Luke Rockhold (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press MMA Rankings: October 2017

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. Cain Velasquez (2)
  3. Alistair Overeem (3)
  4. Fabricio Werdum (4)
  5. Junior dos Santos (5)
  6. Josh Barnett (7)
  7. Mark Hunt (8)
  8. Francis Ngannou (9)
  9. Alexander Volkov (-)
  10. Derrick Lewis (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Ben Rothwell (6)

There’s a fresh face in the heavyweight rankings this month, as former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov claims the No. 9 spot. Volkov’s inclusion is a result of Ben Rothwell’s inactivity and Volkov’s third-round TKO win over Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 115 in Rotterdam.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Daniel Cormier (2)
  2. Alexander Gustafsson (4)
  3. Ryan Bader (5)
  4. Phil Davis (6)
  5. Glover Teixeira (8)
  6. Volkan Oezdemir (8)
  7. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (9)
  8. Jimi Manuwa (10)
  9. Ovince Saint Preux (-)
  10. Ilir Latifi (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Jon Jones (1), Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (3)

With Jon Jones failing yet another drug test and his recent win over Daniel Cormier being overturned to a no-contest, Jones has not technically competed for over 18 months and falls from the rankings. Also exiting this month is multiple-time UFC title challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who has been retired for six months now. As a result, there are two new entries in the rankings. Former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux re-enters the rankings in ninth following his UFC Fight Night 117 victory over Yushin Okami. Saint Preux earned his third career win by Von Flue choke at the Tokyo event. Joining OSP in the top 10 is Ilir Latifi, who defeated Tyson Pedro at UFC 215. Latifi enters the rankings for the first time.

  1. Michael Bisping (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. Anderson Silva (8)
  9. Mamed Khalidov (9)
  10. Ben Askren (10)

Two of the world’s top-10 middleweights were in action in September. Former UFC champion Luke Rockhold returned to action at UFC Fight Night 116, where he pounded out former World Series of Fighting champion David Branch with strikes. The victory keeps Rockhold planted at No. 4 in the rankings. Also in the cage was ONE Championship titleholder Ben Askren. Askren stopped challenger Zebaztian Kadestam in Shanghai to remain undefeated and retain his No. 10 spot.

  1. Tyron Woodley (1)
  2. Stephen Thompson (2)
  3. Robbie Lawler (3)
  4. Demian Maia (4)
  5. Carlos Condit (5)
  6. Rory MacDonald (6)
  7. Jorge Masvidal (7)
  8. Rafael dos Anjos (9)
  9. Donald Cerrone (8)
  10. Douglas Lima (10)/Kamaru Usman (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Santiago Ponzinibbio (10)

The bottom portion of the welterweight top 10 was busy over the last month. Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos took on Neil Magny at UFC 215 and earned a first-round submission victory. The win helps the Brazilian move up to eighth in the rankings. Wrestling stalwart Kamaru Usman continued his ascension through the rankings at UFC Fight Night 116, where he knocked out Sergio Moraes inside a round. Usman’s win moves him into a tie for 10th, bumping Santiago Ponzinibbio out of the rankings.

  1. Conor McGregor (1)
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov (2)
  3. Tony Ferguson (3)
  4. Eddie Alvarez (4)
  5. Justin Gaethje (5)
  6. Edson Barboza (6)
  7. Nate Diaz (7)
  8. Michael Johnson (8)
  9. Anthony Pettis (9)
  10. Dustin Poirier (10)/Kevin Lee (10)

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

  1. Max Holloway (1)
  2. José Aldo (2)
  3. Frankie Edgar (3)
  4. Ricardo Lamas (4)
  5. Cub Swanson (5)
  6. Bibiano Fernandes (6)
  7. Charles Oliveira (7)
  8. Chan Sung Jung (8)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (9)
  10. Yair Rodriguez (10)

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

  1. Cody Garbrandt (1)
  2. Dominick Cruz (2)
  3. T.J. Dillashaw (3)
  4. John Lineker (4)
  5. Raphael Assunção (5)
  6. Jimmie Rivera (7)
  7. Marlon Moraes (6)
  8. Eduardo Dantas (8)
  9. John Dodson (9)
  10. Bryan Caraway (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the last 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 (6)
  6. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (7)
  7. Sergio Pettis (8)
  8. Wilson Reis (5)
  9. Brandon Moreno (9)
  10. Dustin Ortiz (10)

The flyweight division was one of the month’s busiest, as three members of the top 10 were in action. In a battle of former UFC title challengers, Henry Cejudo erased Wilson Reis by knockout at UFC 215. Cejudo remains at No. 3, but Reis slides all the way to No. 8 with the loss. Brazil’s Jussier “Formiga” da Silva took on Yuta Sasaki at UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan and earned a first-round submission victory. Formiga moves up to No. 6 with Reis’s fall.

  1. Demetrious Johnson (1)
  2. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (3)
  3. Daniel Cormier (4)
  4. Conor McGregor (5)
  5. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (6)
  6. Stipe Miocic (7)
  7. Max Holloway (9)
  8. Cody Garbrandt (10)
  9. Amanda Nunes (8)
  10. Michael Bisping (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Jon Jones (2)

As mentioned above, Jon Jones falls from the rankings after his most recent bout was overturned to a no-contest due to another failed drug test. That opens the door for UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping to enter the top 10 for the first time. The lone fighter in the cage last month was UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Nunes narrowly retained her title with a controversial decision win over Valentina Shevchenko. Due to the questionable nature of the victory, Nunes falls from eighth to ninth.

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.