The UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings remain as divisive as ever and with that in mind, we want to give our own take on how the top-15 should look.
To be honest, the P4P rankings are completely and utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, there is the common misconception that the UFC are in some way responsible for both the P4P and divisional rankings but as most of us know, the lists are voted upon by select members of the media.
I do enjoy the idea of stacking up the very best of the best to figure out exactly who the greatest fighter on the planet is, but in all honesty, there are quite a few issues with the current rankings and their makeup.
The official pound-for-pound rankings can be read below:
With those out of the way, we’re now going to attempt to one-up the UFC with our own alternative pound-for-pound top-15.
15. Israel Adesanya
With the interim-title now fastened firmly around his waist, UFC 243’s massive clash between himself and Robert Whittaker will likely earn the victor a spot in the top-10 but for now, Adesanya has become one of the most popular fighters in the sport on the back of 2019’s early Fight of the Year front-runner, his five-round classic with Kelvin Gastelum.
14. Tyron Woodley
Who knows what caused Woodley to shell up in his last outing. It may have been a combination of several things – although Kamaru Usman deserves all the credit in the world – but even now, Woodley is still one of the greatest welterweights of all-time and one of the most tactically astute fighters to ever do it. Underestimate him at your own peril.
13. Jessica Andrade
Her victory over Rose Namajunas was an odd one, for sure. Still, Andrade has been proving herself to be one of the most physically strong fighters in the sport, pound-for-pound, and while a rematch with Thug Rose is unlikely, strawweight is by far the most stacked division in women’s MMA and Andrade has the opportunity to really make a name for herself if she can continue to win.
12. Stipe Miocic
Stipe seemed to be putting on a solid display in his last outing before the rising light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier stole away his title with a superb short shot upon exiting the clinch. With the pair set to rematch at UFC 241 this month, a win would certainly be enough to see Miocic shoot back into the top-5.
11. Robert Whittaker
Whittaker could well find himself further up this list if he can unify his belt with the interim-strap possessed by Israel Adesanya in the biggest fight of his life, but for now, inactivity has seen The Reaper slide out of the upper-echelons of this list. Do not be surprised if he reminds the world exactly how good he is once the octagon doors close at UFC 243, win or lose.
10. Kamaru Usman
Usman managed to leave us all in shock with a truly masterful beatdown of the dominant champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 and with that, in my estimation, he did enough to crack the top-10. Welterweight remains one of the strongest weight-classes in the sport at present but as things stand, many would see Kamaru as the betting favourite over each of those who reside within the divisional top-10.
9. Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina is among the most technically sound fighters the sport has ever seen and while she has failed on two separate occasions to steal away the shine of dual-weight world champion Amanda Nunes, at flyweight we are truly seeing the very best from The Bullet and who knows, a third showdown with The Lioness could be closer than we think.
8. Tony Ferguson
If the story of Tony Ferguson concludes before he earns a shot at an undisputed title, it will truly be a great shame. Already deserving of several cracks at the lightweight strap, El Cucuy is in the type of form that most champions dream of and while time is most certainly not on his side, inside the octagon he has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down.
7. Dustin Poirier
After handing Max Holloway his first loss in five years at UFC 236 earlier this year, Poirier has the opportunity to make good on a career’s worth of promise when he steps to take on the seemingly unbeatable Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. In another era, Poirier would likely have risen to the top of the 155lb pile but given the overall strength of the division at present, he was truly forced to work for his crack at the belt – and boy, did he get to work!
6. Max Holloway
Though unsuccessful in his attempt to capture interim-lightweight gold, Max Holloway managed to be competitive against Dustin Poirier – a guy who scored back-to-back finishes of established 155lb-r’s Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Anthony Pettis. Holloway at featherweight might just be the best to ever do it and with his latest victory over Frankie Edgar, he reminded the world exactly why his future is so bright.
5. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib’s placement on this list may irk those who agree that he should be in the top-3 but given the frankly ridiculous resumés of those occupying the next four spots, the Russian will have to wait until after UFC 242 to see if he can mount a challenge. As a dominant force in the sport’s most stacked division, the biggest tests of Nurmagomedov’s skills will come thick and fast in the next year or so.
4. Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes has managed to finish every single bantamweight and featherweight champion in the history of both the UFC and Bellator in the first-round and this point, the idea of inserting her name into the overall G.O.A.T conversation cannot be too far off. An incredible athlete and one of the most destructive fighters in the game today.
3. Henry Cejudo
This year’s surprise package comes in the form of the champion of the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, the man who managed to rack up consecutive wins over three of the toughest fighters in the lower weight-classes today. Henry might rub some people up the wrong way, but his status as one of the greatest on the planet is completely undeniable.
2. Daniel Cormier
2019 will likely stand as DC’s final year in the sport of mixed martial arts and while his focus must be placed firmly on the challenge that Stipe Miocic will pose at UFC 241, there is the feeling that his destiny will lead him back to his great rival Jon Jones before all is said and done.
1. Jon Jones
Until somebody manages to end the legendary winning-streak of Jon Jones, his position as the world’s pound-for-pound best will continue to be a foregone conclusion. Although pushed to his limits by Thiago Santos at UFC 239, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who could place him any lower than #1 right now – despite what the official P4P rankings say.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena