The rankings are in following last Saturday’s UFC on FOX card in Vancouver, and things are looking up for two fighter’s whose previous losses had pushed them out of the top 10 in their weight classes.
Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis reclaimed his spot as a top 10 fighter after being knocked out of the rankings at lightweight following a three-fight losing streak, going from unranked on the UFC.com’s website to his current position of No. 6 in the featherweight division. Pettis debuted at 145 lb weight class on Saturday night and did the unthinkable by submitting Jiu-Jitsu ace Charles Oliveira with a slick guillotine choke in the third round.
And in one of the most stunning performances of the night, Paige VanZant knocked out Bec Rawlings with a switch-kick from hell that takes ’12 gauge’ Page from No. 10 in the women’s strawweight division to No. 8, according to the latest rankings on UFC.com.
Both Pettis and VanZant were coming off of disappointing losses and needed an impressive win to get back on track towards a title fight. Paige suffered a submission loss to Rose Namajunas back in December 2015 that pushed her back to No. 10 prior to Saturday’s knockout win.
Former lightweight champion ‘Showtime’ Pettis had fallen out of the 155 pound top 10 rankings after most recently losing to surging contender Edson Barboza, and before that to current champion Eddie Alvarez after losing the belt to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 185.
For Pettis, the three-fight skid was quite the fall from grace. From the cover of Wheaties boxes and the lightweight belt to being written off as a flash-in-the-pan champ, ‘Showtime’ desperately needed not just a win last Saturday, but an emphatic win.
Now only one of two men with submission victories over Oliveira, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu long considered one of the best submission specialists in the featherweight division.
For ’12-Gauge’ Paige, the loss to Namajunas was the first of the 22-year-old strawweight’s career as well as the first time she had been finished to date.