MMA pound-for-pound rankings: New No. 1 as Jon Jones removed due to inactivity

·Combat columnist
·2-min read
(Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)
(Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)

Below are my 10 choices for the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist (including women) in the world. To understand this, it helps to understand what pound-for-pound means. To me, and the way I’ll be voting, it’s who would win a fight if everyone weighed the same and all of their skills and physical attributes were proportional. For example, if I’m considering a flyweight who is a murderous puncher in his or her division, I will assume he or she would be a murderous puncher in every division, punching proportionally as hard at heavyweight as he/she did at flyweight.

I will value activity and quality of opposition over inactivity and lighter opposition. That said, I won’t arbitrarily remove a fighter from my Top 10 if there is a logical and rational reason why they haven’t fought. But I will not vote for someone who has been inactive for a lengthy period for no apparent reason. Fighters who are under doping suspensions will not be included.

Men’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings (July 20)

  1. Kamaru Usman (19-1, 9 KOs), UFC welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 2

  2. Dustin Poirier (28-6 13 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 3

  3. Israel Adesanya (20-1, 15 KOs), UFC middleweight champion. PR: 4

  4. Max Holloway (22-6, 10 KOs), UFC featherweight contender. PR: 5

  5. Robert Whittaker (23-5, 9 KOs), UFC middleweight contender. PR: 6

  6. Justin Gaethje (22-3, 19 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 7

  7. Patricio Freire (32-4, 11 KOs), Bellator featherweight/lightweight champion. PR: 8

  8. Alexander Volkanovski (22-1, 11 KOs), UFC featherweight champion. PR: 9

  9. Francis Ngannou (16-3, 12 KOs), UFC heavyweight champion. PR: 10

  10. Charles Oliveira (31-8, 9 KOs), UFC lightweight champion. Previously unranked

Women’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings (July 20)

  1. Amanda Nunes (21-4, 13 KOs), UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion. PR: 1

  2. Valentina Shevchenko (21-3, 7 KOs), UFC flyweight champion. PR: 2

  3. Rose Namajunas (10-4, 2 KO), UFC strawweight champion. PR: 3

  4. Zhang Weili (21-2, 10 KOs), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 4

  5. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4, 4 KOs), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 6

  6. Cris Cyborg (24-2, 19 KOs), Bellator featherweight champion. PR: 5

  7. Holly Holm (14-5, 8 KOs), UFC bantamweight contender. PR: 7

  8. Germaine de Randamie (10-4, 4 KOs), UFC bantamweight contender. PR: 8

  9. Lauren Murphy (14-4, 8 KOs), UFC flyweight contender. PR: 9

  10. Mackenzie Dern (11-1), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 10

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