Fight Matrix updates the Current MMA Rankings once a week. As the deepest and most inclusive ranking system in the sport, fights all over the globe can have a major impact on the rankings. Let’s take a look at the biggest risers in the divisional rankings. The number in parenthesis is the number of spots that the fighter moved up from the last issued rankings. For the purpose of this article, fighters who were unranked in the previous ranking iteration are excluded.
Igor Sliusarchuk #159 (36)
It looks like the correction in the rankings system has rewarded Sliusarchuk with a 36 spot bump. The Ukrainian fighter last fought on Dec. 19 when he scored a 45-second knockout over Emil Zahariev. The 27-year-old fighter holds a 19-8 record as a professional.
Alessio Di Chirico #124 (94)
Di Chirico has quickly risen up the rankings. At UFC on Fox 21, he scored his first UFC victory over Garreth McLellan via split decision. The win improved his record to 10-1. Despite beginning his professional career in 2011, he was allowed to the 2014 IMMAF amateur world championships where he took first place.
Other Notables: Ken Hasegawa #59 (34)
Vuyisile Colossa #284 (134)
The One Championship veteran got back on the winning track with a third-round knockout victory over Marcelo Tenorio under the IMPI World Series Banner. Prior to that, he had lost to Elnur Agaev for Kunlun Fight in his only other bout of 2016. The South African kickboxer fought on the very first One Championship card and holds a 3-1 record in the promotion.
Jake Roberts #270 (73)
The MMA Lab product scored a first-round knockout over Stephen Martinez on the undercard of Bellator 160. With the win, he moved up 73 spots in the lightweight rankings. In his previous fight, Roberts stopped Bellator veteran Lloyd Woodard at Intense Championship Fighting 24.
Other Notables: Joe Stevenson #413 (51)
Edward Kelly #182 (247)
Last Saturday, Kelly fought for One Championship for the sixth time in his career, and he picked up one of the biggest wins of his career. He scored a knockout over Vincent Latoel 57 seconds into the second round. Following the win, he moved up to #182. The Lakay MMA product’s previous high ranking was #404.
Michito Abe #200 (90)
Abe took home a unanimous decision over Hiroyuki Kobayashi at Deep 77 Impact. The victory improved his record to 14-6-1. Prior to that win, Abe had dropped his previous bout against Makoto Kamaya at Deep 75 Impact.
Naoki Inoue #134 (18)
Also at Deep 77 Impact, Inoue defeated Tsuyoshi Minamide via majority decision to improve to 7-0. The 19-year-old Karate fighter has been competing professionally since 2015.
Paige VanZant #18 (17)
The UFC postergirl jumped back into the top 20 with a highlight-reel knockout over Bec Rawlings. Prior to the victory, VanZant had lost for the first time in the Octagon against #8 Rose Namajunas.
This week there was not any major movement in the light heavyweight, strawweight, women’s featherweight, women’s bantamweight, or women’s atomweight divisions.
Richard Mann currently runs the data-driven MMA blog StrikeScoreMMA.com