Ben Rothwell took a patient approach in his Octagon interview Saturday night after becoming the first man to ever submit Josh Barnett at Fight Night New Jersey. He didn’t demand a title shot but made clear he’ll fight any of the title hopefuls to prove that he is the true No. 1 contender.
Monday’s official UFC rankings release reflect a similar path for Rothwell, who comes in at No. 5 among heavyweights. Rothwell’s impressive victory, and his current four-fight win streak, combine to add another name to the crowded list of heavyweight contenders.
Unrelated to Fight Night New Jersey is the return of Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey to the rankings.
“The Spider’s” suspension is over and he now finds himself ranked 10th among middleweights with a matchup looming at Fight Night London against the sixth-ranked 185-pounder, Michael Bisping.
Rousey, a longtime staple in the pound-for-pound ranks, re-enters the list at No. 15.
Wilson Reis and Jimmie Rivera also were big movers in the rankings following Fight Night New Jersey. Reis took down Dustin Ortiz nine times en route to a victory on Saturday and climbs three spots in the flyweight ranks to No. 9.
Rivera, owner of an 18-fight win streak, cracks the 135-pound rankings for the first time. Rivera’s unanimous decision victory over Iuri Alcantara earns him the 14th spot among bantamweights.
Ryan Bader’s loss to Anthony Johnson in the main event eliminates him from title contention and put him back one spot to No. 5 among the 205-pound division. Glover Teixeira claimed Bader’s spot at No. 4, while Anthony Johnson remains the next light heavyweight contender – besides Jon Jones, of course.
More from Fight Night New Jersey: Full results | Post-fight bonus recap | Johnson makes quick work of Bader | Rothwell, Rivera earn wins | Barberena hands Northcutt first professional loss | Saffiedine, Ferreira and Natal among winners at Fight Night New Jersey prelims | Randy Brown wins in his UFC debut | Backstage interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Jimmie Rivera, Bryan Barberena, Tarec Saffiedine, Rafael Natal, Alexander Yakolev | Octagon interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Bryan Barberena, Randy Brown | Best images from New Jersey