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

Former Bellator MMA champion Alexander Volkov turned in a strong performance at UFC 229 — well, for 14 minutes and 45 seconds, at least. His opponent, Derrick Lewis, was battered for the majority of the fight, but unleashed a furious comeback in the bout’s waning seconds. Lewis scored a wild, come-from-behind knockout victory and climbs to No. 4 in the rankings. He will be the next to challenge for UFC gold, while Volkov drops to fifth with the loss.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Daniel Cormier (1)
  2. Alexander Gustafsson (2)
  3. Ryan Bader (3)
  4. Phil Davis (4)
  5. Anthony Smith (9)
  6. Ilir Latifi (7)
  7. Corey Anderson (6)
  8. Volkan Oezdemir (5)
  9. Glover Teixeira (8)
  10. Dominick Reyes (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Jan Blachowicz (10)

It’s clear that Anthony Smith’s move to the light heavyweight division is paying dividends. After a stretch where the Nebraska native went 11-2 as a middleweight, the Factory X MMA product has now reeled off three straight wins at 205 pounds, including his third-round submission finish of former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 138. The win vaults Smith to No. 5 in the rankings and sends the entire bottom half of the division into a tailspin. Oezdemir drops all the way to eighth. As a result, Ilir Latifi and Corey Anderson switch places, as do Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes.

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

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

  1. Tyron Woodley (1)
  2. Colby Covington (2)
  3. Stephen Thompson (3)
  4. Rafael dos Anjos (4)
  5. Robbie Lawler (5)
  6. Rory MacDonald (6)
  7. Kamaru Usman (7)
  8. Darren Till (8)
  9. Jorge Masvidal (9)
  10. Demian Maia (10)

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

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

Dropped from the rankings: Al Iaquinta (9), Michael Chandler (10)

October’s action had a ripple effect on the lightweight rankings. UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated former titleholder Conor McGregor at UFC 229 to break the tie atop the rankings with Tony Ferguson. McGregor, who returned from a two-year absence, re-enters the rankings at No. 3, despite the submission loss. Speaking of Ferguson, the former interim champion took care of business at UFC 229, where he earned a TKO victory over Anthony Pettis. Ferguson drops to second, while Pettis slides to ninth. The shuffling at the top has pushed both Al Iaquinta and Michael Chandler outside the top 10.

  1. Max Holloway (1)
  2. José Aldo (2)
  3. Brian Ortega (3)
  4. Bibiano Fernandes (4)
  5. Frankie Edgar (5)
  6. Chad Mendes (6)
  7. Renato Moicano (7)
  8. Jeremy Stephens (8)
  9. Josh Emmett (9)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)

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

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

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

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

The past month also saw a shakeup in the flyweight ranks. Brazilian Jussier “Formiga” da Silva used his smothering grappling game to neutralize Sergio Pettis over three rounds at UFC 229. The win catapults da Silva into the No. 3 spot in the rankings, while Pettis falls to fourth.

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

Nurmagomedov’s impressive performance at UFC 229 moves the Dagestani fighter from ninth to sixth in 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 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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