Demetrious Johnson

Combat Press MMA Rankings: November 2017

Rob Tatum Assistant Editor

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 (6)
  7. Mark Hunt (7)
  8. Francis Ngannou (8)
  9. Alexander Volkov (9)
  10. Derrick Lewis (10)

UFC 216 was supposed to feature a match-up between former champion Fabricio Werdum and fellow top-10 fighter Derrick Lewis. However, a last-minute back injury forced Lewis off the card and left the No. 4-ranked Werdum to face off with Walt Harris. The Brazilian wasted little time, putting away Harris by armbar in just 65 seconds. The win keeps Werdum inside the top five.

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. Jimi Manuwa (8)
  9. Ovince Saint Preux (9)
  10. Ilir Latifi (10)

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

  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. Derek Brunson (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Ben Askren (10)

October’s action in the middleweight ranks was a little head scratching. Former Strikeforce titleholder and recent UFC combatant Gegard Mousasi made his promotional debut at Bellator 185, eking out a decision win over former champion Alexander Shlemenko. The performance was hardly vintage Mousasi, but he does hang onto the No. 6 spot in the rankings with the victory. At UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil, Derek Brunson punched his ticket back into the top 10 by knocking out former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida inside of a round. Brunson’s win vaults him into the No. 10 position, pushing ONE Championship’s “welterweight” — the promotion’s welterweight division tops out at 185 pounds — champion Ben Askren outside the top 10 .

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

Dropped from the rankings: Donald Cerrone (9)

Two high-profile fights changed the shape of the welterweight rankings in October. First, at UFC Fight Night 118, undefeated Brit Darren Till handed former lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone his third consecutive defeat. At the time, Till’s victory was enough to enter the top 10, but that changed at UFC Fight Night 119 when Colby Covington dominated recent title challenger Demian Maia to move his UFC record to 8-1. Covington catapults all the way to No. 4 in the rankings with the impressive performance.

  1. Conor McGregor (1)
  2. Tony Ferguson (3)
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov (2)
  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)

UFC 216 featured the month’s lone action in the lightweight division, but it was a key fight for the future of the weight class. Tony Ferguson outclassed Kevin Lee in the night’s main event, using a triangle choke to coerce a tap in the third round and earn the promotion’s interim championship. Ferguson climbs to No. 2 with the victory, while Lee remains tied for 10th, despite the loss.

  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. John Dodson (9)
  9. Bryan Caraway (10)
  10. Darrion Caldwell (-)/Aljamain Sterling (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Eduardo Dantas (8)

There was plenty of activity in the bantamweight division during the past month. Most notably, Darrion Caldwell dethroned Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184. Caldwell enters the top 10 for the first time, while the Brazilian Dantas now finds himself on the outside looking in. The shuffle also opened the door for Aljamain Sterling to re-enter the rankings in a tie with Caldwell for 10th. UFC Fight Night 119 included multiple bouts in the 135-pound division, with fourth-ranked John Lineker topping Marlon Vera by unanimous decision to maintain his place in the top five.

  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. Wilson Reis (8)
  9. Brandon Moreno (9)
  10. Dustin Ortiz (10)

It’s a shame that UFC 216 wasn’t more of a spotlight for the sport’s best fighter. Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson secured his 11th straight title defense with a highlight-reel submission of Ray Borg. Johnson remains perched atop the division, while Borg keeps his fifth spot in the rankings.

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

As stated above, UFC 216 should have been spotlight for the sport’s most skilled fighter. If there was any doubt that Johnson is the No. 1 fighter on the planet, go back and watch his suplex-to-armbar finish of Borg. He’s a once-in-a-generation talent.

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.