Home Features The UFC’s Pound-For-Pound Rankings Reimagined As A League Table

The UFC’s Pound-For-Pound Rankings Reimagined As A League Table

We restructured the UFC’s official pound-for-pound rankings by measuring form and performance within the last five years in a format similar to a football league-table.

Before we get into things, let’s lay down the ground-rules.

Scores will be allocated to fighters based on the results they have achieved in their careers within the last five years – or since the fifth of February, 2014, to be exact.

2 points will be given for a victory.

1 extra point will be added for a finish.

1 extra point will be added for a win in a UFC title fight (including interim-titles).

This means 3pts will be given for a win with a finish or a win in a UFC title-fight.

4pts will be given only for a finish in a UFC title fight.

For example: Marlon Moraes’ first-round submission of Raphael Assuncao will have earned 3pts as it was not a UFC title-matchup.

Tyron Woodley’s UFC 214 decision victory over Demian Maia for the UFC welterweight title would have earned him 3pts, but, his second-round d’Arce choke submission of Darren Till for the UFC welterweight title would have earned 4pts.

Draws will earn a fighter 1 point and a loss will earn them points.

Losing by way of a finish, however, will score -1 points.

No-contests will not be included or scored.

gustafsson jones era over

If two or more fighters are level in points, the fighter with the most UFC wins in the last five years will be pushed to the top. If needed, the number of UFC finishes and then the least number of losses (both in the last five years) will be consulted to determine the superior fighter.

So with that out of the way, here are the reimagined UFC pound-for-pound rankings featuring the athletes who make up the top-15 according to the UFC’s official website.

#15 – Georges St-Pierre: 4pts

Fought: 1 (1 UFC title-fight victory)

Won: 1 (1 win by finish)

Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

GSP’s inactivity well and truly hurts him in this format and with just a lone victory since February of 2014, he comes in in underwhelming fashion, rooted to the bottom of our leaderboard.

#14 – Jon Jones: 15pts

Fought: 5 (4 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 4 (1 win by finish)

Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

Other: (UFC 214 vs. Daniel Cormier – originally a TKO loss, overturned to a NC)

The first big surprise of the table comes in the form of the relatively poor return brought in by one of the world’s very best. Like GSP, inactivity is Jones’ worst enemy here and his placement at #14 reflects that.

luke rockhold anthony smith

#13 – Khabib Nurmagomedov: 17pts

Fought: 6 (2 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 6 (3 wins by finish)

Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

Again, another absolutely tremendous fighter who up until recently had struggled for consistency. Khabib could well also be sitting out for most of 2019 by the looks of things so do not expect too much movement on this front any time soon.

#12 – Rose Namajunas: 19pts

Fought: 7 (2 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 6 (4 wins by finish)

Lost: 

Drawn: 0

A respectable #12 spot for the women’s strawweight champion who managed to double-down on her claim to being the best 115lb-r in the world last year with another hugely impressive win over the former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

#11 – Henry Cejudo: 19pts

Fought: 10 (2 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 8 (2 wins by finish)

Lost: 2 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

One of the breakout fighters of 2018 managed to completely one-up himself with a sub-minute destruction of the seemingly unbeatable TJ Dillashaw at UFC Brooklyn and now, he looks set to cement himself as one of the world’s very best pound-for-pound fighters.

#10 – Conor McGregor: 21pts

Fought: 9 (3 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 7 (6 wins by finish)

Lost: 2 (2 losses by finish)

Drawn: 0

Just about reaching the top-10 is the former dual-weight world champion Conor McGregor. While he is not nearly as active these days as he used to be, the groundwork was done during his rise through the 145lb ranks to ensure that he remains safely within the middle of this list.

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#9 – TJ Dillashaw: 23pts

Fought: 9 (5 UFC title-fight finishes)

Won: 7 (5 wins by finishes)

Lost: 2 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

He might have lost out on his opportunity to become the flyweight champion of the UFC, but make no mistake, TJ Dillashaw is still an incredible fighter and still the UFC bantamweight king. With a rematch with Cejudo seemingly in the works, we will hopefully see Dillashaw at his fiery best as he attempts to figure out what went wrong last month in Brooklyn.

