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.



Heavyweight
  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. Alexander Volkov (8)
  8. Jair Rozenstruik (10 – tie)
  9. Alistair Overeem (7)
  10. Blagoy Ivanov (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Ryan Bader (10 – tie)

Alistair Overeem continues to find new ways to let victory slip from his hands. At UFC on ESPN 7, the Dutchman dominated Jairzinho Rozenstruik for nearly 25 minutes, but the powerful Surinamese fighter connected with a massive right hand at the 10-second clap. Overeem crashed to the canvas, and the fight was halted with only four seconds remaining. Rozenstruik vaults into the No. 8 spot in the rankings, whereas Overeem drops to ninth. The result breaks the 10th-place tie and pushes Bellator MMA titleholder Ryan Bader back outside the top 10.

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

It was a relatively quiet month for the 205-pound division, but the UFC’s trip to Busan, South Korea, for its final event of the year pitted ninth-ranked Volkan Oezdemir against Aleksandar Rakić. After three rounds, Oezdemir somehow eked out the split-decision win to remain in the top 10.

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

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

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

UFC 245 erased any doubt about the legitimacy of Kamaru Usman’s reign over the welterweight ranks. The Nigerian engaged former interim titleholder Colby Covington in a five-round firefight on the feet before stopping the American in the fifth round. Usman stands firmly atop the rankings, while Covington stays in third.

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

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

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

Dropped from the rankings: José Aldo (3)

December was a crazy month for the featherweight division. At UFC 245, Australian Alexander Volkanovski dethroned Max Holloway with a dominant performance. Volkanovski takes over the No. 1 spot in the rankings, while Holloway dips to second. The event also featured former champion José Aldo, who made his bantamweight debut and now exits the 145-pound rankings. The UFC’s final event of the year proved to be a showcase for hometown fighter Chan Sung Jung, who starched former lightweight king Frankie Edgar in under a round. “The Korean Zombie” jumps into fifth the impressive win, sending Edgar to sixth.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Kyoji Horiguchi (7)

UFC 245 featured the aforementioned bantamweight debut of former featherweight champion José Aldo. Although the Brazilian dropped a controversial decision to countryman Marlon Moraes, Aldo proved he’s a threat at the lighter weight. He snags the No. 4 position in the rankings despite the loss. On the same card, Russia’s Petr Yan continued his ascension through the ranks by dispatching of former WEC champion Urijah Faber via a third-round head kick. Yan earns the No. 8 spot with the win. Finally, with Japan’s Kyoji Horiguchi vacating both the Bellator MMA and Rizin title due to a significant knee injury, the UFC veteran has fallen from the top 10.



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

The bottom half of the flyweight division had a busy month. At UFC 245, Mexico’s Brandon Moreno outworked Kai Kara-France to claim a unanimous-decision victory. Moreno moves up to ninth with the win. UFC on ESPN+ 23 in South Korea featured sixth-ranked Alexandre Pantoja in action against Matt Schnell. The Brazilian needed less than a round to render Schnell unconscious. Pantoja stays in sixth with the win.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Max Holloway (5)

The past month did a number on the pound-for-pound rankings. In addition to Usman’s win over Covington and Holloway’s loss to Volkanovski, UFC 245 featured the unquestioned queen of the rankings, Amanda Nunes. The Brazilian dominated challenger Germaine de Randamie with her wrestling to keep her bantamweight title and the No. 2 spot in the rankings.


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.