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. Francis Ngannou (3)
  3. Alistair Overeem (4)
  4. Fabricio Werdum (5)
  5. Junior dos Santos (6)
  6. Alexander Volkov (9)
  7. Curtis Blaydes (-)
  8. Mark Hunt (8)
  9. Derrick Lewis (10)
  10. Vitaly Minakov (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Cain Velasquez (2), Josh Barnett (7)

The heavyweight rankings have undergone some shuffling following February’s action. Former UFC champions Cain Velasquez and Josh Barnett both fall from the rankings due to inactivity. That opens the door for rising UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes, who topped Mark Hunt at UFC 221 in Australia, to enter the rankings at No. 7. Despite the loss, Hunt remains at No. 8. Also in action was Derrick Lewis, who stopped Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 126 to climb into ninth. Finally, former Bellator MMA champion Vitaly Minakov claims the 10th spot in the rankings.

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. Ilir Latifi (10)
  10. Ovince Saint Preux (9)

The light heavyweight division was relatively quiet in February, with only the ninth- and 10th-place fighters in the cage. Sweden’s Ilir Latifi put on a dominant display at UFC on Fox 28, where he stopped former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux with a guillotine choke. The result causes Latifi and OSP to swap spots in the rankings.

  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 myth of “Third-round Yoel Romero” continued to grow at UFC 221. The Cuban wrestling stalwart may have missed weight for his bout against former champion Luke Rockhold, but that didn’t stop Romero from violently knocking out Rockhold in the third round of their main event match-up. Romero remains at No. 3, with a rematch against Robert Whittaker awaiting him next. Rockhold holds onto the No. 4 spot, even in defeat.

  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 )
  10. Santiago Ponzinibbio (10)/Douglas Lima (10)

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

  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 (7)
  8. Kevin Lee (8)
  9. Al Iaquinta (9)
  10. Brent Primus (10)/James Vick (-)

Although the majority of the lightweight top 10 was inactive last month, Texas native James Vick picked up his fourth straight and ninth career Octagon win at UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin. The decision victory over Francisco Trinaldo was enough to vault Vick into a tie for 10th place in the rankings.

  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. Jeremy Stephens (-)
  8. Josh Emmett (7)
  9. Ricardo Lamas (8)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Darren Elkins (10 – tie), Yair Rodriguez (10 – tie)

The month’s biggest move came from featherweight Jeremy Stephens, who scored a knockout win over Josh Emmett in the UFC on Fox 28 main event. The win wasn’t without controversy, however. Stephens threw an illegal knee — which just missed — to a rocked Emmett, but followed it with a barrage of elbow strikes that landed on the back of Emmett’s head. Nevertheless, Stephens jumps into Emmett’s No. 7 spot, pushing Emmett to eighth and dropping both Darren Elkins and Yair Rodriguez 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)

Brazil’s Jussier “Formiga” da Silva was the lone member of the flyweight top 10 in the cage during February, and he made quite the statement in Australia at UFC 221. Formiga battled back and forth with Ben Nguyen for two rounds before securing a fight-finishing technical submission in the third frame. The victory keeps Formiga firmly at No. 6 in the rankings.

  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)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the past month, 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 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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