With one of the best performances of an already storied career, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson was the big winner in the latest edition of the USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com MMA rankings. Additionally, Matt “The Immortal” Brown debuts on the list.
“The Punk” Thomson, who became the first man to ever defeat the durable Nate Diaz by knockout, proved at 34 years old his best days may still lie ahead. He now sits in the No. 6 spot after an intriguing week for the lightweight division. Meanwhile, in the welterweight division, Brown’s incredible UFC on FOX 7 win over prospect Jordan Mein sees him debut as an honorable mention at 170 pounds.
Looking ahead, light heavyweight No. 1 Jon Jones meets middleweight No. 3 Chael Sonnen, who moves up a division, in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 159 event in New Jersey. Nine of the 10 fighters on that main card feature in this week’s rankings.
The rankings take into account a fighter's wins/losses, quality of competition, finishing rate/dominance and frequency of fights.
Fighters are no longer eligible to be ranked after they've been inactive for 24 months, either due to injuries, drug/conduct suspensions, contract disputes or self-imposed hiatuses.
Fighters serving drug/conduct suspensions are eligible to be ranked, so long as they're not inactive for more than 24 months.
To the best of our ability, fighters will be ranked in their primary weight class. Catchweight fights and bouts outside the fighter's primary weight class can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking. However, fighters can be ranked in only one weight class at a given time, and in most cases, they won't be ranked in a new weight class until they've had their first fight at that weight.
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