UFC 287 was a big night for the middleweight division, with a change of champion and a major move from a former title challenger affecting the official rankings.

The event in Miami saw Israel Adesanya recapture the 185-pound title with a dramatic second-round knockout of champion Alex Pereira. It meant that “The Last Stylebender” returned to the top of the UFC middleweight division, with Pereira dropping back from the champion’s perch to number one in the rankings list.

The remainder of the middleweight top 10 remains the same, with former champion Robert Whittaker the next man in line at No. 2, followed by former title challengers Marvin Vettori, Jared Cannonier, and Paulo Costa rounding out the top five.

All five men occupying the top five spots on the list have been defeated by Adesanya. The highest-ranked contender not to have faced him is South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis, who has found himself embroiled in a war of words over their respective African heritage.

The big mover following UFC 287 was another former Adesanya victim, Kelvin Gastelum, who moved up four places to No. 11 following his unanimous decision win over Chris Curtis in the event’s Fight of the Night-winning matchup.

Prior to that victory, Gastelum had won just once – a decision win over Ian Heinisch – since a split-decision win over former Strikeforce champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in May 2018. That run of one win in six bouts had many questioning whether Gastelum was still a factor at 185 pounds. But his hard-earned victory in a highly-competitive bout with Curtis showed that he’s still a tough test for anyone at middleweight. And, with the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter still only 31 years of age, there’s still plenty of time for a career resurgence as he eyes a place in the top 10.

UFC rankings


Champion: Israel Adesanya +1

  1. Alex Pereira -1
  2. Robert Whittaker
  3. Marvin Vettori
  4. Jared Cannonier
  5. Paulo Costa
  6. Dricus du Plessis
  7. Sean Strickland
  8. Derek Brunson
  9. Roman Dolidze
  10. Jack Hermansson
  11. Kelvin Gastelum +4
  12. Nassourdine Imavov -1
  13. Brendan Allen -1
  14. Andre Muniz -1
  15. Chris Curtis -1