Welcome back to “3 Up 3 Down” our version of power rankings! UFC 262 proved to be a historical night. Here are the three trending up after Saturday.
11 years and 26 fights. That is how long it took Charles Oliveira to reach the pinnacle of the sport and win the UFC Lightweight Championship. His first fight was on the undercard of the Jon Jones v. Vladimir Matyushenko card on Versus – a network that no longer exists during Jon Jones march towards earning the title! Oliveira’s story is one of perseverance and growth. Several times he put together impressive winning streaks, only to be met with a devastating loss or serious injury. Now, after winning 6 fights, it’s clear that the uber-talented Oliveira has not only the championship skill, but mental toughness which is needed to wear the Gold in the premier mixed martial arts promotion in one of its toughest weight classes. Congrats to Do Bronx!
Idiotic post-fight comments aside, Beneil Dariush is beginning to put together a run that may remind some of the newly-crowned UFC lightweight Champion – Charles Oliveira. With the biggest victory of his career, shutting down and shutting out former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson, Beneil Dariush has now won 7 fights in a row and will undoubtedly find himself in the top 5 of the division when the newest set of the UFC rankings are published later this week. With the suffocating ground game and stealth-like Muay Thai taught by Master Rafael Cordeiro, we may soon see the Iranian fighting for the UFC lightweight crown.
It’s one thing to make an outlandish claim that you are a better grappler than one of the most decorated BJJ practitioners of all-time – it is an entirely different story to break said practitioner’s arm in under 4 minutes of fight-time. Nevertheless, that is what happened Saturday night as Andre Muniz snapped Jacare Souza’s right arm, after Muniz transitioned from a rear-naked choke attempt to an armbar. Both the audio and visual of the arm break were as stunning and graphic as any submission injury in UFC history, but to do so against a former multi-time Mundial and Abu Dhabi champion like Jacare is stunning.
Check back tomorrow for three trending down!