mma / Columns

411 MMA Rankings 01.15.19: Middleweight Division – Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, More

January 15, 2019 | Posted by Jonathan Solomon
Robert Whittaker UFC

411’s Official MMA Rankings

Middleweight Division (185 pounds)


1) Robert Whittaker (20-4)

Height: 6′

Birthday: December 20, 1990

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Yoel Romero – Win via decision (split) – UFC 225 – June 9, 2018

– vs. Yoel Romero – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 213 – July 8, 2017

– vs. Jacare Souza – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – April 15, 2017

– vs. Derek Brunson – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – November 26, 2016

– vs. Rafael Natal – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 197: Jones vs. St. Preux – April 23, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Kelvin Gastelum – UFC 234 – February 9, 2019

Comment: The first UFC PPV of the year is about three weeks out and middleweights will be showcased. Whittaker will have a chance to fight someone not named Yoel Romero for the first time in nearly two years. He’ll also be back fighting in Australia for the first time since he knocked out Derek Brunson in 2016. There are always questions around the impact of the damage absorbed in fights by fighters in their primes and how quickly it can put the kibosh on that prime.

Whittaker had two five-round wars with Romero over the last two years with a case of staph infection between them. He remains undefeated at middleweight (8-0) and is currently the third youngest UFC champion, having recently turned 28 (Rose Namajunas is 26 and Max Holloway turned 27 last month).



2) Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2)

Height: 6’0

Birthday: August 1, 1985

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Rory MacDonald – Win via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 206 – September 29, 2018

– vs. Rafael Carvalho – Win via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 200 – May 25, 2018

– vs. Alexander Shlemenko – Win via decision (unanimous) – Bellator 185 – October 20, 2017

– vs. Chris Weidman – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 210 – April 6, 2017

– vs. Uriah Hall – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – November 19, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



3) Yoel Romero (13-3)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: April 30, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Robert Whittaker – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 225 – June 9, 2018

– vs. Luke Rockhold – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC 221 – February 11, 2018

– vs. Robert Whittaker – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 213 – July 8, 2017

– vs. Chris Weidman – Win via KO (flying knee) – UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor – November 12, 2016

– vs. Jacare Souza – Win via decision (split) – UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor – December 12, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



4) Kelvin Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: October 24, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Jacare Souza – Win via decision (split) – UFC 224 – May 12, 2018

– vs. Michael Bisping – Win via KO (punch) – UFC Fight Night – November 25, 2017

– vs. Chris Weidman – Loss via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC on Fox – July 22, 2017

– vs. Vitor Belfort – No Contest (original win by Gastelum overturned due to marijuana) – UFC Fight Night – March 11, 2017

– vs. Tim Kennedy – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 206 – December 10, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Robert Whittaker – UFC 234 – February 9, 2019

Comment: Nearly six years have passed since Gastelum beat Uriah Hall to win the TUF 17 tournament. Since then, he has battled weight problems, suffered three losses, had a win overturned for a failed drug test (marijuana metabolites) and finally emerged over the last six-plus months as a top contender. It was a winding road but Gastelum will have his first crack at becoming UFC champion next month.



5) Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (26-6, 1 No Contest)

Height: 6’0

Birthday: December 7, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Chris Weidman – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Kelvin Gastelum – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 224 – May 12, 2018

– vs. Derek Brunson – Win via KO (head kick and punches) – UFC on Fox – January 27, 2018

– vs. Robert Whittaker – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – April 15, 2017

– vs. Tim Boetsch – Win via submission (kimura) – UFC 208 – February 11, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



6) Luke Rockhold (16-4)

Height: 6’3

Birthday: October 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Yoel Romero – Loss via KO (strikes) – UFC 221 – February 11, 2018

– vs. David Branch – Win via TKO (submission to strikes) – UFC Fight Night – September 16, 2017

– vs. Michael Bisping – Loss via KO (punches) – UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 – June 4, 2016

– vs. Chris Weidman – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor – December 12, 2015

– vs. Lyoto Machida – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC on FOX: Machida vs. Rockhold – April 18, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



7) Chris Weidman (14-4)

Height: 6’2

Birthday: June 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Jacare Souza – Loss via KO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Kelvin Gastelum – Win via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC on Fox – July 22, 2017

– vs. Gegard Mousasi – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 210 – April 6, 2017

– vs. Yoel Romero – Loss via KO (flying knee) – UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor – November 12, 2016

– vs. Luke Rockhold – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor – December 12, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



8) Israel Adesanya (15-0)

Height: 6’4

Birthday: July 22, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Derek Brunson – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Brad Tavares – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC TUF Finale – July 6, 2018

– vs. Marvin Vettori – Win via decision (split) – UFC on Fox – April 14, 2018

– vs. Rob Wilkinson – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 221 – February 11, 2018

– vs. Stuart Dare – Win via KO (head kick) – Hex Fighting Series 12 – November 24, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Anderson Silva – UFC 234 – February 9, 2019

Comment: If you go back to one year ago, nobody could have foreseen Israel’s 2018 and his first fight of 2019. Four wins later, he is booked in his first PPV co-main event and it’s against Anderson Silva.

