As MMA continues to grow its presence with the UFC, Bellator MMA, WSOF and ONE FC, fighters are constantly jockeying for position in the eyes (and rankings) of the media.

Every week, Combat Press will rank each weight class from heavyweight to flyweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings (including both genders).

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from last week.

Heavyweight
  1. Cain Velasquez (1)
  2. Fabricio Werdum (2)
  3. Junior dos Santos (3)
  4. Josh Barnett (5)
  5. Stipe Miocic (6)
  6. Andrei Arlovski (9)
  7. Travis Browne (4)
  8. Mark Hunt (7)
  9. Ben Rothwell (8)
  10. Alistair Overeem (10)

Wow. That’s the only word necessary to describe the fight between former champion Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne. The two heavyweights put on one of the most exciting rounds in the sport’s history and earned every single penny of the “Fight of the Night” bonus at UFC 187. When it was all said and done, Arlovski put himself in title talk with yet another win, and Browne finds himself tumbling toward gatekeeper status.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Daniel Cormier (4)
  3. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (2)
  4. Alexander Gustafsson (3)
  5. Ryan Bader (6)
  6. Phil Davis (7)
  7. Glover Teixeira (8)
  8. Ovince Saint Preux (9)
  9. Liam McGeary (-)
  10. Jimi Manuwa (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Rashad Evans (5), Vitor Belfort (10)

There’s a new (un)disputed king at 205 pounds and it’s Daniel Cormier. The former Olympic wrestler showcased a superb chin and expert grappling to submit Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187. But, with a previous loss to Jon Jones on Cormier’s resume, it’s going take more to prove he’s the best light heavyweight on the planet. Also impacting the rankings was the inactivity of former champion Rashad Evans, as well as Vitor Belfort’s return to the middleweight division. As a result, Bellator MMA titleholder Liam McGeary slides into our ninth slot, while England’s Jimi Manuwa rounds out the top 10.

Middleweight
  1. Chris Weidman (1)
  2. Anderson Silva (3)
  3. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (4)
  4. Luke Rockhold (5)
  5. Lyoto Machida (6)
  6. Vitor Belfort (2)
  7. Yoel Romero (7)
  8. Tim Kennedy (8)
  9. Gegard Mousasi (9)
  10. Michael Bisping (10)

It’s time to stop doubting Chris Weidman. The UFC middleweight titleholder had a valid point in his UFC 187 post-fight speech, as he’s now defeated three former champions during his title reign. His dominant win over Vitor Belfort keeps him firmly atop the rankings, while a TRT-less Belfort tumbles to No. 6 and potentially retirement.

Welterweight
  1. Robbie Lawler (1)
  2. Johny Hendricks (2)
  3. Ben Askren (3)
  4. Rory MacDonald (4)
  5. Hector Lombard (5)
  6. Matt Brown (6)
  7. Tyron Woodley (7)
  8. Carlos Condit (8)
  9. Rousimar Palhares (9)
  10. Dong Hyun Kim (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Demian Maia (10)

After another dominating grappling display, South Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim has re-entered the rankings. The “Stun Gun” submitted former World Series of Fighting titleholder Josh Burkman at UFC 187 and moved ahead of Brazilian Demian Maia.

Lightweight
  1. Rafael dos Anjos (1)
  2. Anthony Pettis (2)
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov (3)
  4. Donald Cerrone (5)
  5. Gilbert Melendez (4)
  6. Benson Henderson (6)
  7. Eddie Alvarez (7)
  8. Will Brooks (8)
  9. Myles Jury (9)
  10. Michael Johnson (10)

Would you want to get in the cage with Donald Cerrone anytime soon? The former WEC title challenger has violently worked his way up the lightweight ranks and his eight-fight winning streak is more than anything to warrant the next title shot at 155 pounds. His second-round TKO win over John Makdessi at UFC 187 cemented that fact.

Featherweight
  1. Jose Aldo (1)
  2. Chad Mendes (2)
  3. Frankie Edgar (3)
  4. Conor McGregor (4)
  5. Ricardo Lamas (5)
  6. Dennis Bermudez (6)
  7. Max Holloway (7)
  8. Cub Swanson (8)
  9. Urijah Faber (9)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Bantamweight
  1. T.J. Dillashaw (1)
  2. Renan Barão (2)
  3. Dominick Cruz (3)
  4. Urijah Faber (4)
  5. Bibiano Fernandes (5)
  6. Raphael Assuncao (6)
  7. Michael McDonald (7)
  8. Marlon Moraes (8)
  9. Marcos Galvao (9)
  10. Eduardo Dantas (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Flyweight
  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Joseph Benavidez (2)
  3. John Dodson (3)
  4. John Lineker (4)
  5. Ian McCall (5)
  6. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (6)
  7. Zach Makovsky (7)
  8. Kyoji Horiguchi (8)
  9. John Moraga (9)
  10. Henry Cejudo (10)

When the second and third-ranked fighters in the division are in action, you’d expect more fanfare, but former title challengers Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson each picked up wins at UFC 187 without surprise. Benavidez controlled ninth-ranked John Moraga with his wrestling, while Dodson returned from injury to eke out a decision over seventh-ranked Zach Makovsky. Neither fighter proved they’re ready for another crack at Demetrious Johnson with their efforts.

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Jose Aldo (1)
  2. Jon Jones (2)
  3. Demetrious Johnson (3)
  4. Ronda Rousey (4)
  5. Cain Velasquez (5)
  6. Chris Weidman (6)
  7. T.J. Dillashaw (7)
  8. Robbie Lawler (8)
  9. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (9)
  10. Johny Hendricks (10)

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman once again proved he’s the best 185-pound fighter on the planet, but he’s got a handful of fighters standing in his way to the top of the pound-for-pound rankings.


Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Any fighter that chooses to switch weight classes will be ranked in their previous weight class until they have competed in their new division.

About The Author

Rob Tatum
Assistant Editor

Rob Tatum has been covering combat sports since 2009. His work has appeared on InvictaFC.com, The MMA Corner, Bleacher Report MMA, MMA DieHards and MMAinterviews. Prior to covering combat sports, Rob ran his own music website from 2002-2009. Beyond his writing, Rob has trained in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. He is a Colorado native that works as a mechanical engineer during the day. In his free time, Rob enjoys watching sports, playing music and working on cars.

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