Sherdog’s Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Rankings
Artwork by John Brannigan/Sherdog.com
It was not the victory Jan Blachowicz could have wished for, but it was nevertheless an important victory for the heavy-handed Pole.
The ex-champ maintained his spot in the UFC light heavyweight pecking order on ESPN 36’s headliner when opponent Aleksandar Rakic suffered a knee injury early in the third round and could not continue. While the win keeps the ‘Polish Power’ founder in the title conversation, it doesn’t do much for his pound-for-pound position, as Blachowicz simply maintains his No. 13 ranking – one spot behind the man who took his title, Glover Teixeira.
Note: Previous ranking in parentheses.
Usman continued to truck at UFC 268, earning a unanimous decision triumph over Colby Covington in a championship rematch at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 6. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ dropped Covington twice in the second round, then survived a late push down his opponent’s championship frames to close the book on his rivalry with the controversial Covington. Usman now has 15 straight UFC triumphs under his belt, a streak second only to middleweight great Anderson Silva. Usman’s next title defense is expected to come against Leon Edwards. At UFC 273, Volkanovski authored the type of performance that no doubt Hall of Fame legacies rest on, as he overwhelmed Chan Sung Jung en route to a fourth-round technical knockout victory in of the evening’s main event at Vystar Veteran’s Memorial Arena. in Jacksonville, Florida on April 9. That’s three successful featherweight title defenses and 21 consecutive professional triumphs overall for Volkanovski, who has established himself as one of the best pound-for-pound talents in the sport. A trilogy featuring Max Holloway, who was scheduled to face the representative of City Kickboxing at UFC 272, is expected for UFC 276 on July 2. He took a much different path to get there, but Adesanya is nonetheless 2-0 against Robert Whittaker after defeating his rival by unanimous decision in the UFC 271 headliner at Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 19. the division. It will happen during International Fight Week against No. 1 contender Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276 on July 2. win over Ciryl Gane to unify the heavyweight title at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on January 22. While not the most thrilling performance, the effort speaks volumes about Ngannou’s determination, as in previous fights he struggled to do anything of note when forced past the second round. . ‘The Predator’ now faces an uncertain future as he is unhappy with the way he has been treated by the UFC and looks set to sit out for a significant period of time unless both sides can come to terms. get along. Regardless of how it happens, Ngannou will be sidelined for much of the rest of 2022 due to knee surgery. After losing 0.5lbs the day before, Oliveira lost his lightweight crown early in his UFC 274 headlining fight against Justin Gaethje. That didn’t stop ‘Do Bronx’ from putting in another masterful performance, as he survived early adversity before rallying to drop and submit the former World Series of Fighting champion in the first round of their fight. at Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The win, which was Oliveira’s 11th in a row, secures the Brazilian a spot in the next fight for the 155-pound title. Chute Boxe rep Diego Lima only seems to be getting better, with finishes from Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler in his last three promotional appearances. “Pitbull” picked up arguably the most important win of his storied career on April 15, beating AJ McKee via unanimous decision in the main event of Bellator 277 to reclaim his featherweight belt. With the hard-fought rematch behind him, Bellator’s first-ever four-time champion should have plenty to keep him busy, including a potential rubber match with McKee – even if it comes down to lightweight – and rising contenders like Adam Borics and Aaron Pico string together impressive winning streaks. After moving to Fight Ready in Arizona, Figueiredo evened the score with Brandon Moreno at UFC 270, earning a hotly contested unanimous decision in the evening’s co-main event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. January 22. where every round was tough to score, Figueiredo’s more powerful offense might have made the difference and allowed him to regain the UFC flyweight crown. With the series against Moreno tied at 1-1-1, a fourth fight seems entirely possible. First, Moreno and Kai Kara France will square off for interim gold at UFC 277.
8. AJ McKee (18-1) | Bellator 
After opening his career with 18 straight fights of uninterrupted and often jaw-dropping dominance, McKee tasted defeat for the first time as a professional, coming up short against Patricio Freire in their rematch at Bellator 277 on April 15. A fierce title fight, the “mercenary” proclaimed he was done with the featherweight division, and said any trilogy fight with “Pitbull” should be at lightweight. Whether it’s Bellator’s next move or McKee finishing first against other “Pitbull” brother, 155-pound champion Patricky Freire, remains to be seen. At UFC 260, Miocic did the same to pull off another defense of the heavyweight championship. Miocic saw his reign ended in a second-round knockout loss at UFC Apex in Las Vegas on March 27, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Ohio-based firefighter has already established himself as the organization’s mos t consistent heavyweight king with records for most wins in title fights and defenses of consecutive title. While asking for a trilogy isn’t off the table for the 38-year-old, Miocic’s forays into the Octagon have become less frequent in recent years, making it unclear when he might be ready to return for a another match with Ngannou – or anyone. Poirier entered UFC 269 as an uncrowned lightweight champion in the eyes of many, but left the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas empty-handed after a third-round loss to Charles Oliveira in the lead. poster of the evening. The American Top Team rep started off well as he landed some powerful punches and floored his opponent in the first round, but that momentum gradually faded as the fight progressed. Poirier was poised for a memorable 2021 campaign that could have included two wins over Conor McGregor and a championship belt, but instead “The Diamond” falls short in a title fight for the second time in a row.
Other suitors: Justin Gaethje, Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz, Max Holloway, Aljamain Sterling.
Sherdog’s division and pound-for-pound rankings are compiled by a panel of Sherdog.com staff and contributors: Tristen Critchfield, Mike Fridley, Brian Knapp, Ben Duffy, Jay Pettry, Edward Carbajal, Marcelo Alonso, Tudor Leonte , Keith Shillan, Tyler Treese and Lev Pisarsky.