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Fighters Yanez, Pereira, Waterson-Gomez, Font, Burns, Adesanya, Masvidal, Pinheiro

Rankings Repercussions | UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2

The UFC’s Return To Miami Is Set To Shake Up The Rankings. Here’s Who Might Be On The Move

It’s been twenty years since the UFC has put on an event in Miami (since UFC 42 in 2003!), and you know it had to be an epic event to make a triumphant return. The matchmakers executed that task to perfection when they built UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2.

Order UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2

And when you build a card of this stature, inevitably there is going to be a shakeup in the rankings when they are released next week. Here’s a preview of what that might look like.

(C) Alex Pereira vs (No. 1) Israel Adesanya

Alex Pereira

Upside With Win: Big. Not only does he remain the champion, but one of the biggest Brazilian stars in recent history will own the distinction of being 4-0 against Israel Adesanya (twice in MMA, twice in kickboxing).

Downside With Loss: Minimal. He’ll slip into the upper reaches of the top five, but a loss would likely set up a delicious trilogy with his longtime rival.

Opponents Israel Adesanya of Nigeria and Alex Pereira of Brazil face off during the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh-in at Radio City Music Hall on November 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Opponents Israel Adesanya of Nigeria and Alex Pereira of Brazil face off during the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh-in at Radio City Music Hall on November 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Israel Adesanya

Upside With Win: Big. One of the most dominant middleweight champions of all time would reclaim his title and continue his march towards all-time status.

MAIN EVENT DEEP DIVE: UFC 287 Breakdown | MMA Coaches Discuss The Rematch

Downside With Loss: Minimal. Although he’d have the first two-fight losing streak of his impressive career, he’s cleaned out most of the division ranked below him, notably No. 2 Robert Whittaker and No. 3 Marvin Vettori, both of whom he has defeated twice.

No. 5 Gilbert Burns vs No. 11 Jorge Masvidal

Gilbert Burns

Upside With Win: Minimal. A win over Masvidal would likely not be enough to push him past names like Belal Muhammad and Khamzat Chimaev, but it should keep him locked in the top five for now.

GREATEST HITS: Jorge Masvidal | Gilbert Burns

Downside With Loss: Also minimal. A loss would leave an opening for rising star Shavkat Rakhmonov to take his No. 5 ranking, but Burns owns a win over the No. 7 welterweight, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal

Upside With Win: Huge. A win for Masvidal would end the first three-fight losing streak of his career, and catapult him closer to the men who gave him those losses: Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

Downside With Loss: Also huge. Not only would the four-fight skid likely drop him to the lower end of the top 15, but the fan-favorite “Gamebred” hinted in his segment of UFC 287 Countdown that a loss might be enough to trigger his retirement.

No. 6 Rob Font vs No. 12 Adrian Yanez

Rob Font

Upside With Win: Minimal. A fight with a No. 12 fighter doesn’t do much for Font rankings-wise, but another loss by the bantamweights  just above him—Petr Yan and Marlon Vera—could open the door to Font’s place in the top five.

Downside With Loss: Substantial. That would be three losses in a row for the New England Cartel star. The next ranked fighter he owns a win over is No. 10 Ricky Simon.

Rob Font, Adian Yanez

Adrian Yanez

Upside With Win: Huge. Font is a massive step up in competition for the Texan fan-favorite, and a decisive win could have him knocking on the door of the top half of the division.

UFC 287 FREE FIGHTS: Rob Font vs Marlon Moraes | Adrian Yanez vs Tony Kelley

Downside With Loss: Modest. Although he doesn’t own wins over the three men below him, Yanez hasn’t lost since 2018. Any fall here wouldn’t likely be fatal.

No. 10 Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs No. 15 Luana Pinheiro

Michelle Waterson-Gomez

Upside With Win: Minimal. A win for “The Karate Hottie” would do little more than allow her to hold on to her current place in the top 10.

Downside With Loss: Big. A loss would be the first three-fight skid of Waterson-Gomez’s career, and five losses in six fights (albeit vs the best of the best at strawweight). The next fighter ranked below her she has a win over is No. 13 Angela Hill.

Michelle Waterson-Gomez, Luana Pinheiro

Luana Pinheiro

Upside With Win: Huge. In just her third UFC fight, Pinheiro would be near or in the top ten in the notoriously difficult strawweight division.

MORE UFC 287: Raul Rosas Is Next Level | Rising Fighters | Dangerous Rob Font | Israel Talks To Anik | Waterson-Gomez Warrior Code | Adesanya Career Highlights

Downside With Loss: Modest. She’d slip out of the rankings, but as mentioned above, the Brazilian is just three fights into her UFC career and it’s likely the rankings panel will be considering her again in the future.


Order UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2

UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 took place live from Kayesa Center in Miami, Florida on April 8, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass