Jorge Masvidal (Rob Tatum/Combat Press)

Combat Press MMA Rankings: December 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)/Jair Rozenstruik (-)

At UFC 244, fifth-ranked Derrick Lewis took on ninth-ranked Blagoy Ivanov. After three hard-fought rounds, it was Lewis who walked away with a split-decision victory. Both fighters stay in their respective spots in the rankings. Also at the event, knockout artist Jair Rozenstruik continued his ascension through the division by dispatching former champion Andrei Arlovski in less than 30 seconds. The win vaults Rozenstruik into a tie for 10th place. At UFC on ESPN+ 21, Russia’s Alexander Volkov cruised past disgraced NFL castoff Greg Hardy over three rounds. Volkov maintains his No. 8 spot with the win.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Ryan Bader (2)
  3. Thiago Santos (3)
  4. Anthony Smith (4)
  5. Dominick Reyes (6)
  6. Corey Anderson (7)
  7. Jan Błachowicz (9)
  8. Glover Teixeira (8)
  9. Volkan Oezdemir (10 – tie)
  10. Johnny Walker (9)/Vadim Nemkov (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Alexander Gustafsson (5), Aleksandar Rakić (10 – tie)

The bottom half of the light heavyweight rankings underwent some significant changes as a result of November’s action. Former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson has been removed now that his retirement has hit the sixth-month mark. At UFC 244, Corey Anderson demolished Brazilian Johnny Walker inside the first round to establish himself as a potential contender. The win moves Anderson to sixth, while Walker slides into a tie for 10th. At UFC on ESPN+ 22, Poland’s Jan Błachowicz welcomed former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to the 205-pound division in an absolute snoozer. However, the win and other divisional shuffling results in Błachowicz climbing to seventh. The shake-up also sends Aleksandar Rakić outside the top 10, while Bellator veteran Vadim Nemkov slides into a tie for 10th.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (9)

Former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s move up to light heavyweight creates an opening in the middleweight ranks. Following the action at UFC 244, that spot now belongs to former welterweight title challenger Darren Till, who defeated The Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum. Till rockets into the fifth spot with the win, forcing Gastelum to sixth.

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

UFC 244 crowned the “Baddest Motherfucker,” and that man is Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal battered Nate Diaz for three rounds, opening a huge cut on Diaz’s face and forcing the doctor to intervene. Masvidal climbs to fourth in the rankings, while Diaz drops to sixth with the loss. Also on the card, former title challenger Stephen Thompson recaptured his form while dominating Vicente Luque over three rounds. The win by Thompson results in some movement in the bottom part of the division, but Thompson stays in ninth.

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

UFC on ESPN+ 22 was a showcase for Brazilian Charles Oliveira, who dispatched of Jared Gordon in less than 90 seconds. The win marked Oliveira’s sixth straight finish inside the Octagon, good enough to move him into a tie for 10th place in the rankings.

  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 (7)
  8. Chan Sung Jung (8)
  9. Renato Moicano (9)
  10. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (10)

The lone action in the featherweight top 10 took place at UFC on ESPN+ 21 in Moscow. Sixth-ranked Zabit Magomedsharipov edged Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision over three rounds to keep his place in the rankings.

  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)

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

  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)

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

  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)

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

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.