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.

Heavyweight
  1. Stipe Miocic (1)
  2. Francis Ngannou (2)
  3. Alistair Overeem (3)
  4. Alexander Volkov (4)
  5. Fabricio Werdum (5)
  6. Junior dos Santos (6)
  7. Curtis Blaydes (7)
  8. Mark Hunt (8)
  9. Derrick Lewis (9)
  10. Vitaly Minakov (10)

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

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. Jan Błachowicz (8)
  9. Ilir Latifi (9)
  10. Jimi Manuwa (10)

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

Middleweight
  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)

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

Welterweight
  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.

Lightweight
  1. Tony Ferguson (2)/Khabib Nurmagomedov (3)
  2. Eddie Alvarez (4)
  3. Dustin Poirier (7)
  4. Kevin Lee (8)
  5. Justin Gaethje (5)
  6. Edson Barboza (6)
  7. Brent Primus (10 – tie)
  8. Al Iaquinta (9)
  9. James Vick (10 – tie)
  10. Michael Chandler (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Conor McGregor (1)

The month of April was all about the lightweight division. Seven fighters in the top 10 were in the cage. However, some of the biggest news may have come outside of the cage. Irishman Conor McGregor has not fought in the Octagon since November 2016 and is no longer the UFC champion following UFC 223. As such, he falls from the rankings. UFC 223 was supposed to feature then-interim champion Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Ferguson suffered a knee injury and Nurmagomedov was forced to battle last-minute opponent Al Iaquinta. Nurmagomedov came out victorious after five rounds and is now the UFC champion, but since Ferguson never lost the belt he was holding, the two fighters are deadlocked for the No. 1 spot in the rankings. Iaquinta moves up to the No. 8 spot, even in defeat. Louisiana native Dustin Poirier jumps all the way to the No. 3 spot after his fourth-round finish of former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje. Gaethje manages to hold the fifth spot due to the shuffling around him. Former interim title challenger Kevin Lee also skyrocketed up the rankings following his fifth-round finish of Brazilian Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night 128. Lee climbs to fourth, while Barboza stays at No. 6. Former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler rejoins the rankings in the 10th spot after his first-round submission victory over Brandon Girtz at Bellator 197.

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

The featherweight top 10 continues to be perplexing. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar rebounded from his knockout loss to Brian Ortega by besting Cub Swanson via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 128. Edgar keeps the No. 5 spot with the victory, but Swanson falls to eighth with the loss. At UFC 223, Brazilian Renato Moicano also bounced back from a defeat to Ortega. Moicano topped Calvin Kattar on the scorecards at the pay-per-view event. The win was enough to push Moicano into the top 10 and into a tie with Bellator champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

Bantamweight
  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. Darrion Caldwell (9)
  10. Cody Stamann (10)

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

Flyweight
  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. Brandon Moreno (9)
  9. John Moraga (-)
  10. Wilson Reis (8)

Dropped from the rankings: Dustin Ortiz (10)

UFC on Fox 29 featured a battle of former title challengers John Moraga and Wilson Reis, but it was the Arizona-based Moraga who walked away with a victory on the scorecards. Moraga re-enters the top 10 at No. 9, while Reis drops to No. 10 with the defeat. Moraga’s inclusion pushes Dustin Ortiz from the rankings.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Conor McGregor (5)

With McGregor’s removal due to inactivity, a spot has opened up in the pound-for-pound top 10. Coincidentally, UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas defeated former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk for a second straight time at UFC 223. That’s more than enough to earn Namajunas the No. 10 spot in the 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 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. His work has appeared on Invicta FC, 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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