UFC Pound-for-Pound Fighter Rankings: Alexander Volkanovski vaults to No. 1, Israel Adesanya again in prime three

If one ever wanted a industrial for a way superior issues seem like on the famed Metropolis Kickboxing gymnasium in New Zealand, teammates Alexander Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya placed on one heck of a present final Saturday at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.  

Volkanovski left the T-Cellular Enviornment in shock as he battered Max Holloway over 5 one-sided rounds of their trilogy bout. The victory was sufficient to bump the native of Australia to the highest of the pound-for-pound rankings, largely as a result of how scary his offensive output has turn out to be all through a gradual evolution. 

Beforehand referred to as extra of a degree fighter, Volkanovski took the battle on to Holloway all through and stays unbeaten contained in the Octagon over 12 appearances.  

Adesanya, in the meantime, defended his 185-pound title for the fifth time general after a comparatively simple determination win over Jared Cannonier. The gang could not have appreciated the dearth of violence as a result of how properly Adesanya disciplined the hard-punching Cannonier and turned it into extra of a technical affair.

However till somebody is keen to face within the pocket and take in Adesanya’s counterstriking at middleweight, it is troublesome to see anybody taking his title.  

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Utilizing a standards that takes into consideration all the things from accomplishments to present kind, let’s take a better take a look at the highest fighters contained in the Octagon.

For CBS Sports activities’ up to date divisional rankings, click on right here.

Males’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Alexander Volkanovski — Featherweight champion (24-1)

Earlier rating: No. 2

With respect to Jose Aldo’s 145-pound division file of seven title defenses, Volkanovski simply took one step nearer to featherweight G.O.A.T. standing along with his fourth. This wasn’t simply any title protection, nevertheless, as Volkanovski continued his evolution at 33 by leaving Max Holloway a bloody mess of their trilogy bout. The champ has teased a transfer as much as light-weight to problem Charles Oliveira for the title.

2. Kamaru Usman — Welterweight champion (20-1)

Earlier rating: No. 1

Contemporary off a Fighter of the 12 months marketing campaign in 2021, Usman is closing in on turning into an all-time nice. He is unbeaten in 15 UFC bouts and has received 19 straight fights general. The 35-year-old will face Leon Edwards in an August rematch. 

3. Israel Adesanya — Middleweight champion (23-1)

Earlier rating: No. 4

Though he was unnecessarily booed throughout and after his UFC 276 title protection towards Jared Cannonier, “The Final Stylebender” left the Octagon with no scratch in one other technical and dominant victory. Comparisons to Anderson Silva stay unfair. Adesanya is his personal fighter, and an awesome one at that, who stays within the dialog for finest on this planet. 

4. Charles Oliveira — Light-weight (33-8)

Earlier rating: No. 3

Though his 155-pound title is at present vacant after lacking weight forward of UFC 274, nobody is disputing who one of the best lively light-weight on this planet is. Oliveira prolonged his win streak to 11 with a first-round submission of Justin Gaethje. His preventing type welcomes loads of hazard, however Oliveira is so dialed in that nobody has been capable of make him pay. 

5. Francis Ngannou — Heavyweight champion (16-3)

Earlier rating: No. 5

Regardless of struggling a critical knee damage throughout coaching camp amid a really public contract battle with UFC brass, Ngannou gutted out a unification win towards former teammate, and unbeaten interim champion, Ciryl Gane. An extended restoration is anticipated as Ngannou’s UFC future stays in query. 

6. Aljamain Sterling — Bantamweight champion (21-3)

Earlier rating: No. 7

For the entire criticism geared toward Sterling in how he dealt with his disqualification victory over Petr Yan of their first assembly, “Aljo” was a totally totally different fighter within the rematch 13 months later. Sterling’s split-decision victory at UFC 273 prolonged his win streak to seven general and may create quite a few financially engaging title defenses. 

7. Jiri Prochazka — Mild heavyweight champion (29-3-1)

Earlier rating: No. 8

It is time to give the unpredictable Prochazka his full due after extending his win streak to 13 in a dramatic and savage fifth-round submission of Glover Teixeira at UFC 275. Prochazka is 23-1-1 since 2013, avenging his lone defeat by knockout. He has additionally proven an elite chin and fuel tank to bundle along with his fight-ending energy.

8. Deiveson Figueiredo — Flyweight champion (21-2-1)

Earlier rating: 9

Simply how spectacular was Figueiredo’s win over Brandon Moreno of their trilogy battle? At 34, Figueiredo not solely rebounded from a stoppage loss to regain his 125-pound title, he confirmed the sort of poise and persistence below new coaches Henry Cejudo and Eric Albarracin he had been missing. Nagging damage will sideline him this summer season.

9. Petr Yan — Bantamweight (16-3)

Earlier rating: No. 10

It is laborious to fault Yan’s effort in arising simply quick towards Sterling of their long-awaited rematch. Yan has referred to as for an on the spot trilogy bout following his disputed determination loss, however he’ll possible have to work his method again to the highest of the game’s deepest division.  

10. Max Holloway — Featherweight (23-7) 

Earlier rating: No. 6

Holloway’s elite inventory took a critical hit because of the one-sided nature of his trilogy loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 276. At simply 30, there’s nonetheless loads of time for “Blessed” to bounce again in a giant method as he contemplates a attainable transfer again as much as 155 kilos.  

Dropped out: None

Simply missed: Robert Whittaker, Dustin Poirier, TJ Dillashaw, Colby Covington, Stipe Miocic 

Ladies’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Valentina Shevchenko — Flyweight champion (23-3)

Earlier rating: No. 1

Shevchenko’s dominant run at 125 kilos was severely challenged in a split-decision win over Taila Santos at UFC 275. Though Shevchenko recorded her seventh straight title protection, she appeared human amid Santos’ grappling success and was pressured to rally to maintain her title.

2. Amanda Nunes — Featherweight champion (20-4)

Earlier rating: No. 3

The G.O.A.T.’s implosion towards Julianna Pena at UFC 269 was probably the most beautiful second of 2021 and probably the largest upset in MMA historical past. Though she’s nonetheless armed with the 145-pound title, Nunes should first restore what was misplaced in a July rematch towards Pena.

3. Rose Namajunas — Strawweight (11-5)

Earlier rating: No. 2

A baffling technique of defensive circling led to Namajunas surrendering her 115-pound title to inaugural champion Carla Esparza of their Could rematch. Namajunas was barely touched in her unanimous determination loss. Nonetheless, the miscalculation was an enormous one. 

4. Zhang Weili — Strawweight (22-3) 

Earlier rating: NR 

The previous champion appeared fully reborn following consecutive defeats to Namajunas when she despatched Joanna Jedrzejczyk to retirement through vicious knockout of their UFC 275 rematch. The native of China has advanced her placing and added offensive wrestling to extend her general hazard.

5. Carla Esparza — Strawweight champion (19-6)

Earlier rating: No. 4

Esparza merely took what was dealt to her and made probably the most of it by edging out Namajunas of their disappointing strawweight title rematch at UFC 274. Though the win will not do a ton for her critically, it’ll go a good distance in including to her resume because the now two-time champion prolonged her win streak to 6 whereas including a second victory over Namajunas. 

Dropped out: None

Simply missed: Julianna Pena, Jessica Andrade, Marina Rodriguez, Holly Holm, Talia Santos

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