Ciryl Gane (instagram.com/ciryl_gane)

Combat Press MMA Rankings: September 2021

Every month, Combat Press will provide MMA rankings for each weight class from heavyweight to strawweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings (including all genders).

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from the previous month.

Heavyweight
  1. Francis Ngannou (1)
  2. Stipe Miocic (2)
  3. Ciryl Gane (4)
  4. Derrick Lewis (3)
  5. Curtis Blaydes (5)
  6. Alexander Volkov (6)
  7. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (7)
  8. Alistair Overeem (8)
  9. Junior dos Santos (9)
  10. Augusto Sakai (10)/Ryan Bader (10)

The main event of UFC 265 featured a largely unnecessary interim title fight between fourth-ranked Ciryl Gane and third-ranked Derrick Lewis. The Frenchman Gane was methodical and used his superior technique to batter Lewis en route to a third-round stoppage. Gane takes Lewis’s spot in the rankings with the win and sets up a title showdown with champion Francis Ngannou.


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Light Heavyweight
  1. Jon Jones (1)
  2. Jan Błachowicz (2)
  3. Jiří Procházka (3)
  4. Glover Teixeira (4)
  5. Vadim Nemkov (5)
  6. Corey Anderson (6)
  7. Aleksandar Rakić (7)
  8. Dominick Reyes (8)
  9. Thiago Santos (9)
  10. Anthony Smith (10)

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

Middleweight
  1. Israel Adesanya (1)
  2. Robert Whittaker (2)
  3. Paulo Costa (3)
  4. Yoel Romero (4)
  5. Jared Cannonier (6)
  6. Marvin Vettori (5)
  7. Darren Till (7)
  8. Jack Hermansson (8)
  9. Gegard Mousasi (-)
  10. Derek Brunson (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Kelvin Gastelum (9)

In the UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Gastelum headliner, Jared Cannonier outworked Kelvin Gastelum to claim a decision win. With the victory, Cannonier climbs to fifth in the rankings. For Gastelum and his single win — opposite five defeats — since 2018, his run inside the top 10 comes to a close. Bellator 264: Mousasi vs. Salter included a familiar face to the rankings as Gegard Mousasi pounded out John Salter. The Dutchman re-enters to top 10 in ninth.

Welterweight
  1. Kamaru Usman (1)
  2. Gilbert Burns (2)
  3. Colby Covington (3)
  4. Leon Edwards (4)
  5. Stephen Thompson (5)
  6. Vicente Luque (7)
  7. Michael Chiesa (6)
  8. Yaroslav Amosov (8)
  9. Jorge Masvidal (9)/Belal Muhammad (9)
  10. Douglas Lima (10)

UFC 265 included a pivotal bout in the welterweight division as Brazil’s Vicente Luque took on TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa. Luque ran through Chiesa, submitting him by D’arce choke in the first round. Luque takes Chiesa’s sixth position and may find himself in the title conversation very soon.

Lightweight
  1. Charles Oliveira (1)
  2. Dustin Poirier (2)
  3. Justin Gaethje (3)
  4. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (4)
  5. Michael Chandler (5)
  6. Beneil Dariush (6)
  7. Conor McGregor (7)
  8. Dan Hooker (8)
  9. Rafael dos Anjos (9)
  10. Tony Ferguson (10)

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

Featherweight
  1. Alex Volkanovski (1)
  2. Max Holloway (2)
  3. Brian Ortega (3)
  4. A.J. McKee (4)
  5. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (5)
  6. Chan Sung Jung (7)
  7. Yair Rodriguez (8)
  8. Bibiano Fernandes (9)
  9. Giga Chikadze (-)
  10. Edson Barboza (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Zabit Magomedsharipov (6)

Two things produced a fresh face in the featherweight top 10 this month. First, Russia’s Zabit Magomedsharipov falls from the rankings due to inactivity. Then at UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze, Georgian kickboxer Giga Chikadze put on a striking clinic against veteran Edson Barboza. Chikadze’s win earns him the No. 9 spot, with Barboza sliding to 10th.

Bantamweight
  1. Petr Yan (1)
  2. Aljamain Sterling (2)
  3. T.J. Dillashaw (3)
  4. Cory Sandhagen (4)
  5. José Aldo (7)
  6. Adriano Moraes (5)
  7. Demetrious Johnson (6)
  8. Frankie Edgar (8)
  9. Kyoji Horiguchi (9)
  10. Pedro Munhoz (10)

If anyone was doubting José Aldo leading into UFC 265, the former featherweight champion erased that mindset with his performance. The Brazilian put on a vintage showing opposite his countryman Pedro Munhoz. Aldo moves back into the top five with the victory, with Munhoz holding on to the final spot in the rankings.

Flyweight
  1. Brandon Moreno (1)
  2. Deiveson Figueiredo (2)
  3. Askar Askarov (3)
  4. Alexandre Pantoja (7)
  5. Joseph Benavidez (4)
  6. Alex Perez (5)
  7. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (6)
  8. Brandon Royval (8)
  9. Kai Kara-France (9)
  10. Joshua Pacio (10)

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Gastelum featured an important flyweight match-up between seventh-ranked Alexandre Pantoja and eighth-ranked Brandon Royval. Pantoja — who holds two wins over current champion Brandon Moreno — vaults to fourth in the rankings.

Strawweight
  1. Namiki Kawahara (1)
  2. Haruo Ochi (2)
  3. Gexi Sanlang (3)
  4. Ryosuke Noda (4)
  5. Toshiya Takashima (5)
  6. Yuta Miyazawa (6)
  7. Ryo Hatta (7)
  8. Keito Yamakita (8)
  9. Tatsuki Ozaki (9)
  10. Billy Pasulatan (10)

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

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Jon Jones (2)
  3. Kamaru Usman (3)
  4. Valentina Shevchenko (4)
  5. Jan Błachowicz (5)
  6. Israel Adesanya (6)
  7. Alexander Volkanovski (7)
  8. Francis Ngannou (8)
  9. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (9)
  10. Rose Namajunas (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.


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