#8 – Stipe Miocic: 23 pts

Fought: 9 (4 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 7 (6 wins by finish )

Lost: 2 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

Miocic could still be the greatest heavyweight the UFC has ever seen. No one loss to Daniel Cormier can steal that away from him and it certainly wasn’t enough to knock him out of the top-8 in this league. His run of vicious KO’s that saw him win and defend the UFC heavyweight title make him a strong contender in this race.

#7 – Tyron Woodley: 23pts

Fought: 9 (4 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 7 (4 wins by finish) 

Lost: 

Drawn: 1

Another seemingly unbeatable champion who is really hitting his stride in recent times, Woodley has only recorded one finish since blitzing through Robbie Lawler to win the belt in the first place but even now – well into his title-reign – it would appear as though the best is still yet to come from ‘The Chosen One’.

#6 – Robert Whittaker: 23pts

Fought: 10 (2 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 9 (4 wins by finish) 

Lost: 1 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

Bobby Knuckles is the dark-horse in this race. After spending the last few years quietly carving up middleweights after leaving the 170lb division – Robert Whittaker now sits with the belt hoisted over his shoulder and after a pair of victories over Yoel Romero – he must be delighted at the prospect of facing someone who isn’t comparable to an indestructible freak of nature with bricks for hands.

#5 – Amanda Nunes: 26pts

Fought: 9 (5 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 8 (6 wins by finish)

Lost: 1 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

2018 was Amanda Nunes’ year. The most talented female the sport has ever known destroyed Cris Cyborg in under a minute at UFC 232 to leave the entire world of mixed martial arts at a stand-still and while she has mentioned the possibility of retirement, there are still several fights out there that would serve to further and cement her legacy.

#4 – Cris Cyborg: 31pts

Fought: 11 (3 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 10 (9 wins by finish) 

Lost: 1 (1 loss by finish)

Drawn: 0

Despite losing in violent fashion to the woman who occupies the spot behind her on this list, Cris Cyborg’s brutal reign as the world’s best featherweight saw her collect more than enough scalps to ensure her spot within the top-5. Right now, it looks as though she may leave the UFC but no matter where she goes, even after UFC 232, people ought to be afraid… very afraid.

#3 – Daniel Cormier: 31pts

Fought: 11 (6 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 9 (7 wins by finish)

Lost: 1

Drawn: 0

Other: (UFC 214 vs. Jon Jones – originally a TKO loss, overturned to a NC)

The heavyweight king fought three times in 2018 – finishing all three opponents and has looked nothing short of astounding since losing to Jon Jones at UFC 214 in a TKO defeat that would be later ruled as a ‘no-contest’. 2019 will more than likely be the last year in this great fighter’s career. Whether he can find himself sitting atop this list before he hangs up his gloves for good remains to be seen.

#2 – Tony Ferguson: 31pts

Fought: 11 (1 UFC title-fight victory)

Won: 11 (8 wins by finish) 

Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

Tony Ferguson’s placement on this list is a testament to the level of fighter that he has been over the last few years. He might not be a champion on paper but when you look at the top-contenders he has been able to beat and finish, he may as well have UFC gold around his waist – even if he has never once fought for the undisputed belt. An absolute killer at 155lbs.

#1 – Max Holloway:  37pts

Fought: 12 (4 UFC title-fight victories)

Won: 12 (9 wins by finish)

Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

Blessed is best! Max Holloway is the game’s most in-form fighter and according to our criteria, the stats prove it. Not only has he been incredibly active in the last five years, but he has also managed to all-but clear out the division he rules over – finishing a staggering number of the world’s very best 145lb-rs.

A deserving winner, all things considered.

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 12: Max Holloway celebrates his victory over Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight fight during UFC 194 on December 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

About Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at cillian@punditarena.com.