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