UFC Fight Night 37 brought forth two light heavyweight bouts, but only one affected the rankings in the division.
No. 1-ranked Alexander Gustafsson squared off against No. 11-ranked Jimi Manuwa in the main event from London.
Gustafsson dominated and finished Manuwa. After a controlling first round in which Gustafsson looked for a submission, he returned in the second with stand-up attrition. Knees and punches connected on Manuwa's face. The referee called a stop to the action just 1:18 into the second frame.
After the fight, UFC President Dana White made it known that Gustafsson is the top contender in the division. Should Jon Jones successfully defend his belt against No. 2-ranked Glover Teixeira, then we will see a rematch between those two elite 205 pounders later this year.
The contest did not shake up the division that much. Gustafsson is already the No. 1-ranked contender, and thus, he cannot move up in the rankings any higher. What about Manuwa?
The loss to Gustafsson was the first of his career, and in spite of getting TKO'd in the second round, he did show off new elements to his game in the first round.
He defended Gustafsson's submission attempts well. He has not been on his back much throughout his career, but his first-round performance showcased his defensive abilities.
This is how the light heavyweight division ranks following UFC Fight Night 37.
|Projected UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings|
|Rank||Fighter Name||Last Result||Win Streak|
|Champion||Jon Jones||W - DEC vs. Alexander Gustafsson||10|
|1||Alexander Gustafsson||W - TKO vs. Jimi Manuwa||1|
|2||Glover Teixeira||W - TKO vs. Ryan Bader||20|
|3||Rashad Evans||W - TKO vs. Chael Sonnen||2|
|4||Phil Davis||W - DEC vs. Lyoto Machida||3|
|5||Daniel Cormier||W - TKO vs. Patrick Cummins (LHW debut)||14|
|6||Antonio Rogerio Nogueira||W - DEC vs. Rashad Evans||2|
|7||Mauricio "Shogun" Rua||W - KO vs. James Te Huna||1|
|8||Dan Henderson||L - KO vs. Vitor Belfort||0 (lost three straight)|
|9||Chael Sonnen||L - TKO vs. Rashad Evans||0|
|10||Ryan Bader||W - DEC vs. Anthony Perosh||1|
|11||Vitor Belfort||W - KO vs. Dan Henderson||3 (two at middleweight)|
|12||Gegard Mousasi||L - DEC vs. Lyoto Machida||0 (loss to Machida at MW, four straight wins at LHW)|
|13||Jimi Manuwa||L - TKO vs. Alexander Gustafsson||0|
|14||James Te Huna||L - KO v. Shogun Rua||0 (lost two straight)|
|15||Rafael Cavalcante||W - SUB vs. Igor Pokrajac||1|
UFC 172 in Baltimore on April 26 will be the key show to watch for the light heavyweight division. Not only is the title up for grabs between Jones and Teixeira, but the co-main event features No. 4-ranked Phil Davis against potential top-15 light heavyweight Anthony Johnson.
For Gustafsson, and No. 5-ranked Daniel Cormier, UFC 172 will be the event to watch. Significant rankings and championship fallout will occur in Baltimore.