Israel Adesanya (Jason Burgos/Sherdog)

Combat Press MMA Rankings: November 2019

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. Daniel Cormier (2)
  3. Francis Ngannou (3)
  4. Junior dos Santos (4)
  5. Derrick Lewis (5)
  6. Curtis Blaydes (6)
  7. Alistair Overeem (7)
  8. Alexander Volkov (8)
  9. Blagoy Ivanov (9)
  10. Ryan Bader (10)

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

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

October was a busy month for the division, but only one ranked fighter was in action. Dominick Reyes, who holds down the No. 6 spot, headlined UFC on ESPN 6 opposite former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Reyes dispatched of the former titleholder in less than two minutes. The knockout artist may be the next in line to challenge top-ranked Jon Jones.

  1. Israel Adesanya (2)
  2. Robert Whittaker (1)
  3. Paulo Costa (3)
  4. Yoel Romero (4)
  5. Kelvin Gastelum (5)
  6. Jared Cannonier (6)
  7. Rafael Lovato Jr. (7)
  8. Jack Hermansson (8)
  9. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (9)
  10. Gegard Mousasi (10)

UFC 243 marked the crowning of a new king in the middleweight division. Israel Adesanya put on a brilliant performance against Robert Whittaker and stopped the champion in round two to unify the 185-pound belts. The win vaults Adesanya to the top spot in the division, while Whittaker slips to second.

  1. Kamaru Usman (1)
  2. Tyron Woodley (2)
  3. Colby Covington (3)
  4. Nate Diaz (7)
  5. Jorge Masvidal (4)
  6. Leon Edwards (5)
  7. Rafael dos Anjos (6)
  8. Anthony Pettis (8)
  9. Stephen Thompson (9)/Demian Maia (-)
  10. Douglas Lima (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Ben Askren (10)

The final weekend of the month had a big impact on the welterweight rankings. First, in Singapore, former title challenger and jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia choked Ben Askren unconscious at UFC on ESPN+ 20. The result pushes Askren out of the rankings and moves Maia into a tie for ninth. At Bellator 232, Brazilian Douglas Lima became a three-time champion after dominating Rory MacDonald over five rounds to capture not only the belt, but the promotion’s $1 million tournament. Lima’s performance results in his return to the top 10, where he takes up residence in the No. 10 spot.

  1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (1)
  2. Tony Ferguson (2)
  3. Conor McGregor (3)
  4. Dustin Poirier (4)
  5. Justin Gaethje (5)
  6. Donald Cerrone (6)
  7. Paul Felder (8)
  8. Edson Barboza (9)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)
  10. Dan Hooker (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Al Iaquinta (7)

The lightweight division continues to be the sport’s most competitive, as was evident at UFC 243 in Australia. New Zealand’s Dan Hooker rebounded from a loss to ninth-ranked Edson Barboza by cruising past seventh-ranked Al Iaquinta via decision. The loss sends Iaquinta tumbling out of the rankings, with Hooker taking hold of the 10th spot.

  1. Max Holloway (1)
  2. Alex Volkanovski (2)
  3. José Aldo (3)
  4. Brian Ortega (4)
  5. Frankie Edgar (5)
  6. Zabit Magomedsharipov (6)
  7. Yair Rodriguez (-)
  8. Chan Sung Jung (7)
  9. Renato Moicano (8)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10 – tie)

Dropped from the rankings: Jeremy Stephens (9), Josh Emmett (10 – tie)

The rematch between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens at UFC on ESPN 6 more than made up for the pair’s unfortunate first meeting. Mexico’s Rodriguez showcased a dynamic attack, battering the veteran Stephens over three rounds. The loss was enough to drop Stephens from the rankings altogether. The victory, plus a previous win over Chan Sung Jung, puts Rodriguez into the No. 7 slot. This also helps break the 10th-place tie between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Josh Emmett, with Emmett falling out of the rankings as well.

  1. Henry Cejudo (1)
  2. Marlon Moraes (2)
  3. Demetrious Johnson (3)
  4. Cory Sandhagen (4)
  5. Raphael Assunção (5)
  6. Aljamain Sterling (6)
  7. Kyoji Horiguchi (7)
  8. Pedro Munhoz (8)
  9. Petr Yan (9)
  10. Cody Garbrandt (10)

If there were any remaining doubts as to who won the “trade” between ONE Championship and the UFC, they were certainly put to rest this month. While Ben Askren suffered another loss in the UFC’s Octagon, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson completed his run through the ONE “flyweight” grand prix at Century, where he topped Danny Kingad by unanimous decision. Johnson remains in the No. 3 spot with his victory.

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

Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo took care of business at UFC on ESPN+ 19. Figueiredo dispatched of former title challenger Tim Elliott by way of a first-round guillotine choke and called for a title shot afterwards. He stays at fifth in the rankings following the impressive victory.

  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Amanda Nunes (2)
  3. Henry Cejudo (3)
  4. Khabib Nurmagomedov (4)
  5. Max Holloway (5)
  6. Demetrious Johnson (6)
  7. Valentina Shevchenko (7)
  8. Daniel Cormier (8)
  9. Kamaru Usman (9)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)

Sixth-ranked Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson was the lone member of the pound-for-pound top 10 to compete in October. The legend secured the ONE Championship “flyweight” grand prix. Despite leaving the UFC, Johnson has proven that he is still among the sport’s elite.

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.