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UFC fighter rankings: Letourneau conveniently moves up before Jedrzejczyk title fight

Valerie Letourneau has magically moved up in the strawweight rankings just days out from her title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 193.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There was plenty of change as a result of last weekend's UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3 card in Brazil. Thomas Almeida, Corey Anderson, and Thiago Tavares ascended, while Patrick Cummins and Dan Henderson descended. Vitor Belfort and Glover Teixeira stayed put despite their respective knockout wins at the top of the card.

But I want to get to something that I've noticed regularly since the rankings were formed two years ago. Valerie Letourneau being ranked above Joanne Calderwood in itself is not really anything to complain about. They share one common opponent (Maryna Moroz), and Letourneau won after Calderwood lost to her. However, this week is Letourneau's strawweight title fight vs. reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Letourneau has just abruptly gone above Calderwood just days from her UFC 193 co-main event.

When Rousey fought Correia at UFC 190, Correia went up two spots despite 0 fights since August 2014. When Edson Barboza took on Bobby Green last year, he also went up two spots right before fight week. Jake Ellenberger went up the week of his fight with Kelvin Gastelum, even on a two-fight losing streak. Conor McGregor had the same thing happen to him just before he fought Diego Brandao last year. And these are just a handful of examples.

I know the media-submitted rankings are aggregated, averaged out, etc. after everyone has put in their ballot, but this has happened far too often for it to be just mere coincidence. But that's just my two cents.

You can see the full rankings here.

Pound-for-Pound: No changes

Women's Strawweight: Valerie Letourneau is 8th, dropping Joanne Calderwood to 9th. Ditto for Michelle Waterson, who rounds out the top 10 at the expense of the now 11th placed Maryna Moroz.

Flyweight: Chris Cariaso, on a three-fight losing streak, goes ahead of Louis Smolka for 13th spot. Good going, everyone.

Women's Bantamweight: No changes

Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling moves up a notch to #5, Thomas Almeida's latest KO gets him up two spots to #6, while the returning Michael McDonald falls to #8.

Featherweight: Clay Guida's loss to Thiago Tavares wasn't enough for Tavares to actually go above Guida in the top 15. Guida, however, does drop from 11th to 14th, while Tavares enters the rankings for the first time at 15th. Darren Elkins jumps two spots to 12th, and Hacran Dias takes Guida's old spot at 11th. Dennis Siver is now off the list completely.

Lightweight: Beneil Dariush rises to #9, with Myles Jury dropping to #10, and once he makes his featherweight debut he'll probably drop off the list entirely.

Welterweight: No changes

Middleweight: As mentioned earlier, Henderson has dropped to 13th, while Derek Brunson takes 12th position.

Light Heavyweights: Corey Anderson has beasted 25/8 his way up to #10 at light heavyweight, soaring four spots in the process with his win over Fabio Maldonado, now ranked 14th. Patrick Cummins' loss sends him down to #11, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira also dips a spot to #13. Quinton Jackson has risen to #9, which pretty much tells you that beating Fabio Maldonado is the gateway into the top 10.

Heavyweight: No changes

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