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 month, 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 the previous rankings.

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

Following UFC 220, there is no doubt that Stipe Miocic is the greatest heavyweight to step foot in the Octagon. The top-ranked fighter methodically dominated third-ranked Francis Ngannou en route to his third straight title defense. Both Miocic and Ngannou stay in their respective spots in the top 10.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Daniel Cormier (1)
  2. Alexander Gustafsson (2)
  3. Ryan Bader (3)
  4. Phil Davis (4)
  5. Glover Teixeira (5)
  6. Volkan Oezdemir (6)
  7. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (7)
  8. Jimi Manuwa (8)
  9. Ovince Saint Preux (9)
  10. Ilir Latifi (10)

UFC 220 was a showcase for light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. He easily put away challenger Volkan Oezdemir to keep his place atop the division. Despite the loss, Oezdemir remains at No. 6.

  1. Georges St-Pierre (1)
  2. Robert Whittaker (2)
  3. Yoel Romero (3)
  4. Luke Rockhold (4)
  5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (5)
  6. Gegard Mousasi (6)
  7. Chris Weidman (7)
  8. Kelvin Gastelum (8)
  9. Michael Bisping (9)
  10. Ben Askren (10)

The rematch between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson at UFC on Fox 27 was eerily similar to the pair’s first meeting under the Strikeforce banner. The fifth-ranked Brazilian needed a few more minutes to put away Brunson this time around, but the finish was equally as violent.

  1. Tyron Woodley (1)
  2. Stephen Thompson (2)
  3. Rafael dos Anjos (3)
  4. Colby Covington (4)
  5. Demian Maia (5)
  6. Robbie Lawler (6)
  7. Rory MacDonald (7)
  8. Jorge Masvidal (8)
  9. Kamaru Usman (9 – tie)
  10. Santiago Ponzinibbio (10)/Douglas Lima (9 – tie)

Bellator has a new welterweight champion after Canadian Rory MacDonald dethroned Brazilian Douglas Lima at Bellator 192. MacDonald survived an onslaught of leg kicks from Lima and appeared to suffer another broken nose, but he came out ahead on the scorecards nonetheless. MacDonald stays at No. 7, while Lima slides into a tie for the 10th spot with the defeat. Ninth-ranked Kamaru Usman was also in action in January. Usman used his wrestling to best Emil Meek at UFC Fight Night 124.

  1. Conor McGregor (1)
  2. Tony Ferguson (2)
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov (3)
  4. Eddie Alvarez (4)
  5. Justin Gaethje (5)
  6. Edson Barboza (6)
  7. Dustin Poirier (8)
  8. Kevin Lee (9)
  9. Al Iaquinta (10)
  10. Brent Primus (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Michael Johnson (7)

The lone change in the lightweight rankings was actually a result of action outside the division. Previously ranked Michael Johnson dropped to featherweight and suffered his fifth loss in his last six appearances. Although Johnson has faced a gauntlet of competition during this stretch, his losing streak opened the door for current Bellator champion Brent Primus to crack the top 10.

  1. Max Holloway (1)
  2. José Aldo (2)
  3. Frankie Edgar (3)
  4. Bibiano Fernandes (4)
  5. Brian Ortega (5)
  6. Cub Swanson (6)
  7. Josh Emmett (7)
  8. Ricardo Lamas (8)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)
  10. Darren Elkins (-)/Yair Rodriguez (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Chan Sung Jung (9)

The aforementioned loss by Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 124 had an impact on the featherweight rankings as well. Darren Elkins scored his sixth straight win by defeating Johnson, thereby propelling Elkins into the top 10 and nudging Chan Sung Jung outside the top 10.

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

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the past month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

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

Dustin Ortiz was the lone member of the flyweight top 10 to step in the cage during January. He edged former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Alexandre Pantoja on the scorecards at UFC 220 to maintain his No. 10 spot.

  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Georges St-Pierre (2)
  3. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (3)
  4. Daniel Cormier (4)
  5. Conor McGregor (5)
  6. Stipe Miocic (6)
  7. Max Holloway (7)
  8. T.J. Dillashaw (8)
  9. Amanda Nunes (9)
  10. Tyron Woodley (10)

Cormier and Miocic were each victorious during January, but with both fighters already within the top six spots, they are locked at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.

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 twice in their new division. Fighters who announce their retirement will remain ranked for a period of six months following their final bout.

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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