Glover Teixeira (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Combat Press MMA Rankings: November 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.

  1. Francis Ngannou (1)
  2. Stipe Miocic (2)
  3. Ciryl Gane (3)
  4. Derrick Lewis (4)
  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)

Dropped from the rankings: Ryan Bader (10)


Alexander Volkov holds steady at sixth in the heavyweight poll after closing out October with a decision nod over Marcin Tybura at UFC 267. It was a strong rebound performance following his June loss to Ciryl Gane. Meanwhile, Ryan Bader, who won Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix in 2019 but has not competed in the division since then, departs the rankings..

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

Dropped from the rankings: Volkan Oezdemir (10)

The UFC has a new light-heavyweight champion. Glover Teixeira may be 42 years old, but that didn’t stop him from tapping out Jan Błachowicz in the UFC 267 headliner. The Brazilian becomes the second oldest fighter to ever hold a UFC title, and he leapfrogs his fallen foe to claim the top spot in the 205-pound rankings. Magomed Ankalaev also found success at UFC 267. The Russian topped Volkan Oezdemir on the scorecards. With the victory, Ankalaev takes over Oezdemir’s spot as the No. 10 light heavyweight in our rankings. Corey Anderson obliterated Ryan Bader at Bellator 268. Anderson needed just 51 seconds to finish his fellow former UFC fighter. The impressive nature of Anderson’s win, combined with a 2018 decision nod over the newly crowned UFC champ Teixeira, is enough to boost “Overtime” into the No. 3 hole. Thiago Santos also took to the cage in October. Santos scored a decision victory over Johnny Walker and cements his status as the eighth-ranked 205er.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Yoel Romero (4)

Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa met in the headliner of UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori, where the Italian Vettori was able to get the better of his Brazilian counterpart over the course of five rounds. So, why doesn’t Vettori rank ahead of Costa? Simple: the bout took place at 205 pounds, rather than at 185. In a bit of housekeeping, Yoel Romero departs the rankings after most recently fighting at light heavyweight. The 44-year-old is unlikely to be able to make the 185-pound limit moving forward. With Romero out, the door opens for Kelvin Gastelum to return to the rankings in the No. 10 spot.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Douglas Lima (10)

Douglas Lima was edged on the scorecards by Michael Page at Bellator 267. The loss causes Lima to tumble from the rankings.

  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. Islam Makhachev (-)
  9. Dan Hooker (8)
  10. Rafael dos Anjos (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Tony Ferguson (10)

Dan Hooker remained busy in October, but the result wasn’t what he would have preferred. Just over a month removed from a great showing against Nasrat Haqparast, the Kiwi was on the other end of the outcome in his UFC 267 battle with Islam Makhachev. The Russian found the kimura for a quick first-round submission of Hooker. As a result, Makhachev vaults to eighth in our poll, while Hooker slides down a spot to ninth. The changes also bump Tony Ferguson outside of the top 10.

  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 (6)
  7. Yair Rodriguez (7)
  8. Giga Chikadze (9)
  9. Edson Barboza (10)
  10. Calvin Kattar (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Bibiano Fernandes (8)

Bibiano Fernandes departs the rankings due to inactivity, which allows Calvin Kattar to claim the No. 10 spot in our featherweight poll.

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

Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen squared off for the UFC interim bantamweight crown in the co-headliner of UFC 267. Yan, the former undisputed champ, emerged with the decision nod and retains his spot at the top of the 135-pound rankings.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Joseph Benavidez (5)

Joseph Benavidez has now settled into his retirement and therefore exits our poll. Rogério Bontorin fills the void as the new No. 10.

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

Pancrase 324 supplied all of the action that impacts the strawweight top 10. Keito Yamakita outworked Ryosuke Noda through 15 minutes to secure a unanimous nod. With the victory, Yamakita takes over the No. 4 spot, while Noda slides to fifth. Toshiya Takashima was also victorious at the event. He took a unanimous verdict over Takafumi Ato. Despite the win, Takashima, who lost to Noda in May, falls a notch in our poll as a result of Yamakita’s ascension.

  1. Amanda Nunes (1)
  2. Valentina Shevchenko (2)
  3. Kamaru Usman (3)
  4. Alexander Volkanovski (6)
  5. Francis Ngannou (7)
  6. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (8)
  7. Rose Namajunas (9)
  8. Brandon Moreno (10)
  9. Charles Oliveira (-)
  10. Weili Zhang (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Jan Błachowicz (4), Israel Adesanya (5)

Let the controversy begin. Jan Błachowicz’s UFC 267 loss to Glover Teixeira has quite the implications for the pound-for-pound rankings. It’s impossible not to factor in the Polish fighter’s recent win over Israel Adesanya when adjusting our poll. Therefore, the two men are linked in their fall from the top 10. MMA math. Teixeira doesn’t quite make the cut yet, though. Instead, the two open spots go to current UFC lightweight kingpin Charles Oliveira, who has not lost since 2017, and Weili Zhang, who was on a 21-fight winning streak before suffering a loss to fellow pound-for-pound fighter Rose Namajunas in April.

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.