UFC rankings 01/27/14: Jeremy Stephens debuts in featherweight Top 10

FOX UFC Saturday shook up the fighter rankings in a big way.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jeremy Stephens is the latest example of a change in weight classes changing a fighter’s career trajectory.

After compiling a 7-8 record over six-plus years spent competing in the deep and talented lightweight division, the 27-year-old known as “Lil Heathen” made the move down to the 145-pound ranks last May. Three fights and three wins later, Stephens has emerged as a legitimate threat in his new weight class, debuting in the division’s Top 10 in the latest version of the UFC Fighter Rankings, presented by RAM.

Over the weekend, the Alliance MMA product collected a unanimous decision victory over durable veteran Darren Elkins in the FOX UFC Saturday main card opener in Chicago, using his powerful striking and defensive wrestling to up-end the Indiana native.

Stephens has been dominant in all three of his appearances since moving down the divisional scale, battering Estevan Payan and knocking out TUF: Brazil winner Rony Jason in spectacular fashion before dismissing Elkins on Saturday night.

With his proven knockout power and wealth of experience, the 23-9 Stephens is an intriguing addition to the featherweight title chase, and should be in line for a step up in competition next time out.

As a result of Stephens’ arrival in the featherweight rankings, five other fighters—Elkins, Erik Koch, Conor McGregor, Dennis Bermudez, and Tatsuya Kawajiri—all dropped down one positions.

Elsewhere, despite earning a split decision win in Saturday’s main event, former UFC lightweight champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson slipped three places in the latest pound-for-pound rankings, as Ronda Rousey, Johny Hendricks, and Vitor Belfort all moved up one place. With his win over Gabriel Gonzaga in the co-main event, Cleveland-based contender Stipe Miocic climbed one spot to land at No. 7 in the heavyweight rankings.

Check out the complete collection of updated UFC Fighter Rankings below and stay tuned to FoxSports.com for all your UFC news, information, and analysis.

UFC FIGHTER RANKINGS (January 27, 2014)

Pound-for-Pound
1 Jon Jones
2 Jose Aldo
3 Cain Velasquez
4 Demetrious Johnson
5 Chris Weidman
6 Renan Barao
7 Anderson Silva
8 Anthony Pettis
9 Ronda Rousey (+1)
10 Johny Hendricks (+1)
11 Vitor Belfort (+1)
12 Benson Henderson (-1)
13 Urijah Faber
14 Gilbert Melendez
15 Dominick Cruz

Flyweight
Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 John Dodson
2 Joseph Benavidez
3 Ian McCall
4 John Moraga
5 John Lineker
6 Jussier Formiga
7 Ali Bagautinov
8 Timothy Elliott
9 Chris Cariaso
10 Zach Makovsky
11 Louis Gaudinot
12 Scott Jorgensen
13 Dustin Ortiz
14 Darrell Montague
15 Darren Uyenoyama

Bantamweight
Champion: Renan Barao
1 Urijah Faber
2 Michael McDonald
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 Eddie Wineland
5 TJ Dillashaw
6 Brad Pickett
7 Takeya Mizugaki
8 Mike Easton
9 Iuri Alcantara
10 Dominick Cruz (+2)
11 Francisco Rivera (-1)
12 Erik Perez (-1)
13 Bryan Caraway
14 Ivan Menjivar
15 Alex Caceres *NR

Featherweight
Champion: Jose Aldo
1 Chad Mendes
2 Ricardo Lamas
3 Frankie Edgar
4 Cub Swanson
5 Chan Sung Jung
6 Dustin Poirier
7 Dennis Siver
8 Nik Lentz
9 Clay Guida
10 Jeremy Stephens *NR
11 Darren Elkins (-1)
12 Erik Koch (-1)
13 Conor McGregor (-1)
14 Dennis Bermudez (-1)
15 Tatsuya Kawajiri (-1)

Lightweight
Champion: Anthony Pettis
1 Benson Henderson
2 Gilbert Melendez
3 TJ Grant
4 Josh Thomson
5 Nate Diaz
6 Rafael dos Anjos
7 Khabib Nurmagomedov
8 Donald Cerrone
9 Jim Miller
10 Gray Maynard
11 Edson Barboza
12 Bobby Green
13 Michael Johnson
14 Diego Sanchez
15 Rustam Khabilov

Welterweight
Champion:
1 Johny Hendricks
2 Carlos Condit
3 Robbie Lawler
4 Rory MacDonald
5 Jake Ellenberger
6 Demian Maia
7 Jake Shields
8 Matt Brown
9 Tarec Saffiedine
10 Tyron Woodley
11 Dong Hyun Kim
12 Hector Lombard
13 Rick Story
14 Josh Koscheck
15 Mike Pyle

Middleweight
Champion: Chris Weidman
1 Anderson Silva
2 Vitor Belfort
3 Ronaldo Souza
4 Lyoto Machida
5 Michael Bisping
6 Luke Rockhold
7 Mark Munoz
8 Francis Carmont
9 Tim Kennedy
10 Costa Philippou
11 Tim Boetsch
12 Alan Belcher
13 Brad Tavares
14 Yoel Romero
15 Chael Sonnen *NR

Light Heavyweight
Champion: Jon Jones
1 Alexander Gustafsson
2 Glover Teixeira
3 Rashad Evans
4 Phil Davis
5 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
6 Mauricio Rua (-1)
7 Dan Henderson (-1)
8 Chael Sonnen
9 Gegard Mousasi
10 Ryan Bader
11 Jimi Manuwa
12 Thiago Silva
13 Vitor Belfort
14 Lyoto Machida
15 James Te-Huna

Heavyweight
Champion: Cain Velasquez
1 Junior Dos Santos
2 Fabricio Werdum
3 Travis Browne
4 Daniel Cormier
5 Josh Barnett
6 Antonio Silva
7 Stipe Miocic (+1)
8 Mark Hunt (-1)
9 Alistair Overeem
10 Frank Mir
11 Roy Nelson
12 Gabriel Gonzaga
13 Minotauro Nogueira
14 Stefan Struve
15 Brendan Schaub

Women’s Bantamweight
Champion: Ronda Rousey
1 Cat Zingano
2 Miesha Tate
3 Alexis Davis
4 Sara McMann (-1)
5 Jessica Eye
6 Sarah Kaufman
7 Liz Carmouche
8 Amanda Nunes
9 Jessica Andrade
10 Julianna Pena
11 Germaine de Randamie
12 Bethe Correia
13 Raquel Pennington
14 Jessamyn Duke
15 Jessica Rakoczy