MMA Junkie Power Index, Feb. 15-21: 'The Black Beast' moves into title contention

MMA Junkie Power Index, Feb. 15-21: ‘The Black Beast’ moves into title contention

Every time boxers action into the cage or ring, they’re aiming to declare a win, make a declaration and also proceed their professions towards a details objective. Some are aiming to rise. Others might have an ax to grind. And the sporting activity’s leading professional athletes have their views established on champion gold.

The MMA Junkie Power Index takes into account not simply one of the most current efficiencies inside the cage, yet the opportunity boxers can remain front and also facility in the MMA awareness also without battling.

After a week that consisted of UFC Fight Night 185, that made the largest strides and also supplied the week’s most effective efficiencies, in the cage or from it?

Check out the MMA Junkie Power Index forFeb 15-21.

Aiemann Zahabi

Montreal’s Aiemann Zahabi might have commemorated a knockout triumph at UFC Fight Night 185, yet his weekend break brought a lot more than simply an additional notch in his win column.

Zahabi went back to the octagon for the very first time because May 2019 and also racked up a substantial ko gain debuting Contender Series gradDrako Rodriguez The triumph not just offered Zahabi a winning return, it additionally broke a two-fight skid going back to 2017. It additionally made the Canadian a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” reward.

But, possibly more crucial than every one of the above was the truth Zahabi currently has a brand-new UFC agreement in his back pocket thanks to UFC intermediator Sean Shelby.

With his prompt combating future on the huge phase currently protected, Zahabi will certainly aim to construct an additional winning touch as he targets the rated challengers in the UFC bantamweight department.

Darrick Minner

Underrated yet undeterred, Darrick Minner generated perhaps the most effective efficiency of his arising UFC job to control Charles Rosa and also case his 2nd win on the huge phase.

Minner is among a gifted plant of boxers discovering their type under the advice of instructor James Krause at Glory MMA and also Fitness in Missouri, and also the mix of Krause’s battle smarts and also Minner’s grappling chops can well move the 30-year-old towards the lightweight leading 15 in 2021.

After beating Rosa, a chance at either a placed challenger or a person on the edges of the leading 15 certainly waits for. If he can proceed his type, anticipate Minner to be an unsafe brand-new hazard to the leading 10 by the end of the year.

Yana Kunitskaya

The UFC ladies’s bantamweight department is hopeless for brand-new challengers to tackle all-conquering two-division champ Amanda Nunes, and also Russia’s Yana Kunitskaya relocated one action more detailed to the top of the department with a hard-earned gain highly-rated Ketlen Vieira.

Kunitskaya’s bloody gain Vieira revealed the kind of grit needed of a possible title challenger, and also with the listing of fresh oppositions to Nunes at 135 extra pounds starting to diminish, the Russian can possibly press herself towards a title fired with an additional win or 2.

Tom Aspinall and also Chris Daukaus

On a weekend break that saw a quartet of heavyweight battles on deck at UFC Fight Night 185, 2 family member newbies to the UFC grabbed extremely outstanding triumphes to place the department’s well-known order on notification.

Tom Aspinall damaged Andrei Arlovski in Round 1, after that sent him in Round 2 to declare the scalp of a previous UFC heavyweight champ, while Chris Daukaus illuminated Russian expert Aleksei Oleinik in much less than 2 mins to rack up a huge blockage win of his very own.

Both guys are obliging, straight-talking kinds that have actually been involving characters with the media over the previous week, and also they both use a look of what the future of the department could appear like.

It’s appearing like 2021 is mosting likely to be a huge year for the heavyweight department and also, while the leading names are fighting for the title at the sharp end, the similarity Aspinall and also Daukaus are making invasions, and also it might not be also long prior to one or both of them are ideal in the mix themselves. Don’ t dismiss a fight in between both in the not-too-distant future, either.

Derrick Lewis

Make indisputable, Derrick Lewis is a genuine title challenger. With his amusing, power-punching design, Lewis has actually constantly been a fan-favorite in the UFC heavyweight department, yet possibly had not been generally thought about a major title hazard as a result of problems over his cardio and also fumbling.

Well, that was after that, and also times have actually altered.

Lewis’ cardio has actually leveled up considerably, while his capability to maintain the battle standing has actually additionally enhanced dramatically. Matched with a person lots of idea would certainly be a problem reservation for Lewis, Curtis Blaydes, the Houston indigenous dealt with an acid examination of his overall capacities, and also he passed with flying shades, thanks to a squashing uppercut.

The round stood for a win-or-bust circumstance for both guys’s title passions in the UFC, and also it was “The Black Beast” climbed to the celebration as he racked up a substantial ko to starch Blaydes and also leave no question that he awaits a title shot.

The unavoidable arrival of Jon Jones as a UFC heavyweight might suggest Lewis needs to wait– and also most likely defeated an additional challenger– prior to he obtains an additional chance at the gold. But he’s ideal in the mix once more, and also he’s never ever looked much better.