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MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Is there room at the top for Israel Adesanya?


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MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Is there room at the top for Israel Adesanya?

Israel Adesanya put on a spectacular performance at UFC 253. The middleweight champion’s second-round TKO of previously unbeaten Paulo Costa on Sept. 26 was as dominant a title fight victory as we’ve seen in a while. It was the kind of performance that can send a fighter skyrocketing in the rankings.Problem is, Adesanya was already…

MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Is there room at the top for Israel Adesanya?

Israel Adesanya put on a spectacular performance at UFC 253. The middleweight champion’s second-round TKO of previously unbeaten Paulo Costa on Sept. 26 was as dominant a title fight victory as we’ve seen in a while. It was the kind of performance that can send a fighter skyrocketing in the rankings.

Problem is, Adesanya was already No. 4 in the ESPN men’s pound-for-pound rankings, behind only lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, consensus GOAT Jon Jones and heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. There simply isn’t any upward mobility available to the Nigeria-born New Zealander.

So Adesanya has to settle for now sitting all alone at No. 4. Previously, he had been tied for that spot with welterweight king Kamaru Usman. A small shift in voting among the ESPN panel has separated the two, with Usman dropping down to No. 5.

That’s it for movement in the men’s and women’s top 10s. Can anyone knock two-division champion Amanda Nunes off her longtime perch as women’s No. 1?

The next big opportunity for a significant shift comes on Oct. 24, when Nurmagomedov defends his 155-pound title, his undefeated record and his top spot in the men’s rankings against No. 8 Justin Gaethje.

(For Brett Okamoto’s division-by-division rankings, go here.)

Note: Results are current; rankings as of Sept. 29.

Men’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Record: 28-0

Weight class: Lightweight

Last: W (SUB3) Dustin Poirier, Sept. 7

Next: Oct. 24 vs. Justin Gaethje


2. Jon Jones

Record: 26-1, 1 NC

Weight class: Light heavyweight

Last: W (UD) Dominick Reyes, Feb. 8

Next: TBD


3. Stipe Miocic

Record: 20-3

Weight class: Heavyweight

Last: W (UD) Daniel Cormier, Aug. 15

Next: TBD


4. Israel Adesanya

Record: 20-0

Weight class: Middleweight

Last: W (TKO2) Paulo Costa, Sept. 26

Next: TBD


5. Kamaru Usman

Previous ranking: T-4

Record: 17-1

Weight class: Welterweight

Last: W (UD) Jorge Masvidal, July 11

Next: Dec. 12 vs. Gilbert Burns


6. Alexander Volkanovski

Record: 22-1

Weight class: Featherweight

Last: W (SD) Max Holloway, July 11

Next: TBD


7. Demetrious Johnson

Record: 30-3-1

Weight class: Flyweight

Last: W (UD) Danny Kingad, Oct. 12

Next: TBD vs. Adriano Moraes


8. Justin Gaethje

Record: 22-2

Weight class: Lightweight

Last: W (TKO5) Tony Ferguson, May 9

Next: Oct. 24 vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov


9. Deiveson Figueiredo

Record: 19-1

Weight class: Flyweight

Last: W (TechSub1) Joseph Benavidez, July 19

Next: Nov. 21 vs. Cody Garbrandt


10. Dustin Poirier

Record: 25-6, 1 NC

Weight class: Lightweight

Last: W (UD) Dan Hooker, June 27

Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Conor McGregor, Francis Ngannou and Petr Yan.


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto


1. Khabib Nurmagomedov


2. Jon Jones


3. Israel Adesanya


4. Stipe Miocic


5. Kamaru Usman


6. Alexander Volkanovski


7. Justin Gaethje


8. Deiveson Figueiredo


9. Demetrious Johnson


10. Dustin Poirier

Marc Raimondi


1. Khabib Nurmagomedov


2. Jon Jones


3. Stipe Miocic


4. Kamaru Usman


5. Israel Adesanya


6. Demetrious Johnson


7. Alexander Volkanovski


8. Deiveson Figueiredo


9. Justin Gaethje


10. Petr Yan

Ariel Helwani


1. Jon Jones


2. Khabib Nurmagomedov


3. Stipe Miocic


4. Israel Adesanya


5. Kamaru Usman


6. Justin Gaethje


7. Alexander Volkanovski


8. Dustin Poirier


9. Demetrious Johnson


10. Conor McGregor

Jeff Wagenheim


1. Khabib Nurmagomedov


2. Jon Jones


3. Stipe Miocic


4. Demetrious Johnson


5. Israel Adesanya


6. Kamaru Usman


7. Alexander Volkanovski


8. Justin Gaethje


9. Deiveson Figueiredo


10. Francis Ngannou


Women’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

Record: 20-4

Weight class: Bantamweight/featherweight

Last: W (UD) Felicia Spencer, June 6

Next: Dec. 12 vs. Megan Anderson


2. Valentina Shevchenko

Record: 19-3

Weight class: Flyweight

Last: W (TKO3) Katlyn Chookagian, Feb. 8

Next: Nov. 21 vs. Jennifer Maia


3. Cris Cyborg

Record: 21-2, 1 NC

Weight class: Featherweight

Last: W (UD) Julia Budd, Jan. 25

Next: TBD


4. Zhang Weili

Record: 21-1

Weight class: Strawweight

Last: W (SD) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, March 7

Next: TBD


5. Rose Namajunas

Record: 9-4

Weight class: Strawweight

Last: W (SD) Jessica Andrade, July 11

Next: TBD


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Record: 16-4

Weight class: Strawweight

Last: L (SD) Zhang Weili, March 7

Next: TBD


7. Jessica Andrade

Record: 20-8

Weight class: Strawweight

Last: L (SD) Rose Namajunas, July 11

Next: TBD


8. Germaine de Randamie

Record: 9-4

Weight class: Bantamweight

Last: L (UD) Amanda Nunes, Dec. 14

Next: Oct. 3 vs. Julianna Peña


T-9. Katlyn Chookagian

Record: 14-3

Weight class: Flyweight

Last: W (UD) Antonina Shevchenko, May 30

Next: TBD

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T-9. Holly Holm

Record: 13-5

Weight class: Bantamweight

Last: W (UD) Raquel Pennington, Jan. 18

Next: Oct. 3 vs. Irene Aldana


Other fighters receiving votes: Julia Budd and Seo Hee Ham.


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Zhang Weili


4. Rose Namajunas


5. Cris Cyborg


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


7. Jessica Andrade


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Katlyn Chookagian


10. Holly Holm

Marc Raimondi


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


7. Jessica Andrade


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Seo Hee Ham

Ariel Helwani


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


7. Jessica Andrade


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Katlyn Chookagian

Jeff Wagenheim


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


7. Jessica Andrade


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Katlyn Chookagian


10. Julia Budd















































































































































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