMA veteran Mike Kyle, who’s been everywhere and seen everything, faced off agaisnt O’Bannon in the main event of Bare Knuckle’s Toe The Line series, a contender series of sorts for them, and Kyle said no mas after being knocked down three times and giving O’Bannon a huge win.
12. Chriss Wunn/Amier Abdulahad: The Enfusion 70kg finalists after decisioning their opponents in the main/co-main of Enfusion 99.
13. Ella Grapperhaus: Enfusion’s had a fire under their ass to fill their vacant championships, and Grapperhaus is the latest, claiming the vacant Women’s 54kg title with a close decision win over Spain’s Atenea Flores.
14. Marc Leach: Pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend as a +450 underdog, sending Qais Ashfaq to the mat, and earning a shot at British junior featherweight gold.
15. James Krause: That’s now seven of his last eight with only a split-decision loss to Trevin Giles keeping him from an eight-fight UFC winning streak, as he ended Claudio Silva’s own five-fight winning streak with a 30-27 shutout across all three scorecards.