Rankings Impact: Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016: 1st Round

27 Sep , 2016,
Richard Mann
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This past weekend Rizin Fighting Federation hosted their fourth event. The card featured several ranked fighters, and the results have made an impact on the Fight Matrix rankings. The following is a breakdown of some of the changes in the rankings after the event.

Rankings Return
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic returned to the heavyweight rankings following his first round submission over Hyun Man Myung. He is now the #31 heavyweight. Myung was unranked headed into the event, but since “Cro Cop” had been dropped from the rankings due to inactivity a simple win was enough to put him back in the top 50.

Rankings Debut
Three fighters, Kron Gracie, Amir Aliakbari and Kanako Murata, made their rankings debut following the event.

Gracie defeated veteran Hideo Tokoro in the main event and now finds himself as the #293 featherweight.

Former two-time world champion Greco-Roman wrestler Amir Aliakbari easily dispatched the former #89 heavyweight Joao Almeida and makes his rankings debut at #116.

Finally, junior world champion wrestler Kanako Murata bested the former #7 atomweight Kyra Batara in order to debut at #39 strawweight.

Moving Up
On a weekend that included plenty of talk about the dearth of challengers for Cris “Cyborg” Justino‘s throne, there was another example in Japan. After going 3-0 against opponents with a combined 2-0 previous record, Gabi Garcia finds herself ranked #9 in the featherweight and over division. She jumped up five spots after defeating Destanie Yarbrough in the card’s opening bout.
Valentin Moldavsky defeated the former #54 heavyweight and moved up 129 spots in the rankings. He is now the #88 heavyweight.

Szymon Bajor went from #125 to #87 heavyweight following his victory over Teodoras Aukstuolis. The Lithuanian fighter had been ranked as the #105 heavyweight.

Dropped Out
Batara actually manged to drop from a top-10 spot to unranked. There are a few factors at play. First, her previous #7 ranking at atomweight was at least partially due to a lack of talent at 105 pounds. For this fight, she bumped up to strawweight and took the loss. So, not only did she lose, but she also reclassified at a much deeper weightclass. If she returns to Combate Americas and wins another atomweight fight, she will most likely return to the top 10.

Richard Mann currently runs the data-driven MMA blog StrikeScoreMMA.com