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

The UFC’s return to Russia for UFC on ESPN+ 7 was supposed to feature former title challenger Alistair Overeem against Alexander Volkov. However, the Russian Volkov was forced out just weeks before the event and was replaced by fellow countryman Aleksei Oleinik. Overeem weathered an early storm and then put Oleinik away with knees. The win moves Overeem ahead of Volkov and into seventh, while Oleinik remains in 10th.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Alexander Gustafsson (2)
  3. Ryan Bader (3)
  4. Anthony Smith (4)
  5. Thiago Santos (5)
  6. Dominick Reyes (6)
  7. Corey Anderson (7)
  8. Glover Teixeira (9)
  9. Volkan Oezdemir (8)
  10. Johnny Walker (10)

Brazilian Glover Teixeira was the lone member of the 205-pound top 10 to step into the cage in April. The veteran faced off with Ion Cutelaba at UFC on ESPN+ 8. Teixeira scored a second-round submission finish. The former title challenger has now won three of four and slides up one spot to eighth in the rankings.

Middleweight
  1. Robert Whittaker (1)
  2. Israel Adesanya (3)
  3. Yoel Romero (2)
  4. Luke Rockhold (4)
  5. Gegard Mousasi (5)
  6. Kelvin Gastelum (7)
  7. Jack Hermansson (-)
  8. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (6)
  9. Chris Weidman (8)
  10. Paulo Costa (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Jared Cannonier (10 – tie), Brad Tavares (10 – tie)

At UFC 236, Nigerian-born New Zealander Israel Adesanya edged out Kelvin Gastelum in an epic, five-round battle to capture the interim middleweight title. Adesanya climbs into the No. 2 spot with the win. Elsewhere in the division, Sweden’s Jack Hermansson picked up his second victory in less than a month when he topped Brazilian Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC on ESPN+ 8. Hermansson enters the rankings in seventh, pushing Jacare down to eighth. The shuffling allows Gastelum to move into sixth, despite the failed title bid.

Welterweight
  1. Kamaru Usman (1)
  2. Tyron Woodley (2)
  3. Colby Covington (3)
  4. Ben Askren (4)
  5. Rafael dos Anjos (5)
  6. Robbie Lawler (6)
  7. Anthony Pettis (7)
  8. Stephen Thompson (8)
  9. Demian Maia (10)
  10. Rory MacDonald (9)

Bellator 220 featured the continuation of the promotion’s welterweight grand prix, pitting champion Rory MacDonald against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch. The pair engaged in a back-and-forth battle that was declared a majority draw, allowing MacDonald to retain the title and advance in the tournament. The lackluster performance results in MacDonald sliding to 10th place in the rankings.

Lightweight
  1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (1)
  2. Tony Ferguson (2)
  3. Conor McGregor (3)
  4. Dustin Poirier (4)
  5. Justin Gaethje (5)
  6. Al Iaquinta (6)
  7. Donald Cerrone (7)
  8. Kevin Lee (8)
  9. Edson Barboza (9)
  10. Michael Chandler (10)

The main event of UFC 236 featured an interim lightweight title clash between fourth-ranked Dustin Poirier and current featherweight champion Max Holloway. Poirier outlasted the Hawaiian to claim the belt and set up a showdown with current lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.

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

The only fighter in action during April was the top-ranked Holloway, but his bout came at lightweight. As such, there are no changes to the rankings.

Bantamweight
  1. T.J. Dillashaw (1)
  2. Marlon Moraes (2)
  3. Raphael Assunção (4)
  4. Demetrious Johnson (5)
  5. Kyoji Horiguchi (6)
  6. Pedro Munhoz (7)
  7. Cory Sandhagen (-)
  8. John Lineker (3)
  9. Cody Garbrandt (8)
  10. Aljamain Sterling (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Jimmie Rivera (10)

The bantamweight division had a busy month in and out of the cage. Top-ranked T.J. Dillashaw was suspended for two years due to a failed drug test for EPO. Former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi continued to prove he’s one of the best fighters outside the UFC, dispatching of fellow Octagon veteran Ben Nguyen in the first round of their Rizin 15 fight. Colorado’s Cory Sandhagen established himself as a potential contender by edging Brazilian knockout artist John Lineker at UFC on ESPN+ 8. Lineker’s loss helps Horiguchi move into the top five, while Sandhagen enters the rankings in seventh. Lineker drops all the way to eighth, and Jimmie Rivera is forced out of the rankings.



Flyweight
  1. Henry Cejudo (1)
  2. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (2)
  3. Sergio Pettis (3)
  4. Joseph Benavidez (4)
  5. Deiveson Figueiredo (5)
  6. Alexandre Pantoja (9)
  7. John Moraga (6)
  8. Wilson Reis (7)
  9. Dustin Ortiz (8)
  10. Brandon Moreno (10)

The flyweight division has another dangerous Brazilian contender in Alexandre Pantoja, who smashed former title challenger Wilson Reis by TKO at UFC 236. Pantoja jumps to sixth in the rankings with the victory, while Reis falls to eighth.

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Daniel Cormier (2)
  3. Demetrious Johnson (3)
  4. Max Holloway (4)
  5. Henry Cejudo (5)
  6. Amanda Nunes (6)
  7. Khabib Nurmagomedov (7)
  8. Rose Namajunas (8)
  9. Kamaru Usman (9)
  10. Dustin Poirier (-)

Dropped from the rankings: T.J. Dillashaw (10)

Dillashaw’s suspension was not enough to drop him from the 135-pound rankings, but it was enough to push him from the pound-for-pound top 10. In his place is newly crowned interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.


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.