The UFC’s official rankings have been updated following this past Saturday’s UFC Vegas 35 event, and Daniel Rodriguez broke into the top-15.
Rodriguez defeated Kevin Lee this past weekend at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada in an impressive performance that announced “DRod” as a top contender at 170lbs. Since joining the UFC in February 2020, Rodriguez is 6-1 overall in the Octagon and he is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. He deserved to be ranked after beating Lee, though it comes at the expense of longtime veteran Robbie Lawler falling out of the ranks.
Since Lee competed at welterweight against Rodriguez, he has now been taken out of the lightweight rankings and was replaced at No. 15 by Arman Tsarukyan. UFC president Dana White said following the loss to Rodriguez that he was unsure if Lee would fight again in the UFC, so this could just turn out to be a very bad week for “The Motown Phenom” all around.
Aside from Rodriguez, one of the other big winners at UFC Vegas 35 was featherweight Giga Chikadze. After knocking out Edson Barboza in the third round with strikes, Chikadze moved up two spots to No. 8 overall in the division. With a 7-0 record in the Octagon, you can expect Chikadze to fight an elite opponent his next time out. With Chikadze moving up the ranks, both Dan Ige and Barboza fell one spot each.
At the bantamweight, Raulian Paiva fell out of the top-15 following his recent surprise win over Kyler Phillips. In his place is Song Yadong, the top prospect who re-enters the rankings following his recent win over Casey Kenney. Marlon Vera and Cody Stamann also moved up one spot each in the ranks.
What do you think is next for Daniel Rodriguez after officially becoming a top-15 UFC welterweight in the rankings?