UFC rankings report after UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez

Mackenzie Dern (left), Mark Smith (central), Marina Rodriguez (right). [Image Courtesy: @UFC on Instagram}
Mackenzie Dern (left), Mark Smith (central), Marina Rodriguez (right). [Image Courtesy: @UFC on Instagram}
Frank Bonada

At UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez, MMA fans were treated to a five-round striking masterclass by Marina Rodriguez. She has now solidified her position as a top contender in the UFC's strawweight division.

Rodriguez went into the main event fight against Mackenzie Dern as a betting underdog and completely re-wrote the script. Barring the second round, Rodriguez was able to outstrike Dern with apparent ease. As a result, she enters the top five of the division.

Mackenzie Dern drops two places to sixth, whilst Rodriguez now claims the fourth spot. Rodriguez has also entered the women's pound-for-pound rankings for the first time, taking the 12th spot and knocking Dern out of the rankings altogether.

The only other fight on the card that impacted the rankings was a flyweight bout between Matheus Nicolau and UFC veteran Tim Elliot. After a hard fought three rounds, Nicolau won via the judges' decision. The victory sees the Brazilian rise three places in the flyweight rankings, taking the eighth-placed spot. Tim Elliot falls out of the top ten.

There is little else different in the UFC's rankings, with heavyweights Sergey Spivac and Sergei Pavlovich switching places between 14th and 15th, whilst women's bantamweights Pannie Kianzad and Julia Avila trade 13th and 14th.

Who could be next for the winners of UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez?

Following Marina Rodriguez's win, there has been a unanimous call on social media from UFC fans for her to face off against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Another option for Rodriguez could be Carla Esparza. However, Esparza already has a win over Rodriguez, and it may be a bit too soon to have them run it back. Lastly, Rodriguez could wait until Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang's title fight rematch is over, and hope to face the loser.

For Matheus Nicolau, the majority of the fighters ranked ahead of him are currently booked up. If he wishes to return to the octagon soon, a fight with 10th ranked David Dvorak may well make sense.

Otherwise, he will have to wait for Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell, Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt, and Brandon Royval vs. Rogerio Bontorin to be resolved.

Edited by Jack Cunningham
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