Rankings Shakeup: Should Magomed Ankalaev be the new No. 2 light heavyweight in the world?


What on earth are we supposed to do with the light heavyweight division?

UFC 282 was supposed to inject a little clarity into the 205-pound ranks after Jiri Prochazka’s untimely shoulder injury thrust the weight class into chaos. Instead, it’s only left us more confused than ever, with the UFC having pivoted from one impromptu title fight to another following Magomed Ankalaev’s split draw with Jan Blachowicz this past Saturday. Now it’s suddenly Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill (sorry, Anthony Smith) who are slated to vie for the still-vacant belt on January 21 at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It’s a bizarre situation, and no one has more right to gripe than Anklaev.

To quote my own post-fight column:

I scored the bout as most people did — 48-47 for Magomed Ankalaev, giving him rounds one, four, and five. It may not have been the second coming of Prochazka vs. Teixeira, but Ankalaev has every reason to be upset. After Blachowicz’s initial barrage of leg kicks and his defeat, Ankalaev persevered, adjusted his wrestling to make the right adjustments, and won what could have been the turning point of his career: a championship round performance.

But, what does Ankalaev’s performance in the overall scheme of things mean?

MMA Fighting

UFC 282’s main event may not have officially counted as a win for Anklaev, but it was enough for the 30-year-old to vault over Blachowicz and settle into a No. 4 spot on the global light heavyweight ranks. Notably, Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov also injected himself back into the conversation with his latest revenge win over Corey Anderson at Bellator 288, which propelled him back into a top-3 ranking.

Still, neither result was enough for either to eclipse Teixeira. The old warhorse continues to hold firm to his No. 2 ranking — and considering the UFC’s abrupt change of plans, it’s not crazy to think he could soon be riding off into the sunset after recapturing his belt in front of his countrymen with an advantageous matchup against the No. 10 ranked Hill.

Do you like the light heavyweight ranking? Should Anklaev have gotten a bigger bump or is Teixeira still the right call at No. 2? Is Nemkov being criminally underrated?

Vote in the poll and leave a comment below.

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/12/23504453/rankings-shakeup-should-magomed-ankalaev-be-the-new-no-2-light-heavyweight-in-the-world?rand=96749