Silva will turn 44-years-old this spring, has not competed in about two years and is 1-4 with 1 no contest going back five years. Make no mistake, Silva is in this spot because of his name and to be a stepping stone for Adesanya. If reality conforms to that expectation, the UFC will treat the fight as a passing of the torch. Israel can likely jump into a title fight later this year based off of this performance, not there’s any pressure for the man.



9) Lyoto Machida (25-8)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: May 30, 1978

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Rafael Carvalho – Win via decision (split) – Bellator 213 – December 15, 2018

– vs. Vitor Belfort – Win via KO (front kick) – UFC 224 – May 12, 2018

– vs. Eryk Anders – Win via decision (split) – UFC Fight Night – February 3, 2018

– vs. Derek Brunson – Loss via KO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – October 28, 2017

– vs. Yoel Romero – Loss via KO (elbows) – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero – June 27, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



10) Rafael Carvalho (15-3)

Height: 6’3

Birthday: July 27, 1986

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Lyoto Machida – Loss via decision (split) – Bellator 213 – December 15, 2018

– vs. Gegard Mousasi – Loss via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 200 – May 25, 2018

– vs. Alessio Sakara – Win via KO (elbow) – Bellator 189 – December 9, 2017

– vs. Melvin Manhood – Win via KO (head kick) – Bellator 176 – April 8, 2017

– vs. Melvin Manhoef – Win via decision (split) – Bellator 155 – May 20, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



11) David Branch (22-5)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: September 26, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Jared Cannonier – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Thiago Santos – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – April 21, 2018

– vs. Luke Rockhold – Loss via TKO (submission to strikes) – UFC Fight Night – September 16, 2017

– vs. Krzysztof Jotko – Win via decision (split) – UFC 211 – May 13, 2017

– vs. Louis Taylor – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – WSOF 34 – December 31, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



12) Derek Brunson (18-7)

Height: 6’1

Birthday: January 4, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Israel Adesanya – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Jacare Souza – Loss via KO (head kick and punches) – UFC on Fox – January 27, 2018

– vs. Lyoto Machida – Win via KO (punch) – UFC Fight Night – October 28, 2017

– vs. Daniel Kelly – Win via KO (punch) – UFC Fight Night – June 10, 2017

– vs. Anderson Silva – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 208 – February 11, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



13) Paulo Henrique Costa (12-0)

Height: 6’0

Birthday: April 21, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Uriah Hall – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 226 – July 7, 2018

– vs. Johny Hendricks – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 217 – November 4, 2017

– vs. Oluwale Bamgbose – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 212 – June 3, 2017

– vs. Garreth McLellan – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – March 11, 2017

– vs. Adriano Balby – Win via KO (punch) – Jungle Fight 90 – September 3, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



14) Jared Cannonier (11-4)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: March 3, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. David Branch – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 230 – November 3, 2018

– vs. Dominick Reyes – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – May 19, 2018

– vs. Jan Blachowicz – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC on Fox – December 16, 2017

– vs. Nick Roehrick – Win via TKO (elbows) – UFC TUF Finale – July 7, 2017

– vs. Glover Teixeira – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 208 – February 11, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Cannonier, on short notice, made his middleweight debut against David Branch at Madison Square Garden and finished him in the second round. He had about two weeks to prepare for Branch and came out of the event with an extra $50,000 after earning a performance bonus in addition to his purse. You couldn’t have asked for a better start at 185.




15) Antonio Carlos Jr. (10-2)

Height: 6’2

Birthday: March 16, 1990

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Tim Boetsch – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC on Fox – April 14, 2018

– vs. Jack Marshman – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC Fight Night – October 28, 2017

– vs. Eric Spicely – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 212 – June 3, 2017

– vs. Marvin Vettori – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 207 – December 30, 2016

– vs. Leonardo Guimaraes – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC Fight Night – September 17, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown