MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Khabib out after retirement; Whittaker jumps in

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·2 mins 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 (Oct. 27)

Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was the Yahoo Sports’ No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, announced his retirement on Saturday at UFC 254 and has been removed from the rankings.

  1. Jon Jones (26-1, 10 KOs), UFC heavyweight contender. Previous Ranking: 2

  2. Israel Adesanya (20-0, 10 KOs), UFC middleweight champion. PR: 3

  3. Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1, 5 KOs), ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Champion. PR: 4

  4. Stipe Miocic (20-3, 15 KOs), UFC heavyweight champion. PR: 5

  5. Kamaru Usman (17-1, 7 KOs), UFC welterweight champion. PR: 6

  6. Robert Whittaker (22-5, 9 KOs), former UFC middleweight champion. Previously unranked

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

  8. Conor McGregor (22-4, 19 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 8

  9. Dustin Poirier (26-6 12 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 9

  10. Tony Ferguson (25-4, 12 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 10

Women’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings (Oct. 27)

  1. Amanda Nunes (20-4, 13 KOs), UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion. PR: 1

  2. Valentina Shevchenko (19-3, 6 KOs), UFC flyweight champion. PR: 2

  3. Zhang Weili (21-1, 10 KOs), UFC strawweight champion. PR: 3

  4. Cris Cyborg (23-2, 18 KOs), Bellator featherweight champion. PR: 4

  5. Rose Namajunas (9-4, 1 KO), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 5

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

  7. Jessica Andrade (21-8, 8 KOs), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 7

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

  9. Germaine de Randamie (10-4, 4 KOs), UFC bantamweight contender. PR: 9

  10. Lauren Murphy (14-4, 8 KOs), UFC flyweight contender. Previously unranked