Jon Jones (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press Men’s MMA Rankings: Jan. 5, 2015

Rob Tatum Assistant Editor

As MMA continues to grow its presence with the UFC, Bellator MMA, WSOF and ONE FC, fighters are constantly jockeying for position in the eyes (and rankings) of the media.

Every week, Combat Press will rank each weight class from heavyweight to flyweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from last week


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Heavyweight
  1. Cain Velasquez (1)
  2. Fabricio Werdum (2)
  3. Junior dos Santos (3)
  4. Travis Browne (4)
  5. Josh Barnett (5)
  6. Stipe Miocic (6)
  7. Mark Hunt (7)
  8. Ben Rothwell (8)
  9. Andrei Arlovski (9)
  10. Roy Nelson (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Alexander Gustafsson (2)
  3. Daniel Cormier (3)
  4. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (4)
  5. Rashad Evans (5)
  6. Phil Davis (6)
  7. Glover Teixeira (7)
  8. Vitor Belfort (8)
  9. Ryan Bader (9)
  10. Ovince Saint Preux (10)

It was one of the most bitter rivalries in recent UFC history, but when the dust settled, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones walked out of the Octagon at UFC 182 with his belt in tow. No. 3-ranked Daniel Cormier gave him everything he had over the course of the five-round war, but it simply wasn’t enough. Jones has now defended his 205-pound strap eight consecutive times.

Middleweight
  1. Chris Weidman (1)
  2. Vitor Belfort (2)
  3. Anderson Silva (3)
  4. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (4)
  5. Lyoto Machida (5)
  6. Luke Rockhold (6)
  7. Yoel Romero (7)
  8. Tim Kennedy (8)
  9. Michael Bisping (9)
  10. Gegard Mousasi (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Welterweight
  1. Robbie Lawler (1)
  2. Johny Hendricks (2)
  3. Georges St-Pierre (3)
  4. Ben Askren (4)
  5. Rory MacDonald (5)
  6. Hector Lombard (7)
  7. Matt Brown (6)
  8. Tyron Woodley (8)
  9. Carlos Condit (9)
  10. Dong Hyun Kim (10)

It wasn’t the complete destruction that the oddsmakers expected, but Hector Lombard inched his way closer to a title shot with a decision win over Josh Burkman at UFC 182. Lombard peppered the chin of Burkman throughout, but was unable to score a knockout. Nevertheless, Lombard climbs into the No. 6-spot in our rankings.

Lightweight
  1. Anthony Pettis (1)
  2. Gilbert Melendez (2)
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov (3)
  4. Rafael dos Anjos (4)
  5. Donald Cerrone (6)
  6. Benson Henderson (5)
  7. Eddie Alvarez (7)
  8. Will Brooks (8)
  9. Edson Barboza (9)
  10. Myles Jury (10)

Donald Cerrone may not have been happy with his performance at UFC 182, but now riding a six-fight winning streak, “Cowboy” is in the title conversation at 155 pounds. It was Cerrone’s grappling savvy early and his striking prowess late that were too much for the previously undefeated Myles Jury. Despite the loss, Jury hangs onto his No. 10 ranking, while Cerrone breaks into the top five.

Featherweight
  1. Jose Aldo (1)
  2. Chad Mendes (2)
  3. Frankie Edgar (3)
  4. Cub Swanson (4)
  5. Ricardo Lamas (5)
  6. Dennis Bermudez (6)
  7. Conor McGregor (7)
  8. Dustin Poirier (8)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (9)
  10. Pat Curran (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Bantamweight
  1. T.J. Dillashaw (1)
  2. Renan Barão (2)
  3. Dominick Cruz (3)
  4. Urijah Faber (4)
  5. Bibiano Fernandes (5)
  6. Raphael Assuncao (6)
  7. Michael McDonald (7)
  8. Iuri Alcantara (8)
  9. Marlon Moraes (9)
  10. Joe Warren (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this week, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Flyweight
  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Joseph Benavidez (2)
  3. John Dodson (3)
  4. Ian McCall (4)
  5. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (5)
  6. Zach Makovsky (6)
  7. John Lineker (7)
  8. Kyoji Horiguchi (10)
  9. John Moraga (8)
  10. Ali Bagautinov (9)

Fans of speed had to enjoy the performance that Kyoji Horiguchi put on at UFC 182. He wasn’t able to put Louis Gaudinot away in their main-card affair, but the Japanese fighter showcased his evolving skill set. He’ll likely need a few more wins before he’s ready to challenge champion Demetrious Johnson, but Horiguchi now stakes claim to the No. 8 ranking.

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Jose Aldo (1)
  2. Jon Jones (2)
  3. Demetrious Johnson (3)
  4. Ronda Rousey (4)
  5. Cain Velasquez (5)
  6. Chris Weidman (6)
  7. Anthony Pettis (7)
  8. T.J. Dillashaw (8)
  9. Robbie Lawler (9)
  10. Anderson Silva (10)

Comparing champions is purely subjective and after Jones earned his eighth title defense at UFC 182, it would be easy to anoint him the pound-for-pound king. However, featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo sits at nine consecutive title defenses when you include his WEC title reign. Both fighters have shown vulnerabilities over the course of their last few bouts, but unless one of them falters and loses their title, they will remain No. 1 and No. 2 in our rankings.