As MMA continues to grow its presence with the UFC, Bellator MMA, KSW, PFL and ONE Championship, 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 all genders).

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

  1. Stipe Miocic (1)
  2. Cain Velasquez (3)
  3. Alistair Overeem (4)
  4. Fabricio Werdum (2)
  5. Junior dos Santos (5)
  6. Ben Rothwell (6)
  7. Josh Barnett (7)
  8. Mark Hunt (8)
  9. Francis Ngannou (9)
  10. Derrick Lewis (10)

UFC 213 did little in the way of sorting out the heavyweight title picture. Former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum faced off with former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 king Alistair Overeem for a third time. The plodding, lackluster affair went the way of Overeem on the scorecards, but Werdum nearly finished the fight in the third round. Overeem’s win — his second defeat of Werdum — is enough for him to climb into the No. 3 spot in the rankings, while the Brazilian Werdum slides to fourth.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Daniel Cormier (2)
  3. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (3)
  4. Alexander Gustafsson (4)
  5. Jimi Manuwa (5)
  6. Ryan Bader (6)
  7. Phil Davis (7)
  8. Glover Teixeira (8)
  9. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (9)
  10. Volkan Oezdemir (10)

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

  1. Michael Bisping (1)
  2. Robert Whittaker (3)
  3. Yoel Romero (2)
  4. Luke Rockhold (4)
  5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (5)
  6. Gegard Mousasi (6)
  7. Chris Weidman (7)
  8. Anderson Silva (8)
  9. Mamed Khalidov (9)
  10. Ben Askren (10)

Even though the bout was originally slated to serve as the night’s co-main event, the interim middleweight title clash between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero lived up to the hype as the UFC 213 headliner. Cuba’s Romero was aggressive early, scoring with takedowns and explosive techniques. Whittaker was patient with his attacks and outworked Romero as the fight progressed, capturing the unanimous decision victory. Whittaker’s performance earned him a crack at titleholder Michael Bisping and the No. 2 ranking. Romero falls to third with the decision loss.

  1. Tyron Woodley (1)
  2. Stephen Thompson (2)
  3. Robbie Lawler (3)
  4. Demian Maia (4)
  5. Carlos Condit (5)
  6. Rory MacDonald (6)
  7. Jorge Masvidal (7)
  8. Gunnar Nelson (8)
  9. Donald Cerrone (9)
  10. Rafael dos Anjos (10)

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

  1. Conor McGregor (1)
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov (2)
  3. Tony Ferguson (3)
  4. Eddie Alvarez (4)
  5. Justin Gaethje (7)
  6. Edson Barboza (5)
  7. Nate Diaz (6)
  8. Michael Johnson (8)
  9. Anthony Pettis (-)
  10. Dustin Poirier (9)/Kevin Lee (10)

The most impressive performance of the week came from former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who made his UFC debut opposite Michael Johnson in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale. Gaethje’s propensity for violence and ability to absorb punishment was on display throughout the contest, while it lasted. Johnson faded midway through round two, despite rocking Gaethje multiple times. Gaethje smelled blood and went for the kill, moving to 18-0 in the process. The Colorado fighter enters the top five with the victory, while Johnson remains at No. 8 with the loss. Also impacting the rankings this week was the return of former champion Anthony Pettis to the division. His hard-fought victory over Jim Miller at UFC 213 vaulted him into the No. 9 spot in the rankings, bumping Dustin Poirier and Kevin Lee into a tie for 10th.

  1. Max Holloway (1)
  2. José Aldo (2)
  3. Frankie Edgar (3)
  4. Ricardo Lamas (4)
  5. Cub Swanson (5)
  6. Bibiano Fernandes (6)
  7. Charles Oliveira (8)
  8. Chan Sung Jung (9)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)
  10. Yair Rodriguez (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Anthony Pettis (7)

No fighters in the top 10 were in the cage this week, but former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis officially abandoned his featherweight quest, taking on Jim Miller at UFC 213 at 155 pounds. Pettis looked like the fighter of old, but now finds himself in a crowded lightweight top 10. His exit opened the door for Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez to climb into the top 10.

  1. Cody Garbrandt (1)
  2. Dominick Cruz (2)
  3. T.J. Dillashaw (3)
  4. John Lineker (4)
  5. Raphael Assunção (5)
  6. Marlon Moraes (6)
  7. Jimmie Rivera (7)
  8. Eduardo Dantas (8)
  9. John Dodson (9)
  10. Bryan Caraway (10)

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

  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Joseph Benavidez (2)
  3. Henry Cejudo (3)
  4. Kyoji Horiguchi (4)
  5. Wilson Reis (5)
  6. Ray Borg (6)
  7. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (7)
  8. Brandon Moreno (8)
  9. Dustin Ortiz (9)/Ben Nguyen (9)
  10. Tim Elliott (10)

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

  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Jon Jones (2)
  3. Daniel Cormier (3)
  4. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (4)
  5. Conor McGregor (5)
  6. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (6)
  7. Stipe Miocic (7)
  8. Amanda Nunes (8)
  9. Max Holloway (9)
  10. Cody Garbrandt (10)

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

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. He provides radio content for Between Rounds Radio and his past work has appeared on Bleacher Report, MMA DieHards, MMAinterviews and The MMA Corner. 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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