Marina Rodriguez now owns back-to-back victories in UFC main events, and the Brazilian striker may soon find herself involved in a championship contest.

After picking up a hard-fought decision win over Mackenzie Dern at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 194, Rodriguez (15-1-2 MMA, 5-1-2 UFC) is clearly among the absolute best in the world at 115 pounds. Unfortunately for her, at least for the time being, there simply isn’t a lot of room for her to move. Still, the 34-year-old contender does rise one spot to No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie strawweight rankings.

Ahead of her are reigning UFC champion Rose Namajunas and former champ Zhang Weili, who will face off in a rematch at next month’s UFC 268 and currently occupy the top two spots.

No. 3 is former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who hasn’t competed in 19 months, and who Rodriguez believes needs to either step up or step out. Meanwhile, No. 4 is former champ Carla Esparza, who currently has the inside track on a title shot and is hoping to face the winner of Namajunas vs. Weili 2.

Where does that leave Rodriguez? Time will tell, but it’s clear she deserves real respect in any conversation about the division.

Rodriguez wasn’t the only fighter to move forward following this past weekend’s event. Check out the new look of all divisions using the dropdown menu above.


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